UCL Centre for Access to Justice (London) - Welfare Benefits Advice and Casework Supervisor

Job Description and Person Specification

  • Hourly rate: £22.23-£26.22  
  • Available: Immediately
  • Contract Type: As and When hours
  • Duration: Immediate start – 3 months contract (with scope for extension)
  • Reporting to: Head of Legal Practice

About UCL

UCL is one of the UK’s leading universities, a world-class multidisciplinary research and teaching institution, whose staff and former students have included 26 Nobel Prize winners. Founded in 1826, UCL was the first university in England to admit students regardless of race, religion or gender. It continues to thrive on the creativity and diversity of its community, which today comprises c.13,000 staff, c.17,500 undergraduates and c.20,500 graduate students from 130 countries across the globe.

The Faculty of Laws, UCL

The Faculty of Laws at UCL is one of the world’s leading law schools, with a world-class academic reputation for both research and teaching excellence. Our research not only enhances the quality of our teaching and research supervision, but also contributes to the solution of global challenges while shaping policy and the practice of law.

The UCL Laws student body numbers around 960 students, divided between 500 undergraduate, 450 taught graduate and 80 graduate research students. The faculty has an academic staff of some 55 professors, lecturers and readers, as well as many visiting professors, lecturers and distinguished judicial visitors, and our dedicated team of professional services staff provides valuable support to both our students and academic staff.

The Centre for Access to Justice

The Centre for Access to Justice (CAJ) at UCL Faculty of Laws aims to provide significant benefit to, and strengthen links between, the local community, UCL students and the legal professions. Importantly, the CAJ combines the unique advantages of clinical legal education (CLE) with the provision of pro bono legal advice to vulnerable communities.

The work of the CAJ is timely in the context of cuts to legal aid provision. Our pro bono activities assist individuals in areas where legal advice and representation is most needed as well as providing rich educational value to UCL students in the Faculty of Laws.

The Role and Its Responsibilities

The Centre for Access to Justice runs a Student Legal Advice Clinic (UCL iLAWS) located in the Sir Ludwig Guttmann Health and Wellbeing Centre in Stratford. Available currently to patients of the Liberty Bridge Road GP Surgery on both a drop-in and referral basis, this innovative project offers general legal advice as well as casework services where possible.  The Clinic and its services are also part of a wider community-based research project evaluating the impact of advice on health.  

The Clinic requires a welfare benefits advice and casework supervisor to work with students to deliver legal advice and casework for patients of the GP’s surgery.

Key Responsibilities:

  1. Assist and supervise clinic students providing welfare benefits advice and casework in a drop-in setting.
  1. Maintain accurate and complete case records in accordance with our case management system AdvicePro.
  1. Provide support and guidance to students in the development of their professional skills (interviewing, advising, client care, legal research, drafting and advocacy) through casework supervision.
  1. Work with iLAWS team to review casework and ensure case deadlines are met outside of Clinic operating hours.
  1. Communicate availability and workload issues to CAJ Operations Coordinator in a timely fashion.
  1. Continue to provide advice and casework services directly to clients when students are unavailable.
  1. Undertake student training as needed.
  1. Carry out such other duties as may be reasonably requested for the running of the Clinic.

 

In addition

  1. The postholder will be expected to actively follow UCL policies including Equal Opportunities policies.
  1. The postholder will be expected to maintain an awareness and observation of Fire and Health & Safety Regulations.
  1. As duties and responsibilities change, this job description will be reviewed and amended in consultation with the postholder.

 

Person specification

Essential Criteria

  1. The post is suitable for a qualified solicitor with a current practicing certificate or experienced caseworker with a specialism in welfare benefits.
  2. Experience of delivering and supervising welfare benefits advice and casework services.
  3. Familiarity with or demonstrable commitment to the provision of pro bono legal assistance to members of the local community.
  4. Effective communication skills, including both orally and written.
  5. Strong organisational and file management skills
  6. Excellent IT skills including ability to use the MS Office suite.

Personal Style, Skills and Qualities

  1. Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to develop relationships with partner organisations, staff and students.
  2. Highly developed sense of legal professionalism and a commitment to access to justice.
  3. Strong attention to detail
  4. Willingness to be flexible and adaptable to a changing working environment.
  5. Commitment to contributing to, and appreciation of, UCL’s policy of equal opportunity.

Desirable

  1. Experience supervising students (or interns/trainees) in an advice setting
  2. Additional experience or knowledge of family and employment law.
  3. Knowledge of or previous experience using AdvicePro

Applicants must have the right to work in the UK.

Interested applicants are invited to get in touch with further queries or submit a CV and cover letter detailing their suitability for the role to CAJ Operations Coordinator, Klara Holdstock, at klara.holdstock@ucl.ac.uk.

Applications should be submitted by 5pm on Sunday 24 September 2017.