Employment opportunity - Community Lawyer NJC

The Fitzroy Legal Service seeks a passionate and talented individual to join our team.  The Community Lawyer position will provide legal services based from the Neighbourhood Justice Centre in Collingwood.   Applications close 5pm Monday 4th December 2017.   Recruitment information can be found here.

The Neighbourhood Justice Centre (NJC) encompasses one court and on- site services such as drug and alcohol, mental health, corrections, financial counselling, housing and other types of community support. The NJC is for people who live in the City of Yarra as well as homeless and Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people with a close connection to Yarra.

The NJC deals with family, civil and criminal legal issues in an effort to reduce re-offending and crime rates, to enhance community perceptions of safety and confidence in the justice system. A major component of the NJC is a multi-jurisdictional court where one principal Magistrate hears all matters in a holistic manner to enable more comprehensive resolutions of issues presenting at the Centre. VCAT members also sit at the NJC.

The NJC legislation was developed around a philosophy of therapeutic jurisprudence and the aim to assist individuals to manage their lives and issues to reduce the risk of recidivism and work towards rehabilitation and recovery. The experiences of clients, as heard through casework, informs the community legal education, community development, law reform and policy work of FLS. The Community Lawyer NJC takes an active role in this.

The Community Lawyer NJC reports to the Senior Community Lawyer NJC.


Advocacy and Casework
• Provide duty lawyer services in relation to criminal matters, family violence and personal safety intervention orders, and Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) matters;
• Provide casework, advice and referral for clients on a variety of matters, including criminal law, infringements, VCAT matters and Intervention Orders;
• Develop links with relevant support agencies to assist with the varied and complex issues of clients;
• As appropriate, apply for legal aid through ATLAS+;
• Where eligible and appropriate, brief barristers to appear on behalf of clients;
• Provide legal advice and secondary consultation to community workers and agencies in relation to the legal rights and responsibilities of their client.

Community Legal Education and Community Development
• Develop and participate in community legal education programs as identified by the NJC and FLS;
• Inform the community about the role of the court and the availability of services; and
• Develop and co-ordinate community development projects and deliver community information consistent with the philosophy and priorities of FLS and NJC.

• Support the achievement of the FLS Strategic Plan;
• Participate in internal staff and planning meetings, supervision and performance review processes;
• Undertake professional development, meet CPD responsibilities and attend local networks and conferences as required;
• Supervise and mentor volunteers;
• Involvement in fundraising and other events as required;
• Must adhere to organizational policies and procedures and support the agreed FLS Values and Behaviours;
• Share general office duties, including administration, as required; and
• Undertake other duties as reasonably required by the FLS Senior Community Lawyer NJC and Principal Solicitor.


To be admitted, or eligible for admission, to practise as an Australian Legal Practitioner.

Essential (Skills, knowledge, experience, qualification and/or training)
• Demonstrated understanding of and commitment to social justice, restorative justice and therapeutic jurisprudence;
• Experience in the provision of high quality legal advice and casework in the areas of community law (law relevant to disadvantaged communities including family violence, tenancy, infringements and summary crime);
• Demonstrated experience in advocacy/ appearance work in the Magistrates’ Court;
• Commitment to rights based service delivery for clients from diverse backgrounds, including clients presenting with AOD dependence, mental health, cognitive impairment concerns;
• Highly developed interpersonal, oral and written communication skills including cross-cultural communication skills;
• Capacity to use initiative, set priorities, organise and manage workloads;
• Demonstrated capacity to work in a small team and support a cohesive team environment; and
• Good self-care and stress management skills.

Desirable (Skills, knowledge, experience, qualification and/or training)
• Ability to design and deliver community legal education and engage in law reform and policy development; and
• Knowledge of and experience with community organisations and an understanding of the community legal / legal aid sector.

To be eligible to apply for this position you must be an Australian or New Zealand citizen, permanent resident or
hold a valid work permit or visa.

The position will be predominantly based at the Neighbourhood Justice Centre in Wellington Street, Collingwood, with some time also spent at the FLS office on Level 4 of the Fitzroy Town Hall. Normal hours of work are between 8.00am – 6.00pm (7.6 hours per day). Some travel may be required (eg: to attend meetings). Reasonable travel expenses are reimbursed. Occasional work outside normal office hours (including week-end events) may be required. Overtime is not payable but time in lieu is available within FLS policy guidelines.

This position is available as a full time (38 hours per week) ongoing position. A less than full-time employment arrangement would also be considered.

Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services (SCHCADS) Industry Award, Level 5. Terms and conditions of employment are based on the Community Legal Centres Multi-Business Agreement