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Full-Time Small Claims Court Duty Counsel Project Paralegal

This posting is for a position at our Small Claims Court (47 Sheppard Avenue East) help centre. The deadline for applying is Sunday, February 24th, at 11:59 PM.

Project Description

Pro Bono Ontario (PBO) operates court-based law help centres at 47 Sheppard Avenue East and 393 University Avenue in Toronto, and 161 Elgin St. in Ottawa. These are registered pro bono projects that use a core of volunteer lawyers to provide a range of brief services to low-income self-represented litigants with civil matters. Services include:
  • Procedural information
  • Form completion assistance
  • Summary advice
  • Representation at trials, motions and settlement conferences
  • Referrals to additional resources

Major Duties
  1. Attending daily at the centre;
  2. Conducting intake to ensure that the individuals approaching the project are eligible for assistance;
  3. Conducting triage interviews with individuals to assess the nature and scope of their legal needs;
  4. Providing customer service to facilitate access to procedural information, substantive resources, and form completion assistance;
  5. Facilitating access to public use computers and automated document assembly programs;
  6. Referring individuals to on-site pro bono lawyers for additional legal services;
  7. Referring individuals to other resources including other PBO programs;
  8. In addition to serving drop-in clientele, assisting callers to PBO’s Free Legal Advice Hotline by ensuring that help centre volunteers take Hotline calls as necessary and as available;
  9. Coordinating volunteer duty counsel, which includes communicating updates and changes to project procedures, inviting and considering duty counsel suggestions for improved operations, entertaining special requests from duty counsel, and assistance with scheduling duty counsel appearances,
  10. Liaising regularly with court staff to facilitate smooth referrals between the help centre and the courts;
  11. Liaising regularly with law firm pro bono coordinators to schedule volunteer appearances and increase the size of the roster;
  12. Maintaining proper files and records related to all pro bono referrals (including follow-ups and final reporting); and
  13. Managing office supply orders and ensuring appropriate stock levels of updated forms, brochures, guides and lawyer training materials.

Other Duties, on a requested and as needed basis
  1. Training and providing ongoing support to volunteer lawyers, students and paralegals;
  2. Supporting the development and implementation of any Continuing Professional development that PBO plans for volunteers;
  3. Supporting the development of procedural information resources (guides, checklists, and workshops. etc.) for self-represented litigants as well as other methods of imparting general legal information to a broader range of the target demographic, such as seminars, videos, presentations and website content;
  4. Supporting the development and implementation of project evaluations;
  5. Providing administrative support to PBO's other litigation projects, e.g. the Appeals Assistance Project); and
  6. Managing ad-hoc requests for pro bono representation of clients.

  • Graduation from an approved paralegal training program or equivalent;
  • Eligibility for licensing as a paralegal under Law Society of Upper Canada’s licensing scheme;
  • Good working knowledge of computers and computer programs in a professional/office setting;
  • Customer service orientation;
  • Ability to work independently using initiative, tact, diplomacy and sound judgment;
  • Ability to communicate effectively – orally and in writing – with a variety of stakeholders including the legal profession, the judiciary, government agencies and the general public;
  • Ability to communicate effectively with a broad diversity of users who may be difficult, upset, demanding, or abusive;
  • Effective interviewing and probing skills in trying to determine the scope of issues facing unrepresented litigants;
  • A sound understanding and application of the principles governing the provision of legal information as opposed to legal advice; and
  • Experience working as a paralegal, court clerk, or law clerk is preferred.
Initial Information

Schooling & Licensing Information

Experience Information

Supporting Documents