London, Greater London (On-site)
£34,000 - £37,970 per year (pro rata for part-time employees), plus statutory employer’s pension contribution.
Permanent, Part-time, Full-time (35 hours per week), part-time or job share., Full-time
Job description

Rainbow Migration, the leading UK charity supporting LGBTQI+ people through the asylum and immigration system, are recruiting a Legal Officer to advise and help improve the representation of LGBTQI+ people seeking asylum, and help change the asylum and immigration system to one that treats everyone with compassion, dignity and respect. Our last Legal Officer won Solicitor of the Year – In-house at the Law Society Awards in 2021, and has written about his experience in the role here. We are looking for someone with the similar passion for helping LGBTQI+ people secure leave to remain / equality and human rights to develop their skills and specialist expertise with us.

Founded in 1993, Rainbow Migration has recently been through a period of rapid growth. This is an exciting time to join the organisation as we prepare to develop a new organisational strategy.

We are looking for a qualified solicitor or barrister (authorised to practice without a supervising solicitor in a legal advice centre) with valid practising certificate, or already accredited to Level 3 OISC with two years’ experience in providing advice and representation in asylum including working in legal aid (see further requirements in person specification).

You will be responsible for the day-to-day delivery of the legal advice service. Under the guidance of our Legal and Policy Director, you will also build capacity amongst legal representatives by designing and delivering training, giving second tier advice and developing and coordinating a network of practitioners working in this area. You will use the knowledge you gain in this role to help deliver Rainbow Migration’s policy work, including attending meetings with policy makers and campaign partners when required.

We will also consider applications from people who do not want to do the policy and influencing and communications elements of the job, but to instead focus on first and second tier advice, this would then be a part time role only. Please mention in your covering letter if you are applying for this option.

This is a unique opportunity to build on your experience as a lawyer or caseworker to improve representation across the sector and create change in government policy and practice. You will be supported to develop as a specialist lawyer and influencer.

You will:

  • Deliver Rainbow Migration’s legal advice service to adult LGBTQI+ people seeking asylum by giving one-off advice and working with support services colleagues to refer them to quality legal aid and pro bono lawyers.
  • Provide occasional casework assistance e.g. helping to prepare witness statements, making referrals to other specialist organisations and taking other urgent steps (whilst not representing service users or maintaining a caseload).
  • Provide occasional advice (within competence) on other issues affecting asylum and partnership service users such as asylum support, legal aid, trafficking, family reunion or community care.
  • Deliver second tier advice to the legal representatives of LGBTQI+ people seeking asylum and other charities and professionals.
  • Work with the Legal and Policy Director to design and deliver training to lawyers, NGOs and other professionals.
  • Coordinate a network of caseworkers and lawyers representing LGBTQI+ people seeking asylum.
  • Write blogs and articles on asylum and immigration policy and legislation as they apply to LGBTQI+ people.
  • Help write policy and briefing papers.
  • Occasionally attend meetings with other charities, Home Office policy makers and other stakeholders when required.

The Legal Officer will not be providing direct legal representation of service users. However, the role includes substantive advice and casework within the scope of legal support and referrals for our clients, as well as merits testing and second tier advice.

Owing to the nature of the work giving immigration advice to vulnerable adults including people in detention, the successful applicant will be required at the point of conditional job offer to disclose all spent and unspent criminal records and subsequently to undergo an enhanced DBS check. See our website for more information.

At Rainbow Migration, we don’t just accept difference – we celebrate it, we support it, and we thrive on it. We’re proud to be an equal opportunity employer and we value diversity. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or disability status. We consider all qualified applicants, consistent with any legal requirements. 

We welcome applications from candidates with lived experience of going through the UK asylum or immigration system and people of colour who are currently underrepresented among our staff. We will also interview all disabled applicants who meet the necessary criteria for this vacancy.

Salary: Starting at £34,000 with potential annual step increases up to £37,970 pro-rata for part-time employees), plus statutory employer’s pension contribution. In addition to an annual step increase, the trustees consider giving a separate inflationary increase every April. 

Contract Type: Permanent.

Hours: Full-time (35 hours per week), part-time or job share. Please state in your application what hours you are looking to work. As mentioned above, we will also consider applications from people who do not want to do the policy and influencing and communications elements of the job, but to instead focus on first and second tier advice, this would then be a part time role only. Occasional evening work is required, and possibly at weekends, but with plenty of notice. Rainbow Migration encourages staff to maintain a good work life balance and has a TOIL system in place.

Annual Leave: 25 days per year rising after 24 months by 1 day after each year of service to maximum of 28 days per year (pro rata if working part-time).

Location: Remote or from Rainbow Migration’s offices in central London. You must be available to work from our offices in London for at least one day a week when face-to-face service delivery resumes, from which time there might also be occasional travel outside London with plenty of notice. At the time of posting this advert, all Rainbow Migration staff are working from home due to Covid-19.  

Closing date: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but the first consideration of received applications will take place on 8 February 2022.

Interview date: Interviews will be scheduled on an ongoing basis in response to applications received.

More information: If you would like to speak with the recruiting manager to find out more, email us at the email address on the job description or call our main number which you will find on our website.

How to apply: Please email CVs, covering statement, and optional monitoring form to the email address on the job description. When writing your covering statement, please read the job description and person specification, and give examples of how you meet the person specification. In addition to what is on your CV, we want to hear about any relevant skills and experience that you feel we should know about when shortlisting candidates, including training, volunteering, interests and life experience. You can find the job descripton and monitoring form on our website as well.

We offer a guaranteed interview scheme for anyone considered as disabled under the Equality Act 2010 (physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ effect on your ability to do normal daily activities), providing such candidates meet the essential criteria. If you wish to qualify under this scheme, please make this clear in your statement.

Please also indicate in your statement if you are applying for full-time or part-time position, and if the latter what days/hours you can commit to.

By submitting an application, you:

  1. Confirm that you have the right to work in the UK and will produce the necessary documentation if you are offered this post.
  2. Declare that to the best of your knowledge and belief, the information provided with your application is true and correct and that you understand that any false information or statement given will justify the dismissal from Rainbow Migration if appointed.

Privacy Notice: Your privacy and data protection

In order to recruit and manage staff, Rainbow Migration needs to store personal information (data) about all applicants. Rainbow Migration is registered as a “controller of personal data” under the Data Protection Act 2018 with the Information Commissioner. By applying for this role, you agree that we will keep the information on your CV and covering statement. Monitoring information is kept separately and is pseudonymised to avoid identification of applicants. Monitoring information is amalgamated for statistical purposes and the original data then destroyed. Rainbow Migration keeps all personal information safely and securely, and does not share your information with anyone outside Rainbow Migration or any other organisation without your consent. Information is kept for the minimum period necessary which for CVs and covering statements for unsuccessful applicants is 12 months after the conclusion of the recruitment campaign.

You have a right to request access to the information that we hold about you and you have other rights to protect your information. More details are available from any member of Rainbow Migration staff or on our website Privacy Policy.

Posted on: 25 January 2022
Closed date: 17 February 2022 at 10:19
Job ref: LO Jan 2022
Tags: Advice, Information, Legal

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