The incumbent is required to manage and direct the activities of the Legal Services Unit or Division of a Ministry/Department and render legal services. Duties include planning, directing and coordinating the work of professional legal staff and legal support staff. Duties also include providing legal advice, representing the Ministry/Department in Court, at Tribunals and meetings, drafting and reviewing legal agreements and other legal documents and participating in negotiations, mediation and arbitration.
REPORTS TO: Permanent Secretary or Head of Department
SUPERVISION GIVEN TO: Senior Legal Officer/and other designated legal officers (Direct)
Legal Officer I and II (Indirect)
Paralegal Officer (Indirect)
Legal Research Officer (Indirect)
Duties and Responsibilities
- Plans, directs and co-ordinates the activities of the professional legal staff and other support staff engaged in the provision of legal services to a Ministry/Department.
- Plans, organises and directs the development of the work programme of the Legal Services Unit/Division.
- Directs, co-ordinates and reviews the work of professional legal staff performing duties such as:
- appearing in court and before other tribunals;
- providing advice on legal issues related to the administration, interpretation and enforcement of laws pertinent to the Ministry/Department’s operations;
- drafting legal documents such as contracts, leases and agreements;
- preparing draft pleadings for filing;
- reviewing legal/court documents for completeness and accuracy;
- preparing legal opinions; and
- researching and analysing legal matters/issues.
- Provides advice and interpretation to senior management and staff on very complex legal matters/issues.
- Drafts or leads the drafting of very complex legal documents/instruments.
- Directs and participates in the review of existing laws and regulations pertinent to the Ministry/Department and in
- the recommendation of or the formulation of appropriate amendments.
- Represents the Ministry/Department in court and before other tribunals in very complex legal matters.
- Plans, directs and co-ordinates the review of systems and procedures, and the development of strategies/mechanisms to improve the effectiveness of legal services delivery.
- Drafts budgetary estimates of the Legal Service Unit/Division.
- Identifies and makes recommendations for staff training and development.
- Serves as a resource in the training and development of legal staff.
- Leads or participates in consultations and negotiations with external parties.
- Prepares Cabinet/Ministerial Notes, memoranda, letters and other documents.
- Represents the Ministry/Department on committees, meeting and other fora.
- Performs other related work as necessary.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES
- Extensive knowledge of the Laws of Trinidad and Tobago.
- Extensive knowledge of legal principles and practices.
- Extensive knowledge of the laws and regulations pertinent to the operations of the Ministry/Department.
- Extensive knowledge of court procedures and practices and of rules of evidence.
- Considerable knowledge of legal drafting principles and practices, legal research skills and techniques.
SKILLS AND ABILITIES:
- Proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office Suite.
- Skill in the use of personal computers.
- Ability to use e-Government technology platforms.
- Ability to use the internet for research purposes.
- Skill in drafting legal documents/instruments.
- Skill in negotiation, mediation and arbitration.
- Ability to plan, organize, direct and co-ordinate the activities of a division providing legal services.
- Ability to analyse and interpret laws and regulations.
- Ability to present and explain statements of facts and the law logically, orally and in writing.
- Ability to maintain confidentiality.
- Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with fellow employees, colleagues and members of the public.
MINIMUM EXPERIENCE AND TRAINING
- Minimum of ten (10) years experience as a practising Attorney at Law.
- Bachelor of Law Degree from a recognised institution.
- Legal Education Certificate or equivalent from a recognised institution.
- Admission to practice Law in Trinidad and Tobago.