Australian Centre for Disability Law Redfern NSW, Australia
Mar 14, 2018Full-time
OVERVIEW The Australian Centre for Disability Law (ACDL) is a specialist legal centre based in Sydney, which operates a disability discrimination law practice across NSW, and a disability and human rights law practice across Australia. It was established in 1994 to assist people with disability and their associates to learn about and pursue their rights under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth). ACDL is managed by a community-based Management Committee, and is staffed by an Executive Officer/Principal Solicitor, two part-time solicitors, a paralegal and a team of 5 volunteers. ACDL co-located with a national peak disability advocacy organisation in 2014. ROLE SUMMARY The role of the Family Law and Family Violence Solicitor is a newly established role to provide legal services in the area of family law, prioritising individuals who have been affected by family violence. In addition, this position will at times be required to provide legal services in other areas of civil law (for example social security, apprehended domestic violence order, victims’ compensation) related to the family law and family violence. Other duties include community legal education, legal reform and legal policy analysis. This position may involve travel to locations outside the Sydney metropolitan area to deliver legal advice clinics and community legal education. The Solicitor will work within a team comprising of the Executive Officer/Principal Solicitor, 2 solicitors, a paralegal and volunteers to deliver legal services to people with disabilities. Under the direction and supervision of the Principal Solicitor, this role comprises the following legal services: Legal information and referral Legal advice Casework Representation at court/tribunals Legal policy analysis and law reform Community legal education Attending outreach clinics in metropolitan Sydney and rural, remote and regional areas. Solicitors work collaboratively with other staff at ACDL and volunteers as well as other community and government organisations. A position description is appended below. ESSENTIAL SELECTION CRITERIA Applicants are required to respond to the following essential selection criteria: At least two years’ post admission experience in family law and family violence Hold or eligible to hold a practising certificate in NSW Demonstrated experience providing high quality legal advice, casework and representation services in the area of family law, domestic violence, sexual assault and at least 2 areas of civil law affecting clients experiencing family law and domestic violence Demonstrated understanding and commitment to social justice, as well as the ability to identify legal and non-legal issues facing people with disability experiencing family violence Ability to undertake legal research, develop and deliver community legal education, policy and law reform activities and special projects as they arise Demonstrated ability to work autonomously with minimal supervision, manage priorities, timelines and multiple tasks, undertake own administration, maintain data collection and prepare reports, take initiative and accept responsibility Work professionally and collaboratively with team members and stakeholders in a positive environment of communication and collegiality to provide legal and non-legal support to people with disability and their associates This role may involve intrastate travel to develop and deliver outreach services to rural, regional and remote locations DESIRABLE Experience with or the capacity to develop an understanding of Disability Discrimination Act (1992) and the Anti-Discrimination Act (1977) and other disability legislation, policies and practices through previous employment in similar or relevant position(s) Civil litigation experience, including representation of clients in NSW Courts, the Family Court, and conciliation conferences in either the Australian Human Rights Commission or Anti-Discrimination Board. Ability to manage and supervise volunteers A current drivers licence is highly desirable. APPLYING FOR THE POSITION To apply for this position you will need to carefully read the selection criteria. All applications must include a covering letter, CV and individual responses to the Essential Selection Criteria and Desirable Selection Criteria. Each selection criterion should appear as a heading with your response below. Applicants who do not individually address each of the selection criteria will not be interviewed. People with disability and their associates, people from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait background or culturally and linguistically diverse background are encouraged to apply. POSITION DESCRIPTION – SOLICITOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES Service Promotion and Networking Promote and publicise ACDL by participating in local and relevant interagency and network meetings to increase ACDL’s client base Participate in community events Legal Practice Management Provide operational support to the Principal Solicitor in the management of the ACDL’s legal practice including casework and policy advice Participate in internal management and staff meetings, professional development and organisational development and planning activities Provide high quality legal advice regarding family law and family violence and other areas of civil law affecting people with disabilities at risk of, or experiencing family law problems and domestic violence in accordance with the National Association of Community Legal Centre’s Accreditation and Risk Management/ Profession Indemnity Insurance requirements as well as Australian Centre for Disability Law’s strategic direction Provide high quality general and structured referrals for people with disability and their associates seeking legal assistance Undertake casework and legal advocacy for people with disability and their associates experiencing family law issues and/or domestic violence and other civil law according to the centre’s policy and priorities for casework assistance. This will include: Legal advice Casework Representation services Law Reform and Community Legal Education Contribute to, or develop, publications dealing with family law and domestic violence issues affecting people with disability and their associates Initiate or contribute to law reform activities in relation to family law, other areas of civil law including discrimination issues, affecting people with disability and their associates Advise upon, participate in, develop and deliver education and training events conducted by ACDL or colleague agencies, including community legal education, and continuing legal education Undertake high quality legal policy analysis in relation to family law, other areas of civil law and discrimination issues affecting people with disability and their associates Relationship Management In conjunction with the Principal Solicitor, establish and develop constructive liaison with ACDL colleagues, including: Legal practitioners practicing in family law, domestic violence, disability discrimination law and related jurisdictions; Pro Bono firms; Disability advocacy and representative groups; Domestic violence peak bodies and related bodies The Australian Disability Rights Network; Community Legal Centres; and The Australian Human Rights Commission and NSW Anti-Discrimination Board. Participate in the review of ACDL policies and procedures coordinated by the Executive Officer and in collaboration with the Management Committee and other relevant stakeholders and where appropriate contribute to the development of new policies and procedures Comply at all times with safety in the workplace procedures and ensure escalation of issues per policy to the Management Committee or relevant authorities. Ensure Work, Health and Safety issues are accurately recorded Successfully complete WHS training as deemed required by the relevant legislation and per organisational policy Working relationships Line manager. Duties outlined and supervised by the Principal Solicitor. Ideas or issues to be raised with Principal Solicitor as a first escalation point. Yearly Performance reviews to be conducted in line with Centre policies. Regular supervision meetings and two-way feedback is encouraged between line manager and staff Pro bono legal volunteers who staff the ACDL advice line. Supervision and guidance of the volunteers with regard to ACDL organisational policies, workplace practices and client advice Provide executive support to the Management Committee of non-operational voluntary organisation board members. Input to Principal Solicitors report monthly and on request reports Reporting Undertake all necessary clerical administration, create and maintain client files, data collections and prepare reports Prepare a monthly report for the Principal Solicitor Provide written reports, develop facts sheets and submissions for funding proposals, website, social media and ACDL’s Annual Report Organisational Management and Team Work Work collegiately and cooperatively with staff and volunteers from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences of disability Comply at all times with ACDL’s policies and procedures, including the NACLC Risk Management Guide and professional responsibilities Provide input into the strategic direction of ACDL Participate in funding submissions relevant to the role Assist in the general administration of the centre (eg take minutes, facilitate a team meeting etc Undertake duties related to supporting, mentoring and supervision of volunteers and students at ACDL Undertake other duties as required from time to time. Position Dimensions (including scope and authority) People reporting to this position: legal volunteer staff (as delegated by Principal Solicitor): Operating Budget: Nil Authority: As per ACDL policy It is not the intention of the position description to limit the scope or accountabilities of the position but to highlight the most important aspects of the position. The aspects of the role described above may be changed or altered in accordance with the changing requirements of the role.