2018 Trainee Lawyer

Applications are now open for the 2018 Trainee Lawyer position with the Fitzroy Legal Service.    The recruitment information pack can be downloaded here. 

The Fitzroy Legal Service (FLS) opened its doors in December 1972.  FLS is a community-based organisation, independent of government, assisting members of the community whose access to legal resources is limited. 

Our services include:

  • a legal advice service that operates five nights a week, staffed primarily by volunteer lawyers;
  • an outreach service and four specialist legal advice clinics (specialising in family law, animal law and LGBTIQ-related legal issues);
  • a self-funding day practice that offers criminal and family law casework and court representation;
  • a Drug Outreach Lawyer program that provides community legal education, referral, advice, advocacy and ongoing casework services to drug users on an outreach basis through health justice partnerships;
  • assistance with family law and family violence on an outreach basis through health justice partnerships in the City of Yarra;
  • two duty lawyers providing advice, casework and support services at the Neighbourhood Justice Centre;
  • community development and community legal education activities, public interest litigation, law reform and the development of legal research and policy; and
  • Publication of The Law Handbook (hard copy, eBook and online) as well as other websites and resources.

This document outlines the process for applying for the Fitzroy Legal Service 2018 Trainee Lawyer position.

Position Objective

This position is an opportunity to experience and contribute to the breadth of legal assistance services provided by the Fitzroy Legal Service.  In addition to the Practical Legal Training Course, during the course of the 12 month position, we will provide you with a professional development program designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge to be a successful CLC lawyer.

The Trainee Lawyer will assist legal staff in providing advice, advocacy and casework services to clients.  This is undertaken under the supervision of the Principal Solicitor and with appropriate training provided to allow the Trainee Lawyer to complete their requirements for admission to the Council of Legal Education Board of Examiners. Unless otherwise negotiated, this will involve undertaking the College of Law Practical Legal Training program, with time off provided to enable course work to be completed.

The Trainee Lawyer will provide support to legal staff by drafting correspondence, taking instructions from clients, preparing briefs and general management of casework files.   The Trainee Lawyer will also spend some time at the Neighbourhood Justice Centre and also be involved in community development, education, policy, strategic litigation and law reform work.   

Like all Fitzroy Legal Service employees, the Trainee Lawyer is expected to support and promote organisational values and objectives.   This position is generously funded by Allens.

TIMELINES

Applications open     9am, Friday 11th August 2017  Applications close    5pm, Friday 1st September 2017        

Interviews will be conducted in the week beginning 25th September 2017.  The position will commence in March 2018.

POSITION DESCRIPTION

The Trainee Lawyer is directly responsible to the FLS Principal Solicitor. 

 Casework

  • Assist with casework with an emphasis on criminal law, family law, intervention orders, but also including assistance in tenancy, VOCAT, infringements, and some guardianship & administration matters;
  • Handle initial client enquiries, via telephone and ‘walk ins’, and provide referrals where necessary;
  • Take instructions from clients and brief solicitors or counsel, as directed;
  • Undertake legal research;
  • Undertake appropriate file management and data collection procedures; and
  • Work in collaboration with legal staff to provide outreach services as required.

 Community Legal Education, Law Reform & Policy

  • Contribute to the delivery of community legal education, including seminars and workshops; and
  • Contribute to policy and law reform work including submissions and reports.

General

  • Support the achievement of the FLS Strategic Plan;
  • Participate in internal staff and planning meetings, supervision and performance review processes;
  • Undertake professional development, including attending training at the College of Law and Allens;
  • Participate in community legal education projects, law reform and other projects as required;
  • Involvement in fundraising and other events as required;
  • Must adhere to organizational policies and procedures and support the agreed FLS Values and Behaviours;
  • Assist with training and supervision of volunteers as required;
  • Share general office duties, including administration, as required; and
  • Undertake other duties as reasonably required by the Executive Officer and Principal Solicitor. 

KEY SELECTION CRITERIA

Prerequisite

  • Tertiary qualification in Law at the time of commencement of the position;

Essential

  • Commitment to social justice and human rights and a strong interest in developing a career in the CLC sector;
  • Strong academic record, particularly in areas of law relevant to CLC work;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • Excellent analytical skills including the ability to effectively apply the law to different fact situations;
  • High degree of initiative and resourcefulness;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively as part of a team; and
  • Prior experience volunteering or working in a CLC or similar organisation highly desirable.
  • Willingness and ability to communicate empathetically with a variety of clients, including those with cognitive impairment or language barriers, people from diverse backgrounds, people with alcohol or other drug dependence, and people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness;

CLASSIFICATION

Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services (SCHCADS) Industry Award 2010 - Level 3, pay point 3.

 SALARY AND CONDITIONS

This is a full-time position (38 hours per week) for a 12 month period. 

  • $55,229 annual salary
  • 9.25% superannuation
  • 17.5% annual leave loading;

Other terms and conditions as per the Legal Practice (Admission Rules) and the Community Legal Centres 2006-2009 Multi Business Agreement, or its replacement. FLS’s tax exempt status allows generous additional tax benefits through salary packaging.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS AND PROCESS

Law students who commenced their final semester of their law degree in 2017 are eligible to apply. Students who have recently graduated from law and who have not been admitted to practice may also apply. You must be legally entitled to work in Australia to apply.    If you are currently studying law but will not commence your final semester in 2017, you cannot apply.

Candidates must email Fitzroy Legal Service the following as one PDF document:

  • A covering letter, no longer than one page;
  • A document which addresses the key selection criteria set out above;
  • A resume which includes your contact details, education, previous work and volunteer experience; and
  • A copy of your academic transcript (if you are selected for interview you will be required to submit a certified copy of your transcript).

Applications should be addressed to:

Jennifer Black
Principal Solicitor
Email: jblack@fitzroy-legal.org.au

Applications must be received by 5pm Friday 1st September 2017. Late applications or applications which do not address the selection criteria will not be considered.    Due to the expected high number of applications, we are unable to acknowledge receipt of each application, unless requested to do so.   Unsuccessful applicants will be notified by email.

Fitzroy Legal Service will make arrangements to interview short-listed candidates the week beginning 25th September 2017.   Interviews will be conducted in person. The successful applicant will be notified by telephone and sent a written offer of employment.

LOCATION, TRAVEL AND WORK OUTSIDE OFFICE HOURS

The position will be predominantly based at the FLS premises on Level 4 of the Fitzroy Town Hall.  Some travel may be required (eg: to attend court). Reasonable travel expenses are reimbursed.

The Trainee Lawyer will work a 38 hour week, working standard office hours Monday to Friday. Occasional work outside of standard office hours may be required. Time in lieu of overtime will be provided.

ENQUIRIES 

As we anticipate a high level of interest in this position, please email any enquiries to:

jblack@fitzroy-legal.org.au