The job holder will provide efficient and effective legal advice, assistance and representation for private and publicly funded clients maintaining the highest standards of professional expertise and client care at all times. They can expect to assist more senior fee earners with a caseload consisting primarily of child care law work and also private law Children Act case work and run their own caseload as appropriate. The job holder may also be expected to carry out other family law casework. The job holder will be expected to make every effort to obtain a speedy result for the client, to be accessible to their clients and to maintain regular and appropriate contact with them. They will also be expected to deal effectively and considerately with people from different cultures and backgrounds.
Howells aims to provide a holistic service and paralegals are encouraged to work together with other fee earners, support staff and with employees in other departments to ensure the best quality service.
The job holder will be directly responsible to the Partners of the Children Team and to the Partners of the firm in general. They will also be responsible to a supervisor nominated by the firm for their day to day performance in respect of their legal work.
Deal with routine correspondence and telephone queries
Deal with clients requiring specialist child care law advice, and some private law Children Act work, in person
Provide written advice to the client, where necessary, managing the client’s expectation
Take instructions in new cases, including completion of Legal Help, dealing with Legal Aid applications and opening file procedures
Maintain proper diary systems i.e. court dates, limitation dates and timetables set by courts/tribunals
Periodically review files to ensure compliance with franchise requirements/transaction criteria and any departmental requirements
Make claims for payment including payments on account, cost files and claim disbursements
Take statements from clients and witnesses and arrange/check availability of witnesses
Take instructions on evidence, statements and reports
Obtain experts’ reports
Review and draft documentation
Conduct own advocacy, as appropriate
Brief counsel, where necessary/appropriate and attend hearings with counsel
Attend case conferences
Attend PLO meetings
Close files in accordance with departmental procedures
Dealing with legal help paperwork
Self-service, i.e. produce own documents, correspondence, emails etc and carry out admin
Keep up to date with changes in the law and procedures
Deal quickly and efficiently with clients
Ensure that cases are conducted in accordance with Law Society guidelines and that the regulations and procedures of the Legal Aid Agency are adhered to in respect of publicly funded matters and the Legal Aid Agency Specialist Quality Mark Standards.
Meet chargeable time and financial targets, as set by the Head of the Children Team
Attend meetings and training sessions, where relevant to the job holder’s work
The job holder will be expected to carry out any other tasks as reasonably delegated to them by the Head of the Children Team.
Skills and capabilities:
· Communication – written and spoken, active listening
· Problem Solving
· Ability to develop relationships
· Ability to learn
· Computer Literacy
· Ability to work as part of a team
· Ability to work on own initiative
· Understanding of the firm’s business and the marketplace