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African Prisons Project

Director of Development – Legal Services

About the African Prisons Project

The African Prisons Project (APP) is a community of people passionate about putting the power of the law into the hands of the poor. APP is working to create more just societies by providing high quality, low cost legal services through legal aid/public defender services to people in prison. APP is working towards having 30,000 prisoners released by the courts, through receiving legal services from those trained by APP within the prison system. APP is also working towards changing national laws each year and also having their graduates move into positions where they make and implement the law.

APP works alongside prisoners and staff who choose each day to use their lives, and the resources they have, to help and support others.

APP works across three key areas:

  1. Justice Changemaker Training
  2. Justice Changemaker Services
  3. Improving Prison Conditions

African Prisons Project has a Christian ethos which leads the organisation to serve all regardless of their religion, background, offence, sentence, race, gender or any other factor. APP believes every person’s life is fundamentally valuable—and the past need not define their future. APP is inspired by Jesus’ example of bringing justice and compassion to those rejected by society and seeing great value in those that others’ have written off.

About the Role

The Legal Services Director will be responsible for ensuring the setting up of structures required for the smooth operation of the law firm and drop-in-legal advice clinics.

The Legal Services Director is responsible for delivering the charity’s strategic legal initiatives, including the setting up of APP’s law firm, and the management of the drop-in-legal advice clinics. This includes ensuring that the operations of the firm and clinics are effective and efficient, and that the operating model is easily transferable from prison to prison, and to another law firm.

The Legal Services Director will identify and coordinate new developments, such as those relating to the legal advice clinics and the law firm, and develop models of delivery and partnership working, through regular review and investigation of new opportunities. The Director will work with the prison rules and our charities policies and procedures and the Law Society Regulations.

Purpose of the Role

The Director will lead on the strategic development, management and planning of APP’s Legal Services work in East Africa. The Director will also be in a position to lead, support and continuously develop members of the Legal Services team, including the Legal Aid team and volunteers. Additionally, the Director will support the Legal Aid team with case work, including investigations into miscarriages of justice and liaising with professionals to identify psychosocial needs of victims.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Ensure APP has a viable and world class legal services programme with a law firm and legal aid clinics in prisons.   
  • Establish a robust quality assurance framework for the casework and experience of clients in APP’s Legal Aid clinics.
  • Ensure lessons are learnt and widely shared and validated across the organisation.
  • Represent the interests of APP’s Legal Services Programme in terms of litigation and the administration of justice, within the organisation and externally, and ensure government offices (Prison Officers, State Attorneys) take necessary action.               
  • Develop and manage an annual budget and plan, in liaison with the Chief Operating Officer and Finance team.   
  • Lead on and/or contribute to the local fundraising strategy including making funding applications, building relationships, reporting/presenting to Donors, senior management and the Board of Trustees.

Skills and Experience

  • An Honours degree in law with a practicing certificate       
  • Law practitioner with significant practical experience and knowledge of criminal justice, procedures and remedies   
  • Desirable: Project management or Leadership qualification
  • Experience in civil and/or criminal litigation                           
  • Understanding of, and commitment to, the aims of providing Legal Aid services.   
  • Awareness of current local social and legal issues in the criminal justice system       
  • Experience in conducting strategic, complex and high-profile litigation to a high standard   
  • Experience of making public funding applications and understanding of the recent legal aid reforms, with a knowledge and understanding of other options for funding litigation and casework   
  • Experience in leading a team or organisation   
  • Experience of in-depth financial budgets and cost analysis.