82363 - Trainee Solicitors, Cheltenham, Darlington, Merthyr Tydfil, Swansea

£27,223 - £28,613
6
12 Months
North East, South West, Wales
Cheltenham , Darlington , Merthyr Tydfil , Swansea
CHELTENHAM REGENT HOUSE LAA PDS CHELTENHAM, LAA Stephenson House, FLR 3, DL1 4WB, LAA Swansea Civic Centre FLR 3, SA1 3SN, LAA Welsh Government Office, Merthyr Tydfill FLR 2, CF48 1UZ
EO
EO
Fixed Term
up to 3 years
Full Time
Legal Services

Job Title:  Trainee Solicitor

Contract Type:  Fixed Term

Grade:  EO

Starting salary range:  £27,223 – £28,613

Location:  Cheltenham, Darlington, Merthyr Tydfil, Swansea 

Directorate/Team:  Public Defender Service

Working Pattern:  The post is supported by the MOJ flexible working policy and includes colleagues who work flexibly, remotely, part time or as part of a job share etc.

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.

Key purpose of this role

As a Trainee Solicitor, you will commence a training programme designed to enable you to provide legal advice and representation in the Police Station, Magistrates’ and Crown Court.

Job Summary

Successful candidates will be required to complete the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE)1 and SQE2 preparation course, and pass the Police Station Qualification (PSQ), SQE1 and SQE2 examinations. The designated period of qualifying work experience must also be signed off by a qualified solicitor.

Key Responsibilities:

Undertake training in order to conduct the following unaided:

  • progressing legal cases from arrest through to sentence;
  • taking instructions from clients, drafting statements and preparing attendance notes;
  • develop and advise on relevant options, strategies and solutions;
  • undertake police station representation (including active participation in our out of hours scheme);
  • legal research and analysis of casework;
  • negotiation, drafting, communicating orally and in writing;
  • undertake effective spoken and written advocacy;
  • establishing and maintaining effective and professional relationships with clients and other people;
  • plan, manage and progress legal matters and transactions;
  • initiate, plan, prioritise and manage work activities to ensure that they are completed efficiently, on time and to an appropriate standard;
  • keep, use and maintain accurate, complete and clear records

Essential Criteria:

  • excellent Microsoft Word and Excel skills;
  • outstanding customer service and communication skills;
  • experience of following processes, meeting deadlines and producing high quality work;
  • organisational skills, including the ability to multitask;
  • attention to detail;
  • motivated and able to work as a team and individually;
  • a full driving licence

Essential Qualifications:

You will need:

  • A minimum of a 2:1 in a qualifying law degree[1] or
  • A minimum of a 2:1 undergraduate degree in a non-law subject (or overseas equivalent in any subject) and a minimum of a pass in a GDL/PGDL/CPE (law conversion course) that covers the foundational topics[2]), or
  • Equivalent qualifications (such as ILEx/CILEx) that cover the foundational topics[3]

[1] The qualifying law degree must be compliant with the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) subject benchmark statement for law and cover the following seven foundational topics of legal knowledge

[2] Criminal Law, Equity and Trusts, Law of the European Union, Obligations 1 (Contract), Obligations 2 (Tort), Property/Land Law and Public Law (Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and Human Rights Law)

[3] See point 2 above

Your benefits with us

  • After approximately one year of training, providing you achieve competence in certain areas and pass the PSQ you will progress to a HEO role (with the associated increase in pay). Upon successful completion of the full training programme, you will be a fully qualified solicitor.

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

To be eligible for this role, you must evidence that you have completed the above essential qualifications.

You will be required to submit a statement of suitability for the role and demonstrate the following behaviours at level 2 – EO:

Seeing the Big Picture

Understand how your work and the work of your team supports wider objectives and meets the diverse needs of stakeholders. Keep up to date with the issues that affect your work area. Take a keen interest in expanding knowledge in areas related to your work. Focus on overall goals and not just specific tasks to meet priorities.

Developing Self and Others

Identify gaps in own and team’s skills and knowledge. Set and consistently meet development objectives. Seek learning opportunities. Support the development plans of all colleagues, recognising how diversity of experience/background can help to build an inclusive team culture. Consider the contributions of all team members and delegate work to aid the learning and development of all. Encourage and listen to developmental feedback from colleagues.

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, abilities and 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

The job holder must be able to fulfil all spoken aspects of the role with confidence in English or (when specified in Wales) Welsh.

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.

MoJ candidates who are on a specialist grade, will be able to retain their grade on lateral transfer.

All candidates who are currently in receipt of Mark Time / Pay Protection should ensure they are familiar with the new policy on permanent and temporary promotion which can be found on the employee intranet.

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 GOV.UK or 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.

Expected March 2024

26/02/2024, 23:55 hours.

If you require any assistance please call 0345 241 5359 (Monday to Friday 8am - 6pm) or e mail Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@gov.sscl.com 

Please quote the job reference - 82363.

To apply for roles in MOJ you will need to confirm your employment history for at least 3 years prior to the date of application so that pre-employment checks (BPSS) can be undertaken. If you have spent significant time abroad (a total of 6 months in the past 3 years) you would be required to give a reasonable account of the reasons why. 

For some roles you will be required to successfully complete National Security Vetting at Counter Terrorism (CTC), Security Clearance (SC) or Developed Vetting (DV) level as a condition of appointment. To meet CTC/SC/DV requirements you will normally need to have been resident in the UK for at least 3/5/10 years prior to the date of application (The level of checks that are required are stated in the advert).

If you do not meet the above requirements, you may still be considered if, for example:

  • You've been serving overseas with HM Forces or in some other official capacity as a representative of HM Government
  • You were studying abroad
  • You were living overseas with parents

In such cases you will need to be able to provide referee cover for the period(s) of residence overseas. The duration of overseas residence and the country of abode will also be taken into account.

Success Profiles will enable a fairer and more inclusive method of recruitment by enabling us to assess the range of experiences, abilities, strengths, behaviours and technical/professional skills required for different roles. This flexible approach to recruitment focuses more on finding the right candidate for the specific role. To find out more about Success Profiles to support your application please click here for further guidance.

if you feel that your application has not been treated in line with the Civil Service Recruitment Principles, please contact SSCL (Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@gov.sscl.com) in the first instance

We have provided detail of the assessment stages and areas being assessed to help you prepare for completing your application form, and to advise of what will be assessed following this, if you successfully pass the application stage.


Application form stage assessments

Behaviours
Developing Self and Others - 500 word limit
Seeing the Big Picture - 500 word limit
Experience
CV
Statement of Suitability - 1250 word limit
A sift based on the lead behaviour, Developing Self and Others, may be held if a large number of applications are received. If a large number of applications remain after the initial sift, your application will be progressed to a full sift, where all behaviours will then be considered.

Interview stage assessments

There is 1 interview stage for this vacancy.
Abilities
Written exercise to assess analytical skills and decision-making
Behaviours
Developing Self and Others
Seeing the Big Picture
Strengths may also be assessed at interview but these are not shared in advance.

A Great Place to Work for Veterans

The "Making the Civil Service a Great Place to work for veterans" initiative includes a guaranteed interview scheme to those who meet the minimum criteria to provide eligible former members of the Armed Forces with opportunities to secure rewarding jobs. Allowing veterans to continue to serve their country, and to bring highly skilled individuals with a broad range of experience into the Civil Service in an environment, which recognises and values your previous service in the Armed Forces.
For further details about the initiative and eligibility requirements visit : https://www.gov.uk/government/news/making-the-civil-service-a-great-place-to-work-for-veterans

Redeployment Interview Scheme

Civil Service departments are expected to explore redeployment opportunities before making an individual redundant. The MoJ are committed, as part of the Redeployment Interview Scheme, to providing opportunities to those who are 'at risk of redundancy'.

MoJ are able to offer an interview to eligible candidates who meet the minimum selection criteria, except in a limited number of campaigns. Candidate's will not be eligible for the Redeployment Interview Scheme if they are applying on promotion.

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

· UK nationals

· nationals of the Republic of Ireland

· nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK

· nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities with settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window) https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families

· nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities who have made a valid application for settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)

· individuals with limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain who were eligible to apply for EUSS on or before 31 December 2020

· Turkish nationals, and certain family members of Turkish nationals, who have accrued the right to work in the Civil Service

Further information on nationality requirements (opens in a new window) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nationality-rules

This Vacancy is closed to applications.