Working for us

Our people are important to us

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Should you come to work with us, you’ll discover that no matter what your job or level of responsibilities, you are treated as an individual, with fairness, dignity and respect.

Legal aid is changing and developing, therefore our work environment is a dynamic one. It’s challenging because we play a key role in the justice system, supporting the courts and access to justice.

We’re always striving to improve the service we offer. As a result, we have high expectations of our staff. We seek high calibre people and in return we set out to provide good training and development, working conditions and rewards. We aim to be an ’employer of choice’.

Rewarding and flexible

Our reward package offers competitive starting salaries and pay progression, providing your performance is good. In addition there is recognition for higher performance achievers.

We recognise that there needs to be a balance between work and life and we have award-winning practices in place to ensure that balance is met wherever possible.

Our innovative flexible working arrangements allow individual teams to agree their flexible working patterns within extended office opening hours, providing business needs are met.

Benefits

We offer a competitive and comprehensive rewards and benefits package, including:

  • Competitive salaries that take account of the labour market and specific skills, experience and abilities relating to the role.
  • An annual salary review with salary progression linked to performance through our appraisal and interim review system (subject to prevailing public sector pay policy in place at the time).
  • Recognition for higher achievement.
  • 37 hour working week for full time staff.
  • Flexibility of working hours.
  • 25 days annual paid leave upon starting and 9 public holidays.
  • Contributory defined benefit pension scheme (6% of basic salary).
  • Sick pay benefit scheme if you are off work due to illness.
  • Interest free annual travel ticket loan.
  • Salary sacrifice schemes (childcare vouchers, cycle to work scheme).

About us

The Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) is a non-departmental public body responsible to Scottish Ministers through the Scottish Government.

We are responsible for managing legal aid in Scotland, which involves helping people who would not otherwise be able to afford it, to get the help of a solicitor, and sometimes an advocate, for their legal problems.

A large part of our job is to decide who should get legal aid. If it is granted, legal aid is used to pay solicitors, counsel – advocates and solicitor advocates – and other costs of the case. The solicitor could be in private practice, employed by SLAB or in a law centre. Our work includes:

  • Advising Scottish Ministers on how legal aid is working, and ways to develop it.
  • Managing the Legal Aid Fund and deciding whether to grant applications for legal aid.
  • Deciding if people have to pay towards the cost of civil legal assistance, then collecting these amounts.
  • Assessing solicitors’ and advocates’ accounts for legal aid work, and paying them for the work they have done.
  • Registering firms and solicitors who do legal assistance work and making sure these firms and solicitors maintain high standards, including funding civil quality assurance which is run by the Law Society of Scotland and SLAB.
  • Investigating and tackling fraud and abuse of legal aid.
  • Developing a network of SLAB employed solicitors who offer criminal legal advice and representation as part of the Public Defence Solicitors’ Office network, and also, through our Civil Legal Assistance Offices, developing advice services on civil matters using SLAB employed solicitors.
  • Exploring new ways of delivering legal aid services and working with justice system partners to improve the justice system.
  • Grant funding advice services including the in-court advice service across Scotland.

Our vision is to provide access to justice for those eligible and in need of it, in a cost-effective manner.

As well as employing the full time equivalent of around 300 staff within SLAB in Edinburgh we employ staff in the Public Defence Solicitors’ Offices (PDSO) and the Civil Legal Assistance Offices (CLAO), throughout Scotland.

Profile: Public Defence Solicitors' Office (PDSO)

Established in 1998, the PDSO provides advice and representation to people accused with criminal offences who are eligible for legal aid in Scotland.

Employing around twenty one solicitors, three solicitor advocates and support staff, we have offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Dundee, Falkirk, Ayr and Orkney.

PDSO solicitors represent clients in criminal cases in the JP courts, sheriff courts, and High Court of Justiciary. We also represent clients directly in the court of criminal appeal in Edinburgh. Our caseload includes some very high profile and serious cases.

The key objectives of the PDSO are:

  • To provide high quality, timely, appropriate and independent advice and representation to our clients.
  • To abide by the rules of practice of the Law Society of Scotland and the Scottish Legal Aid Board as well as discharge our duties properly as officers of the court.
  • To conduct our business in an efficient and cost effective manner.
  • To provide the Scottish Government and the Scottish Legal Aid Board with information in relation to the criminal justice system to assist in improving and developing the system.

Profile: Civil Legal Assistance Office (CLAO)

The commencement of Part V of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act in 2001, paved the way for the provision of civil legal assistance by solicitors directly employed by the Scottish Legal Aid Board.

The principal objective of the Part V programme is to provide civil legal assistance to address unmet legal need. Much of this work has focused on meeting the needs of vulnerable client groups.

The programme involves a broad range of activity where work is carried out by solicitors working in partnership with others. This includes liaising with voluntary and public sector agencies, as well as working with private sector legal services to provide legal advice that is appropriate to the client’s needs. The work of CLAO solicitors involves a mixture of direct casework, provision of support and advice to other advisers, delivery of training, and contributing to social policy work.

The programme has developed over time and we now have around 14 solicitors plus support staff working in our offices in Inverness, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Lochgilphead.