This client applied for the role of Paralegal within an APS Government department and was successful in gaining a job interview. A two-page document addressing selection criteria/competencies was required covering five key areas, including aptitude and experience; research and advice; drive, judgment and organisation; working relationships; and communication. Following are full excerpts of two of the five selection criteria.
Working at my virtual firm as part of my postgraduate studies, I established and maintained solid working relationships with junior solicitors by openly discussing each other’s work schedules and tasks. For example, when two of my team members undertook extra training, I initiated responsibility for helping them complete tasks due that week. When I was president of UQ’s Justice and The Law Society (JATL), I formed relationships and liaised extensively with sponsors, university administration, the UQ Union, other student societies and students. This was imperative in ensuring JATL was funded, and events were promoted and well-attended. My role involved delegating duties to the team. This was done by holding regular meetings, gaining an understanding of each team member’s schedules and availability, and progress of task work. Additionally, I promoted the importance of attending social events to facilitate team cohesion. This helped to create an atmosphere of transparent sharing and contribution within the team.
As an Associate, I communicate in a clear, concise and professional manner when conveying Judge’s instructions and orders. This entails corresponding with counsel and court staff by phone, email and in person in order to set schedules for submissions, organising various hearing dates, and ensuring all materials parties seek to rely on in court are presented to the Judge. As I regularly arraign defendants and open/close court, I familiarised myself with public speaking in formal settings. Since orders are given in court orally, I utilise audio typing skills to transcribe details. For trials and long sentences, I word process court order sheets and ensure they accurately convey the Judge’s orders as another person’s liberty is at stake. I also support the Judge by editing written judgments. This involves accurate word processing skills and attention to detail to ensure judgments are contextually accurate and error-free.
Previously, I communicated with a variety of people, some of whom were extremely challenging. At the mental health law clinic I was exposed to guardians who were not only struggling with the law, but had difficulty dealing with their own emotions. When working for the PPP, I operated the phone line (under supervision) and provided general advice to inmates regarding parole. Later during my tenure, I visited the DDD Centre and spoke directly with inmates. I provided them with general advice on seeking parole and advised them on how to better structure their parole applications.
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