To act as Family Duty Counsel and deliver services in Durham Region (Oshawa) in the Central East District. This role may require providing virtual assistance to other court locations within the District.
Family Duty Counsel is responsible for providing client service for family law matters in the courthouse, both virtually and in-person. Family Duty Counsel will be responsible for the intake and assessment of family law clients to determine the appropriate service for the clients, including but not limited to providing procedural and summary legal advice; drafting, reviewing and commissioning of family court documents and pleadings, such as Applications, Answers, Motions, Affidavits and Financial Statements; in-court representation at various stages of a family court and/or child protection proceedings; and other duties as assigned.
Home Location: Durham Region (Oshawa) Courthouse
Secondary and Tertiary Locations: not applicable
Reporting to: Manager, Legal Services
• Provide family law duty counsel services, including providing instructions to Legal Aid Workers and students; preparation of court documents for eligible clients; and to make appropriate referrals to mediation, the certificate program, domestic violence organizations and mental health agencies, as required
• Provide representation in the Superior Court of Justice (Unified Family Court) for both domestic and child protection matters, including at first appearances; case conferences; Family Responsibility Office (FRO) matters; negotiations; child protection matters; and other court hearings and services, as required
• Advocate for clients in court and assist in the preparation of court documents and forms
• Assist unrepresented eligible clients with LAO family settlement conferences, as required
• Provide summary legal advice services at the Family Law Information Centre (FLIC) and at the Summary Legal Advice Family (SLAF) virtual service
• Provide high quality legal services in a cost effective manner
• Maintain client files, client lists and conduct conflict checks
• Record data and produce reports as required and within established reporting times
• Perform other duties and administrative tasks as assigned, and remain adaptable and flexible in a changing environment
• Member in good standing with the Law Society of Ontario
• Demonstrated knowledge and experience of relevant family law legislation and, in particular, child protection law
• Knowledge of impact of criminal law or immigration proceedings on family law
• In-court experience in both family and child protection matters
• Ability to work effectively as a team with other staff lawyers, per diem Duty Counsel and other stakeholders
• Ability to work independently and to be able to multi-task in a fast paced environment
• Results oriented and client focused individual
• Sound judgment and problem solving skills
• Sound legal research skills
• Ability to draft legal documents independently
• Ability to assume responsibility for files
• Effective assessment of clients’ needs to facilitate referrals to appropriate services, including the early identification of vulnerable clients
• Demonstrated ability to provide sensitive and compassionate client service to vulnerable clients and to those who may be victims of domestic violence
• Ability to accurately and fluently communicate with clients while providing advice and while representing them in court
• Act as a liaison between Legal Aid Ontario, the judiciary, court services staff and the private bar
• Administer and apply the financial eligibility tests in accordance with Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) policy
• Demonstrated ability to use Word, Excel, Outlook, Divorcemate and Legal Files
• Demonstrated ability to use latest communication technologies including tablets and smartphones, and ability to utilize video conferencing platforms to deliver services virtually, i.e. Zoom and TEAMS
Preferred Skills & Experiences:
• Sound Knowledge of Legal Aid Ontario’s operations and mandate
• Prior family and CYFSA law experience
• Demonstrated interest in aboriginal legal issues
• Training or advocacy experience in relation to mental health issues
To apply, submit a covering letter and a résumé.
This position is represented by The Society of United Professionals and the employee will be governed by the provisions of the collective agreement and union dues will be deducted bi-weekly from the date of hire.
First preference will be given to current members of The Society of United Professionals.
Please note that all applicants are encouraged to provide a valid e-mail address for communication purposes. Applicants may receive written correspondence regarding this job posting directly to the e-mail address provided on their resume or to the one used to set up their Candidate Profile if applying on Njoyn. As an applicant, it is your responsibility to ensure that you check your email regularly.
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