Just for Kids Law is recruiting for a Head of Strategic Litigation to join our busy dynamic and influential Legal Directorate which comprises solicitors, barristers and trainee solicitors working in the fields of Youth Justice (Crime), Education, Community Care, Immigration and Public Law.
Contract term: Permanent
Location: Central London
Hours: 0.8 FTE (28 hours per week)
Salary: £41,000 – 46,125 pro rata plus benefits (depending on experience in a directly equivalent role)
Probation period: 6 months
- 38 days annual leave (27 flexible days, plus 3 days Christmas Shutdown (for 1 FTE), plus all bank holidays)
- Flexible working & TOIL Scheme
- Workplace Pension plan: 5% matching following probation, 4% matching during probation
- Employee Assistance Programme
- Season ticket loan and cycle-to-work schemes
This is an exciting role and unique opportunity to lead Just for Kids Law’s strategic litigation team in an organisation which is outcome-driven and focused on strength-based practice and trauma-informed lawyering.
Just for Kids Law has led a number of successful child’s rights campaigns such as StillAChildat17, NoChildInCells and Child Spies, where a mixture of policy work, strategic cases and campaigning have led to significant legal changes, improving the rights of children and young people. We have acted in landmark Supreme Court cases concerning the disclosure of criminal records, the law on joint enterprise, and the rights of migrants to access higher education.
The team regularly intervenes in cases involving child rights issues, as well as taking cases in our own name, and on behalf of children or young people through our legal aid contracts. We take cases primarily in areas concerning youth justice, throughout England and Wales, and occasionally in other jurisdictions such as the European Court of Human Rights, and the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland.
Whilst most of our casework is legally aided, we have also used crowdfunding or grant funding to enable us to take challenges where legal aid is not available. The post holder will be expected to consider different funding models to allow the most effective challenges to be brought to court without financial risk to the organisation.
The post holder will need to supervise the public law contract, and therefore will need to have the requisite experience in public law to satisfy the legal aid agency criteria for public law supervisor. You will need to be sufficiently experienced and confident to manage a number of high-profile cases, as well as undertaking campaigning and policy work, which may involve public speaking, giving interviews to the media and speaking to politicians and key stakeholders.
The team comprises a trainee solicitor and a qualified 2-day-a-week solicitor in addition to the advertised role. You will therefore be required to manage two other people.
We support exceptionally vulnerable young people with complex needs, and you will need to be able to work with our vulnerable clients and encourage participation in the strategic cases. Just for Kids Law supports its legal practitioners through regular training which strengthens our child’s rights approach across the organisation and helps ensure that young people are fully engaged throughout the duration of their legal case. You will be expected to both undertake training and help run such training where appropriate.
The Legal Directorate works closely with our Programmes Directorate to provide holistic support for a range of needs and ensure that the young person’s voice is heard by the professionals supporting them. Our organisational model means that legal clients often access support from other parts of the organisation whilst their legal case is ongoing or after completion. You will work closely with the Youth Justice Legal Centre which promotes youth justice issues and trains professionals in areas of youth justice.
You will have the opportunity to contribute to organisational strategy and cross-organisational work through joint leadership with the senior management team. You will help implement best practices and strategy in the Legal Team by working with the 2 other Heads of Legal Practice and the Legal Director.
The successful candidate will be extremely motivated and able to work with a high degree of autonomy to produce high-quality work in a fast-paced environment.
- Respect and have an interest in working with children and young people and involving them in the work we do.
- A passion for social justice and law reform with a strong commitment to Children’s Rights.
- An energetic, self-motivated and organised individual who is prepared to throw themselves into the work of Just for Kids Law, work collaboratively and uphold our mission, vision and values
- Strategic and tactical thinker, who is able to consider the merits and risks of strategic cases and campaigns and advise the organisation about the pros and cons of an individual case or campaign.
- A competent and confident speaker who is willing and able to represent the organisation in our campaigning work.
- A sympathetic, supportive team leader, able to respond to their team’s needs and guide the team through the challenges of their role.
- Qualified solicitor or barrister, if barrister will need to have a litigation extension to practising certificate
- Eligible to supervise the public law contract
We are a dynamic charity working with and for children and young people to hold those with power to account and fight for wider reform. We do this by providing legal representation and advice, direct advocacy, and support, and through strategic litigation, campaigning, and equipping others to work for children’s rights.
Just for Kids Law believes in the value of a diverse workforce and encourages applications from people from all ethnic, cultural, religious, and social backgrounds: in particular, people from BAME, LGBTQI+ communities. We strive to create a diverse working environment where anyone, regardless of background, can thrive.
How to Apply
If you believe you could be the right person for this role, we would love to hear from you!
If you would prefer, you can return a completed application pack and equal opportunities monitoring form to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
CVs will not be accepted.
Interviews will be held in person at our offices as and when suitable candidates apply.
Unfortunately, we cannot give individual updates and feedback for unsuccessful applicants.
We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you are shortlisted, and have any particular access or other requirements, please contact Julie Bentley, Director of Finance and Resources, who will be pleased to discuss this with you.