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Law Graduate Criminal Defence

NZ Ministry of Justice
Job Category:
Legal & courts
Wellington City
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Job Description

Law Graduate Criminal Defence


Fixed term 6 months

  • Focus on criminal defence – become an expert in your area of law
  • Enjoy comprehensive professional development programmes and career opportunities

We are looking for a law graduate to join the team in our vibrant capital city's central Wellington office – with clients at the Wellington, Porirua and Hutt District Courts as well as the higher courts.  You will join a team of around 25 legal and support staff with a range of experience and a genuine interest in sharing knowledge and supporting one-another in a busy and sometimes challenging environment. 

The Public Defence Service (PDS) is New Zealand's largest criminal law practice, providing high quality legal advice and representation in a full range of criminal cases. Aimed at helping people access justice, the PDS promotes the values of respect, integrity, service and the delivery of excellent service to its clients.  

You will support other lawyers in the office through submissions, legal research and analysis, and observe court appearances to develop your own skills. You will develop into having your own file load and regularly appearing in court as you gain experience.  You will have expert and talented colleagues around who will mentor you and support your development to the next level of your career.  The PDS is well known for its comprehensive professional development programme in criminal litigation and is considered an excellent training ground and full of opportunities for a successful legal career.   

To be successful you must be passionate about criminal justice issues.  You will be developing an ability to build credibility with judges, peers and others in the legal community. As an important member of a close-knit team you will enjoy exchanging ideas and brainstorming - and providing support and light relief when required.  You will have empathy and the ability to relate to a wide range of people.  This is a challenging but truly satisfying job and our lawyers love what they do.  

The PDS is part of the Ministry of Justice and the wider justice sector.  The ministry provides centralised business services, infrastructure and support to the work of the PDS. 

"There is always something new to learn which contributes positively to my experience as a Junior Lawyer, this is due to the variety of cases that PDS undertake and the supervision and support that is available to us. PDS is a fantastic training ground for new lawyers" (Sophia).

This is a fixed term role for a period of six months.

The salary range for this role is $42,500 - $57,500.

APPLY and complete the application form, attaching your CV, cover letter and a copy of your academic record.  Applications close on Sunday 24 June 2018.  If you have any questions please contact


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