Merseyside Law Centre (Liverpool) - Justice First Fellowship Trainee Solicitor

Job Title: Trainee Solicitor

Department: Housing and welfare benefits

Reports to: Senior Solicitor

Location: Liverpool

Grade/Salary: £22,500

Hours: 35 hours per week - usually 9.30am to 5pm

Deadline: 5pm on Monday 14 September 2020

 

Merseyside Law Centre is one of the UK’s newest Law Centres, founded in 2016 and opening its doors to clients in early 2017. Originally a small community advice centre known as Merseyside Welfare Rights, we have been assisting the people of Merseyside with social welfare law issues since the 1970s.

 

Organisation Detail

Our overall objective is to combat poverty and homelessness and to fight for social justice. We provide specialist legal advice in housing, homelessness, welfare benefits, asylum and debt issues to some of the most vulnerable and deprived people in our region.

Our main office is located in Bold Street in the heart of the City of Liverpool. We have an office in Dovecot and provide community outreach advice services in venues across Merseyside.

We have a long and successful history of training Social Welfare lawyers, many of whom have remained in the sector. These include 2 Justice First Fellows and a Law Society Diversity Access Scheme (DAS) PLUS scholarship recipient.

For further information, visit our website.

Any questions regarding this organisation or the position should be directed to sophie.brown@merseysidelawcentre.co.uk

 

Job Description

General

Our Trainee Solicitor will contribute to the delivery of legal services undertaken by Merseyside Law Centre whilst at the same time completing a training contract recognised by the Law Society.

Merseyside Law Centre specialises in Social Welfare Law and can offer seats in housing and welfare benefits. A third seat may be available by secondment to another organisation in an area of law to be agreed between the law centre and the trainee solicitor.

A training contract at Merseyside Law Centre will provide a thorough grounding in conducting client casework. Previous trainees have obtained employment with a diverse range of legal advice providers.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

Under appropriate supervision the Trainee Solicitor will:

  • Provide legal advice and assistance to clients and conduct all aspects of casework in the areas of housing and welfare benefits law.
  • Maintain accurate written and electronic records.
  • Conduct means assessments and ensure that Legal Aid funding is applied for where possible, and that such funding and other costs are claimed and recovered.
  • Work in a way that ensures the service is delivered in compliance with regulatory requirements and quality standards.
  • Develop knowledge of the law in relevant areas of social welfare law.
  • Jointly with other staff maintain proper working procedures to ensure the smooth day to day running of the Law Centre.
  • Attend staff meetings and abide by decisions of the Management Committee.
  • Implement the Law Centre’s equal opportunities policy both internally and in the delivery of services to the public.

 

Person Specification

Essential

  • Successful completion of the Legal Practice Course (LPC)
  • Commitment to the provision of public funded legal services
  • Ability to work as part of a team and on own initiative
  • Computer literacy
  • Ability to be calm and resilient in the face of challenging behaviour and to deal sensitively and responsibly with individuals who may be in crisis
  • Commitment to equal opportunities principles

Desirable

  • Experience of conducting casework on behalf of clients
  • Knowledge of housing, employment, or welfare benefits law
  • Understanding of the issues and problems experienced by people living in socially and economically deprived areas
  • Experience of time recording work for case management and/or billing purposes

 

Applications are through the Justice First Fellowship website here.

Eligibility

  1. The applicant must satisfy the appropriate entry condition for their type of training placement, i.e:
    • Training Contract (England & Wales) – passed (or expected to pass by 31st October(*1)) the Legal Practice Course (LPC)
    • Training Contract (Scotland) – passed (or expected to pass by 31st October(*1)) the Diploma in Legal Practice/Diploma in Professional Legal Practice (DLP)
    • Training Contract (Northern Ireland) – graduated with a recognised law degree and be eligible to apply for September (of the following year) admission to the Solicitors apprenticeship scheme at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies (Queen’s University Belfast)

Note: any or all of these types of training placement may be available in any given year.

  1. The applicant must have the right to work in the UK and be willing and able to commit to serving a two-year term as a Fellow commencing in the January (April for Northern Ireland Training Contracts) following their application.
  2. The applicant must have a demonstrated commitment to social welfare law. We are particularly interested in students who wish to effect change in the legal community, such as members of public interest and/or pro bono organisations on campus and those who have dedicated time to serving low-income or less privileged communities either during or prior to law school.
  3. Applicants may only apply for a position at one Host Organisation in any year.

Please complete the online application form with your contact information and responses to each question. Once completed and submitted your application will be acknowledged with an automatic receipt to your email address.

(*1) Please note that if you are shortlisted by your chosen Host, but cannot confirm that you have passed the LPC or DLP by 31st October you will not be allowed to attend for interview.

 

Application Timeline

The following lists the dates in the application process for 2020:

Event

Training Contracts

2020 Opportunities posted

May 2020

Applications open

17th August 2020

Applications close

14th September 2020

Applicants notified of Initial Selection

14th October 2020

Interview period

November/December 2020

Training Placements commence

January 2021 (*2)

(*2) April 2021 for Northern Irish positions