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Principal Solicitor - Care and Protection Family Law Practice

Principal Solicitor, Care & Protection/Family Law Practice

Full time, Permanent Appointment

Redfern or Parramatta location (with working from home options)

About the ALS

The Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) Limited (ALS) is a proud Aboriginal community-controlled organisation. As Australia’s first community legal service provider, we’ve been fighting for justice and equity for over 50 years. 

We provide free advice and representation in criminal law, children’s care and protection law, and family law for tens of thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people every year. We also run community programs to improve the lives of our people. We are well recognised for our work at the forefront of law reform and community advocacy.

Benefits of working with us

We offer a diverse, inclusive and supportive work environment, where you can develop and grow. We’re passionate about what we do and we work hard.

The ALS values the health and wellbeing of our employees and we are proud to offer flexible work practices and additional leave entitlements. 

Staff can choose to take advantage of benefits including salary packaging to maximise take-home pay.

Primary Objective 

The Principal Solicitor, Care & Protection/Family Law Practice forms part of the Legal practice leadership team. The incumbent is required to lead and oversee the care & protection and family law practices to execute on the ALS strategic initiatives, as well as ensure the day-to-day delivery of high quality culturally appropriate legal advice across care and protection and family law.

The position holder is responsible for identifying and managing risks and issues impacting service delivery, stakeholder relationships and projects, developing strong stakeholder relationships to support funding as well as strong referral pathways.

The position holder is required to provide effective leadership and management to the team including supervision, support and mentoring to enable the team to deliver expect legal advice and ensure a positive employee experience that aligns to ALS’s values.

Key Responsibilities and Accountabilities

Perform responsibilities to a high standard within agreed timelines and in line with ALS vision, mission, and values.  Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Manage the provision of all ALS care & protection/family law practice services, identifying risks and issues that may impact service delivery
  • Ensure Care & Protection and Family policies, systems and operating procedures are in place to ensure an efficiency and compliance within the team
  • Manage and lead the team including providing day to day supervision and mentoring, as well as:
  • Ensure appropriate and effective communication with the team e.g. via regular one on one’s, team meetings
  • Co-creation and implementation of staff performance and development plans
  • Participate in recruitment activities to attract and recruit talent
  • Oversee staff cost budgets and resourcing planning
  • Respond to and manage performance and conduct issues
  • Provide learning and development opportunities to continually upskill the team and retain talent
  • Maintain an up-to-date knowledge of relevant care & protection/family law legislation, case law, court procedures and government initiatives/reforms
  • Research, prepare and provide representation for Aboriginal clients in care & protection/family matters and issues
  • 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
  • Participate in the development and analysis of legal reform and policy/submission development
  • In conjunction with the Principal Legal Officer, represent the ALS before State and Federal jurisdictions/agencies, forums, conferences, seminars and committees
  • Interact with third party stakeholders and/or their legal representatives and take a lead role in representing and presenting the ALS position
  • Ensure all policies and practices are ethical and comply with the ALS’s policies and workplace health and safety legislation and promote the establishment of equal employment and access in accordance with agreed statutory policy

Knowledge, skills and experience

Essential Criteria

  • 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
  • Admitted as a legal practitioner of the Supreme Court of New South Wales with an unrestricted practising certificate combined with 7 years of demonstrated experience in the application of care & protection and/or family law
  • High-level senior management experience working within a Child Protection or family law practice service and delivery environment
  • Demonstrated senior management, advisory and policy development experience
  • In-depth knowledge and understanding of relevant care & protection/family legislation, case law and court proceedings to effectively represent and advocate for Aboriginal clients
  • Proven leadership and people management skills, as well as demonstrated experience managing a practice area and associated operations
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills, with the ability to interact and build positive relationships with a broad range of stakeholders
  • Ability to meet deadlines, work without supervision and manage a diverse workload, together with high level conceptual, analytical and research skills.
  • Demonstrated commitment to the effective implementation of Workplace Health & Safety and Ethical and Diversity practices in the workplace
  • Compliance with current ALS COVID-19 requirements

Desirable Criteria

  • Current valid unrestricted NSW Driver’s licence and a willingness to drive in metropolitan and country locations, travel intrastate and stay overnight or longer

How to Apply

Please CLICK HERE to download the application package for this position. Please submit the completed application package to Nadine Miles (Principal Legal Officer) at [email protected].

Applications for this position close at midnight, Friday 6 May 2022


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