JOB TITLE: SENIOR LEGAL OFFICER
The incumbent is required to supervise junior legal officers performing legal work in the Legal Services Unit of the Ministry. Duties include appearing in court, providing legal advice and opinions and drafting legal documents on the more complex legal matters involving the Ministry. The incumbent also assists in planning, organising and preparing the work programme of the Unit.
REPORTS TO: Director, Legal Services or designated officer
SUPERVISION GIVEN TO: Junior legal officers and other support staff
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Supervises junior legal officers and other staff providing legal support work.
- Assigns and reviews the work of junior legal officers while providing training, advice, guidance and direction on legal matters.
- Plans, organises and prepares the work programme of the Legal Services Unit.
- Represents the Ministry in court and before other tribunals on the more complex legal matters.
- Drafts the more complex legal documents including contracts, leases, and agreements.
- Reviews systems, policies and procedures and makes appropriate recommendations to improve productivity and quality service.
- Confers with relevant official of Ministries/Departments and attends meetings to give professional legal advice.
- Prepares and/or reviews legal opinions.
- Reviews legal/court documents for completeness and accuracy.
- Advises on the more complex legal issues related to the administration, interpretation and enforcement of laws pertaining to the operations of the Ministry
- Participates in or supervises the preparation of instructions for submission to state central legal agencies on legal matters involving the state.
- Participates in or supervises court case preparation work such as interviewing witnesses, taking depositions and preparing pre-trial briefs and preparing draft pleadings for filing.
- Supervises the conduct of research and analysis on legal matters pertinent to the Ministry’s operations.
- Participates in and/or supervises the review of existing legislation, rules, and regulations pertaining to the Ministry and recommends/formulates appropriate amendments.
- Reviews systems and procedures and recommends or devises strategies/mechanisms to improve the effectiveness of legal services delivery.
- Leads or participates in negotiations/consultations with external/internal parties.
- Prepares Cabinet/Ministerial Notes, memoranda, letters, and other documents on legal matters.
- Represents the Ministry on committees and in meetings and other fora.
- Performs other related duties as required.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES
- Considerable knowledge of the Laws of Trinidad and Tobago.
- Considerable knowledge of legal principles and practices.
- Considerable knowledge of the laws and regulations pertinent to the operations of the Ministry.
- Considerable knowledge of legal drafting principles and practices.
- Considerable knowledge of legal research skills and techniques.
- Considerable knowledge of court procedures and practices and of rules of evidence.
SKILLS AND ABILITIES
- Proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office Suite.
- Skill in the use of personal computers.
- Skill in drafting legal documents/instruments.
- Skill in negotiation, mediation and arbitration.
- Ability to use e-Government technology platforms.
- Ability to use the internet for research purposes.
- Ability to supervise legal officers performing professional legal work.
- Ability to analyse and interpret laws and regulations.
- Ability to present and explain statements of facts and the law, and to argue clearly and logically, orally and in writing.
- Ability to maintain confidentiality.
- Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with fellow employees and members of the public.
MINIMUM EXPERIENCE AND TRAINING
- Minimum of eight (8) years experience as a practicing Attorney at Law.
- Bachelor of Law Degree from a recognised institution.
- Legal Education Certificate or equivalent from a recognised institution.
- Admission to practice law of Trinidad and Tobago.