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Principal Lawyer, Homeless Law, 12 month contract

  • LocationMelbourne, VIC
  • Work TypeFull Time - Fixed Term
  • Positions1 Position
  • Applications Close AtClosed 10 days ago
    Published on 11 Aug 2022
  • Job no: JB9CR
  • Category: Paid Employment Opportunities

This position is a key leadership role in the Justice Connect Homeless Law team. You will have the opportunity to lead an experienced and high-impact team to prevent and end homelessness in Victoria.

Our Team

In the face of rising levels of unmet legal need, Justice Connect designs and delivers high impact interventions to increase access to legal support and progress social justice.

Justice Connect’s Homeless Law is Victoria’s specialist free legal service for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Since 2001, our Homeless Law team has worked closely with pro bono lawyers to increase access to tailored legal support for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Our Homeless Law services are outreach-based and client-centred, and don’t just focus on legal needs. Homeless Law has integrated staff social workers and collaborates with community sector partners to ensure that clients’ needs are holistically addressed. Homeless Law also prioritises advocating for better laws and policies through evidence-based strategic engagement and advocacy, which is focused on stopping homelessness before it starts and preventing the criminalisation of homelessness. 

Our ideal candidate

You'll bring to the team:

  • Experience in supervising and delivering high-quality, holistic legal services, including by motivating and developing staff and volunteers
  • Experience in legal practice management and risk escalation, preferably in an integrated practice and/or not-for-profit context
  • Experience in designing, overseeing and engaging-in systemic advocacy and strategic engagement work
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and communication skills and the ability to successfully manage stakeholder relationships, including with Homeless Law clients, the pro bono legal profession, the community legal and homelessness sectors and government

You will also:

  • Have or be eligible for an unrestricted, principal practising certificate eligible to practice in Victoria
  • Have five years unsupervised experience in relevant areas of law, including expertise in least one of the following: tenancy and housing, infringements and fines, consumer debt, and/or human rights

Candidates will need to demonstrate commitment to Justice Connect's vision, strategy and values.

What you will achieve in the role

In this role, you’ll work to:

  • Supervise Homeless Law’s integrated legal and social work services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. This includes leading Homeless Law’s legal practice, particularly by managing legal casework and risk escalation.
  • Deliver high-quality legal advice and representation to Homeless Law clients and help-seekers.
  • Supervise, mentor and offer legal and strategic guidance to in-house and pro bono lawyers, secondees, legal administrators and practical legal trainees, including in relation to projects and priority cohorts.
  • Oversee the ongoing development and implementation of training programs for pro bono lawyers and key Homeless Law policies and procedures.
  • Identify and pursue strategic litigation opportunities that further Homeless Law’s aims and objectives.

A week in this role

If you were here last week, you would have:

  • Proactively managed the legal risk associated with leading a high-impact community legal centre practice.
  • Held a fortnightly supervision catch up with a staff lawyer directly reporting to the role.
  • Spoken with pro bono lawyers delivering one of Homeless Law’s weekly outreach legal clinics, offering strategic guidance to prevent a client from being evicted into homelessness.
  • Settled content prepared by a staff lawyer for a new Homeless Law in Practice digital resource.
  • Directly contributed to a meeting with a key government stakeholder, alongside colleagues from the wider-community sector, advocating for better laws and policies that prevent the criminalisation of homelessness.
  • Met as part of Homeless Law’s senior leadership team to discuss client-focussed, evidence-based priorities and trends, including how these inform the service’s 2025 strategy implementation process.

Important role information

The position reports to the Manager and Principal Lawyer, Homeless Law. 

Justice Connect offers generous and flexible work arrangements – this includes the opportunity to work part-time (0.8FTE will be considered), hybrid work arrangements and generous salary packaging options.

The salary for this role is $105,495.27 per annum (pro rata) (plus 10.5% superannuation) with annual leave loading and generous salary packaging options.

This role is full-time (negotiable - we are open to 0.8 FTE), fixed term (parental leave) for 12 months until late 2023.

This role is based at our Melbourne office on level 17, 461 Bourke Street, Melbourne with hybrid working arrangements.

How to Apply

Please upload your resume and a cover letter which outlines your skills and experience that will help you achieve success in this role.  

For further information contact Cameron Lavery on (03) 8636 4412 or Samantha Sowerwine on (03) 8636 4470, Homeless Law Managers.

Applications close 11:59pm on Wednesday 14 September 2022. 


  • Closed 10 days ago - 15 Sep 2022
  • Published on 11 Aug 2022, 2:28 AM