• Location: Gadi/Sydney CBD
  • Term: 12 months
  • Full-time – 37.5 hours per week (0.8FTE will be considered)
  • Remuneration: SCHADS Level 4-5: FTE $82,100 – $90,500 + 10.5% super + 17.5% Annual Leave Loading
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are particularly encouraged to apply

Reporting to: Managing Lawyer, Defenders Program

Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) is the largest environmental legal centre in the Australia-Pacific, dedicated to protecting our climate, communities and shared environment by providing access to justice, running ground-breaking litigation and leading law reform advocacy.

We have a fantastic opportunity for a criminal lawyer to join our Defenders Program. The Defenders Program provides specialist legal advice and information about the laws that regulate protest activities concerning the environment. In addition, the program provides legal representation to those who have been charged with criminal offences arising from their participation in such activities across Australia.

This is a unique opportunity to join EDO in a period of growth and rapid expansion. While the position itself is Sydney-based there will be numerous opportunities to travel to, and practice in, other jurisdictions throughout Australia.

Candidate Profile

You will have an unrestricted practising certificate, or be eligible to hold one, with experience working in an area of direct relevance to the Defenders Program. Forming part of the Systemic Change Program, this position represents an opportunity to deliver on human rights and the promotion of democracy in each jurisdiction and offers a high level of autonomy. Lawyers who think outside the box and want a chance to think creatively about delivering systemic change to address the challenges in the environmental protest movementare strongly encouraged to apply. This position would be ideal for a lawyer with experience as a duty solicitor looking to consolidate and expand their skills.

EDO is a diverse and inclusive workplace. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are particularly encouraged to apply.

Key selection criteria:

Core skills

  • An unrestricted practicing certificate or entitlement to same
  • A minimum of 2 years PAE working as a solicitor including duty and casework in the criminal jurisdiction
  • Demonstrated experience in criminal law, with a particular emphasis on advocacy experience in court
  • Strong legal research skills and ability to adapt and apply the law of various jurisdictions within Australia
  • Strong problem-solving skills and ability to make sound judgements and decisions based on consideration of different views
  • Demonstrated ability to work productively and to deadlines
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills suited to a range of audiences

Substantive experience

  • Demonstrated advocacy and casework experience in criminal law and/or related disciplines for example civil torts
  • Capacity to undertake law reform or policy, experience desirable
  • Demonstrated experience working with diverse communities and individuals highly desirable

Personal qualities and cultural competency

  • A champion of the agreed values of the EDO
  • Strong initiative and self-motivation
  • Commitment to the protection of the environment and to democracy
  • A strong sense of ethics and understanding of professional obligations
  • Demonstrated awareness of and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations in both the delivery of our work and our internal culture
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a collaborative and team-based environment.

NOTE: Travel is an essential part of this role.

Our Culture and Benefits:

  • We care deeply about creating a workplace where our team members feel valued, respected and empowered. We are committed to providing equal opportunity regardless of gender identity, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or life stage.
  • The chance to be part of the largest environmental legal practice in the Australia-Pacific.
  • A very flexible and family-friendly workplace.
  • Option to work from home and the office.
  • Paid Parental Leave.
  • 15 Days Personal/carer’s leave.
  • Extra leave over the Christmas period.
  • Access to Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
  • Ongoing professional development opportunities.
  • EDO proudly has a JEDI (Justice, Equality, Diversity, Inclusion), and a Mental Health Ambassador Committee, and has developed a First Nations Program with the aid of indigenous-led consultancies.
  • Affinity groups for the following: Global Majority*, LGBTQIA+ & People with Disability

*Global Majority is a collective term that first and foremost speaks to and encourages those so-called, to think of themselves as belonging to the majority on planet earth. It refers to people who are Black, African, Asian, Brown, dual-heritage, indigenous to the global south, and or, have been racialised as ‘ethnic minorities’.

Our Values:

Commitment – We are committed to; a united organisation, to each other, to collaboration, to justice, to our communities and to creating a world where nature thrives.

Diversity – We are respectful of and welcome diversity of staff, volunteers, offices, environmental regions, communities, stakeholders.

Integrity – We work effectively, efficiently, strategically, professionally, and ethically; “justice is in our nature”.

Vision – We lead change and environmental empowerment using innovation, creativity, and courage.

How to Apply:

EDO recognises that vaccination is a personal choice and we must find a balance between the safety of employees and volunteers, and individual rights. Accordingly, we have developed a Covid-19 Safety Policy to protect the health and safety of our employees, volunteers, clients and visitors in our workplace. This Policy requires EDO employees, volunteers, clients and visitors who enter our offices or attend in-person EDO meetings or EDO events to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

All offers of employment may be subject to satisfactory background checks including a National Police Check, disclosure of previous or current disciplinary action, referee checks, proof of eligibility to work in Australia and qualification checks.

EDO welcome applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, workers of all ages, people with disability and people who identify as LGBTQIA+.

Applications must include a CV and a letter that clearly addresses each of the selection criteria. Applications which do not address the selection criteria will not be considered.

Applications close on Monday 1st of May. Applications should be emailed to [email protected] with “Solicitor – Defenders Program” in the subject line. If you have any accessibility needs for the recruitment or interviewing process, please let us know.