Legal Aid Ontario employees are committed to making a difference in the lives of our clients.
As an integral partner in the Justice system, working at Legal Aid Ontario is more than just a job. It's an opportunity to help people who need it the most; to ensure each client receives the access to justice afforded to them under the law.
If you are looking for a new challenge in your already meaningful career with a team dedicated to justice, and innovation in a flexible and supportive work environment consider this opportunity below.
This position supports LAO’s Immigration Detention Representation Program (IDRP), managed out of the Refugee Law Offices in Hamilton and Toronto. This position reports to Management at RLO Hamilton.
The CLW position is responsible for supporting our detention litigation team in complex case files related to detention review hearings, systemic law reform, and strategic litigation files. This position requires working with exceptionally vulnerable clients who are predominantly Black and racialized and who live with serious mental health issues, addiction issues and histories of trauma. This position may also lead community outreach and development activities, and participation in public legal education initiatives. This position also supports intake and provides information about legal processes and community resources.
Primary Location: Hamilton Refugee Law Office
Secondary Location: Refugee Law Office, Toronto
Reports to: Manager, RLO - Hamilton
- Demonstrated ability to exercise the below job related tasks with an anti-oppressive and anti-racist lens towards clients, stakeholders, and colleagues
- Assist detention staff with complex client case files that would benefit from social work competence:
Work on detention review files to support counsel with communicating with clients in detention, canvassing alternative to detention (ATDs) options, and working on ATDs as per counsel’s instructions
Direct client facing work with exceptionally vulnerable clients who have complex and diverse needs related to histories of systemic racism, involvement with the criminal justice system, mental health, addiction and experiences of trauma
Contact and liaise with other service providers (physicians, interpreters, professionals, mental health workers, etc) to arrange appointments and supportive documentation for clients.
- Maintain casework including writing, research and client interviews that support individual client cases, strategic advocacy and community outreach activities
- Develop and implement and sometimes lead outreach, community development and education initiatives that support the IDRPs priorities related to law reform and litigation objectives
- Provide input and undertake law reform activities to address systemic issues in detention and other immigration and refugee matters
- Act as a resource person for Community Groups based on knowledge of client issues and concerns and IDRP operations
- Perform required file management activities related to individual client files and community and strategic advocacy files
- Provide guidance to staff on issues related to working with vulnerable clients or to staff who are new to the role or to the office
- Participate in professional developmental opportunities for the purposes of enhancing skills
- Any other relevant duties, which may be assigned from time to time
Required skills & experience
- Competence working with exceptionally vulnerable clients with complex and diverse needs
- Competence working with clients with serious mental health issues and histories of addiction and trauma
- Experience with conflict resolution and verbal de-escalation while exercising compassion, empathy, and a genuine desire to help people in crisis
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills for dealing with clients, paralegals, lawyers and external stakeholders with the proven ability to exercise sound judgment when encountering stressful situations
- Excellent written and oral skills
- Ability to work with minimal supervision, to multi-task and to work well under pressure in a collaborative environment
- Willingness to travel within and outside of the GTA
- Lived experience as an immigrant and/or within immigrant and refugee communities is an asset
- Ability to communicate in languages other than English is an asset.
- Knowledge of word processing and videoconferencing technologies, including MS Teams, Word, and Adobe PDF
Education & Job Knowledge:
- A degree in social work or the combined equivalent of education and experience
- Experience working with exceptionally vulnerable clients with histories of mental health issues, addiction and trauma
- Experience in client services either within LAO or other client/community legal services
- Knowledge of detention, immigration and refugee processes
- Knowledge of other stakeholders’/partner policies to ensure clients are handled efficiently by appropriate services
- Experience working with refugees, and/or refugee and immigrant organizations
- Knowledge of community based services available to detention clients with precarious immigration status including those with MH and addictions challenges
To apply submit a covering letter & résumé.
Only those candidates selected for an interview will be notified by email.
This position is collectively represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) and the successful incumbent will be governed by the provisions of a collective agreement and subject to union dues.
Please note that all applicants are encouraged to provide a valid email address for communication purposes. Applicants may receive written correspondence regarding this job posting directly to the email address provided on their resume or to the one used to set up their Candidate Profile if applying on Njoyn. As an applicant, it is your responsibility to ensure that you check your email regularly.
First time applying to LAO? You will need to create a profile AND then apply for the position.
Already have an Njoyn account? Just sign in and select "my jobs" to apply.
Once you have successfully applied you will receive a confirmation email.
Trouble applying? For telephone support please call 1-877-427-7717 or email support: [email protected]
Building a diverse workforce that represents the communities we serve while promoting a safe culture and work environment that dismantles systemic barriers, welcomes fresh perspectives and embraces differences as a priority is a core value at LAO. LAO encourages applicants from equity-seeking groups, including but not limited to individuals who are First Nations, Inuit or Métis, Black and racialized, as well as persons with disabilities, women and members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community.
We recognize the value of equity, diversity and inclusion and are committed to addressing systemic barriers, and prioritizing, attracting and retaining diverse staff. All interested and eligible people will be considered, with due consideration to all protected grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code.
Legal Aid Ontario values integrity, respect, responsiveness, excellence, independence, accountability, openness and consistency. Our recruitment process reflects our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. Accommodations are available throughout the recruitment process as well as during employment at LAO. Please direct any accommodation requests to our recruitment team.