Legal Counsel (Fellow) job description

Counsel to Secure Justice (CSJ) is an access to justice organisation that meets survivor needs, repairs harm from abuse and advocates for restorative justice solutions within India’s justice system. CSJ provides legal and psychosocial support during criminal proceedings to children who have been sexually harmed.  Long term, we are pivoting our focus towards implementing restorative justice solutions that repair harm from sexual abuse and empower more people to come forward about sexual abuse.

The Legal Counsel (Fellow) will serve a full-time, two-year assignment with CSJ that develops her/him into leaders who have refined and practical professional skills, high standards of personal and professional ethics and a heart to serve the poor and disadvantaged.  The Fellow will directly represent survivors of child sexual abuse at all matters and hearings during criminal proceedings. She/he will also coordinate legal support for children who have suffered sexual abuse. The position assignment is based in New Delhi, India. The position reports to the Casework Manager.

Advocate Responsibilities

  • Manage full caseload of sexual violence cases during criminal proceedings, from FIR to judgment
  • Proactively engage government authorities, especially law enforcement and public prosecutors, to gain influence that furthers effective investigation and adjudication of client cases
  • Advocate for truthful and accurate police statements, medical examinations and other evidence
  • Advocate for timely investigation and adjudication of client cases for speedy justice
  • Assist social workers to build case and advocate for victim compensation for the client
  • Conduct interviews and prepare clients to give statements and testify in court
  • Attend bail hearings and oppose bail against the person who committed the harm
  • Assist Public Prosecutor at all hearings during trial
  • Draft applications and petitions that advocate for the client’s best interest and draft closing arguments at judgment
  • Methodically document client case information in a consistent, accurate, comprehensive and timely manner
  • Strictly adhere to CSJ’s ethical guidelines when representing clients and collaborating with government authorities and stakeholders

Pro bono legal network coordination

  • Identify network advocate and coordinate legal support in child sexual abuse cases
  • Coordinate and follow up with network organization/advocate to get updates on cases until judgment; keep casework team updated on case progress
  • Support network advocate with drafting legal documents, such as applications for victim compensation
  • Work with the network advocate and CSJ social worker to prepare key witnesses to testify, including leading mock direct and cross-examination

Required qualifications and attributes

  • Bachelor of Laws degree required, Master of Laws preferred
  • At least one year trial experience in criminal courts
  • Registered with the Bar Council of India
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office or similar software and database systems
  • Demonstrated commitment to the poor and vulnerable sections of society
  • Committed to restorative justice principles and implementing ideals in the justice system
  • Excellent comprehension of written and spoken English and Hindi
  • Excellent oral and written communication and interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a challenging, sometimes hostile, environment
  • Uncompromising insistence on truth, integrity and excellence in work
  • Persistent, bold, yet diplomatic, when interacting with people and completing assignments
  • Willingness to learn and stretch oneself beyond comfort levels
  • Ability to adapt to the changing environment of a growing organization
  • Commitment to meeting deadlines and achieving results under pressure