The Prince Rupert Indigenous Justice Centre is looking for a Legal Assistant – Criminal Defence and Family (Child Protection)
We are hiring! The Prince Rupert Indigenous Justice Centre (PR-IJC) is seeking a full-time Legal Assistant – Criminal Defence and Family (Child Protection) who wants to use their excellent administrative, organizational and interpersonal skills to help reduce the over-representation of Indigenous children and youth in care, and reduce the number of Indigenous peoples who are incarcerated. Working with the PR-IJC is an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of Indigenous peoples who find themselves facing the child protection and criminal justice systems.
The PR-IJC is a partnership between the BC First Nations Justice Council (FNJC) and the Prince Rupert Aboriginal Community Services Society (PRACSS). The PR-IJC mandate comes from the BC Assembly First Nations, Union of BC Indian Chiefs and First Nations Summit, as well as from the leadership in those Indigenous communities we serve. We work with Indigenous communities and clients to identify their priorities and develop solutions to child protection and criminal law matters that affect them. It is our goal to ensure Indigenous peoples have a culturally safe space where they can access legal representation and advice, achieve early resolution of their legal matters and work together to divert their legal matters from the mainstream justice system to Indigenous systems of justice.
To be the successful candidate, you are passionate about contributing to the success of Indigenous peoples and making changes to the systemic barriers they face. You are excellent at creating and organizing legal files, producing legal documents, and managing the files and calendar of a very busy lawyer. You are familiar with court procedures at all stages of the criminal law process and have direct experience working with clients from diverse backgrounds.
While we recognize the value of diversity in the workplace and welcome applications from people of all backgrounds, preference may be provided to Indigenous applicants in accordance with section 41 of the BC Human Rights Code.
Qualifications & Work Experience:
· 3+ years’ experience working as a legal assistant or paralegal in an office that offers criminal law or child protection legal services;
· Experience preparing legal documents, books of authorities and all aspects of maintaining criminal files and disclosure. Experience in management of child protection files is an asset;
· Must be a self-motivated individual with the ability to work with minimal supervision;
· Proficiency in record keeping, researching legal precedents (using Quicklaw & CanLii), word processing, spreadsheets, databases, electronic redacting (using Adobe), email, Internet and other standard computer applications in MS Office;
· Ability to use tact, diplomacy, discretion and good judgment when dealing with sensitive situations, confidential material and demanding and difficult people;
· Knowledge of Clio practice management software is an asset; and
· A clear criminal reference check (CPIC) and Vulnerable Sector Clearance will be a condition of employment.
About the Role:
You will work on a team that strives to ensure Indigenous peoples who face the child protection and criminal law systems do not fall through the systemic cracks that exist within those systems. You will work with a Staff Lawyer and a Community Outreach Coordinator to assist clients in completing the documentation necessary to access programs and services they need to overcome their criminal and child protection legal problems.
The Legal Assistant’s primary responsibility is to provide administrative and secretarial services to the Prince Rupert Indigenous Justice Centre’s Staff Lawyer, and at times support the Community Outreach Coordinator in organizing meetings and events. The Staff Lawyer’s practice has a strong focus on criminal defence work with some child protection matters. The Legal Assistant must be able to work with limited direction and be an exceptionally organized person with strong verbal and written communication skills. At times, the Legal Assistant may be exposed to sensitive and disturbing information/photographs located in criminal defence files and child protection files.
Job Duties and Responsibilities:
The Legal Assistant will:
· Prepare a variety of legal documents (i.e. affidavits, subpoenas, factums, applications and orders, etc.) from the Staff Lawyer’s notes;
· Prepare and arrange filing of court documents and ensure proper presentation of material for court;
· Prepare books of authorities; order and log transcript requests;
· Open, update, maintain, index and assemble hard copy and computerized files and records;
· Obtain information/legal documents and follow-up on information from Crown Counsel and review and organize materials as directed by the Staff Lawyer;
· Perform the witness management function by locating and notifying witnesses; arranging appointments and travel requirements; and processing witness expenses for witnesses and/or expert witnesses;
· Document receipt of disclosure (incl. legal documents, photographs, audio or videotaped statements, log materials);
· Respond to enquiries from Crown Counsel, clients and witnesses (who may at times be under emotional stress);
· Maintain a Bring Forward System for the Staff Lawyer to ensure timely response to correspondence, compliance with limitation periods and attendance at appointments;
· Close legal records (i.e. trial, hearing or appeal), ensure dispositions are noted accurately and update precedent records and files;
· Conduct records management functions by classifying and storing records;
· Arrange telephone and video conferencing for court appearances;
· on a monthly basis, compile and submit statistical data with regard to clients served and services delivered, in accordance with the BCFNJC’s Data Collection Framework; and
· regularly update the Provincial Director – Indigenous Justice Centres of any resources required for completion of job duties.
How to Apply:
Please provide us with a C.V. and cover letter setting out how you meet the requirements of the attached job description. While we are aiming to hire immediately, it is more important to us that we find the right person for this position so we will accept all applications until the position is filled.
Job Types: Full-time, Permanent
Salary: $40,000.00-$50,000.00 per year