We are social justice lawyers fighting for the housing rights of the people of Greenwich and the surrounding areas through litigation services, casework and advice. We provide access to justice for our clients beyond the confines of the current legal aid contract.
For further information, visit our website.
Any questions regarding this organisation or the position should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
What can a trainee expect by training at this organisation?
The main purpose of this role is to deliver highly specialised legal advice, casework and litigation services to our client group.
Our clients have complex needs and present with interconnected legal issues. Our solicitors, trainees and caseworkers therefore take a multidisciplinary approach to resolving legal problems and ensure that clients have access to a wide range of advice and support services. While the post-holder will concentrate on delivering legal services, s/he will also be expected to contribute to the review and development of support services, policy work and public legal education.
The trainee will work under the direct supervision of a Senior Solicitor but will also benefit from the support of our experienced team of solicitors and caseworkers.
For this reason, the post is not suited to remote working as the trainee will spend most of their days either at the Woolwich office, at court or an outreach location across the borough.
As GHR is a specialist housing organisation, the trainee will be provided with a broad range of experiences and the support required to develop legal practice skills and expertise in housing law and other areas of social welfare law. The trainee will have ready access to experienced, welfare benefits, employment and immigration law practitioners through our partnership with Plumstead Community Law Centre (PCLC).
Objectives of the position
To provide the Trainee Solicitor with the opportunity to develop, practice and gain experience in housing law and related social welfare law disciplines:
- Communication skills
- Client care
- Legal research
- Interviewing and advising
- Advocacy and oral presentation skills
Purpose of the Position
- Under supervision, to gain training and experience in and take responsibility for the provision of legal advice and representation in housing law and practice and related welfare law.
- To be responsible for the delivery of advice, casework, support and representation for clients from the London Borough of Greenwich and neighbouring boroughs.
- To work in partnership with community venues, advice agencies and other agencies to ensure the needs of local people are met and that social policy work is co-ordinated to prevent problems occurring wherever possible.
Duties and Responsibilities
Legal Advice Services
- To provide specialist advice, casework and litigation services under the supervision of senior staff.
- To ensure that publicly funded cases are run in compliance with the requirements of the LAA Contract, Specialist Quality Mark and regulatory framework.
- To represent clients in the county court in possession or other proceedings, at housing benefit tribunals and at other types of hearings and meetings where appropriate.
- To participate in the County Court Duty Advice Schemes (HPCDS) by advising and representing defendants in possession proceedings and applications to suspend eviction warrants.
- To ensure that concluded cases are billed in a timely fashion and that payments on account are claimed where appropriate.
- To develop and maintain GHR’s working relationship with Counsel, costs draughtsmen and an appropriate range of experts.
- To ensure the effective operation of GHR’s services by working collaboratively with advice and support staff and volunteers.
- To ensure that all files are maintained in accordance with GHR’s case management system requirements.
- To contribute to the development and implementation of GHR’s annual training plan.
- To undertake such support functions that may arise from GHR’s involvement in local advice partnerships.
- To meet income targets from casework and targets set by the organisation and as required by funders.
- To participate on a rota basis in initial advice services offered by GHR at the office and at other outreach locations.
- To take a holistic approach to casework by providing tailored specialist legal advice, assisting clients to develop non-legal strategies for problem resolution when possible and enabling client to access appropriate external sources of advice and support.
- To comply at all times with GHR’s Operational Procedures and Employee Handbook and to assist with the review and implementation of GHR’s Equality and Diversity Policy.
- To undertake home visits and undertake out of hours work where appropriate.
- To provide second-tier advice, training and support to professionals and volunteers working in other third sector agencies and public sector teams.
- To provide support for and to assist in the training of staff and volunteers involved in the Duty Advice Schemes.
- To carry out such other duties as may be required to ensure the effective operation of GHR’s advice and other services.
Training and Professional Development
- To keep up to date on changes in housing law, welfare benefits and other areas of law relevant to the delivery of GHR’s services and to the training contract.
- To undertake such internal and external training as the organisation deems appropriate to enable the successful completion of the training contract.
- To successfully complete the Professional Skills Course.
- To regularly access relevant social welfare law resources and ensure those resources are applied appropriately in the delivery of GHR’s services.
- To be proactive in identifying and addressing training and development needs and to respond constructively to supervision to ensure the successful completion of the training contract.
Policy & Partnership Work
- To keep abreast of other social welfare issues, proposed new legislation and new policy initiatives at a local and national level and to support GHR to make representations to the appropriate government departments.
- To attend meetings of local advice networks, to participate in policy, project, campaigning or capacity building activities undertaken by those networks.
- To lead on a project that enhances access to justice and/or promotes awareness of access to justice issues.
- To assist GHR to liaise with the LEF to comply with monitoring and reporting requirements in relation to the project.
- To share learning and outcomes from the project with key stakeholders as agreed with GHR and the LEF.
- To carry out all other reasonable duties as required to maintain the service, including being prepared to work outside of office hours.