Prison Law Support Worker Position



Available Position:
Four (4) Year Term Contract
Location: Nova Scotia – Flexible location
Salary: TE 21 $52,872.56-$61,945.26
Closing Date: August 15, 2022, at 4:30 pm

Who we are:
Nova Scotia Legal Aid Commission (NSLAC) delivers legal aid services throughout the Province, providing some level of help to all Nova Scotians with a focus on assisting those who are vulnerable and historically disadvantaged.  NSLAC offers legal services in three core areas of law: criminal, family, and social justice.  NSLAC additionally offers limited services to incarcerated individuals experiencing prison law issues.

Primary Functions:
Reporting to the Deputy Executive Officer (DEO) and under the direction of legal counsel, the Prison Law Support Worker (PLSW) will provide a range of services to ensure better client service and outcomes for racialized clients who are incarcerated in provincial and federal facilities within Nova Scotia.  The successful candidate will play a significant role in the delivery of legal services to incarcerated Nova Scotians and their families by supporting clients navigating the penal system and helping them to resolve issues affecting their residual liberty in an effective and innovative manner. While some services may be provided remotely, the PLSW will travel regularly to jails and penitentiaries across Nova Scotia, providing assistance to clients and working collaboratively with community partners. Outreach and public education are a significant component of the position.

The successful candidate must have a valid driver’s licence, access to a motor vehicle, and be eligible to obtain clearance to enter provincial jails and federal penitentiaries.

Duties and Responsibilities:
The successful candidate will provide support and legal information to racialized federal and provincial inmates incarcerated within Nova Scotia including:

  • Triage and navigation assistance to incarcerated clients and connect those in need of legal advice with the appropriate NSLA Office.
  • Assist incarcerated clients with reviewing documents and filling out forms – especially those who self-identify as having literacy issues.
  • Assist self-represented inmates in the preparation of court filings (for example, preparation of affidavits, subpoenas, etc.).
  • Provide letter writing advocacy and other non-legal advocacy.
  • Assist clients with federal and provincial parole hearings, applications for temporary absences, and disciplinary hearings.
  • For Indigenous clients, advocate for those seeking to obtain parole in their home communities, pursuant to Sections 29, 81 and 84 of the CCRA.
  • Referrals to staff lawyers, where appropriate for full-service representation, and assisting in the gathering of any relevant information or documents required by staff lawyers in advance of legal appointments, and assist in the preparation of court filings, including affidavits and subpoenas.
  • In collaboration with Nova Scotia Legal Aid Prison Law Committee, development of written materials and facilitation of workshops to justice professionals and incarcerated individuals on prison law issues and procedures.
  • Keep up to date on the relevant statutes, regulations, and policies pertaining to core areas of service, (Corrections and Conditional Release Act, NS Correctional Services Act, NS Civil Procedure Rules).
  • Comply with Nova Scotia Legal Aid Commission’s protocols, policies, and procedures.

Ideal Abilities and Skills:

  • Good working knowledge of prison law issues and procedures, including disciplinary proceedings, TAs, parole, and habeas corpus.
  • Ability to face challenges, including developing new and innovative methods of responding to client needs.
  • Ability to work independently, to take initiative, and to use judgment in matters of extreme confidentiality and sensitivity.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with the public, decision-makers, adjudicators, senior government officials, lawyers, and agencies within government in a tactful, professional, and courteous manner.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral.
  • Excellent attention to detail and accuracy and capacity to work under tight deadlines and prioritize competing tasks.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work in a collaborative team setting.
  • Proficiency with programs such as Microsoft Word, Outlook, and Excel.

This job posting is not a comprehensive listing of all the job requirements and is subject to change at any time and will include other tasks and duties as assigned.


  • Graduate of a post-secondary institution or a recognized two (2) year or more paralegal program or equivalent.
  • Minimum of two (2) years of related work experience, including advocacy work, would be an asset.
  • Working knowledge of community-based programs and an ability to engage and build relationships with supports, particularly African Nova Scotian and Indigenous community supports and resources.
  • Understanding the historic experience of African Nova Scotians and Indigenous peoples in Nova Scotia.
  • Understanding of intersectionality.
  • Trauma-informed training, including understanding of racial trauma would be an asset.
  • Commissioner of Oaths would be an asset.

Please note: For the safety and well-being of our clients and employees, we require proof of COVID-19 vaccination before commencing employment. Accommodations will be made for those who are exempt from the COVID-19 vaccination based on grounds protected by relevant human rights law.

Our goal is to be a diverse and accessible workforce that is representative, at all job levels, of the citizens we serve. We encourage qualified individuals from historically disadvantaged groups, including Indigenous People, African Nova Scotians, and other racially visible persons, persons with disabilities, retirees, and women in positions where they are underrepresented. Applicants from these groups wishing to self-identify may do so on their cover letter or résumé.

If you are talented, hardworking and want to be a member of a team that is highly experienced, very caring, dedicated and committed to their clients, we would like to hear from you.

Please indicate position title and whether you are an internal or external applicant in the posting in the email subject line. Please send your resume and cover letter to

While we appreciate receiving all applications, only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.  All applications will be held in strict confidence.