We are looking for a solicitor passionate about the social and legal issues impacting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with 18 months to 4 years PQE to join our Civil and Human Rights practice.
As a civil lawyer, you will provide high quality legal services, including, advice and information, casework, representation and referral in civil law matters to members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Victoria. While the civil lawyer will undertake casework in core areas of legal need for Aboriginal communities, the role will have a particular focus on assisting clients affected by family violence who are seeking assistance with fines and tenancy matters.
This is a full-time position based at the VALS office in Preston, Victoria. However, occasionally you may be required to travel to deliver services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in regional areas.
Key Performance Indicators, Duties & Responsibility
- Assist clients with the provision of culturally safe and trauma informed advice, referrals and ongoing casework in core matters of legal need for Aboriginal communities in Victoria, including fines and infringements, tenancy, debt, consumer, Working With Children Check suspension and cancellation, employment, discrimination, Personal Safety Intervention Orders and coronial matters.
- Taking a key role with the Principal Managing Lawyer in the coordination of the VALS Infringements Clinic, including responsibility for supervision of casework and advice given by clinic volunteers.
- Appear personally as an advocate, and/or brief counsel to appear, in various courts and tribunals in civil law matters.
- Supervise non-clinic volunteers working within the civil legal team.
- Participate in community legal education projects, law reform and other VALS projects as required.
- Maintain positive and collaborative relationships with key stakeholders, including Victoria Legal Aid, pro bono law firms, the Victorian Bar and other community organisations from both the legal and non-legal sectors.
- Keep up to date with relevant civil legal developments and procedures by attending professional legal education programs and maintain an understanding of broader issues impacting the justice system and members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities.
- As directed, undertake other duties which are incidental and peripheral to the main tasks, provided that such duties are reasonably within the employee’s skills, competence and training.
Key Selection Criteria
- Admitted to practice as a legal practitioner in Victoria, with at least 18 months post-admission experience.
- A commitment to and understanding of the civil legal issues faced by members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities in Victoria.
- Experience working with people affected by family violence.
- Experience assisting clients with fines and infringements matters will be highly regarded.
- Capacity to work as an advocate and caseworker in civil law matters in the core practice areas outlined above.
- Knowledge of and practical experience in the law and court procedures with a focus on the civil law jurisdiction, particularly in relation to the areas of law detailed above.
- The ability to work collaboratively with others and to foster a co-operative and supportive team environment.
- Sound interpersonal skills and the capacity to communicate effectively with members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
- A knowledge of the principles and values of the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service.
- Competency in the use of MS Office Software (particularly MS Outlook, MS Word, Excel, E-mail) to a legal practice and the capacity to quickly acquire competency in the use of VALS’ case management system.
A position description is attached.