Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law
Job ad: legal officer, Rainbow Migration

Job ad: legal officer, Rainbow Migration

**This position has now been filled**

Rainbow Migration are recruiting a Legal Officer to advise and help improve the representation of LGBTQI+ people seeking asylum, and help change the asylum and immigration system to one that treats everyone with compassion, dignity and respect.

Our last Legal Officer won Solicitor of the Year – In-house at the Law Society Awards in 2021, and has written about his experience in the role here. We are looking for someone with the similar passion for helping LGBTQI+ people secure leave to remain / equality and human rights to develop their skills and specialist expertise with us.

We are looking for a qualified solicitor or barrister (authorised to practice without a supervising solicitor in a legal advice centre) with valid practising certificate, or already accredited to Level 3 OISC with two years’ experience in providing advice and representation in asylum including working in legal aid (see further requirements in person specification).

You will be responsible for the day-to-day delivery of the legal advice service. Under the guidance of our Legal and Policy Director, you will also build capacity amongst legal representatives by designing and delivering training, giving second tier advice and developing and coordinating a network of practitioners working in this area. You will use the knowledge you gain in this role to help deliver Rainbow Migration’s policy work, including attending meetings with policy makers and campaign partners when required.

We will also consider applications from people who do not want to do the policy and influencing and communications elements of the job, but to instead focus on first and second tier advice, this would then be a part time role only. Please mention in your covering letter if you are applying for this option.

This is a unique opportunity to build on your experience as a lawyer or caseworker to improve representation across the sector and create change in government policy and practice. You will be supported to develop as a specialist lawyer and influencer.

You will:

  • Deliver Rainbow Migration’s legal advice service to adult LGBTQI+ people seeking asylum by giving one-off advice and working with support services colleagues to refer them to quality legal aid and pro bono lawyers.
  • Provide occasional casework assistance e.g. helping to prepare witness statements, making referrals to other specialist organisations and taking other urgent steps (whilst not representing service users or maintaining a caseload).
  • Provide occasional advice (within competence) on other issues affecting asylum and partnership service users such as asylum support, legal aid, trafficking, family reunion or community care.
  • Deliver second tier advice to the legal representatives of LGBTQI+ people seeking asylum and other charities and professionals.
  • Work with the Legal and Policy Director to design and deliver training to lawyers, NGOs and other professionals.
  • Coordinate a network of caseworkers and lawyers representing LGBTQI+ people seeking asylum.
  • Write blogs and articles on asylum and immigration policy and legislation as they apply to LGBTQI+ people.
  • Help write policy and briefing papers.
  • Occasionally attend meetings with other charities, Home Office policy makers and other stakeholders when required.

The Legal Officer will not be providing direct legal representation of service users. However, the role includes substantive advice and casework within the scope of legal support and referrals for our clients, as well as merits testing and second tier advice.

Owing to the nature of the work giving immigration advice to vulnerable adults including people in detention, the successful applicant will be required at the point of conditional job offer to disclose all spent and unspent criminal records and subsequently to undergo an enhanced DBS check.

At Rainbow Migration, we don’t just accept difference – we celebrate it, we support it, and we thrive on it. We’re proud to be an equal opportunity employer and we value diversity. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or disability status. We consider all qualified applicants, consistent with any legal requirements.

We welcome applications from candidates with lived experience of going through the UK asylum or immigration system and people of colour who are currently underrepresented among our staff. We will also interview all disabled applicants who meet the necessary criteria for this vacancy.

Salary: Starting at £34,000 with potential annual step increases up to £37,970 pro-rata for part-time employees), plus statutory employer’s pension contribution. In addition to an annual step increase, the trustees consider giving a separate inflationary increase every April.

Contract Type: Permanent.

Hours: Full-time (35 hours per week), part-time or job share. Please state in your application what hours you are looking to work. As mentioned above, we will also consider applications from people who do not want to do the policy and influencing and communications elements of the job, but to instead focus on first and second tier advice, this would then be a part time role only. Occasional evening work is required, and possibly at weekends, but with plenty of notice. Rainbow Migration encourages staff to maintain a good work life balance and has a TOIL system in place.

Annual Leave: 25 days per year rising after 24 months by 1 day after each year of service to maximum of 28 days per year (pro rata if working part-time).

Location: Remote or from Rainbow Migration’s offices in central London. You must be available to work from our offices in London for at least one day a week when face-to-face service delivery resumes, from which time there might also be occasional travel outside London with plenty of notice. At the time of posting this advert, all Rainbow Migration staff are working from home due to Covid-19.

Closing date: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but the first consideration of received applications will take place on 8 February 2022.

Interview date: Interviews will be scheduled on an ongoing basis in response to applications received.

More information: If you would like to speak with the recruiting manager to find out more, email us at [email protected] or call our main number on 020 7922 7812.

How to apply: Please read full Role description, email CVs, covering statement, and optional monitoring form to [email protected]. When writing your covering statement, please read the job description and person specification, and give examples of how you meet the person specification. In addition to what is on your CV, we want to hear about any relevant skills and experience that you feel we should know about when shortlisting candidates, including training, volunteering, interests and life experience.

The Free Movement blog was founded in 2007 by Colin Yeo, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers specialising in immigration law. The blog provides updates and commentary on immigration and asylum law by a variety of authors.