Paralegal in Human Rights at Deighton Pierce Glynn

AN OUTLINE OF THE FIRM 

Deighton Pierce Glynn is a busy committed firm of solicitors specialising in civil rights.

We use the law to enforce the rights of the disadvantaged of society, hold the state to account for its actions, challenge discrimination and fight human rights and environmental abuses.

Whoever our clients are and whatever has happened to them we pride ourselves in being able to make the best use of the law for their benefit.  We give practical advice about options, help our clients work out their goals and do what can be done to achieve them.  Taking a legal case can be a daunting prospect – we try to make sure our clients feel well supported.

We are committed to our staff, who include some of the best lawyers around, and we think it’s important to provide a good working environment, ensuring they have the support and resources they need to excel and promoting a friendly and collaborative working environment.  We are committed to promoting equality of opportunity.  We think that by doing this, we can provide the best possible service to our clients.

Our clients come from many different backgrounds, countries and are of many different ethnicities.  Many of our clients speak English as a second language.

Deighton Pierce Glynn is an equal opportunities employer and positively encourages applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital status, or pregnancy and maternity.

Deighton Pierce Glynn has two offices in London and one in Bristol.  This post is for our London Bridge office, on Union Street, London SE1.  This is about five minutes walk from the London Bridge tube station. 

THE POST

We are looking for a Paralegal to provide casework and administrative support in our London Bridge office.  A minimum commitment of 12 months is required, but we would hope the position would be for longer, and to this end, there is a possibility of a training contract at the end of 12 months.

The role would suit someone who enjoys team working, and is interested in the development of public law, human rights in a domestic and international context and international cases against multi nationals.

The job is to work with Sue Willman who is recognised as one of the top public lawyers working in the UK.  A large part of her work is international law/ international human rights cases.  Currently she is working on universal jurisdiction and other cases challenging repression in the Middle East.  She is also working on a large corporate accountability case against oil companies in Colombia, for which an ability to speak Spanish is an advantage.  The work includes working collaboratively with NGOs and campaigners, attending evening events and working with the press.  In addition, her caseload involves some domestic private and public law cases around unlawful detention, migrant support and destitution.  Although the job includes some administration, Sue’s work is supported by an experienced PA. .

PLEASE COMPLETE THE APPLICATION FORM BELOW. (Applications by CV will not be considered)  Please email the completed application form to [email protected].

Note: Due to the anticipated high level of interest, we regret that we are only able to write to candidates who are short-listed for interview. 

 

JOB DESCRIPTION: PARALEGAL

1. Role

To provide casework and administrative support to Fee Earning members of staff

2. Duties and Responsibilities

(a) Casework

To the extent commensurate with experience and to the extent directed by the Fee Earner to  conduct casework within the firm’s selected areas of legal practice and to support the casework done by the Fee Earner, in particular:

- to assist in the preparation of bundles and the collation of documents

- to conduct legal research

- to arrange and conduct meetings with clients, sometimes including travel to meet with clients at locations outside of the office

- to draft letters, witness statements, chronologies, applications and other documents

- to attend court to issue proceedings and applications and to clerk on counsel

- to take new client calls and provide summaries for fee earners

- to conduct casework in compliance with the Legal Aid Agency requirements

- to ensure that casework is profitable and that steps are taken to maximise profitability

- to instruct and manage the work of counsel, experts and agents within the firm’s written procedures.

- to complete public funding forms and conditional fee agreements

- to assist with the prompt billing and costing of files

- to identify and exploit opportunities to expand and develop the firm’s casework

- to record time spent on casework

(b) Administration

- to take responsibility for filing the incoming and outgoing post of supervising fee-earner

- to keep the firm’s diaries and other central records up to date

- to ensure that all paper files and electronic files are up to date

- to work with other staff to ensure that the office and the casework is run smoothly and efficiently, covering the work of others where required

3. General

- compliance with the firm’s equal opportunities policy.

- to attend staff meetings and external meetings and seminars when necessary

- to deal appropriately with the money of the firm, its clients and the Legal Aid Fund.

- to maintain proper accounting records

- to comply with the policies set out in the Office Manual

4. Standard of Performance

- you are expected to learn the firm’s procedures and perform them competently and reliably

- you are expected to deal with all callers in person and  by phone politely, tactfully and efficiently

- you are expected to pass messages on promptly and to consult with one or other of the partners if an urgent message is not going to be acted upon.

- you are expected to assist in ensuring that the firm runs smoothly and that a service of a high standard is provided to clients and all with whom the firm has contact.

5. To whom responsible:

You will be responsible to the Staff Partner, Polly Glynn, and act under the direction of Sue Willman, your day to day supervisor.

 

PERSON SPECIFICATION

The firm is seeking a full-time Paralegal to join our London Bridge.

The person will have the following knowledge skills and experience:

Essential:

  • Excellent intellectual abilities and a law degree or equivalent legal experience or qualification.
  • A demonstrable commitment to social justice and the ability to work sympathetically and effectively with a wide variety of clients, including young people and people with mental health needs.
  • Excellent organisational skills, including the ability to manage time efficiently and to work under pressure to meet strict deadlines. 
  • An interest in & enthusiasm for public interest law
  • Ability to type, computer literacy and a willingness to use and to develop skills in the use of information technology.
  • Ability to conduct legal research, analyse evidence and explain it clearly and concisely
  • Ability to use initiative at work, input ideas and help develop the firm
  • Ability to draft documents and letters in plain English
  • Experience of working in a solicitor’s office or equivalent legal/advice work environment
  • Ability to get on with people and be polite under pressure and to work co-operatively as part of a team
  • Sufficient numeracy to complete public funding and costing forms

Desirable:

  • A proven ability to build good working relationships for example with referral agencies, experts, interpreters, and opponents
  • Completion of LPC and/or demonstrable commitment to training as a solicitor
  • Written/ spoken Spanish or Arabic to at least intermediate level
  • Commitment and knowledge of international human rights law and policy issues
  • Knowledge/ experience in relation to the Middle East or Colombia
  • Experience of working with migrants and/or people with mental health needs
  • Some knowledge of Home Office systems in relation to welfare provision and detention
  • Experience of using social media or press work

Job title: Paralegal in Human Rights

Location: London

Salary: £20,000 - £23,000 per annum depending on experience

Contract: Full time for 12 months

Closing date: 29 June 2015