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Principal Solicitor

Darwin Community Legal Service
  • Location: Darwin Based
  • Term: 3 year contract  
  • Full-time
  • Remuneration: SCHADS Level 8: FTE 120k + super + 17.5% Annual Leave Loading 
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are particularly encouraged to apply 
  • Reporting to: Executive Director

Darwin Community Legal Services (DCLS) is located Larrakia country. We acknowledge the Larrakia people as the Traditional Owners of the Darwin region and we acknowledge Traditional Owners of lands throughout the Northern Territory. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.

DCLS is a free, confidential multi-disciplinary, community legal service which provides legal help, support, and advocacy to help people ensure their rights. Some of our services are focused on Darwin or the Top End, and some are Territory wide.

With over 60 volunteers contributing via our night-time and Saturday legal advice services and in other ways, over 25 staff and 30 years of operation, DCLS has a long history of being a striving collaboration for positive change. Our legal help and support teams, which consist of the General Legal Team, Tenancy Advice Service and Seniors Rights and Advocacy Service, are located together enabling integrated client support.

In all we do, we work to empower our diverse communities.

DCLS is the only generalist legal community legal service in the NT, and actively pursues opportunities to increase operations in areas of need. DCLS works to promote awareness and understanding and advocate and collaborate for change that promotes fairness and justice.

THE OPPORTUNITY 

The Principal Solicitor is responsible for the DCLS legal practice including individual client work, community legal education, community empowerment and law reform.

The legal practice consists of the GLS and TAS and the Principal Solicitor is responsible for relevant aspects relating to the SDRS in accordance with the Community Legal Centres Australia Risk Management Guide.

The Principal Solicitor position aims to ensure that the legal practice and DCLS operations delivers quality, accessible help and are striving, energetic and effective in advancing social justice.

The Principal Solicitor:

  • Provides leadership, management, and supervision
  • Promotes positive teamwork, collaboration, and creativity
  • Undertakes legal casework including initial and ongoing client matters and carries an appropriate caseload
  • Supports, provides backup and oversight for GLS and TAS Team Leaders
  • Supports and collaborates with the SDRS Team Leader especially regarding the legal practice interface, quality, coordination, and risk management
  • Encourages, supports, and empowers staff and volunteers and
  • Supports, facilitates and closely collaborates with the DCLS Corporate Services Team

KEY SELECTION CRITERIA

Essential

  1. Demonstrated understanding of progressive legal advocacy and awareness of the current issues relating to social justice and law reform in disadvantaged communities in the NT
  2. Demonstrated capacity to work collaboratively in empowering vulnerable and disadvantaged clients and communities.
  3. Substantial legal practice and casework experience and effectiveness in at least some of the following areas of law: social security; human rights and discrimination; credit and debt; consumer law; employment law; residential tenancy; seniors rights; adult guardianship; disability law including NDIS.
  4. Capacity and willingness to to undertake legal casework including complex matters and to make a significant and continuing contribution towards legal service targets and objectives.
  5. Demonstrated effectiveness in leading legal practice teams and a strong commitment to teamwork.
  6. Demonstrated skills in negotiation, organisation, time management, effective communication, and a high level of computer literacy.
  7. Familiarity with:
    • National Legal Assistance Partnership (NLAP)
    • Community Legal Services Australia Risk Management Guide
    • Community Assistance Services System (CLASS)
    • National Legal Assistance Data Standards.

Desirable

  1. Experience in legal practice and/or other relevant roles in the NT
  2. Driving licence

Prerequisites

  1. Eligible for an unrestricted legal practicing certificate in the NT
  2. Provide a current national police record check
  3. Eligibility for a NT Ochre Card
  4. Up to date Covid vaccinations

 OUR CULTURE AND BENEFITS: 

  • We care deeply about creating a workplace where our team members feel valued, respected, and empowered. We are committed to providing equal opportunity regardless of gender identity, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, or life stage. 
  • A very flexible and family-friendly workplace
  • 6 weeks annual leave 
  • Paid parental leave 
  • 15 Days personal/carer’s leave 
  • Extra leave over the Christmas period 
  • Access to Employee Assistance Program (EAP) 
  • Ongoing professional development opportunities 

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