Ministry of Justice

Duty Solicitor

Cheltenham, GL50 3PN, however, flexibility is required and candidates must be prepared to travel to cover cases nationwide.
£31,427 to £41,625
12 May 2017
23 May 2017
Practice area
Full time
Contract type


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 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.

The role holder will provide a high volume of advice, assistance and representation to individuals subject to the investigation or prosecution of a criminal offence, with particular emphasis on police station advice & assistance, and Magistrates Court representation including trials.  This will include eligibility to join the Duty Solicitors’ rota in addition to own client cases.

The role holder will be an effective team member who will support colleagues via peer mentoring, contribute to the preparation of Crown Court cases and support in-house or externally briefed Higher Courts Advocates.

He or she will utilise legal expertise and experience to contribute to the development of policy and practice that will improve the quality and efficiency of the criminal defence market in England and Wales

Skills & Qualifications

Essential criteria:

  • Solicitor (with CLAS), Barrister or FILEX fully qualified to practice as a Duty Solicitor in England and Wales
  • Sound advocacy skills
  • Communication skills & personal presence that enable rapport-building with criminal defence clients and a broad range of external stakeholders
  • Ability to challenge police & other prosecution authorities in a manner that is effective, professional & in the best interests of the client
  • Resilience & commitment to personal care, to maintain mental & physical wellness in a working environment that sometimes presents emotional challenges
  • Commitment to one of the wider aims of the PDS to become an exemplar of best practice in criminal litigation & 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.
  • Sound Microsoft Office skills, particularly in Word, and the willingness to self-create the bulk of own documentation.
  • Demonstrated willingness to engage with new technologies to enhance quality and produce efficiencies.
  • Ability and willingness to work 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.

Desirable criteria

  • Demonstrated success in utilising new technologies to enhance own and/or others professional practice.
  • Previous experience working in a medium-large public sector organisation.

To find out more or apply for this vacancy please visit:, follow the link ‘Apply for a Job’ and search reference 7902. Or click the "Apply" button.

Closing date for receipt of applications is: 23rd May  2017 at 23:55pm

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