Staff Lawyer (Employment Law Specialist)

Niagara Community Legal Clinic

Title: Staff Lawyer (Employment Law Specialist)

Reports to: Director of Legal Services

Summary:

The Staff Lawyer is part of a team of professionals that carries out the mandate of the clinic, namely summary advice & referrals, representation, community development, law reform and public legal education.

This position is for a lawyer with particular background in employment law.

The Staff Lawyer is assigned intakes and files by the Supervisor of Intake Services and collaborates on outreach activities with the CD Worker‑Coordination and the Executive Director, as well as other caseworkers.

Roles and Responsibilities:

Summary Advice/Referral

  • Provide client services in all areas of law practiced by the Clinic and keep abreast of changes in the law that impact on summary advice areas
  • Gather information and conduct interviews by telephone and in-person, in a polite and professional manner
  • Identify issues to be resolved and make preliminary calls or conduct relevant research as necessary
  • Provide legal information and advice in a clear and concise manner ensuring the client understands the advice and direction given
  • Refer clients to appropriate legal, social or government agencies where necessary
  • Assess when a matter requires legal services beyond summary advice
  • Draft materials as required, including correspondence, forms, affidavits, etc.
  • Maintain appropriate records of services provided using the clinic data base, indicating summary advice or brief services

Casework

  • Provide casework services in all areas of law practiced by the Clinic
  • Interview clients and investigate each problem to ensure accurate and thorough knowledge of all relevant facts
  • Identify legal issues, assess merit and develop an appropriate case strategy
  • Undertake appropriate legal research as necessary
  • Ensure client is aware at all times status of the file and action taken on the file, obtaining instructions for all legal work
  • Draft correspondence and documentation that are concise and easily understood
  • Utilize appropriate negotiation, mediation and advocacy techniques under the supervision of the Director of Legal Services
  • Preserve appeal rights and assess merit of appeals in accordance with Clinic policies
  • Represent clients before Tribunals in all areas of law practiced by the Clinic, preparing examination, cross-examinations, tendering evidence, submitting argument orally and in writing
  • Document all work in electronic data base and keep hard copies of documentation as dictated by Clinic policy
  • Maintain precedents to assist others in conducting future work
  • Follow file closing procedures when activity is complete on casework
  • Assist fellow caseworkers by participating in informal case conferencing
  • Solicit medico-legal opinions or relevant reports in accordance with Clinic practice and recover disbursements whenever possible
  • Consult with supervisor prior to advising a client that a case has no merit
  • Maintain updated legal expertise and knowledge and participate in ongoing professional development and training; keep abreast of research resources and develop and easy facility with appropriate statutes and case law regarding areas of practice, as well as relevant procedures and practices
  • Comply with LSUC and office policies with respect to trust accounts, ticklers, personal bring forward systems, global diary and docket
  • Supervise staff, students and volunteers as delegated

Public Legal Education

  • Organize and speak at seminars, workshops and meetings and provide information through the media
  • Contribute to written and electronic information produced and disseminated by the Clinic
  • Identify need for self-help and develop useful written and/or electronic materials and self-help kits as required
  • Follow clinic policies and procedures with respect to opening/closing of PLE files and docket work conducted

Community Development

  • Organize individuals and groups around particular legal issues
  • Participate in establishing annual goals by the Clinic and take the lead on goals
  • Act as a resource to individuals and groups
  • Develop knowledge of basic techniques for working with groups
  • Follow clinic policies and procedures with respect to opening and closing CD files and docketing work conducted

Law Reform

  • Carry out law reform strategies by taking the lead on annual goals or as issues arise
  • Assist in preparing and presenting briefs to organizations, agencies, commissions, etc. on behalf of the clinic or community partners
  • Follow clinic policies and procedures with respect to opening and closing LR files and docket work conducted
  • Carry out follow-up activities in support of LR efforts, including corresponding with government ministries and lobby for legislative amendments, contacting opposition parties and/or involving the media

Administration

  • Assist in preparation of legal services reports for the Clinic Board of Directors
  • Assist in preparation and review of quarterly and annual statistical reports for LAO
  • Assist in preparation of annual funding application to LAO
  • Attend meetings with staff as required
  • Identify training needs and arrange for training as required

Education and Skills Required:

Education:

  • LL.B/J.D. Relevant experience in law specifically related to clinic services is desirable.

Skills:

  • Possess strong legal skills including research and analysis, negotiation and advocacy
  • Knowledge of employment law, particularly employment law in the context of low-income work, including human rights matters and issues of workplace harassment and disability accommodation.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing
  • Ability to work effectively with volunteer Boards and committees both within the clinic and the community generally
  • Ability to organize, plan, and implement activities appropriate to advance organizational objectives.
  • Commitment to social justice, delivering high quality legal services to low income individuals and groups
  • Excellent computer skills
  • High ethical standards
  • Ability to fit in well with the office environment and current staff, working in a friendly and cooperative manner with colleagues

Working Conditions

  • Occasionally subject to emotional situations and verbally hostile clients
  • Evening and weekend work as required including overnight travel as needed to advance organizational objectives
  • High volume of contacts and requirement to multi‑task
  • Use of electronic equipment and information technology

To apply:

Please submit cover letter and C.V. to by January 15, 2019 to:

Aidan Johnson
Executive Director, Justice Niagara and Niagara
North Community Legal Assistance
johnsona@lao.on.ca

^