Legal Advocate

  • First United Church Community Ministry Society
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • May 22, 2020
Full time Lawyer (Public Sector) Lawyer (Other)

Job Description



Provide advocacy assistance and representation to the Downtown Eastside community and others on a variety of issues generally encountered by low income individuals and families.




  • Provide one-to-one advocacy services including referrals, information, summary advice and/or full representation regarding the following legal issues: welfare (including disability), tenancy, employment insurance, WCB, Old Age Security, Canada Pension Plan (including CPP Disability), immigration, debt, employment-related issues (e.g. employment standards), human rights and others similar matters.
  • Assist with forms (facilitating access to benefits): old age security, victim assistance, birth certificate applications, guaranteed income supplement, etc.
  • Connect clients to appropriate resources within our cultivated network of service providers and legal aid as required if we are unable to assist them
  • Provide full representation at hearings, written submission of appeals and reconsideration of decision, written and spoken interventions at an administrative level with a number of government programs, interviews and investigations and basic assistance with a wide variety of applications.
  • Contact numerous government agencies, social service agencies, housing providers, other community legal assistance organizations and individual lawyers in particular
  • Assist in the delivery of public legal education workshops where appropriate.
  • Engage in research that is directly related to the casework.
  • Participate in weekly case review conferencing with other First United advocates
  • Meet monthly and quarterly reporting requirements for Law Foundation or First United
  • Engage in monthly legal supervision and file review (Law Foundation-funded advocates only)
  • Other duties, as required.




Supervisory/Management responsibility


Financial responsibility

Responsible for administering advocacy program budget


The incumbent works fairly independently. If clarification is required, it is expected that the incumbent will request further direction from the Manager of Advocacy Services.




  • Regular communication is maintained with all levels of staff and management. Communication is also maintained with management and co-workers as work is assigned and completed, and information exchanged on an ongoing basis.




  • Good communication skills both oral and written.
  • Up-to-date computer skills with Microsoft Office.
  • Knowledge of the difficulties encountered by people living in the Downtown Eastside is an asset.
  • Knowledge of statutes such as Residential Tenancy and Employment and Assistance Acts.


  • Law Degree or depending upon experience, a university undergraduate degree, para-legal training diploma or continuing education training in poverty law.


  • Up to one year experience would be an asset.


  • Extended health care
  • Vision care
  • Disability insurance
  • Vacation & paid time off
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Dental care