Mental Health Legal and Advocacy Service (MHLAS) is a 2 year pilot program that will focus on;

  • legal issues relating to mental illness specifically.
  • discrimination in relation to employment, education and insurance.
  • housing issues, including problems relating to Department of Housing, private rental and boarding house accommodation.
  • social security issues
  • consumer issues, such as credit card debt and banking issues, mobile phone and other contractual debt.

The MHLAS Community Solicitor will deliver intensive, wrap-around support services to clients (with a particular focus on mental health support), working closely with the social worker as part of an integrated service.

The position aims to provide legal and other support services to clients with complex needs through an integrated practice model of service in which a Community Lawyer works together with the social worker to provide advocacy, support, legal advice and legal/case support interventions as part of the MHRES Team

Key duties and responsibilities

 Legal Assistance

  • Provide legal advice and representation for the MHRES team;
  • Provide via various means (in person, by telephone, email, mail, video conference etc) legal information, advice and advocacy to people with disability in various areas of law, in particular matters arising under the Mental Health Act 2016, Forensic Disability Act 2011, Disability Services Act 2006, and Guardianship and Administration Act 2000.
  • Identify, develop and maintain projects which would enhance the delivery of legal services to people with mental illness
  • Plan and manage client legal work including record keeping, work management, legal research, client liaising, logistical and collaborative tasks in accordance with DCLS policy and procedures.
  • Maintain accurate client files and data entry
  • Draft material related to client matters with a high level of attention to detail
  • Contribute to the development of DCLS’s Legal Practice, Team member’s skills and identify wider service delivery issues arising from client work
  • Other tasks as directed or approved by the principal solicitor as needed
  • Support the work of other DCLS advocacy services as needed;
  • In all work, collaborate with the Managing Solicitor, legal practice Coordinator, Principal
  • Solicitor, CEO and other staff members of DCLS as appropriate.
  • Participate in casework file reviews meetings

Values, skills, knowledge

  • Strong commitment to human rights, social justice and diversity
  • Well developed legal casework, advocacy and negotiation skills.
  • Experience in legal practice.
  • Excellent interpersonal & verbal communication skills including the ability to communicate
  • sensitively with clients and other people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Excellent written skills, including ability to convey information in simple English.
  • Highly developed organizational skills to identify priorities, manage workload, and
  • maintain records within a resource-poor community based service.
  • Good knowledge of the welfare and/or disability sector/s with understanding of what
  • makes people vulnerable

Selection Criteria

Essential

  1. Hold, or eligible to hold a current NT Legal Practising Certificate
  2. Demonstrated competence in advocacy before Tribunals and Courts
  3. Minimum 2 years practising experience in direct client legal work
  4. Willingness to facilitate and accept supervision and work diligently and collaboratively
  5. Demonstrated commitment to social justice and human rights
  6. Excellent interpersonal skills, including demonstrated ability to communicate sensitively and effectively with clients who are experiencing complex trauma and other circumstances of vulnerability, including mental illness
  7. Understanding of and commitment to providing trauma-informed and culturally safe legal practice to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  8. Demonstrated capacity to work independently and collaboratively as part of a team and willingness to contribute to the vision, mission, and core values of DCLS
  9. Exceptional time management skills, high level written and oral communication skills, and a demonstrated ability to prioritise tasks and work flexibly and efficiently
  10. Hold current NT Driver’s Licence
  11. Hold a current Working with Childrens Card
  12. Hold a current National Police Clearance

Desirable

  • Experience working in a community based organisation
  • Experience in developing and delivering community education and training

For more information and the position description, please click here

To Apply

Email your application (resume and cover letter addressing the selection criteria) to recruitment@dcls.org.au by the 11th March  2024

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