2 year fixed term contract, full time
Applicants for the role of Trainee Solicitor in BPP’s Pro Bono Centre must have:
• Successfully completed the Legal Practice Course;
• A commitment to legal practice and the law;
• An interest in social welfare law, particularly housing and family;
• Excellent communication skills (both written and oral);
• Excellent teamwork skills;
• Confidence and initiative
• Project management experience;
• A passion for working with students;
• Leadership qualities; and
• Motivation and problem-solving skills.
The successful applicant must have the right to work in the UK for the full duration of the two year training contract (unfortunately BPP is not able to sponsor applicants for work visas). They must be able to attend an assessment session on 1 March and an interview on 8 or 15 March 2017. The applicant would ideally be able to start work by April 2017.
Deadline for applications: Sunday 19 February 2017
Written exercise for shortlisted candidates: 10am, Wednesday 1 March 2017
Interview date: Wednesday 8 or Wednesday 15 March 2017
About BPP and its Pro Bono Centre
The BPP Legal Advice Clinic (BLAC) is part of BPP Law School’s Pro Bono Centre and has been in operation since March 2004. Its dual goals are to provide free legal advice to the community and to provide law students with the opportunity to obtain practical legal experience.
In recent years, BLAC has undergone extensive expansion beyond its housing clinic. It launched a family law clinic in April 2013 and is in the process of launching an Enterprise clinic, which advises young entrepreneurs and start-ups in business law areas. In addition we run a Criminal Appeals Project.
This is an innovative and unique training contract based in a pro bono service in the provision of social welfare law. The post holder will be based in London (Holborn) but will be expected to travel to other BPP centres from time to time. The post includes evening work.
We are searching for someone to join our team as a trainee solicitor, which will incorporate the role of Legal Advice Clinic Manager. As a trainee solicitor in BPP’s Pro Bono Centre, you will have exposure to the areas of work set out above and will work with qualified solicitors. There is also potential for you to complete a secondment as part of your training contract.
You will be expected to be a fully-operational member of BPP’s Pro Bono Centre and must have excellent written and oral communication skills and be confident in yourself and your advice (which we will, of course, help you to deliver). You would be part of a highly supportive and collaborative team and receive an immensely varied and interesting training contract.
Your duties will include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Conducting client screening for suitable cases
• Interviewing clients and taking attendance notes
• Writing letters of advice
• Conducting legal research to find solutions for client issues
• Representing clients at tribunal and court
• Recruiting and liaising with specialist lawyer supervisors (internal and external)
• Proofreading letters of advice before final sign off from a solicitor and sending out to client
• Giving feedback to students on their letters of advice
• Delivering interactive training to students
• Coordinating clients, students and legal professionals to ensure clinic runs smoothly, including managing all clinic advice sessions
• Delegating roles to responsible students to undertake an element of the day-to-day management
• Supervising and managing students’ work as student directors across all projects and helping develop them
• Bundling, photocopying and scanning client documents
• File management of all clinic clients (paper and electronic)
• Project managing all clinic operations
• Recruiting student directors and advisers from among BPP law students
• Maximising the clinical legal education value of the students’ work
• Promoting the culture and ethic of pro bono among students and the profession
• Managing online and offline Clinic publicity, including on social media
• Playing a part in developing and maintaining the Pro Bono Centre intranet site and website pages
• Developing the Clinic with a view to maximising the number of student advisers involved and number of clients seen
• Developing and implementing effective policy and procedures to maintain best practice and adherence to the AQS quality mark
• Signposting and referring clients to the Pro Bono Centre’s other projects and external agencies
• Putting together a bi-monthly nationwide clinic newsletter and annual report
• Collating feedback surveys
• Managing other pro bono projects including Tribunal Services and LEASE Case Summaries, working closely with each project’s student directors and external contacts
• Attending BPP open days/evenings and other marketing events
• Developing and maintaining a knowledge of relevant law and developments in pro bono services
Knowledge, experience and skills required for role
• Successfully completed the LPC
• Administration experience
• Proven ability to design and deliver presentations for large and small groups
• Excellent organisational and management skills
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills
• Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
• Ability to prioritise tasks
• Ability to work as part of a team
• Ability to use computer and information technology
• Excellent problem-solving skills
• Initiative and self-motivation
• Interest in working with students
• Patience when explaining new concepts
• Empathy for pro bono clients
• Ability to learn and develop new skills
• Project management experience
• Experience of working in a legal or casework-based environment
• An understanding of and commitment to the roles of both clinics and pro bono in the provision of legal services.
• Experience of volunteering in the pro bono sector
If you are interested in working in the pro bono advice field and meet the trainee solicitor job specification, then please complete the online application form by no later than midnight on Sunday 19 February 2017. You should be notified if you have been shortlisted by close of business on 27 February 2017.
There will be a written exercise to complete for shortlisted candidates prior to the interview date. This will take place at BPP Holborn, 68-70 Red Lion Street, London WC1R 4NY at 10am on Wednesday 1 March 2017.
The interviews will take place at BPP Holborn on either Wednesday 8 or Wednesday 15 March 2017. The interview will include a requirement to deliver a short presentation.