Principal Lawyer & Legal Service Designer

Application closes 15th August 2021.

Position type: Full-time (one-year contract with a view to become permanent full-time, 0.8FTE for the right candidate) | Salary: $70,000 - $100,000 (pro rata) + super + salary packaging | Start Date: ASAP

Leadership Team
The opportunity

Scale the social impact of a not-for-profit legal practice by leading its Legal Services Team and building out its offering for vulnerable Australians through a unique service delivery model.

  • Become a part of an entrepreneurial, compassionate team motivated by its vision of a world where everyone can access justice.
  • Contribute to developing efficient, scalable legal services by leveraging technology and law students
  • Innovate how services are provided in the legal assistance sector.
  • For a more detailed description of the role, see ‘The Long Story’ at the end of this position description.

Why we exist

There is an unmet need for legal assistance

Each year, over 600,000 Australians cannot access the legal assistance they need. And even those who are able to access legal assistance can struggle, with legal services commonly delivered in ways that can be difficult for regular people to understand.

What we do

We provide free, online legal assistance to people who can’t access it

We are a registered charity and social enterprise that envisions a world where everyone can access justice. We work towards our vision by providing free legal assistance to the community through an online platform, which is powered by law students seeking practical legal opportunities through paid university programs.

Learn more about our team, how Anika works, and our organisation.

Key responsibilities

The Principal Lawyer & Service Designer will join Anika’s Leadership Team, lead Anika’s Legal Services team, and expand its service offering.

  • Managing Anika’s legal practice as Principal Lawyer and ensuring its compliance with legislative/case developments.
  • Signing off on legal advice as Anika’s sole lawyer (working with 3 other full-time employees - our CEO, Head of Operations, and Head of Partnerships & Philanthropy).
  • Supervising our Paralegals, who are law students.
  • Managing and continuing to build out the volunteer Legal Services team.
  • Contribute to the development of new service offerings by leading the service expansion strategy, process mapping & optimisation, developing the client and student-facing service materials.
  • Working with the Leadership Team to create and implement organisational strategy, and foster Anika’s culture.
  • Doing whatever the organisation requires - important, unforeseeable jobs pop up often in a startup! Like all employees you must be willing to step out of your role to best support the team.
Who are we looking for?

You are a driven self-starter who’s eager for adventure, responsibility, and likes challenging the way things are done. You’ll also have a strong sense of social justice, the essential qualifications and some of the advantageous qualities.

Essential qualifications:

  • Have/are able to obtain a principal lawyer practicing certificate in Victoria
  • 3+ years of experience working as a lawyer

Advantageous qualities:

  • A courageous, growth mindset - you enjoy stepping out of your comfort zone and learning to do challenging things you’ve never done before
  • Entrepreneurial and innovative - you embrace doing things differently, and can take off the ‘lawyer hat’ to challenge the way legal services are traditionally provided
  • An interest in mentoring law students to foster a more socially conscious next generation of lawyers
  • Startup-ready - you are pragmatic, determined, and like getting things done
  • You have an interest in developing the following skills:
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Legal operations
    • Process mapping and UX/service design
    • Cross-functional and Agile ways of working
  • Non-legal commercial experience
  • Experience practising in the legal assistance sector, especially tenancy, consumer debt or employment
How to apply

Send us your CV and a little bit about yourself

To apply for this role, fill out this form which will ask you to upload your CV and answer a few questions about yourself. Do not submit your application by email - these will not be considered.

If you have further queries about the role, contact Noel Lim (CEO) at [email protected]

The long story

Anika Legal is a legal-tech startup at the beginning of its journey to change the way legal assistance is delivered.

The problem

Every year, 600,000 Australians don’t get the legal help they need. And each year, more and more of these people who slip through the cracks of the legal system look for online services to provide ongoing assistance and solve their legal problems. Anika’s service delivery model provides legal assistance differently, helping these people access the justice they’d otherwise be denied.

The solution

Anika is changing the way legal assistance is delivered by offering clients free, online legal advice and casework for the most common legal problems. In our first two years we have launched three services which help renters get repairs performed in their homes, to negotiate rent reductions for those financially impacted by COVID-19, and to stay in safe, secure homes if they were being evicted for rent arrears. We helped our clients by providing them with legal advice, negotiating with their landlord on their behalf, and helping them prepare to self-represent at VCAT (though it rarely ever gets that far).

How are we different?

According to the 200+ clients Anika assisted in the last 12 months, the best things about the service were the personalised support from a real human talking them through each step, and our fast turnaround times. Providing our services to this many clients is possible with a single lawyer because of the online platform and the practical legal education programs for law students that we have developed, which greatly increases the capacity of our principal lawyer.

How do we do it?

Our practical legal education programs ensure that law students are well-equipped with our proprietary resources to communicate with clients and draft legal letters to clients and the other side with minimal errors. The high accuracy of student work means the Principal Lawyer can review their work with confidence and service large amounts of clients hyper-efficiently to maximise Anika’s impact.

The online platform streamlines the experience for clients, students and the Principal Lawyer, allowing all three stakeholders to contribute to this process with minimal friction. All three stakeholders can do what they need to do anywhere, any time, with the ‘busy work’ automated.

Together, the practical legal education programs and online platform are the ‘product’ that, released one at a time, enables Anika to reach the growing cohort of clients who need online, ongoing assistance, and service them at scale.

Looking forward

Currently all of our services are in the tenancy space, but our vision doesn't stop there. The next steps of our journey involve expanding beyond tenancy and continuing to help resolve the most common legal problems experienced by vulnerable Australians. To do that, we’ll need to develop more innovative services and build out our Legal Services team to meet the needs of those 600,000 Australians.

This role is about more than providing high quality legal assistance. It’s about leading the development of innovative products, a unique service delivery model, and a team to operate it, so that we can change the way legal assistance is delivered and accelerate us towards a world where everyone can access justice.

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