Community Lawyer – Stand Up For Our Rights Project

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POSITION DESCRIPTION & HOW TO APPLY

Position TitleCOMMUNITY LAWYER  ( 0.8FTE)
industrial instrumentThe Community Legal Centres Multi-Business Agreement (MBA) Certified Agreement 2006-2009 and the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 (SCHCADS Award).
PART-TIME/ FULL TIME  Part-Time -0.8 FTE ( 30.4 hours per week ) 3 year contract subject to probation ( 6 months)
classificationLevel 6.2 to 6.3  (CDW) SCHCADS Award 2010 The full-time base salary for Level 6.2 in 2022 is $94,749, and Level 6.3, $96,804.
remunerationIn addition: 10% superannuation Annual leave loading  Additional paid leave between Christmas and New Year’s Day. National wage increase ( July) Benefits of tax-free salary packaging
Reports ToYouthlaw Project management staff including Deputy CEO Joanne Ellis & CEO Ariel Couchman. Youthlaw will also provide legal supervision.

Position Context

The position is an exciting opportunity to be part of an innovative community project in Ballarat, to make a difference to the lives of young people in Child Protection residential care.

The project will be managed by Youthlaw, a state-wide legal service for young people and Ballarat Community Health. It is funded by Equity Trustees, the Gandel Foundation, the Barr Family Foundation, Sidney Myer Fund and the Jack Brockhoff Foundation.  The funding is for 3 years, commencing June 2022.

The project will test an innovative approach to build the capacity of young people in residential care to assert and protect themselves & make informed decisions.

The project will intensively assist young people in 15 homes over a 3-year period.

The project will:  

  1. Provide accessible and time sensitive legal information, build knowledge, and assistance & pathways to participate in decision-making and resolve legal issues internal & external to the home. 
  2. Support participants to stay safe and make informed decisions in their relationships and in their various environments.
  3. In collaboration with Child Protection, Providers and other stakeholders contribute to systemic change.

The project team will comprise a Community lawyer (0.8FTE) and a Project Officer (0.6FTE). They will both be located at Ballarat Community Health at their Lucas site, together with another Youthlaw lawyer. 

Key Responsibilities

  • Providing legal education & legal assistance. This will include advice, casework & some court representation. *
  • Warm referrals to Victoria Legal Aid, private practitioners & referrals to non-legal services.
  • Broader advocacy to support clients to engage in decision-making and raise issues of concern. Whether within the unit, with the provider, to Child Protection or to police.
  • Being part of a small team that is co-ordinating and driving the project.

*Areas of legal assistance will include civil legal problems ( including debts, fines, contracts , basic employment, housing , NDIS and victim assistance ), criminal problems (police interventions & charges, being a victim of abuse ) , and administrative problems (  identity documents , voting , licences , challenging government department decisions ).  

We expect most criminal charge cases will be referred to Victoria Legal Aid (VLA).

The lawyer will not represent clients in Child Protection hearings; however will provide general advice and information and be a conduit to VLA and private lawyers involved.

Legal training will be provided to the lawyer at the beginning of the project including child protection and criminal law relevant to the project.

KEY SELECTION CRITERIA

  • At least 2 years relevant & post admission legal experience but preferably 3 or more years.
  • Some court experience
  • Experience in managing a client caseload
  • Excellent communication and written skills
  • Interpersonal skills including ability to work as independently and collaboratively.
  • Ability to assist and communicate with vulnerable and marginalised young people.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with a range of stakeholders
  • Being strategic and creative in lawyering
  • Good organisational and time management skills.

HIGHLY DESIRABLE 

  • An understanding of the out of home care service system
  • Knowledge & experience of early stage criminal law processes & charges & some knowledge of child protection law
  • Experience in system advocacy  

QUALIFICATIONS 

  • Hold or be eligible to hold a current non-restrictive legal practising certificate in Victoria
  • Eligible to obtain or have a current Working with Children Check

LOCATION, TRAVEL AND WORK OUTSIDE OFFICE HOURS  

The position will be based at Ballarat Community Health at their Lucas site.

The position will involve some travel (mainly in Ballarat) and occasional work outside normal office hours.

There is some flexibility to work from home however, it is expected that much of the work will be conducted at the office in order to build the staff team and relationships with all involved in the project.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLICANTS  

Closing date for application – Sunday 22 May, 5pm

Please provide one letter that is both a cover letter & addresses the key selection criteria (no more than 2 pages).  In addition provide your CV and  two professional referees. We will only contact your referees with your permission.

Please send to the Deputy CEO, Joanne Ellis at joanne@youthlaw.asn.au

Do you want more information?

If you have a question, please email joanne@youthlaw.asn.au and she will either reply by email or call you.

Interview

We will shortlist applicants and may interview as early as the week of 23 May 2022, in Ballarat , either in person or online.

If you are not shortlisted, we will be in touch as soon as possible after the interview week.

Feedback

Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to provide feedback to all applicants. Those who are shortlisted will receive feedback where appropriate and otherwise on request.