Community Legal Worker
The Black Legal Action Centre (BLAC) is a not-for-profit corporation incorporated under the laws of Ontario to combat individual and systemic anti-Black racism, providing legal services to members of Ontario’s Black communities, including engaging in advocacy, community development, law reform, test case litigation, and public legal education. BLAC is an independent community legal clinic funded by Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) and governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.
PURPOSE OF POSITION
The Community Legal Worker is responsible for community outreach, public education and advocating for law reform. The Community Legal Worker is also responsible for preparing BLAC’s communications materials and delivering BLAC’s public education materials.
Client intake, providing summary advice, client representation, supervision of volunteers and providing other assistance to members of the community to ensure awareness, understanding and achievement of their legal rights are also key components of the position.
The Community Legal Worker reports to the Legal Director. This is a one-year, full-time contract position, with a possibility of renewal based on funding.
MINIMUM HIRING REQUIREMENTS
Demonstrated commitment to community and/or legal work related to anti-Black racism, human rights and/or anti-discrimination. Experience dealing with the public is essential. Computer literacy is essential. The ability to communicate well, both orally and in writing is essential. Must be able to work evenings and some weekends.
Desirable: Relevant experience in law specifically related to clinic services. A second language is an asset. Being a paralegal in good standing with the Law Society of Ontario is also an asset. Experience managing social media accounts is an asset.
MAJOR DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES
Community Development, Outreach and Education
- Identify issues for public legal education based on knowledge of legislative or policy developments
- Develop and distribute educational materials and self-help packages to inform the public of their rights, obligations and benefits, and to increase client awareness and understanding of legal issues
- Arrange necessary logistical details associated with clinic events, community development and public legal education programs and seminars
- Participate in and present community development activities and law reform activities designed to further the legal interests and improve the lives of Black Ontarians
- Participate in and report on all inter-clinic working group meetings
- Participate in and/or present, to inter-clinic working groups, committees and
organizations representing client concerns
- Conduct research to identify the need for new or changes to existing services
- Advocate clinic services to increase community awareness
- Act as a resource person for community groups based on knowledge of the community, client issues and concerns and clinic operations
- Participate in public legal education activities within the clinic’s areas of expertise
- Research, prepare and produce oral and written public legal education sessions and in-house training sessions on legal issues, and participate in events as public speaker/conference presenter
- Prepare and distribute quarterly Newsletter and maintain the clinic’s social media accounts
- Carry out intake function in compliance with the office practice and procedures
- Ensure privacy and maintain confidentiality of clients at all times
- Assess client needs to ensure that the clinic can serve them and/or determine other appropriate services/ legal services
- Transfer incoming calls to appropriate staff based on knowledge of functional responsibilities and clinic operations
- Respond to inquiries from the public to provide information regarding clinic services, processes and procedures
- Assess the urgency of the client’s needs; where necessary, engage with caseworker staff to assist the client based on urgency
- Refer potential clients and the public to other legal services, social agencies, or government services based on knowledge of community services; assist
with the services and follow up as needed and as appropriate
- Conduct initial conflict of interest checks and update the conflict list by adding names when directed
- Obtain necessary intake information from clients to complete necessary intake documentation and forms
- Provide basic information using the intake manual, without giving legal advice, and document details for review by legal staff
- Prepare materials and presentations on law reform issues and attend before bodies to provide submissions
- Conduct research for law reform and litigation and participate in other law reform activities including on public/government/consultation committees
- Assist in preparation of legal services reports for the clinic’s Board of Directors Preparation of operational statistics to inform Board of clinic services and activities; attend Board meetings, if requested
- Assist in preparation of monthly, quarterly and annual statistical reports for LAO
- Assist in preparation of annual funding application to LAO
- Management and training of clinic volunteers and students
- Attend regular in-person meetings with staff and the legal team
- May be assigned other duties by the Legal Director
- The successful applicant must be able to travel (by airplane, train, or car) throughout Ontario; occasional overnight travel may be required
- Work may involve frequent exposure to difficult situations
- High volume of contacts and requirement to multi-task
- Use of electronic equipment and information technology
- May be assigned other duties by the Legal Director
- Commitment to social justice, particularly combatting anti-Black racism, and delivering high quality legal services to low income individuals and groups
- Possess strong advocacy skills including research, analysis and negotiation
- Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing
- Ability to work effectively in an organization under the direction of a volunteer Board of Directors
- Ability to negotiate and manage third party relationships, including with community organizations and government agencies
- Ability to organize, plan, and implement activities appropriate to advance organizational objectives
- Demonstrated ability to advocate for clients with the public at large and similar organizations
- Excellent computer and technological skills
- Willing and able to work independently, and to make independent decisions
- High ethical standards
- Excellent time management skills and ability to multi-task and prioritize work
- Strong interpersonal skills focused on building and maintaining positive relationships with all levels of staff, clients, volunteers and external stakeholders
- Attention to detail and problem-solving skills
- Ability to utilize analytical, interpretive, evaluative and constructive thinking
- Proficiency in MS Office and familiarity with virtual meeting scheduling tools
SALARY & BENEFITS
Salary Range: $72,900 to $75,920, commensurate with qualifications and experience
Benefits: Work from Home (subject to operational requirements)
Please apply via e-mail to Danette Edwards, Legal Director, at email@example.com, with a cover letter and resume and one writing sample by August 25, 2023 at 5:00 p.m.
If you require any accommodation during the interview process please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to make appropriate arrangements.
While we thank all applicants for their interest, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.
We welcome applications from people who are reflective of the diversity of the communities we serve.