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The Public Defender Service (PDS) is a department of the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) that operates alongside private providers delivering a full range of quality, value for money services within the criminal defence market. Informed by its participation in the market, PDS contributes credible and expert advice to the government on service and policy development affecting the sector and acts as a test-bed for innovation and quality improvements. PDS operations provide a critical safeguard against market failure across England and Wales, thereby ensuring the LAA fulfils its statutory responsibility to ensure continuous access to justice.

Purpose of the role

Provision of advice, assistance and representation to individuals subject to investigation or prosecution of a criminal offence.

Tasks / accountabilities /responsibilities

• Provide a high volume of advice, assistance and representation to individuals subject to the investigation or prosecution of a criminal offence,
• Be an effective team member who supports colleagues,
• Contribute personally to the continuous improvement of PDS service and the development of PDS as a great place to work,
• Provide expert input, as and when required, to various projects within the Agency and wider Government’.

Essential criteria

• Solicitor, Barrister or CFilex fully qualified to practice as a Solicitor in England and Wales with excellent practical knowledge of criminal law, evidence and procedure.
• Effective communication skills and personal presence that enables rapport-building with criminal defence clients, a broad range of external stakeholders and with own team members and colleagues, with the ability to challenge police and other prosecution authorities in a manner that is effective, professional and in the best interests of the client.
• Excellent advocacy skills and experience in preparing a range of cases to trial in both the Magistrates and Crown Courts, and, as a manager, the ability to supervise the legal work and legal service delivery of own team by applying PDS Standard Operating Procedures.
• Personal resilience with a genuine commitment to personal care, to maintain mental and physical wellbeing of self and team members in a working environment that may present emotional and other challenges.
• Commitment to the wider aims of the PDS to become an exemplar of best practice in criminal litigation and advocacy and its remit to act as a test-bed for innovation, increased efficiencies and quality improvements for the benefit of the wider criminal defence community.
• Enthusiasm to engage with new technologies to enhance quality and create efficiencies based on sound IT skills (particularly Microsoft Office), and the willingness to self-create the majority of own documentation.
• Ability and willingness to work flexibly including where appropriate during unsociable hours
• Possession of a full driving licence and access to a motor vehicle, together with flexibility and preparedness to travel to cover cases across England and Wales if required.


Please refer to Job Description


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Working Together

Apply today!