Working in the Legal Aid Board
Clerical Officers in the Legal Aid Board carry out a range of duties which can vary with location and work assignment. They provide essential clerical and administrative support to the Board’s Solicitors and Mediators. They play an important part of often small teams in the Board’s service delivery officers around the country. They can fill many different roles across clerical support including but not limited to; drafting letters, collecting or giving factual information, making and checking calculations, preparing, scrutinising and verifying documents, statistics, records, etc. They are also the initial contact point for members of the public and can play a crucial role in informing the public about the Board’s services, and in directing them to other agencies that may be able to meet their needs.
Executive Officer grade is the entry level to junior management in the Civil Service. Executive Officers are engaged in critical analysis of proposals and reports and in examining the more complex, non-routine cases on which decisions are required. Executive Officers are involved in a wide range of roles and activities, including: Researching and drafting proposals relating to policy issues and legislation, responsibility for managing operations and, after some experience, large numbers of people and other resources, dealing directly with the public in support of services provided to them by the Board.
Family mediators provide a quality mediation service, in a timely and professional manner, for those clients of the Board wishing to pursue alternative dispute mechanisms rather than the legal route in respect of their legal problem. Supported by a regional manager, they submit progress reports on cases on a regular basis to their Regional Manager and co-operate with that Manager in the progressing of case files as well as adhering to the Board’s guidelines, procedures and policies for the delivery of quality mediation services.
Legal Clerks provide paralegal services to clients of the law centre under the supervision of a Solicitor/Managing Solicitor, having regard to any service delivery initiatives developed by the Board. They are required to show proactive management of case files in accordance with Board’s procedures, having full regard to the Board’s Risk Management Strategy, and full engagement and utilisation of the Board’s ICT case management systems.
Solicitor Grade IIIs provide a quality legal service to clients in a timely and professional manner with due regard to the procedures and guidelines set down by the Board. Family Law accounts for the majority of legal services provided by the Board but a solicitor grade III can also expect to be involved in public law childcare cases, legal services to minority groups, tort matters and cases involving vulnerable witnesses. There is ample opportunity to get involved in policy project work and working with external stakeholders to further the work of the Board in the provision of legal services to disadvantaged communities.
Managing Solicitors are responsible for the provision of a quality and timely legal service to applicants to whom legal advice and/or legal aid is granted by the Board, within the terms of the Civil Legal Aid Act, 1995 and the Civil Legal Aid Regulations. This involves the maximisation of throughput of cases consistent with the provision of a quality service, effective management of risk and performance in the law centre, laying an active and constructive role in the overall management of the organisation and in provision of high quality professional legal services in a cost effective manner. They lead a team of solicitors, paralegals and clerical staff.