Vacancy: Legal Caseworker (Unaccompanied Minors)

Posted On: 14 October 2019

Legal Caseworker (Unaccompanied Minors), Location: Dublin

In collaboration with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), Irish Refugee Council and the Immigrant Council of Ireland are seeking to jointly recruit a Legal Caseworker to support a joint pro bono legal project to provide legal representation to unaccompanied minors seeking family reunification. Unaccompanied minors currently cannot access civil legal aid and it is therefore an unmet legal need. The project seeks to ensure that unaccompanied minors have direct access to child-friendly legal advice and can make their views heard in the application process. This will be achieved through partnering with law firms whose lawyers will, following training and with access to supervision and support, provide legal advice and representation to children on a pro bono basis.

Organisations

Both the Immigrant Council and Irish Refugee Council are non-governmental organisations and Independent Law Centres, which are regulated by the Law Society of Ireland and staffed by practising solicitors.

The Immigrant Council provides information, advice and legal representation to migrants and their families moving to or living in Ireland. The Immigrant Council’s aim is to directly assist migrants in navigating the Irish immigration system and, in turn, the organisation uses its experience and expertise to advocate for positive policy and legislative changes within the immigration system and associated areas.

The Irish Refugee Council’s mission is to promote and enhance the lives of refugees and people seeking international protection in Ireland. The Irish Refugee Council seeks to achieve this through policy, research, awareness raising and campaigning for a fair and transparent asylum system for everyone seeking international protection in Ireland.

Job description

The role is full-time (although reduced hours will be considered) but the Legal Caseworker will work on a part-time basis with each of the organisations under the supervision of the Managing Solicitors.

Project Management & Relationships

  • Under the overall supervision of the Managing Solicitors, manage the day-to-day operation of the project.
  • Screen new pro bono partners, and build and maintain good working relationships with lawyers, law firms, companies, referral NGOs, social work professionals, expert mentors and other relevant stakeholders.
  • Monitor and report on the performance of the project against evaluation criteria, including ensuring timely reporting from pro bono lawyers and the Law Centres on each case, and tracking training and casework statistics, outcomes and feedback.
  • Draft reports on the project progress for the Managing Solicitors and KIND.
  • Ensure project policies are in place and followed, setting out requirements for pro bono lawyers (level of qualification, training requirements etc.), which cases will be taken on, how cases are screened, allocated and followed-up on.

Casework

  • Working under the supervision of the Managing Solicitors, provide a casework service to clients of the Law Centres.
  • Develop and implement referral mechanisms and coordinate casework, including screening new cases and projects, assigning them to pro bono lawyers, checking on progress, reviewing reports on completion of cases and projects, and recording referrals and casework outcomes.
  • Conduct support work and research for casework files.
  • Provide support and supervision by acting as a central point of contact for pro bono lawyers’ questions and concerns and provide advice and guidance to pro bono lawyers as needed, with support of Managing Solicitors.

Training and Resource provision

  • Organise and assist in the development of training for social care professionals and pro bono legal professionals on refugee family reunification law and application procedures.
  • Collate and update online storage of relevant laws, policies, practice directions, templates, practical country of origin information, good practice guidelines, and other materials useful for pro bono lawyers undertaking casework.

Person specification

Qualifications

Essential

Third Level Degree in Law

Desirable

Masters in Human Rights Law/Public Interest Law
Professional qualification as Barrister or Solicitor

Experience and Skills

Essential

  • Experience of legal casework and handling sensitive and confidential information
  • Ability to communicate appropriately with children and young people
  • Ability to manage multiple relationships and stakeholders
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Experience managing own case load, adhering to deadlines and drafting legal submissions
  • Strong legal research skills and ability to keep up to date with changing laws and practices
  • Highly organised
  • Commitment to the human rights of vulnerable groups
  • Flexibility and the ability to work under pressure

Desirable

  • Experience of casework in refugee law, immigration law or human rights law
  • Knowledge of relevant international and domestic law relating to children and their rights
  • Knowledge of Irish asylum and immigration law
  • Experience of working in a corporate legal practice

Terms and conditions

  • Salary is commensurate with experience.
  • Full-time, 35 hours (five days a week), 9.00am-5.00pm. Some out of hours work may be required. For a suitable candidate, part-time/reduced hours may be considered.
  • Fixed-term, 1 year contact. 3 month probation period.
  • 5% employer contribution to pension after 6 months (based on employee contribution of 5%).
  • Based between the Immigrant Council of Ireland office at 2 St Andrew Street, Dublin 2 and the Irish Refugee Council office at 37 Killarney Street, Dublin 1.
  • 25 days annual leave (pro rata depending on full/part-time).

Application process

Please send a two page CV and one page cover letter to admin@immigrantcouncil.ie

  • The cover letter must clearly address the person specification outlined above. Only applications addressing the person specification will be considered.
  • The phrase ‘Legal Caseworker’ must be inserted in to the email subject matter line.
  • Deadline for application is 5pm on Monday, 4 November 2019.
  • Interviews to be held the week of 11 November 2019.
  • Applications submitted will be acknowledged but no further feedback will be provided to applicants unless invited to attend for interview.