Justice First Fellowship Training Contract, January 2020

The Justice First Fellowship Scheme was established by the Legal Education Foundation to support the next generation of students committed to public interest and social justice issues who want to pursue a career in social welfare law.

We are thrilled to announce that the Greater Manchester Law Centre are able to offer a training contract over 2 years, as a host organisation for the Justice First Fellowship scheme.

Applicants will need to have passed the Legal Practice Course (LPC) prior to applying for this role. The training contract will last for two years, and will commence in January 2020.

Closing date for applications is 16th September.

Apply using the application form here.

The Greater Manchester Law Centre

We have been open to the public for three years, providing a welcoming face-to-face service and legal advice. Young social welfare lawyers have few places to practise. The people most in need of legal representation are least likely to be able to find – or afford – a lawyer. We are committed to developing a new generation of social welfare lawyers and welcome the exciting opportunity to train a JFF trainee solicitor from January 2020.

But while we work with individuals, we have to challenge the policies which produce the hardships they and many others are facing in the first place. That is why we set out our purpose in our recently launched manifesto “Fighting Together for Free Access to Justice”promoting both challenges to government policy and improvements to advice and representation needed to make legal aid a reality and to empower those who are most affected.

Any questions regarding this organisation or the position should be directed to KathleenCosgrove@gmlaw.org.uk

Closing date for applications is 16th September.

Apply using the application form here.

Job Description

Purpose of the post

The main purpose of this post is to provide the opportunity to successfully complete a Training Contract with Greater Manchester Law Centre (GMLC) in order to qualify as a solicitor, and in doing so enhance our capacity to advise and represent people in their housing, welfare beneits, and public law cases.

The post carries with it the opportunity to identify a project which will develop an area of work with the aim of increasing access to justice. This may include an area that has been removed from scope of legal aid and where ‘access to justice’ for those most affected has been undermined. It can also involve the opportunity to work with other voluntary organisations.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. To assist in the conduct of housing, social welfare, and public law cases;
  2. To develop a case-load of cases that are both in and outside of the scope of our legal aid contracts;
  3. To conduct casework and maintain records in accordance with agreed office practice;
  4. To carry out research in relation to case-work and wider legal/social welfare issues;
  5. To liaise and work together with referring organisations and volunteers;
  6. To keep up-to-date with developments and changes in housing, social welfare, public and human rights law;
  7. To actively contribute towards GMLC’s campaigning work;
  8. To develop a project that aims to increase access to justice and demonstrates the need for free, face to face legal advice and representation.


  1. To be self-servicing, including typing, photocopying and maintaining accurate and up to date records;
  2. To attend staff meetings and training sessions;
  3. To provide information and reports on work undertaken to the solicitor(s) with supervising responsibilities;
  4. To carry out all duties with due regard to equality and challenging discrimination
  5. To carry out all duties with due regard to health and safety, data protection, and all GMLC policies
  6. To carry out other duties which are commensurate with the duties of and responsibilities within this job description as directed by the supervising Solicitor, or Director.

Closing date for applications is 16th September.

Apply using the application form here.

Person Specification

The items listed below are not in the order of importance.

1.1 Have good interpersonal skills:-

  1. be able to communicate effectively in English verbally and in writing to a varied group of people
  2. have good listening skills and be able to comprehend verbal information
  3. be co-operative and a supportive member of a team
1.2 Be adaptable and able to work in a busy environment and work well under pressure
1.3 Be able to manage assigned tasks in an efficient and timely manner
1.4 Be able to conduct casework and organise and maintain case files
1.5 Be able to use case management systems
1.6 Be able to research different areas/ new points law and maintain an up to date knowledge of housing, welfare benefits and public law.
1.7 Be able to develop new ideas and relationships with different organisations
1.8 Be able to act as advocate at Tribunal/ Court hearings
1.9 Be able to prepare written reports for a variety of audiences
1.10 Be able to develop training material and to deliver training/presentations
2.1 Have an interest in (essential) and working knowledge of (desirable) social welfare, housing and public law/human rights law and practice
2.2 Have an interest in (essential) and working knowledge of (desirable) working within the Legal Aid or voluntary advice sector
2.5 Have an understanding of equal opportunities and anti discriminatory principles and be able to apply them when dealing with clients and colleagues (essential)
3.1 Experience of conducting advice work/ casework (desirable)
3.2 Experience of resolving housing/social welfare legal issues (desirable)
3.3 Experience of working with clients in crisis (desirable)
Experience of working together with other organisations and/or campaigning (desirable)
4 QUALIFICATIONS (It is essential that the candidate has successfully completed the LPC)
4.1 A high standard of academic achievement and preferably a 2:1 or better at degree level (desirable)
4.2 LPC at commendation level or better (desirable)
5.1 Have a commitment to the principles set out in the GMLC manifesto (essential)
5.3 Willingness to work in line with GMLC’s confidentiality policy (essential)
5.4 Willingness to operate procedures as set down in the GMLC Quality manual (essential)
5.5 Be able and willing to work occasional evenings and weekends (desirable)
5.7 Willingness to undertake a DBS check (essential)

Candidates will be assessed against the person specification using the essential criteria. If the resulting short list produces too many candidates views then those on the list will be reassessed using both essential and non essential criteria.

Read more about the Justice First Fellowship here

Read more about other aspiring social welfare lawyers at GMLC here

Closing date for applications is 16th September.

Apply using the application form here.