Lawstop (Hammersmith and/or Brighton) – Education Solicitor

Job Description: Education Solicitor
Reporting to: Joanne Bennett – Director
Location: Hammersmith and/or Brighton
Responsible for: Paralegals
Salary: £34,000 starting
Deadline: 29 April 2023, 5pm

A qualified solicitor for this role with Lawstop should meet the Legal Aid Agency Supervisor Standard for Education and have significant experience of advising in education/public law matters. Must understand the needs of the vulnerable client group that we work with and can balance their needs with assisting paralegals working on their cases. The solicitor will work with the Education team including paralegals and administrative staff. Consistent with the business core objectives, the solicitor must demonstrate a commitment to access to social justice for all.

Key Responsibilities
Advice, Casework & Representation / Core Activities
• Work with the Education team to support the day to day managerial responsibility for the firm including ensuring compliance with all professional body requirements;
• Provide advice, casework, representation and advocacy services to clients directly on education matters.
• Assist and supervise paralegals working on education matters, ensuring they gain a broad spectrum of experience including conducting casework, advice giving, representation and advocacy where appropriate;
• Maintain accurate and complete files and records in line with SQM standards and Lawstop procedures;
• Assist with running the legal aid contract as appropriate, bill files, complete legal aid applications and comply with other Legal Aid Agency and SQM requirements;
• Provide support and guidance to paralegals in the development of their professional skills (interviewing, advising, client care, legal research, drafting and advocacy) through one-to-one sessions and case oversight;
• Carry out such other duties as may reasonably be requested.

Assist in building and maintaining links with local community groups and advice networks and with legal professionals.

Staff and Professional Development
• Pursue academic excellence through a continuing commitment to professional and personal development.

In addition
• The post-holder will be expected to actively follow Lawstop policies including Equal
Opportunities policies.
• The post-holder will be expected to maintain an awareness and observation of Fire and Health & Safety Regulations.
• Available to work outside ‘normal’ office hours as necessary.
• As duties and responsibilities change, this job description will be reviewed and amended in consultation with the post-holder.

Person Specification Essential/ Desirable

• Holds Supervisor status
• Is passionate and enthusiastic about legal aid work. • Has a proven track record in delivering legal aid work and a wide range of experience.

Essential Skills
• Demonstrates passion for and delivers a high level of client service including responsiveness and accessibility.
• Deals with clients in a sensitive, professional and competent way; and communicates with clients at a level appropriate to the individual concerned.
• Innovative, positive and client-focused attitude.
• Sympathetic and empathetic to the particular needs of vulnerable clients.
• Appreciates their role within the local community and makes a positive contribution to the firm’s social responsibility.
• Sets and strives for high standards throughout their work.
• Accurate, thorough with good analytical skills.
• Works and behaves in a professional manner and within the highest ethical and other standards of the profession.
• Complies with procedures set out in the office manual, professional standards and any requirement set by the Legal Aid Agency or similar interested bodies.
• Maintains the strictest standards of client confidentiality at all times.
• Proactive approach to managing flow of work.
• Manages own time, works in an organised and methodical manner and prioritises work effectively.
• Has a positive attitude and works well under pressure.
• Adheres to the firm’s procedures for file management and reporting.
• Demonstrates empathy and is respectful.
• Respects others cultural viewpoints and perspectives, is constructive and understanding.
• Demonstrates an awareness of pertinent cultural issues both within the firm and the
wider environment.
• Establishes positive professional and effective relationships.
• Demonstrates reliability, integrity, shares knowledge, supports and promotes colleagues.
• Acts calmly in a crisis, tactful, determined, quick-thinking, but methodical and consistent.
• Computer and web literate and other new media, strong ICT skills.
• Uses technology and other resources available to achieve objectives.
• Presenting and communicating information.