Shelter helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness through our advice, support and legal services. And we campaign to make sure that, one day, no one will have to turn to us for help.
Shelter Legal Services is part of Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity.
Shelter Legal has a national reputation for excellence in housing law, and a long history of seeking to assist the development of English law in the field of homelessness and issues of inadequate housing through litigation. We use the law to solve people’s problems and test the limits of the law. We want to be able to offer all Shelter clients a complete advice and advocacy service and to fill gaps in existing legal services. In the current challenging funding environment, offering legal solutions to enable people to access, keep and improve their homes whilst maintaining cost effectiveness requires innovation, imagination and high calibre financial and problem-solving skills.
The Shelter Legal Team is made up of around 40 solicitors and other support staff, working from various offices around the country. The work of Shelter’s solicitors is predominantly funded by legal aid. We work closely with other teams in Shelter’s services, taking referrals of complex and certificated cases to ensure that Shelter can provide an end-to-end service to its clients. The service conducts certificated litigation work, controlled work and Housing Possession Court Duty Schemes. We provide services for individual clients, support digital advice and training to other solicitors and advice agencies, as well as support Shelter’s organisational policy and campaigning priorities on social welfare law and access to justice issues.
The Strategic Legal Team (SLT) is a small team within Shelter Legal Services. Although the SLT is based in London, we are linked with Shelter’s advice centres and lawyers from all areas of England: this network provides a good insight into housing issues across the country. Whilst the team engages in strategic litigation concerning homelessness and bad housing on a national level, we are also a resource for Shelter solicitors across the country to assist them in engaging with the law strategically on a local level.
The trainee solicitor will be based in Shelter’s Strategic Litigation Team in our head office in London. As well as carrying a caseload of strategically focused cases and working to promote strategic litigation within Shelter’s Legal team and regional offices, the trainee will also provide support on legislation and policy development to Shelter’s Communications, Policy and Campaigns teams and will proactively seek out housing and welfare test cases that will influence change as part of Shelter’s campaigning strategy. The trainee will explore different ways of funding the strategic litigation work including legal aid, crowdfunding, grant applications and pro bono.
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