Reading’s Legal Services Team is composed of our highly regarded internal Corporate Legal Team, serving the needs of the Council across a wide range of functions. Reading is also host to the Joint Legal Team, a long-standing shared legal service for all the Berkshire Councils and a recognised centre of excellence for childcare, adults and education law.
The purpose of Legal Services is to provide the Council and its partners with the highest quality professional legal advice and representation which allows them to run their organisations well, and to serve our community. Our ambition is to be the best place to practice law in local government; being close to our customers, recruiting the best talent, successfully deploying legal technology and ensuring the continued growth of the business to new customers.
We are open to flexible working patterns and can provide a hybrid working environment which utilises the best of both worlds with a mix of office working in central Reading and home-working according to the needs of the Service.
Providing support, primarily to our clients for our shared legal service (JLT – Joint Legal Team). Our clients appreciate the training work which JLT has historically undertaken for them. We now need to build on this by developing new training products for our social work clients and a range of other best practice guidance material to help them navigate legal proceedings. You will also be working with our Childcare Team to build on the expertise of the team and expand consistent best practice throughout the team by working with the internal team on coaching, training, systems, and processes.
Reading Borough Council is a Disability Confident Employer and is committed to the recruitment and continued employment of people with disabilities. We seek the best talent from the widest pool of people as diversity is the key to our success.
About the role
This is an exciting new role and you will not be required to hold cases in this post. You will have significant scope to shape this role and ensure it becomes successful. You will report to the Team Leader (Advocacy) who has considerable experience in this field. You will also provide updates to our partners at our Joint Agreement Board about the new initiatives you are delivering.
Although you are a lawyer with significant childcare experience, you will thrive on the challenge of developing best practice and bringing others with you to disseminate knowledge and improve skills. Improving the skills of our lawyers and our social workers is an important contribution to the opportunities for the most vulnerable (children and adults) throughout Berkshire. You will be supported by all the JLT Team Leaders, our new Legal Services Manager and the Legal Operations Team.
All of our lawyer roles are open to qualified solicitors, barristers and chartered legal executives.
You’ll be part of a team that relies on each individual to play their part to the best of their ability. As well as the colleagues that you work closely with every day, you’ll also be part of Team Reading, playing your personal part in making Reading a successful and vibrant place. Our vision is to ensure that Reading realises its potential as a great place to live, work and play, and that everyone shares the benefits of this success. Our values and behaviours guide how we will achieve this:
Work Together as one team - work collaboratively, with each other and with our partners, and demonstrate the Team Reading values in everything we do
Drive Efficiency - show initiative, be adaptable to change and put forward ideas to help improve delivery and efficiency. Take responsibility for our own learning and development and for reaching our potential
Be Ambitious - be demanding of our own performance – striving to be even better – and be prepared to engage with and challenge leaders in a constructive and positive way
Make a Difference to Reading - maintain the highest levels of customer service and be flexible and willing to provide the services needed at the time they are needed
The following experience is required for this role:
- A qualified lawyer who can command the respect of clients with extensive knowledge and experience of childcare law
- Training and development and knowledge management activities in a legal services setting, preferably in local government
- Experience of delivering continuous improvements
We offer a supportive environment to grow and develop your career with the opportunity to put your ideas across. Innovation and ambition is strongly encouraged, and you’ll get a great feel for that working in our friendly and collaborative environment. All staff are encouraged to actively participate in the development and implementation of the Legal Services Strategy for us to be the best place to practice law in local government.
A competitive salary alongside a range of benefits including:
- Generous holiday entitlement - 24 days holiday each year plus bank holidays - rising to 32 days after 10 years' service, with the option to buy additional leave
- A wide range of flexible working opportunities
- Modern working environment at the Civic Offices in the heart of Reading
- Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)
- Life Assurance - three times your annual salary (for members of the LGPS)
- On-site day nursery (Kennet Day nursery) rated outstanding by Ofsted, and a salary sacrifice scheme to help lower the cost of your nursery fees
- Season Ticket Loan - to help with the cost of your rail/ bus journey, to & from work
- Lease car salary sacrifice scheme allowing you to lease a brand new, greener car for three years. The monthly fee includes insurance, servicing and road tax
For more information on this position please contact Michael Graham, Assistant Director of Legal and Democratic Services at firstname.lastname@example.org
Closing Date: 5th February 2023
Interview Date: To be confirmed
Please note that the closing date is given as a guide. We reserve the right to close this vacancy once a sufficient number of applications has been received. Therefore, it is strongly advised that you complete and return your application as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.