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Managing Lawyer - Northern Territory

Environmental Defenders Office Ltd

Take up this rare opportunity to lead our work in the Northern Territory and live in one of Australia’s most challenging and unique environments. This role is a leadership position in the EDO and provides an opportunity for the right person to make an impact on the pressing environmental justice issues in the Territory.

  • Term: Ongoing
  • Full-time (Part time at 0.8 FTE will be considered)
  • Remuneration: SCHADS Level 7-8: FTE $100-120k + 10% super + 17.5% Annual Leave Loading
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are particularly encouraged to apply
  • Reporting to: Director, Healthy Environment and Justice

Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) is the largest environmental legal centre in the Australia-Pacific, dedicated to protecting our climate, communities and shared environment by providing access to justice, running ground-breaking litigation and leading law reform advocacy.

As the region’s legal experts in our field, we aim to be a brave, unified, and focused team, committed to inclusion and excellence in all that we do. We strive to be a diverse and inclusive workplace supporting a highly skilled, engaged, and effective team, where everyone can feel that they belong.

The opportunity

The Managing Lawyer, Northern Territory, is a leadership position in the EDO sitting within our Healthy Environment and Justice Program. The role is based in Darwin and involves travel across the Territory including to remote locations. It is offered on a full time and ongoing basis.

The focus of this role will be on human rights and the environment in the Northern Territory. You will lead on environmental justice issues in the Territory, working with both the NGO sector, landowners and First Nations people on culture and Country, health, water, mining and pollution impacts.

In this role, you have the opportunity to make a real impact on the lives and wellbeing of people at risk of environmental harm. You will develop and run exciting and ground-breaking strategic litigation, educate people about their rights and advocate for laws that deliver on environmental justice and human rights.

You will be responsible for EDO’s Northern Territory Legal Practice (NT Practice) and successfully oversee a programme of legal work aligned with the organisation’s strategic priorities. The NT Practice is part of our Healthy Environment and Justice Program, focussed on environmental justice and human rights and the environment, and the Managing Lawyer reports to the Director, Healthy Environment and Justice.

Candidate Profile

We are looking for an independent and strategic thinker, a skilled communicator and litigator, and someone who can demonstrate an ability to think outside the box and deliver effective results for clients. At a personal level you will be comfortable working with diverse communities, and in remote and isolated areas. You will have resilience, tenacity, and compassion.

You will have the ability to lead a small team and work collaboratively with solicitors across Australia and manage the NT Practice. You will have strong relationship building skills and be confident in developing trusted relationships with a diverse range of clients and other stakeholders, including government, partner organisations and local media.

Key selection criteria

Core skills:

  • An unrestricted practicing certificate in the Northern Territory or entitlement to one
  • A minimum of 8+ years PAE working as a solicitor with litigation experience
  • Capacity to supervise legal staff in delivering on advice and litigation work
  • Strong problem-solving skills and ability to make sound judgments and decisions based on consideration of different views
  • Demonstrated capacity to lead a practice, with practice management experience desirable
  • Demonstrated ability to work productively and to deadlines
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills suited to a range of audiences

Substantive experience:

  • A strong understanding of environmental law and/or related disciplines including administrative law. Knowledge of /experience with the Northern Territory legal system desirable.
  • Demonstrated litigation experience, including the capacity to independently supervise and have carriage of legal proceedings
  • Demonstrated law reform or policy experience or demonstrated understanding of the capacity of law reform to achieve systemic change
  • Demonstrated experience working collaboratively with diverse communities and individuals highly desirable
  • Demonstrated capacity to supervise staff, with experience in a leadership position desirable

Personal qualities and cultural competency:

  • A champion of the agreed values of the EDO
  • Personal leadership, tenacity, and resilience
  • Demonstrated ability to drive program development, strong initiative, and self-motivation
  • A strong sense of ethics and understanding of professional obligations
  • Demonstrated ability to bring out the best in others and mentor other lawyers, and high emotional intelligence
  • The ability to give and receive regular formal and informal feedback in a timely, constructive, respectful, and consistent manner
  • Demonstrated awareness of and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations in both the delivery of our work and our internal culture
  • An ability to engage non-legal audiences to help them interpret and understand our goals
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a collaborative and team-based environment

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.
  • The chance to be part of the largest environmental legal practice in the Australia-Pacific
  • A very flexible and family-friendly workplace
  • Option to work from home and the office
  • Paid parental leave
  • 15 Days personal/carer’s leave
  • Extra leave over the Christmas period
  • Access to EAP
  • Ongoing professional development opportunities
  • EDO proudly has a JEDI (Justice, Equality, Diversity, Inclusion), and a Mental Health Ambassador Committee, and is developing a First Nations Indigenous Peoples Program with the aid of indigenous-led consultancies

Our Values

Commitment – We are committed to; a united organisation, to each other, to collaboration, to justice, to our communities and to creating a world where nature thrives.

Diversity – We are respectful of and welcome diversity of staff, volunteers, offices, environmental regions, communities, stakeholders.

Integrity – We work effectively, efficiently, strategically, professionally, and ethically; “justice is in our nature”.

Vision – We lead change and environmental empowerment using innovation, creativity, and courage.

To apply

Click "Apply Now" and follow the instructions.

All offers of employment are subject to satisfactory background checks including a National Police Check, disclosure of previous or current disciplinary action, referee checks, proof of eligibility to work in Australia and qualification checks.

EDO welcome applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, workers of all ages, people with disabilities and people who identify as LGBTQIA+.

A position description is attached.

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