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Choosing a Career in Criminal Law

Video Transcript

This video is called choosing a career in criminal law.

It’s specifically designed for people who have just finished their law degrees, or who are thinking about a career path in criminal law in the future.

Now there are two broad categories of criminal lawyers.

The first are called prosecutors.

Prosecutors are people who present evidence and material to the court, with a view to having people convicted, or giving the court enough material to decide whether someone is guilty or not guilty; prosecutors.

The first type of prosecutor is called a police prosecutor.

Police prosecutors are persons that have the rank of sergeant and who prosecute matters in the local courts on behalf of the New South Wales police service.

So police prosecutors normally prosecute matters, such as small drug cases, drink driving cases, traffic matters, small assaults, and those types of local court matters; so matters that stay in the local court that don’t progress to the higher courts.

Now before 2008 a person could not become a police prosecutor until and unless they completed at least three years of regular police duties, however in 2008 a scheme was introduced and that’s called the accelerated prosecutors recruitment program, which now allows candidates to go through further studies and to become police prosecutors without having to go through the three years of being a regular police officer.

Now part of those additional studies are a 14-week in-house program, and a person would have to commence and complete that program before they could become a police prosecutor.

So that’s police prosecutors.

The second type of prosecutors are called DPP solicitors.

Now they’re lawyers that act on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions and that might be the Commonwealth Director or the State Director of Public Prosecutions, and they prosecute more serious types of offences, such as offences that normally will go to the district court or the Supreme Court.

Now in order to apply for a job in the Director of Public Prosecutions you’ll normally need to do it through an agency, such as seek or through an ad on the internet.

Things like that.

And you will normally have to present certain, fulfill certain guidelines in order to become a DPP solicitor.

So they’re government jobs; the police prosecute service; and also the DPP they’re government jobs; prosecutors.

Now the second broad category of criminal lawyers are called criminal defence lawyers.

Now this subcategory of criminal defence lawyers is called government criminal defence lawyers.

So for example lawyers for the Legal Aid Commission, lawyers for the Aboriginal legal service, lawyers for community legal centres.

Now again those applications, applications for those jobs are done through online and certain criteria have to be met by candidates in order to be considered for those positions.

Now legal aid lawyers often have responsibility for a lot of cases in one day, so for example a legal aid lawyer might be in court and on the morning of court have 10, 15, 20 cases of people to deal with.

It makes it very, very difficult for a legal aid lawyer to conduct themselves to a very high standard because they’re just dealing with so many people and so little time to deal with those people.

So it can be a difficult job because legal aid lawyers are often placed in a position where they can only spend a limited time on what they want to do.

It’s similar with Aboriginal legal service, and also to some extent with legal centres.

However the benefits of doing those jobs is that you have all of the benefits of working for a government department, you have certain set working hours, and things like that.

Now the final category of criminal defence lawyers is called private criminal defence lawyers.

So people who work for private criminal law firms, such as here in Sydney Criminal Lawyers®.

Now I’m of the view that people who work for private criminal law firms have a great advantage in that they can spend a lot of time on their cases, their privately funded cases, and they can perform their job to a very high standard, because we will have the time and we will be able to work very hard to get cases dropped, we’ll be able to have the time spent on the case from start to finish, will have a lot of client contact.

Video transcription by YouTube

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