The Legal Aid Advocate will support the Legal Services Manager in systematizing the support provided by the student paralegals in handling cases by clients in the Justice Defenders drop-in legal aid clinics in the prisons in Uganda.
The core service of our drop-in legal advice clinics will be an open-door session where prisoners simply turn up and are given on-the-spot, face-to-face legal advice by the paralegals under the leadership of the Legal Services Manager. Working under supervision and support from the paralegal teams and practicing lawyers, paralegal will interview and assess clients, research the enquiry, and then give information and generalist advice.
There is also the option to refer clients to the clinic’s volunteer lawyers/advocates to give support, guidance, and specialist advice in a number of practice areas. This will intensively develop their interview skills, practical legal knowledge, and understanding of client care – in particular, learning to be non-judgmental and non-discriminatory towards clients and their problems, and providing the best possible service within the time constraints of a busy drop-in service.
Under the direct guidance and supervision of the Legal Services Manager, the Legal Aid Advocate will be responsible for representing Justice Defenders clients in court and supporting the paralegals in offering legal services in prisons.
Key Duties and Responsibilities
- Offer legal services and representation to Justice Defenders clients.
- S/he is responsible for supporting in the implementation of the charity’s strategic paralegal initiatives around our legal aid clinics. This includes project managing new clinics and ensuring operations are effective and efficient, activities are managed well, and the model is easily transferable from prison to prison. Will work at all times with the prison rules and our charities policies and procedures.
- Engage as assigned in appropriate committees, working groups, and other activities to maintain strong and productive external networks.
- Responsible for ensuring standards and quality of legal aid delivery is maintained and developed.
- Support the Legal Services Manager in creating training materials and manuals and help conduct necessary trainings and workshops required for the efficient and effective implementation of activities in the legal aid clinic.
- Lead on the filing, follow up and recording of cases, to ensure timely outcomes. Support the research on relevant cases and other supporting authorities/material required to enable the provision of quality advice within the clinic.
- Support in the carrying out of research to understand the current situation, including the prevailing challenges in accessing justice in the project sites; recommend changes and improvements, work with key influencers in the prison service and in the community to inform the design of relevant interventions to address identified gaps.
Qualifications, Skills, and Experience
- An Honours Degree in in Law from a recognized Institution.
- Diploma in Legal Practice.
- Enrolled advocate of the high court of Uganda with four years post admission.
- At least three years experience in criminal law practice.
- Proficiency in working with Microsoft Office suite.
- Proven ability to take initiatives in developing relationships, initiatives, and options for action that might benefit the charity’s drop-in clinics aims.
Competencies and Abilities
- Excellent communication skills, oral and report writing
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Ability to work independently
- Report writing skills
- Ability to work in a diverse environment as a team
- Ability to work under pressure and to make informed and accurate decisions
- Focused and goal-oriented
- Good interpersonal skills and communication skills
- Analytical skills
- Networking skills
- Proactive decision-making skills
- Flexibility, openness and broad–mindedness
Email your CV and cover letter only to firstname.lastname@example.org. Clearly indicate the position you are applying for.
Note: Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted for interviews. Applications will be received on a rolling basis. Justice Defenders accepts no liability for incomplete submission, late, or misdirected transmission of applications. Any form of canvassing will lead to automatic disqualification. Justice Defenders is an equal opportunity employer.