Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law

Job Ad: Refugee Legal Support is recruiting for a Solicitor (Legal aid supervisor)


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This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced Immigration Solicitor to work on a project dedicated to increasing the capacity for legal representation within the sector by setting up a new, innovative legal aid casework service within RLS. We are looking for an experienced Solicitor to build RLS’s legal aid caseload, work on a small targeted caseload of their own, oversee the legal aid contract, and fulfil the LAA supervisor role for a new Immigration and Asylum legal aid contract.

We are particularly keen to hear from people who have both an interest in setting up new services and have current experience of running their own immigration and asylum publicly funded caseload.

  • Salary £35,000 – £41,000
  • Term Fixed term contract – 12 months
  • Place Central London (with some remote working)
  • Application closing date Monday, 1 May, 09:00 am (We will arrange interviews on a rolling basis and reserve the right to close the round earlier)
  • Starting date – As soon as possible, no later than 21 August 2023

About the role

This is an exciting opportunity for someone who wants to work in a collaborative environment with colleagues who share the same values and commitment to advancing migrant justice and working in solidarity with people on the move and those who support them.

This is a new post within RLS. The post is contingent on RLS being offered a Legal Aid Contract in the Immigration and Asylum Category in the current LAA tender round. The successful candidate will need to be in post by the 21st of August 2023.

About Refugee Legal Support

RLS is a registered charity (no. 1191680) in England and a non-profit company in Greece. We work in solidarity with people who migrate and those who support them. RLS has experienced tremendous growth in the past 2 years and we are going from strength to strength, striving to become further embedded in the communities we work with and to keep fighting individual and collective injustices.

Our mission is to advance safe migration through legal support, casework, strategic litigation, outreach, training and partnerships, and to advocate for the promotion and protection of people’s rights throughout the migration process. We support the global movement that fights entrenched inequalities, racism and other forms of discrimination that force people to migrate.

In doing so we recognise that immigration systems are weighted against those forced to migrate and stand in opposition to hostile policies, along with all forms of violence against people compelled to migrate.

Our charitable objectives are pursued through the delivery of programmes across Greece, the UK and Northern France. Our current work includes:

Family Reunion from Europe Project in London

Our dedicated team of caseworkers and volunteer lawyers from commercial law firm partners work on family reunion applications to the UK for applicants based in Europe and its borders post Brexit.

Afghan Pro Bono Initiative in London

Our Afghan Pro Bono Initiative is a well resourced legal advice and representation project in partnership with Safe Passage and 14 commercial law firms. The project aims to meet the advice needs of people fleeing Afghanistan and their families through advice, direct representation, and community engagement.

RLS Islands in Greece

After establishing our presence on the island of Lesvos in Greece, we are now in the process of developing our long-term strategy for our work there, related to the challenges facing people on the move on the islands of the Greek Eastern Aegean.

Athens Clinic, Greece

Our legal clinic in Athens was the RLS seed project. Operating since 2017, we have assisted more than 900 people with preparing for their asylum interviews and reunifying with loved ones all around Europe.

Calais outreach project

In Northern France we provide free and impartial legal information to people on the move and organisations working with them about the right to claim asylum, asylum procedures, and legal routes to the UK including family reunification.

Job purpose and responsibilities

This is a new role within RLS. The central objectives of this post are:

  • To contribute to setting up procedures and protocols for a new, innovative legal aid
    service within RLS to address the increasing shortfall in the legal representation
    available for the people RLS works with
  • Direct casework – a small targeted/strategic caseload (e.g., appeals of family reunion
    cases, pre-litigation steps and judicial reviews of non-appealable decisions, JRs and
    initial family reunion applications);
  • Casework supervision;
  • Liaison with migrant communities in London to promote closer working practices and to identify gaps in representation.

General duties:

  • Supervision and conduct of all RLS legal aid casework in the Immigration & Asylum category to the highest standards;
  • Together with the RLS Legal Director, identify developing immigration and asylum law issues / themes and develop strategic litigation in line with RLS’s mission;
  • Ensure LAA contract quality and financial compliance, including responsibility for oversight of LAA billing (both controlled and licenced work);
  • To act as RLS’s Quality Representative; and as result:
    • Be responsible for ensuring caseworkers and casework procedures are up to date and compliant with the LAA Contract;
    • Act as point of contact with the LAA; and
    • Overseeing any actions arising out of LAA audits, reviews or visits.
  • Comply with the OISC (and SRA) standards of regulation, professional conduct and ethics at all times.

Further specific duties:

Cases conduct & Client care

  • Obtain accurate information and instructions from clients, analyse the legal and practical aspects of their claims and obtain the necessary documents/evidence to provide preliminary advice on prospects of success/costs & funding;
  • Provide advice, casework, representation and advocacy services to clients directly;
  • Interview clients and witnesses, draft statements, prepare court bundles;
  • Brief counsel, attend conferences and court with counsel;
  • Analyse and advise on strategy, tactics, and how best to achieve the most successful outcome for each client according to the particular circumstances of their case;
  • Enable clients to make informed decisions based on advice on legal and other appropriate considerations e.g. costs, funding and risks of litigation;
  • Ensure the timely and effective deployment of others involved in the matter e.g. expert witnesses, counsel, cost draughtsmen;
  • Monitor all aspects of the case on behalf of the client and advise on whether subsequent developments affect views previously expressed;
  • Be aware of deadlines in all cases and adhere to time limits, to take necessary steps to protect the client’s position
  • Endeavour, where appropriate, to achieve settlement pre-litigation; otherwise to conduct litigation through to trial or earlier settlement and to deal with post trial/settlement considerations such as costs and enforcement proceedings, and to consider whether any decision should be appealed
  • Comply with the SRA and OISC standards of professional conduct and ethics at all times.
  • Deal with clients in a sensitive, professional and compassionate way
  • Identify clients’ objectives and seek to further them in a manner consistent with all professional and ethical obligations
  • Anticipate as well as respond to clients’ needs and demands.
  • Prepare and manage funding applications to the Legal Aid Agency
  • Maintain a full and orderly file with comprehensive attendance notes of all meetings, attendances and telephone calls

Supervision & Regulation

  • Comply with the LAA’s Case Involvement and Supervision Standards, including file reviews, compliance with the SQM and casework supervision;
  • Maintain such financial records and financial information as may be required by inter alia the LAA;
  • Conduct file reviews as per RLS’s Independent File Review procedure and SQM requirements;

Team work

  • Work effectively with other RLS legal and non-legal staff;
  • Attend and contribute to regular and incidental team meetings and discussions;
  • Maintain and develop excellent relationships with frontline agencies and grassroots groups to enable effective joint working;
  • Attend training internally and externally as agreed with the Legal Director and maintain and make available to RLS, a record of all training undertaken and CPD points obtained;
  • Deliver training for colleagues or externally as and when required;
  • Undertake other duties which may be regarded within the nature of the post, in discussion with the Legal Director.

Who we are looking for

RLS relies on the energy, skills and enthusiasm of people who share our vision and are drawn to striving together for change. If you share our values, ethos and objectives, and feel like you can contribute to RLS strategically and practically, we would love to hear from you.

Person specification – essential requirements

  • 5 years of experience as an immigration caseworker, paralegal or solicitor;
  • 3 years of experience in working in a legal aid provider environment;
  • Be a solicitor qualified in England & Wales;
  • Be IAAS accredited and hold an up to date accreditation (senior caseworker level);
  • Meet all the relevant Legal Aid Supervisor standards as specified in the 2018 standard civil contract here.
  • A dynamic and innovative self-starter;
  • A highly organised individual;
  • Fluent in English;
  • A strong commitment to upholding the human rights of people who migrate and people at risk;
  • The successful candidate will be required to obtain an enhanced DBS certificate (we cover the cost). However, a criminal record is not necessarily a barrier to recruitment but should be disclosed on application;
  • Have the right to work in the UK.

Person specification – desirable requirements

  • Experience of supervising immigration caseworker/s;
  • Knowledge of languages other than English;
  • Experience in setting up new services and advice projects;
  • Experience working in OISC regulated environments with a legal aid contract;
  • Experience of working with volunteers.

How to apply

Apply by sending your:

  • up-to-date CV and;
  • cover letter of no more than 500 words explaining why you would like to be considered for this role and how your experience and skills match the person specification. Please ensure that you state your preferred starting date and notice period if applicable.

Send your Cover Letter and CV by email to Efi (she/her) at stathopoulou@refugeelegalsupport.org no later than 1 May 2023 (9 am BST) stating “Legal Aid Supervisor Vacancy” in the subject line of your email.

We will arrange interviews on a rolling basis and reserve the right to close the round earlier.

If you do not hear from us within two weeks of the closing date, this will mean that on this occasion your application has now been successful. Please do feel free to apply again for any future positions which may be of interest. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an in-person interview in Central London.

Privacy note

Any data requested will be used for recruitment purposes only; to screen candidates and judge their suitability to progress to interview. RLS will not share the data with other organisations for marketing or any other purposes. Your personal data will be retained by RLS as long as it is necessary to evaluate your application. All personal data will be treated in confidence and will be deleted after the conclusion of the recruitment process unless you wish to withdraw your candidacy at an earlier stage and would like us to erase your personal data at the same time. Data collected in the UK is held in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and the UK Data Protection Act 2018. You have the right to request a copy of data we hold on you, to rectify your data and to restrict processing of your data. For any further information on our privacy policy, email coordinator.uk@refugeelegalsupport.org .
We value equality and diversity in our organisation, and strive to build a team reflective of the communities we work in. We welcome applications from everyone regardless of age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, faith, or disability. People with refugee or asylum-seeking backgrounds are experts by experience and are particularly encouraged to apply.

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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.