The Howard League for Penal Reform is a national charity (registered charity No. 251926) working for less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison.
We work with parliament and the media, with criminal justice professionals, students and members of the public, influencing debate and forcing through meaningful change to create safer communities.
We campaign on a wide range of issues. Recent programmes have focused on transforming prisons, reducing child arrests, promoting real work in custody, and ending the criminalisation of children in residential care.
We use our legal work to transform and shape the law for children and young people.
Our specialist legal team identifies the problems and injustice faced by children and young people in the criminal justice system. We work to provide legal solutions for individuals, as well as wider policy changes to prevent the problems reoccurring for other young people.
In 2017 we celebrated 15 years of successful legal work
The Howard League for Penal Reform is entirely independent of government and is funded by voluntary donations and membership subscriptions.
To contribute to the charity’s core aims of less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison
The Howard League for Penal Reform is the world’s oldest penal reform charity, with a proven track record of delivering change. Our successful campaigns have led to the abolition of capital punishment, and end to the ban on sending books to prisoners and a massive reduction in arrests of children. Our legal team provides expert advice and support to children and young people in prison. We want to do even more, so we are looking for a trainee solicitor who can help us achieve our goals.
The post will suit an out-going personality who is keen to kick start their career.
The Howard League’s Legal Team specialises in providing legal advice and assistance to children and young people in the criminal justice system.
The post is for a trainee solicitor, working under the supervision of a senior solicitor.
The casework & advice line officer will deliver the work of the Howard League by:
developing the work of the legal team by providing casework support under the supervision of a senior solicitor;
delivering high quality telephone and written advice to advice line users and keeping accurate records;
identifying strategic issues and themes emerging from the access to justice service through analysis of the statistics and information from the service and feeding them into the organisation’s wider work;
working as part of the legal team to further the aims of the charity
The post holder’s main tasks are:
To assist, under supervision, a senior solicitor within the legal team to provide an enhanced level of service, including but not limited to:
providing administrative support, including file opening, closing and billing and ensuring that files are properly maintained;
working closely with clients to ensure that they are able to understand what is happening in their case;
recording all work, monitoring costs and ensuring all appropriate applications for costs are made;
undertaking legal and other research to progress clients’ cases;
actively progressing casework under supervision, including drafting representations and correspondence in cases, including writing to clients in a clear and accessible way, attending client visits and advocacy;
to prepare bundles for court.
To contribute to the Howard League’s access to justice service; answering, advising and responding to queries under supervision as appropriate and:
ensuring the delivery of high quality advice, undertaking research and drawing on the expertise of the legal team;
ensure all queries are dealt with sensitively and appropriately;
maintaining accurate records on the case management system;
identifying and recording strategic issues and themes emerging from the access to justice service;
To work in a way that is compliant with the Legal Aid Agency and the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority’s requirements;
To work closely with the campaigns team to further the aims of the charity;
To provide general support to the legal activities of the legal team;
To carry out all tasks in accordance with the equal opportunities policy and practice;
To attend Howard League activities and functions as appropriate; and
To work as part of the whole office team.
Note: Such other tasks as may be required from time to time for the competent performance of the role.
The post holder will be able to demonstrate the following knowledge, skills and experience:
Excellent verbal and written communication skills
Experience of building and developing supportive relationships with vulnerable people while maintaining professional boundaries;
A knowledge of prison, public and/or criminal law;
Excellent organisational skills including the ability to prioritise effectively and plan ahead;
Experience of handling sensitive and confidential information in a discrete and trustworthy manner;
Experience of and willingness to work independently and with initiative;
Flexible approach to work;
Experience and willingness to work with others as part of a team;
A commitment to social justice and human rights;
Excellent IT skills including proficiency in Microsoft Word and Excel;
Suitably legally qualifed to undertake a two year training contract
Experience of working in the voluntary sector, an advice centre and/or telephone help-lines;
Experience of legal casework;
Experience of using Microsoft packages and legal electronic case management systems;
Knowledge and understanding of youth justice, criminal justice and the prison system;
Knowledge of safeguarding issues that might arise whilst working on an advice line;
Experience of working with children and young people;
Experience of campaign work.
Conditions of Service
The post is full time for two years and with a six month probationary period. The post holder will be subject to an enhanced disclosure & barring service check.
The terms and conditions are as laid out in the contract of employment and the office handbook and include 30 days paid leave plus statutory days and 10% contribution to the Howard League workplace pension scheme.