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Legal Services

Solicitor, Cheltenham – 59187
£36,049 – £41,095
Cheltenham

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We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity.

Are you a Crime Solicitor within the Gloucestershire area?

If so, we have an exciting new opportunity for you to become part of our team.

You will be passionate about criminal law, have experience in providing advice and representation in courts and police stations and be able to run a varied caseload with minimal supervision.

We offer…

  • An excellent salary – salaries higher than the current band are available for the right candidate
  • Generous pension contributions and other Civil Service benefits
  • Flexible working
  • Comprehensive learning and development
  • A drive to provide the highest quality client care
  • The opportunity to be part of a friendly, supportive team
  • A chance to use your real-world experience to contribute to policy and reform initiatives affecting the Criminal Justice and Prison system.

The Public Defender Service

The Public Defender Service (PDS) is a department of the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) that operates alongside private providers delivering a full range of quality, value for money services within the criminal defence market.

Informed by its participation in the market, PDS contributes credible and expert advice to the government on service and policy development affecting the sector and acts as a test-bed for innovation and quality improvements.

PDS operations provide a critical safeguard against market failure across England and Wales, thereby ensuring the LAA fulfils its statutory responsibility to ensure continuous access to justice.

Job Summary

Provision of advice, assistance and representation to individuals subject to investigation or prosecution of a criminal offence.

Key Responsibilities

  • Provide a high volume of advice, assistance and representation to individuals subject to the investigation or prosecution of a criminal offence,
  • Be an effective team member who supports colleagues,
  • Contribute personally to the continuous improvement of PDS service and the development of PDS as a great place to work,
  • Provide expert input, as and when required, to various projects within the Agency and wider Government’.

Essential Criteria

  • Solicitor, Barrister or CFilex fully qualified to practice as a Solicitor in England and Wales with excellent practical knowledge of criminal law, evidence and procedure.
  • Effective communication skills and personal presence that enables rapport-building with criminal defence clients, a broad range of external stakeholders and with own team members and colleagues, with the ability to challenge police and other prosecution authorities in a manner that is effective, professional and in the best interests of the client.
  • Excellent advocacy skills and experience in preparing a range of cases to trial in both the Magistrates and Crown Courts, and, as a manager, the ability to supervise the legal work and legal service delivery of own team by applying PDS Standard Operating Procedures.
  • Personal resilience with a genuine commitment to personal care, to maintain mental and physical wellbeing of self and team members in a working environment that may present emotional and other challenges.
  • Commitment to the wider aims of the PDS to become an exemplar of best practice in criminal litigation and advocacy and its remit to act as a test-bed for innovation, increased efficiencies and quality improvements for the benefit of the wider criminal defence community.
  • Enthusiasm to engage with new technologies to enhance quality and create efficiencies based on sound IT skills (particularly Microsoft Office), and the willingness to self-create the majority of own documentation.
  • Ability and willingness to work flexibly including where appropriate during unsociable hours
  • Possession of a full driving licence and access to a motor vehicle, together with flexibility and preparedness to travel to cover cases across England and Wales if required.

Our commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

We are committed to diversity and inclusion and we positively promote flexible working, including job shares.

We will consider all applications on merit regardless of age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, religion, ethnicity, preferred working pattern and except for exceptional circumstances your working location.

As a Disability Confident organisation, we will offer a guaranteed interview to candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria for this role. Under the Equality Act 2010 a disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities which has lasted, or is expected to last, at least 12 months.

If you are responding to a role within the Legal Aid Agency and would like to be considered under the guaranteed interview, please ensure that you attach the Disability Confident Scheme Form when you return your application. You can use the same form to let the recruiting manager know of any reasonable adjustments you may require during the sift or later selection processes.

Assessment approach

Application and Assessment Process

The following behaviours will be assessed at the sift stage and must be demonstrated at level 3 – HEO/SEO.

Communicating and Influencing

Communicate in a straightforward, honest and engaging manner, choosing appropriate styles to maximise understanding and impact. Ensure communication has a clear purpose and takes into account people’s individual needs. Share information as appropriate and check understanding. Show positivity and enthusiasm towards work, encouraging others to do the same. Ensure that important messages are communicated with colleagues and stakeholders respectfully, taking into consideration the diversity of interests.

Working Together

Encourage joined up teamwork within own team and across other groups. Establish professional relationships with a range of stakeholders. Collaborate with these to share information, resources and support. Invest time to develop a common focus and genuine positive team spirits where colleagues feel values and respect one another. Consider the wellbeing of individuals within the team, including consideration of your own needs. Actively seek and consider input of people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Delivering at Pace

Follow relevant policies, procedures and legislation to complete your work. Have a positive and focussed attitude to achieving outcomes, despite any setbacks. Regularly check performance against objectives, making suggestions for improvement or taking corrective action where necessary. Ensure that colleagues are supported where tasks are challenging.

Interview / assessment Process

If you are successful at the application stage, you will be invited to an interview, via MS Teams.

As well as the above behaviours, strengths applicable to the role will also be assessed at interview.

If you would like more information on this opportunity, please contact pds.businessteam@justice.gov.uk

Salary

£36,049 - £41,095

Additional Information

Working Arrangements & Further Information

The MoJ offers Hybrid Working arrangements where business need allows. This is an informal, non-contractual form of flexible working that blends working from your base location, different MoJ sites and / or from home (please be aware that this role can only be worked in the UK and not overseas). Some roles will not be suitable for Hybrid Working. Similarly, Hybrid Working will not suit everyone’s circumstances. Arrangements will be discussed and agreed with the successful candidate(s) and subject to regular review.

For nationally advertised roles, the successful candidate(s) will be appointed to a MoJ office location, which may include their nearest Justice Collaboration Centre or Justice Satellite Office. This will be discussed and agreed on the completion of pre-employment checks.

Some of MoJ’s terms and conditions of service are changing as part of Civil Service reform. The changes will apply to staff joining MoJ who are new to the Civil Service. Staff joining MoJ from other civil service employers will transfer onto the new MoJ terms if they are already on ‘modernised’ terms in their current post or onto ‘unmodernised’ MoJ terms if they are on ‘unmodernised’ terms at their current post. Details will be available if an offer is made.

Flexible working hours

The Ministry of Justice offers a flexible working system in many offices.

Benefits

The MoJ offers a range of benefits:

Annual Leave

Annual leave is 25 days on appointment and will increase to 30 days after five years’ service.

There is also a scheme to allow qualifying staff to buy or sell up to three days leave each year. Additional paid time off for public holidays and 1 privilege day. Leave for part-time and job share posts will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.

Pension

The Civil Service offers a choice of pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.

Training

The Ministry of Justice is committed to staff development and offers an extensive range of training and development opportunities.

Networks

The opportunity to join employee-run networks that have been established to provide advice and support and to enable the views of employees from minority groups to be expressed direct to senior management. There are currently networks for employees of minority ethnic origin, employees with disabilities, employees with caring responsibilities, women employees, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

Support

  • A range of ‘Family Friendly’ policies such as opportunities to work reduced hours or job share.
  • Access to flexible benefits such as voluntary benefits, retail vouchers and discounts on a range of goods and services.
  • For moves to or from another employer or moves across the Civil Service this can have implications on your eligibility to carry on claiming childcare vouchers. You may however be eligible for alternative government childcare support schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. More information can be found on UKor Childcare Choices. You can determine your eligibility at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/.
  • Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave.
  • Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles. Should you feel that the recruitment process has breached the recruitment principles you are able to raise a formal complaint in the following order

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As a Disability Confident employer, MoJ are committed to providing everyone with the opportunity to demonstrate their skills, talent and abilities, by making adjustments throughout all elements of the recruitment process and in the workplace. MoJ are able to offer an interview to disabled candidates who meet the minimum selection criteria, except in a limited number of campaigns.

You will be able to request reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process within the application form. If you need additional help completing the application form, please contact the SSCL Recruitment Enquiries Team.

We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity.