The Community Lawyer will work within the Centre’s crime & civil legal team to provide high quality and timely legal services on a broad range of legal issues to vulnerable and disadvantaged clients across the Centre’s catchment.
The Community Lawyer will provide legal services including information, advice, minor assistance, casework, court representation and referral services along with intake and casework services primarily from our Frankston office.
The Position will also focus on delivering legal services to isolated and disengaged communities, which may include people who are homeless, experiencing family violence, disability, chronic ill health, drug and alcohol dependence, young people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and members of CALD communities through our assertive outreach programs, Street Law Coffee Van and the Mobile Integrated Mental Health Service (MIMHS). Services will be delivered in a range of community & health settings across the centre’s catchment.
Peninsula Community Legal Centre (PCLC) is one of 49 community legal centres in Victoria. It operates across six local government area in the south east of Melbourne – Cardinia, Casey, Frankston, Glen Eira, Kingston and Mornington Peninsula. PCLC is headquartered in Frankston and has branch offices in Bentleigh, Cranbourne, Frankston North and Rosebud.
PCLC works to empower and support disadvantaged community members of the South Eastern and Westernport region to use the law and legal system to protect and advance their rights and broaden their awareness of their responsibilities. PCLC offers general legal advice and casework services, specialist family law, tenancy, family violence, rooming house and social work programs, and is active in community legal education and law reform work.
PCLC Vision & Values
Delivering justice for our community – Promoting and protecting human rights and equality before the law
• Empower and support disadvantaged and vulnerable people in our community to address their legal needs
• Engage and build an ever strengthening and capable legal practice
• Foster and maintain a network of support for the vulnerable and disadvantaged within our community
• Support families in the provision of services that champion child welfare and safety in the eyes of the law
• Deliver a legal service that builds our community toward building one free from violence
• Deliver high quality and holistic community legal services, ensuring equity, fairness and justice for all
• Actively engage in systemic advocacy, to promote and enhance human rights and ensure access to justice
• Proactively develop the organisation and its employees to effectively respond to changing community needs
• Innovatively and responsively address increasingly complex legal and social issues impacting upon our community
• Demonstrate leadership within our community and the legal assistance sector
- Deliver high quality legal advice and casework, advocacy and representation services in accordance with the PCLC Advice and Casework Guidelines.
- Conduct ongoing casework in accordance with the PCLC Advice and Casework Guidelines and within the caseload/file limit directed from time to time
- Work closely and collaboratively with the Legal Assistance sector, including Victoria Legal Aid and courts to support the CLSP program objectives.
- Maintain an appropriate case management system, including undertaking regular file reviews
- Maintain accurate and up-to-date records, including file notes, client and casework data and case studies.
- Develop and maintain up-to-date knowledge of relevant legislation, procedures and practices relevant to the position.
- Develop and maintain up-to-date knowledge of relevant information, resources and referral options for clients.
- Participate in regular supervision and caseworkers’ meetings.
- Needs to be confident in effectively engaging and communicating with vulnerable or disengaged people with complex legal needs who may struggle to access legal support.
- Liaise with community partners within an integrated and holistic service delivery model
- Ensure that all work is conducted within the requirements of the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014, PCLC’s professional indemnity insurance and PCLC’s policies and procedures.
- Liaise with relevant organisations and workers.
- Represent Peninsula Community Legal Centre at relevant community, government and other forums.
- Participate in community legal education activities as directed.
- Identify trends and issues arising from legal advice and casework practice.
- Participate in activities which seek to ensure greater legislative and practical protection for PCLC clients, such as submission writing and participation in campaigns.
- Liaise with and report to the relevant Practice Manager on a regular basis.
- Assist with collection of data and preparation of reports and other accountability documentation as required.
Applications for this role are via the PCLC careers portal.
If you are viewing through Seek or Indeed – please click ‘Apply’ to be taken to the PCLC careers portal where you can open and download the Position Description.
Key Selection Criteria
- Possess, or is eligible to possess, a current practicing certificate with two years post admission practice.
- Experience in, or demonstrated capacity to undertake direct legal service delivery, including provision of information, advice and referral services, negotiation and advocacy on behalf of clients, court representation and other legal settings.
- Highly developed advocacy skills
- Experience in court representation
- Demonstrated understanding of the challenges impacting vulnerable community members, particularly when engaging with legal systems.
- Demonstrated knowledge of and commitment to social justice principles, understanding of the legal assistance sector and a commitment to PCLC‘s vision and values.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Excellent interpersonal skills.
- Well -developed organisational skills and ability to work with minimal supervision.
- Competency in using word processing and electronic communication programs.
- Holds a current Victorian Driver’s Licence and has access to a reliable and comprehensively insured vehicle.