- Post-secondary education in social sciences, law, counseling, criminology or other relevant qualification; or a combination or relevant experience and legal education.
- Knowledge of and experience with the justice system.
- Interest and background in variety of areas of law, particularly as they apply to people living in poverty.
- Aptitude for working effectively with disadvantaged clients including: those with mental, cognitive and physical disabilities; those with low income; those whose first language is not English or who have literacy problems; victims of abuse; seniors.
- Strong communications skills including ability to identify hidden issues.
- Awareness of and sensitivity towards cultural influences within the community.
- Alternative dispute resolution training an asset.
- Knowledge of local community resources (or how 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 supervision.
- Strong record keeping and administrative skills including ability to keep reliable and accurate notes of client and other case contacts.
- Ability to manage confidential information in accordance with Law Society standards.
- Computer literacy – including Word and Excel.
- Must be able to obtain and maintain a Criminal Records Check.
- Must be able to obtain and maintain a valid BC Driver’s License.
- Candidates must reside in Canada and be either Permanent Residents or Canadian Citizens to apply.
This program provides legal information, support, referrals and advocacy services for residents of the Fort St John and areas who have difficulty accessing timely and appropriate assistance due to barriers such as poverty, disability, language and literacy problems. The advocate will work directly with clients to educate them about their legal rights, explain options for legal problem solving and, where appropriate, assist them with dispute resolution and/or represent them at hearings before boards and tribunals. Reports to Executive Director.
Key Duties and Responsibilities
- Provide legal information on poverty law issues to people in need.
- Consult with supervising lawyer on regular basis for advice on case management.
- Interview clients by phone or in person and identify their legal issue(s).
- Facilitate their access to other community resources as appropriate.
- Assess legal merits of case and identify and research law relevant to client issues.
- Offer clients knowledgeable and prompt legal information and procedural guidance to assist them with prioritizing options.
- Provide self-help materials as appropriate.
- Negotiate on clients’ behalf with other parties such as landlords and government agencies.
- Write letters and legal submissions on clients’ behalf.
- Attend hearings and meetings to present clients’ cases.
- Prepare and facilitate public legal education workshops.
- Attend legal education workshops and seminars for professional development.
- Liaise with and assess needs of community groups.
- Maintain and manage accurate and timely documentation for each client file and for the program caseload as a whole.
- Write regular reports as required by the BC Law Foundation, the program’s funder.
- Maintain regular communications with Executive Director and Supervising Lawyer.