GLD Senior Lawyer - Advisory Education & Children's Social Care

England, West Yorkshire, Leeds
05 Jun 2023
03 Jul 2023
Adele Callaghan
Job Title
PQE Level
10+, 5-7, 8-10
Contract Type
Full Time

The Grade 6 Senior Advisory Lawyer post is a key leadership role in GLD, providing direction to junior lawyers and supporting Deputy Directors in the delivery of advisory legal services to large Government Departments and Executive Agencies.

Government Departments need to draw on the skills of advisory lawyers to bring to life policies for which Ministers are accountable to Parliament and the electorate. The legal issues are often complex, novel and politically sensitive. The legal approach may be scrutinised by Parliament, the media, courts, and other institutions, domestic, European and International. Projects are often fast moving, and the problems brought to lawyers are often both urgent and unpredictable. Our advisory lawyers work closely with policy officials and other professionals in the Department to find legally sound solutions to deliver Ministers' priorities, even where these change overnight.

Post-holders are required to lead, manage, develop and supervise the work of other lawyers within their team (which could have up to around 5 lawyers). They will also be personally responsible for delivering legal advice. They will need to be comfortable working at pace and exercising judgment in relation to matters of national importance. They will be expected to role-model sound professional skills and to provide strong professional leadership, helping to build capability across their Division and for clients.

Key responsibilities:
Ministers want to reform and improve the area they are responsible for. They are likely to be brimming with ideas about how to change things - more affordable childcare, planning regulations which support the growth agenda, limiting bankers' bonuses are some recent examples. Advisory lawyers think through all the legal implications of a policy, for instance human rights, EU and International law, equality and data protection issues, as well as core public law principles. They need to anticipate possible legal challenges and provide officials and Ministers with clear legal risk assessments. If a challenge is made, they will liaise with colleagues from Litigation Group and engage with Departmental officials and Ministers.

Where new primary legislation is required, advisory lawyers work with Parliamentary Counsel on the draft Bill and support policy colleagues and Ministers at all stages of the parliamentary process.

Advisory lawyers also implement policy reforms and Acts of Parliament by drafting a large volume of secondary legislation. To write a new law is a special privilege, requiring both precision of expression and creativity. It is a team effort involving multiple checks, but the drafter will always have a special sense of pride and ownership.

Suitable lawyers will have experience of advising on one or more aspects of education or children's social care law in the UK such as:

  • the legal powers and duties of education or children's social care providers,
  • the powers and duties of government bodies in relation to education providers or children's social care
  • experience of advising education providers or children's social care providers (including local authorities) in the UK on legal matters affecting their day-to-day operations.

You will be expected to demonstrate:

  • reliable legal judgement and appreciation of legal risk
  • the ability to think strategically and creatively, see legal issues in their wider context and advise accordingly
  • the ability to conduct sound analysis and use secure legal research to produce timely and fit for purpose advice
  • the ability to communicate advice effectively both in writing and orally to senior clients and stakeholders
  • an understanding of the role of lawyers in government.

This is an excellent opportunity for an experienced lawyer seeking cutting edge work in a truly collaborative and inclusive environment. Applications are welcomed from those seeking a full time, part time or job share opportunity. On offer is a remuneration package including a generous pension contribution of 27% (please refer to / for further detail), hybrid working (40% office based) and the possibility of in year reward and recognitions bonuses. Please refer to the microsite for additional information.

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