About us

QAI’s mission is to promote, protect and defend, through advocacy, the fundamental needs and rights and lives of the most vulnerable people with disability in Queensland.

QAI is a specialist community legal service and disability advocacy organisation dedicated to the promotion, protection and defence of the fundamental needs and rights and lives of the most vulnerable people with disability in Queensland.

QAI provides legal services in mental health and human rights law and non-legal advocacy in NDIS appeals and decision support, education, Disability Royal Commission and criminal justice matters. We also publish and educate in our fields of expertise to empower clients and their supports to self-advocate, and consider law reform and challenging systems as one of our primary purposes.

About the role

QAI is looking for an experienced Paralegal to join our Mental Health Legal Service (MHLS) and Human Right’s Legal Service (HRLS) on a full-time basis. This role would suit a self-starter with initiative, who possesses high attention to detail and strong organisational skills and enjoys working in fast paced environments. The paralegal is integral to the smooth running of QAI’s MHLS and HRLS and supports the work of two full-time solicitors and QAI’s pro bono volunteer lawyers and students.

QAI offers competitive remuneration under the SCHADS Award, with remuneration commensurate with experience and includes advantageous salary sacrifice and flexible working arrangement options.

The position reports to and is supervised by the Principal Solicitors.

The functions of the role include:

  • Provide administrative support for QAI’s MHLS and HRLS
  • Open client files, including performing intake and taking initial client instructions, entry into the client management database, preparation of hard copy and electronic files and opening file correspondence
  • Manage the MHLS and HRLS solicitors’ calendars, including booking client advice appointments and court or tribunal matters
  • Manage QAI’s pro bono volunteer solicitor matters, including preparing briefs and liaising with clients and relevant stakeholders
  • Finalise and close client files, including liaising with the client and assistance with the preparation of final correspondence
  • Provide information and referral in relation to enquiries for assistance
  • Perform legal and practical research
  • Prepare submissions, court documents and correspondence under the supervision of the Principal Solicitors and MHLS/HRLS solicitors
  • Provide extended assistance to clients within the scope of QAI’s individual advocacy services as required
  • Keep and maintain QAI databases, client files and records in accordance with requirements of the Legal Profession Act, the National Association of Community Legal Centre’s Risk Management Guide and QAI’s Policies and procedures and in accordance with KPI’s established for QAI’s MHLS/HRLS
  • Participate in casework file reviews meetings
  • Participate in staff meetings, planning workshops and other meetings in connection with the operation of individual advocacy services and QAI
  • General office teamwork and assistance
  • Carry out any additional duties within the scope of the position as directed by the Principal Solicitors

    The successful applicant will be an experienced paralegal with at least (2) two years’ experience in a similar role who is able to meet the selection criteria.

    Selection criteria

    Essential:

    • Strong commitment to human rights, social justice and diversity
    • Experience as a paralegal, or experience in office administration in a legal environment
    • Strong computer competency and proficient in the use of Microsoft office including, word, excel and outlook
    • Attention to detail and highly developed organisational skills to identify priorities, manage workload, and maintain records within a resource-poor community legal service
    • Excellent interpersonal & verbal communication skills including the ability to communicate sensitively with clients and other people from diverse backgrounds
    • Excellent written skills, including ability to convey information in simple English
    • Good knowledge of the welfare and/or disability sector/s with understanding of what makes people vulnerable
    • Ability to work independently or collaboratively as part of a small team to achieve positive outcomes
    • Ability to work non-confrontationally, yet reason and argue assertively on important issues on behalf of people with disability
    • Ability to work with supervision and within organisational policy
    • Ability to exercise initiative and judgment within the sphere of work to plan, coordinate, implement and evaluate work in a strategic way

    Desirable:

    • Experience at a community legal centre in a similar role and/or CLASS
    • Experience working with people with mental health impairments or disability
    • Knowledge of the Mental Health Act 2016 (Qld), Human Rights Act 2019 (QLD) Guardianship and Administration Act 2000 (Qld), and related legislation

    Please send any questions addressed to the Principal Solicitors, Carly Dennis and Emma Phillips at QAI, 07 3844 4200 and/or email qai@qai.org.au using the subject line: Mental Health / Human Rights Legal Service Paralegal enquiry.

    Applications close 5pm, Tuesday 4 May, 2021. Applications after the closing date may be considered.

    Position description