The Hub of Social Services on the Coast

Job Posting – Legal Advocate

Poverty Law Advocate – Full Time Position

Do you have a legal or advocacy background and are seeking to be part of a growing and dynamic non-profit organization?

We are actively recruiting for a full-time Poverty Law Advocate to provide legal advocacy and information to low-income residents on the Sunshine Coast who are experiencing issues related to welfare, disability, tenancy, debt, employment, CPP and other areas.

The full job description is outlined below. Please send a resume and cover letter to Cheryl McNicol, Executive Director at executivedirector@resourcecentre.ca by February 17, 2019.

Job Description

Purpose

  • To coordinate the Resource Centre’s new Poverty Law Advocacy program, to be launched in Spring 2019 and funded by the Law Foundation of BC. This program provides legal advocacy and information to low-income residents on the Sunshine Coast who are experiencing issues related to welfare, disability, tenancy, debt, employment, workers’ compensation, CPP and other areas.

Key Responsibilities

  1. Legal Advocacy (~80%)
  • Provide intake and communicate with clients in person, by email or phone to assess client eligibility, legal issues and relevant facts
  • Research relevant issues and law to determine merits of clients’ position
  • With oversight from a supervising lawyer, advise clients with respect to legal rights and options
  • Provide legal advocacy on behalf of clients and provide guidance to assist them to prioritize options
  • Provide legal information and referral as appropriate
  • Communicate with opposing parties as appropriate, with or on behalf of the client, including mediation, negotiation and advocacy services
  • Represent clients at tribunals and hearings or before other decision makers (oral/written legal submissions); prepare witnesses if needed
  • Maintain appropriate confidential client file relationships including case opening and closing procedures, conflict checks and client surveys
  • Consult monthly and as needed with Supervising Lawyer for advice and direction with respect to client representation and legal issues
  • Consult frequently with other legal advocates across the province with respect to program delivery and best practices
  1. Community Engagement and Public Legal Education (~12.5 – 15%)
  • Build relationships with community organizations and agencies on the Sunshine Coast and provincially to inform/educate them about the program and appropriate referrals
  • Prepare and facilitate public legal education workshops for individuals and organizations on the Sunshine Coast
  • With the Program Manager, maintain up-to-date directories of legal services, publications and resources for distribution to community members
  • Prepare self-help materials as appropriate
  1. Program Administration (5 – 7.5%)
  • Submit required monthly reports to the Law Foundation of BC, the funder
  • Maintain regular communication with the Resource Centre’s Executive Director, Program Manager and Board of Directors on program administration and outcomes
  • Assist with the development of and maintenance of high professional standards with respect to policy, file management and client communication
  • Assist with the development of appropriate program management systems
  • Train and supervise volunteers if required
  • Undertake and maintain legal and advocacy professional development as appropriate and required
  • Undertake any other responsibilities related to the position as required (e.g. monthly reports to the ED and Board, summary of annual program outputs and outcomes to funder)

Terms of Employment

The hours of work will be 35 hours per week during office hours, with some evenings and weekends as required.  This appointment will be until March 31, 2020, with potential for extension dependent on funding. 

Reports to the Executive Director of the Resource Centre with oversight and direction by a Supervising Lawyer on a monthly basis. Liaises with the Board director and/or advisory group of the project as needed. Liaises with the Program Manager on legal program implementation and promotion.


Qualifications, Experience and Skills

  • Post-secondary undergraduate degree in law, social work, social sciences, counselling, criminology or other related field or equivalent of education and experience
  • Law degree or legal/paralegal training is an asset
  • Knowledge of and experience with the justice systems and government programs/services
  • Interest and experience in advocacy related to poverty and social justice issues and ability to represent clients at legal hearings/tribunals.
  • Aptitude for working effectively with disadvantaged clients including: those with mental, cognitive or physical disabilities; those with low income or those with literacy barriers.
  • Excellent communications and active listening skills including the ability to interview to identify hidden issues
  • Alternative dispute resolution training an asset, such as mediation
  • Knowledge of local, provincial and national resources (or ability to find them)
  • Interest in public legal education
  • Ability to work independently, take initiative and at the same time function as part of a team
  • Willingness to accept direction from the Supervising Lawyer, Executive Director and Board
  • Strong record keeping and administrative skills including the ability to keep reliable, accurate notes of client and other case contacts
  • Ability to manage confidential information in accordance with the Law Foundation standards and Resource Centre’s Confidentiality Agreement.
  • Strong computer literacy including Microsoft Office software

We are an inclusive and supportive workplace.