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Senior Advocate - WESTS

Employer: Western Sydney Community Legal Centre
Work Type/s: Part Time
Classification/s: Multiculturalism & Diversity, Legal & Human Rights, Management
Sector/s: Not For Profit (NFP)
Location: Sydney

Job posted on: 02 August, 2017.
Applications close: 14 August, 2017. (Expired)

  • Part Time, 3 days a week

Western Sydney Community Legal Centre (WSCLC) operates from a number of locations in Western Sydney including Parramatta, Harris Park, Rooty Hill and Windsor. The Centre was formed to improve the delivery of free legal services to people who have the greatest legal and community needs. In addition to a generalist legal practice, the Centre has programs that deliver tenancy advice, support for those experiencing domestic violence, court assistance for young people, and assistance for Aboriginal people in accessing the justice system.

The Senior Advocate of WESTS is employed by WSCLC and is accountable to the Coordinator, to the Director, and the Management Committee. On a day-to-day basis, the Senior Advocate is supervised by the Coordinator, by the Director and the Principal Solicitor for legal work.

Work Performed

1. Senior Advocate to coordinate the operation of WESTS

  • Provide coordination, day-to-day supervision, debriefing and direction to the Coordinator and the team.
  • Be aware of and work within relevant legislation.
  • In conjunction with the Coordinator and the Director, ensure the work undertaken by the TAAP is consistent with the priorities and objectives set out in the Funding Guidance.
  • Ensure that the service operates within the TAAP objectives, policies and procedures.
  • Ensure that access and equity and workplace health and safety (WHS) policies and procedures are implemented.
  • Ensure files are in order for annual cross-check.
  • Delegate responsibilities for service delivery as appropriate with the Coordinator’s guidance.
  • In the Coordinator’s absence, organise regular team meetings.
  • In the Coordinator’s absence, to coordinate and cover staff absences.
  • Undertake supervision the Coordinator and the Director.
  • Assist Coordinator with the staff appraisal.
  • Annually assess and investigate staff training needs, plan staff development and conduct staff appraisals with team members.

2. Advice and casework

  • Provide telephone and face-to-face advice and referrals.
  • Advocate on behalf of clients e.g. with landlords, real estate agents, and other agencies.
  • Represent clients in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT), including preparation of the evidence, written submissions, conciliation and complete carriage of clients’ cases in formal hearings of the Tribunal.
  • Support and resource clients to represent themselves at NCAT.
  • Provide duty advocacy services at NCAT.
  • Maintain knowledge of relevant, applicable legislation such as the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW).
  • Provide information and referrals to other services as necessary.
  • In the Coordinator’s absence, to facilitate outreach sessions.
  • In the Coordinator’s absence, to arrange regular case work meetings.
  • In the Coordinator’s absence, to oversee decisions about opening new cases and distribution of work amongst staff.
  • Maintain confidentiality of client work in accordance with WSCLC policy.
  • Organise interpreters as required.
  • Meet with Principal Solicitor for review of case loads and provide case report as necessary.

3. Files, data entry and reporting

  • Open and maintain clients files in accordance with WSCLC file handling practices.
  • Enter client information daily into CLASS and CDS databases.
  • Conduct conflict checks.
  • In the Coordinator’s absence, to ensure Service meets data collection and Service requirements of Funding Body.
  • In Coordinator’s absence, to ensure transmission of data to the funding body in compliance with requirements set out in the Funding Guidance.
  • To assist the Coordinator in reporting regularly to the Director and the Management Committee.

4. Liaison and external relationships

  • Work cooperatively with other organisations and services in the area to ensure the best outcomes for clients.
  • Develop and maintain strategic links with external bodies relevant to the Service.
  • Attend TAAP Network meetings and other relevant conferences and forums as required.

5. Policy and law reform

  • Contribute to policy and law reform.
  • Attend relevant meetings, conduct research and assist with preparation of submissions as required by the Coordinator, the Director and/or the Principal Solicitor.

6. Community Education

  • Assist the Coordinator to develop and delivery community education sessions.
  • Assist the Coordinator to promote WESTS through the development of community awareness and effective liaison with key stakeholders as necessary.

7. General Duties

  • Adopt and promote the philosophy, constitution and programs of WSCLC.
  • Participate with other staff in the day to day running of WSCLC, under the direction of the Director when exceptional circumstances apply.
  • Attend staff meetings. In the Coordinator’s absence and if requested by the Management Committee, to attend Management Committee meetings as required and attend other meetings in accordance with work plan and/or centre goals.
  • Participate in staff development and training activities relevant to WSCLC.
  • Identify and participate in training to assist and improve service delivery.
  • Maintain an awareness of and apply Equal Employment Opportunity and Workplace Health and Safety guidelines.

8. Tribunal duty advocacy

  • Provide advocacy on behalf of the client at NCAT as required.
  • Represent clients at NCAT, including preparation of evidence, written submissions, conciliation and complete carriage of clients’ cases in formal hearings of the Tribunal as required

9. Comply with all WSCLC policies 

  • Comply with all WSCLC policies.
  • Comply with all Funding Guidance policies.
  • Comply with all relevant legislation.

Selection Criteria

Essential Skills and Experience

The following are essential criteria that the candidate must satisfy in order to perform the role:

  • Demonstrated experience in advocacy, mediation and negotiation
  • Experience working in tenancy, housing, community legal sector or other community organisation
  • Knowledge of and commitment to the rights of tenants and other vulnerable renters in NSW
  • Demonstrated high level oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of team, to take initiative and accept responsibility
  • Experience working with, and an understanding of, the needs of people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people from Aboriginal and Torres Straight Island, people with disabilities or other groups who face disadvantage in access to legal or other services
  • A strong commitment to social justice


  • Demonstrated experience in the provision of advice and representation in a legal or non-legal setting
  • Demonstrated experience in supervising staff
  • Demonstrated understanding of the needs of people within Western Sydney demographics


Social, Community, Home Care & Disability Services (SCHCADS) Industry Award 2010, Level 6

How to apply for this job

This job ad has now expired, and applications are no longer being accepted.