New Zealand Law Society - Criminal Defence Lawyer - Auckland

Criminal Defence Lawyer - Auckland

Criminal Defence Lawyer - Junior, Public Defence Service (PDS) - Auckland Central

Te āhuatunga a te tūranga - About the role

We are looking for a junior-level lawyer, with a PAL1 or close to obtaining, who has completed duty lawyer training and has a strong desire to develop their career in the specialist area of criminal advocacy. This is not a graduate position. The successful candidate will join the team in our central Auckland office. We are a supportive and welcoming team of legal and support staff with a range of experience. This is an opportunity to develop and share your criminal defence skills in a busy and sometimes challenging environment.

You will find challenge and satisfaction with a varied caseload, including trials and appearances. 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.

He pūkenga tou - Skills and experience

To be successful you must:

  • be passionate about criminal justice issues
  • have a PAL1 listing or are close to obtaining
  • be qualified to practice law in New Zealand

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.

Mō te tīma - About our team

At Te Tāhū o te Ture - the Ministry of Justice, we're committed to working together for a fair and safe Aotearoa.

The Public Defence Service (PDS) provides 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.

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)

Joining the Ministry of Justice means you will become part of an inclusive organisation that values you and the communities we serve. It's our promise to ensure our workplace is one where our people feel healthy and safe, supported and able to be themselves at work. We value respect as the foundation for building a positive workplace culture and one where diversity is welcomed and celebrated.


  • Flexible work options may be available
  • Mobile phone and Laptop provided
  • Exceptional training and development

Tono mai - How to apply

Apply here. You can view a detailed position description here, as well as complete an online application form by attaching your CV and cover letter.

Salary range

The appointing salary for this role will be between $61,367 and $80,138 based on skills and experience.

Applications close on Sunday, 14 August 2022.

Our Ministry's top priority is the safety and wellbeing of its employees. We have a comprehensive range of health and safety protocols already in place across all our worksites to help keep our people safe from the effects of COVID-19. We strongly encourage and support all our people to be vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19. Our current policy position is that vaccination is not a prerequisite for employment. However, while employed by Te Tāhū you will be bound by all policies, procedures and rules which are in effect at the time. This includes any future changes to our vaccination requirements.

If you have any questions, please contact

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