Poverty Law Advocate with the Upper Skeena Counselling & Legal Assistance Society

Job Title: 
Poverty Law Advocate
Upper Skeena Counselling & Legal Assistance Society
Jul 15 2018 - 5:00pm

The position is for 35 hours per week with 80% of time devoted to direct client service.


Commensurate with experience.

Job Description: 

This program provides legal information, support, referrals and advocacy services for residents of the Hazelton area who have difficulty accessing timely and appropriate assistance due to barriers such as poverty, disability, language, and literacy problems.

This is a full time term position for one year. The advocate will work directly with clients to educate them about their legal rights, explain options for legal problem solving and, where appropriate, assist them with dispute resolution and/or represent them at hearings before boards and tribunals. The advocate will also promote awareness of the legal advocacy program and its activities.

Skills and Qualities Required: 

Reports To: Managing Lawyer
Skills and Qualities Required:
• Post secondary education in social sciences, law, counseling, criminology or other relevant qualification
• Legal or paralegal training
• Knowledge of and experience with the justice system
• Interest and background in variety of areas of law, particularly as they apply to people living in poverty
• Aptitude for working effectively with disadvantaged clients including: those with mental, cognitive and physical disabilities; those with low income; those whose first language is not English or who have literacy problems; victims of abuse; seniors
• Strong communications skills including ability to identify hidden issues
• Awareness of and sensitivity towards cultural influences within the diverse Hazelton area community
• Alternative dispute resolution training an asset
• Ability to work within USCLAS mission statement and policies
• Knowledge of local community resources (or how to find them)
• Interest in public legal education
• Good English with fluency in a second language an asset
• Ability to work independently, take initiative and at the same time function as part of a team
• Willingness to accept supervision
• Strong record keeping and administrative skills including ability to keep reliable and accurate notes of client and other case contacts
• Ability to manage confidential information in accordance with Law Society standards and USCLAS Confidentiality Agreement
• Strong oral and written communication skills
• Highly organized
• Strong ability to learn quickly
• Strong interpersonal skills and ability to deescalate crisis situations
• Computer literacy – including Outlook, Word and Excel
• Ability to adhere to legal and ethical obligations regarding clients and client records
• Understanding of poverty, oppression and the impact of colonization on Indigenous people and
• have a non-judgmental attitude towards people in poverty or who are otherwise oppressed
• Exhibit tact and diplomacy
• Ability to work independently in a stressful environment
• Valid driver’s license and a vehicle available for work

Duties and Responsibilities: 

• Provide legal information on poverty law issues to people in need
• Consult with managing lawyer on regular basis for advice on case management
• Interview clients by phone or in person and identify their legal issue(s)
• Facilitate their access to other community resources as appropriate
• Assess legal merits of case and identify and research law relevant to client issues
• Offer clients knowledgeable and prompt legal information and procedural guidance to assist them with prioritizing options
• Prepare and provide self help materials as appropriate
• When needed and within limits of available time, negotiate on clients’ behalf with other parties such as landlords and government agencies
• Write letters and legal submissions on clients’ behalf
• Attend hearings and meetings to present clients’ cases
• Prepare witnesses if needed

• Prepare and facilitate public legal education workshops for the Hazelton community to complement existing services already provided by USCLAS staff
• Attend legal education workshops and seminars for professional development
• Liaise with and assess needs of community groups
• Participate in community development projects such as conferences or forums on poverty law as time permits

• Maintain and manage accurate and timely documentation for each client file and for the program caseload as a whole
• Maintain an organized and systematic bring forward system of important dates and deadlines.
• Keep the society updated with new resource materials providing information about statutes and regulations relevant to clients’ concerns and issues.
• Assist with the development of policies and procedures designed to deliver professional legal services of high standard
• Write regular reports as required by the BC Law Foundation, the program’s funder
• Maintain regular communications with the USCLAS Managing Lawyer regarding open files, procedural, and legal issues.
• Train and supervise volunteers if applicable

How to Apply: 

P.O. Box 130, Hazelton, BC V0J 1Y0
TEL: (250) 842-5218 TOLL FREE: (877) 842-5218 FAX: (250) 842-5987 lindalocke5 [at] msn [dot] com


Hazelton, BC