New Zealand Law Society - Professional Standards Officer/Senior Professional Standards Officer

Professional Standards Officer/Senior Professional Standards Officer

New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa, Nationwide

About the Law Society
The New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa is the professional body for barristers and solicitors in New Zealand. The Law Society regulates all lawyers practising in New Zealand and is the membership organisation for practising lawyers. With 13 branch offices throughout the country, the Law Society is the Kaitiaki (guardian) of the practise of law in Aotearoa New Zealand and the consumers of legal services.

About the role
We are seeking an exceptional candidate to join our Professional Standards department in the Lawyers Complaints Service (LCS). This Professional Standards Officer (PSO) role largely involves dealing with reports and unacceptable conduct complaints, with a focus on bullying and harassment.  The PSO performs a key role in assisting in the coordination, processing, and investigation of complaints. 

On a daily basis this role involves:

  • Receiving and processing all confidential reports and designated lawyer reports;
  • Receiving and processing complaints regarding unacceptable conduct;
  • Having initial discussions with reporters/complainants regarding confidentiality/anonymity and the two pathways that a matter can proceed through the Lawyers Complaints Service
  • Managing communications with lawyers, notifiers, complainants, potential witnesses and affected parties and identifying and obtaining any additional or supporting information, if required;
  • Keeping interested parties updated as to the progress of the matter;
  • Liaising with a Screening Panel and preparing memos, correspondence and information
  • Recording progress of matters in the dedicated FEP spreadsheet and updating Registry as appropriate.

The ideal applicant will have the following skills and experience:

  • The position is suitable for a legal practitioner with around 3 years’ legal experience or equivalent investigations and complaints handling experience. A practising certificate is not required for this role.
  • Sound written and oral communication skills are essential. Written skills must include the ability to produce concise, well-structured, and well-reasoned material and to produce succinct summaries of complex and lengthy complaints. Oral skills must include the ability to communicate clearly with committee members (both collectively and individually) members of the profession and members of the public.
  • Complainants and respondents are under pressure during the complaints process. Strong empathy skills are a must.
  • Be prepared to perform under pressure. The Screening Panel aims to work to strict timetables, and an ability to meet deadlines and to plan and structure workload is required. 
  • Be flexible in the work they are prepared to undertake and help colleagues as required.
  • Good judgement and a high level of discretion.
  • Sensitivity to the demands of legal practice is required when dealing with busy committee members.
  • A professional supportive approach to members of the public is also necessary. A high level of resilience is required.

The work is challenging, varied, and fast-paced, and requires a high level of judgment and integrity. This role is demanding and may deal with sensitive cases relating to bullying and harassment or sexual abuse. A high level of resilience is required.

This is a fixed term part-time position (3 days per week) for a period of 6 months, starting early July 2022.

What we can offer

Become part of an exceptional team in a dynamic organisation, where the work is challenging and rewarding. Your development and growth will be nurtured, and your work recognised and valued.

It is important that the Law Society can attract, support, and retain quality staff and one of the ways we can achieve this is by offering employees the flexibility to manage their work/life balance. We embrace flexible working to support our staff to deliver their best and achieve a good work life balance.

Other benefits of working at the Law Society include:

  • Two days Special Leave on top of the annual leave entitlement to use during the annual close-down period between Christmas and the new year.
  • Flexibility to work from both office and home, with full working from home (WFH) kit provided to each employee, including an allowance towards the purchase of a WFH desk and chair.
  • Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) available to all employees.
  • Actively fostering the development and career pathways of our employees, alongside a transparent performance review and remuneration appraisal system.
  • Competitive remuneration
  • Developing a cohesive workplace culture across our organisation, including monthly morning teas and celebrating annual events.

Diversity and inclusion are important to us and the Law Society is keen to ensure that appointments reflect Aotearoa New Zealand’s multicultural society. Applications from a diverse range of backgrounds are encouraged.

For a confidential discussion, additional information please contact a member of our People & Culture team at recruitment@lawsociety.org.nz.

Please view a copy of the position description.

If you would like to apply, please complete the application form and submit this together with your cover letter and CV to recruitment@lawsociety.org.nz.

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