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Solicitor Criminal Law - Children's Court Practice - Newcastle

Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) Limited
  • PBI provides salary sacrificing benefits 
  • 4 weeks annual leave + leave loading 
  • Study and Special leave
  • Career paths to Advocates and Management roles
  • Largest Criminal Law Practice in NSW/ACT
  • Company organisation funded by Federal Government

Purpose of Position

Provide high quality legal advice and representation to clients, primarily in criminal matters, in accordance with the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) Limited's policies, procedures and guidelines.

To contribute to the implementation of the Aboriginal Legal Service's strategic plan to deliver high quality legal services to Aboriginal clients and assist them to resolve their legal problems.

Reporting Relationships

Manager/Supervisor: Cluster Manager 

Organisational Context

The Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) Limited commenced operations on 1 July 2006. The ALS provides legal services to Aboriginal clients across NSW and the ACT. It was established as a Public Benevolent Institution and operates to assist economically and socially disadvantaged Aboriginal people to understand and protect their rights in the legal system.

The ALS provides legal advice, information and non-court assistance to eligible people, and legal representation in crime and care and protection. For some services, clients need to meet a means and merit test. The ALS also provides community legal education programs.

The ALS Board, which consists of the Chairperson and 12 Directors, establishes the broad policies and strategic plan of the Aboriginal Legal Service. The ALS is the largest agency delivering legal services to Aboriginal clients in Australia, comprising a head office in Sydney and 22 offices in metropolitan and regional centres across NSW and the ACT.

Key Challenges or Constraints

  • Being able to communicate with, take instructions from and effectively represent Aboriginal clients (especially children) who may present as distressed, have a physical or intellectual disability, or have problem behaviours such as drug or alcohol addictions, when the legal concepts involved are complex and difficult for the client to understand.
  • Maintaining and enhancing professional competence, keeping abreast of legal developments, changes in ALS policies, systems, guidelines, practices and community needs.
  • Adapting to new systems and technology which have a significant impact on the legal practice.
  • Effectively balancing the requirements of managing a busy caseload. 

Decision Making

The position is guided in its decision-making by legislation such as Legal Profession Act 2004; by the ALS policies and guidelines and ALS practice standard benchmarks. The position holder makes independent decisions relating to the day-to-day conduct of his or her legal practice within this context.

The position seeks the advice and support of the Principal Legal Officer on a regular basis and consults with the Principal Solicitor before determining applications for merit in complex matters.



The key relationship is with the Cluster Manager. The position holder also interacts closely with Legal Colleagues, Field Officers and Legal Assistants/Administrators.


Externally, the position holder has regular contact with clients and potential clients requiring legal assistance, taking instructions, where appropriate and providing oral and written advice. 

The position holder is in contact with private legal practitioners, judges, magistrates, court staff, medical professionals, and offices of Community Services and Government Departments in relation to the provision of representation and advice to clients.

Key Accountabilities

  • Perform appearance work in the courts as directed; primarily focused on the Children’s Court Practice;
  • Other work consistent with experience as reasonably directed by your supervisor;
  • Management of the Children’s Court Practice for the Newcastle Office;
  • Prepare and research representation of Aboriginal clients in criminal matters;
  • Demonstrate continuing respect and support for Aboriginal cultural practices in dealing with clients, their families, communities, directors and staff; as an employee of the ALS, continue to learn about the customs and history of local Aboriginal people;
  • Prepare briefs to Counsel and attend to instructing counsel as directed;
  • Maintain all files in a tidy and professional manner, including the recording of all data on the file cover required for statistical purposes;
  • Efficient  time management skills and updating any diary as required in the relevant offices within your Region; coordinate diary and court schedules in accordance with maintaining an efficient and effective legal practice;
  • As directed by the Principal Solicitor act as a mentor to more junior solicitors regarding law and procedure and the operations of the ALS;
  • Develop and maintain computer literacy skills so as to generate and answer emails and short letters;
  • Work as a team member with all other legal, field and administrative staff to achieve effective coordination in your office and Region. This will involve good negotiation and communication skills and, at times, will require you to assist, guide and support field and administrative staff;
  • Maintain an up-to-date knowledge of relevant criminal law legislation, case law and court procedures;
  • Assist with the development of submissions on law reform and represent the ALS at meetings, conference and seminars as directed by your supervisor;
  • As directed by your supervisor, oversee the allocation of work and management of workloads including briefing and assignment of work to external legal representatives and the implementation of policies and procedures for those functions within your Region;
  • Implement all policies as directed by your immediate supervisor, senior management and the Board of Directors including any dealing with the use and condition of computer technology and programs and participate in your Region in their implementation;
  • Keeping up-to-date on legal developments and procedures and identifying training needs and attending training to maintain professional standards and retain a practising certificate;
  • Perform the required duties in accordance with the requirements of the following legislation and/or ALS policies;
  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO);
  • Work Health & Safety (WH&S).

Salary $62,994 (approximate grossed up $71,422)

How to apply

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