Newcastle, NSW l Full time l Fixed Term
Primary purpose of the role
The primary objective of the position is to deliver culturally appropriate legal advice, and representation to clients in accordance with the ALS policies, procedures and guidelines in criminal matters, including early intervention and outreach services, community legal education and referrals.
The primary responsibility of an intermediate solicitor is to:
- Maintain a Committals Practice by taking direct carriage of at least 50% of the committal matters including serious criminal indictable work
- Appearing as an Advocate in District Court appeals and sentences
- Prepare and run complex Local Court (‘LC’) and Children’s Court (‘CC’) hearings and sentences
This position is in the ALS Criminal Law Practice team based in Newcastle, NSW.
Why join the ALS NSW/ACT team?
At the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) Limited (ALS) we deliver quality and culturally appropriate legal services that meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout NSW and the ACT. As part of the team, you will have the chance to make a difference and contribute to social justice and equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, families and communities.
Our focus is our people; the people and communities we support, and the team we employ. We offer a career you can be proud of and a place where you feel safe to be yourself. We invest in our workforce and appreciate the rich diversity they represent of life experience, languages, and culture.
Born out of a protest movement over 50 years ago, the ALS is the primary legal service for Aboriginal people in NSW and the ACT and is fearless in its advocacy for those we represent. It’s an exciting time for the ALS, with both our services and teams growing significantly. We recently received additional government funding to deliver a range of new programs aimed at addressing systemic issues and driving structural reforms. This is creating unprecedented opportunities for the ALS and our communities.
For many of our staff making a real difference to the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, families and communities and working with a great, supportive team is its own reward.
In addition, we offer valuable benefits including:
- Salary packaging options and novated car leasing – meaning your fortnightly take home pay is more than it would otherwise be
- Annual Leave Loading of 17.5%
- Career and professional development opportunities
- Access to personal counselling for you and your family
- A range of paid leave including paid parental and study leave
- Flexible work options – talk to us about how we can make this role work for you
- Working closely with the Managing Lawyer, to oversee the day to day management of the office, including staff super vision, diary management, rostering, and the allocation of criminal law matters to solicitors within the practice
- Supervise and mentor more junior solicitors undertaking criminal law work, and assist them in the development of their advocacy skills
- Advise the Deputy Principal Solicitor of all matters listed for trial in District Court as soon as possible after the matter is listed and liaise on the allocation of briefs to counsel for all trials
- Prepare and run complex Local Court (‘LC’) and Children’s Court (‘CC’) hearings and sentence matters and assist with the management of the LC/CC Practice
- Liaise with external stakeholders (including Courts, DPP, Legal Aid, Community Corrections, and Department of Communities and Justice) to ensure the efficient and professional conduct of the EAGP practice
- Developing and maintain inter-agency relationships across the justice system
- Develop and maintain stable, productive, professional and collaborative intra-office working relationships between all staff members
- Assist with the planning and training of junior solicitors commencing work and with their program of continuing professional development (CPD)
- Assist in the preparation of District Court short matters allocated to junior solicitors with permission to appear
- Ensure high quality, culturally appropriate representation to ALS clients in all criminal law matters, and at first instance, promptly deal with any complaints by clients and/or family members
- Maintain a spreadsheet of all EAGP matters, updated and released to all office staff on a weekly basis and provide a monthly copy to the Deputy Principal Solicitor
- Liaise with the Cluster Manager/Managing Solicitor and Deputy Principal Solicitor on any complex EAGP matters and seek approval to retain Counsel pre-committal if required
- Assist in the resolution of ethical issues, in collaboration with other staff
- Ensure appropriate referral of clients to Legal Aid NSW and other private practitioners in accordance with ALS Briefing policy and procedure
- Maintain an up-to-date knowledge of relevant criminal law legislation, case law and court procedures
- Ensure the lawful achievement of ALS core business objectives to the highest standards of probity and efficiency, and with due reference to the interests of all stakeholders
- Provide considered, independent, balanced and professional criminal law advice
- Comply with all ethical requirements of legal practice and comply with all ALS’s policies, including workplace health and safety legislation requirements, and promote the establishment of equal employment and access in accordance statutory requirements
- Assist with the development of submissions on law reform and represent the ALS at meetings, working groups, conferences and seminars as directed
- Keep up-to-date on legal developments, identify training needs for staff, and attend training to maintain professional standards and CPD requirements
The successful incumbent will demonstrate
- Knowledge and appreciation of the cultural and social needs of Aboriginal people combined with continuing respect and support for Aboriginal cultural practices in dealing with clients, their families, communities and staff
- Legal qualifications and a NSW Practising Certificate with a minimum of 2 years’ experience in Criminal Law
- In-depth knowledge of criminal law, including practice and procedure
- Proven capacity to perform a strong advocacy role for Aboriginal people by taking a leading role in the District Court and EAGP Practices, along with more complex LC/CC matters
- Ability to perform management, supervisory and mentoring tasks in relation to a multidisciplinary team of staff
- Capacity to provide high quality legal representation and advice to Aboriginal people, and manage complaints by clients and/or family members
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills and time management skills
- Ability to meet deadlines, work without supervision and manage a diverse workload
- Willingness to drive or fly distances within the region and stay overnight or longer to undertake court work or training
- Demonstrated commitment to the effective implementation of Workplace Health and Safety and Ethical and Diversity practices in the workplace
- Current valid unrestricted NSW Driver’s licence and a willingness to drive in metropolitan and country locations, travel intrastate and stay overnight or longer.
ALS is committed to implementing safer recruitment practices. Your application may be subject to a number of pre-employment checks such as reference checks, Working with Children (NSW) or Working with Vulnerable People (ACT) check, Right to work in Australia, COVID-19 vaccinations as per NSW/ACT Health Order and Police check. Please note that candidates with criminal records are not automatically barred from being considered. Each application will be considered on its merits.
How to apply:
- Please submit a resume and cover letter to [email protected]
- Download a copy of the position description here
Closing Date: 11:59pm Monday 27 November 2023