New Zealand Law Society - Various Positions

Various Positions

Leadership Opportunities in the Public Defence Service

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. We have an important role in helping some of our most marginalised people access justice in New Zealand.

Our Manukau office is the largest of the PDS offices - with around 60 legal and support staff. It is a busy and sometimes demanding environment with variety and challenge in one of the fastest growing communities in the country.

We are now looking to appoint experienced criminal defence lawyers to new leadership positions in this office. Effective people leadership is one of our top priorities ensuring clear expectations, supervision, coaching and development so that our people are supported to progress in their legal careers. As a motivated and inspiring leader, you will work with our lawyers to ensure that they can provide high quality legal advice and representation. You will be a major contributor to the growth and development of some of New Zealand’s most passionate and committed defence lawyers.

Assistant Office Public Defender

We are seeking to fill one of two Assistant Office Public Defender roles. Reporting directly to the Manukau Public Defender the role is integral to the office leadership team and critical to the achievement of the PDS’s operational and strategic goals.

The successful candidate for this role will demonstrate drive, optimism and a delivery-focus to make things happen and achieve results. Your leadership will engage and inspire your people to deliver a professional and dynamic service. You will set the tone, expectations and culture of the teams in your charge, creating an environment of trust, respect and ongoing learning. You must be passionate about criminal justice issues and have a track record of building and maintaining strong working relationships with internal and external stakeholders. You will have the ability to manage a wide range of tasks and have strong people management skills, including expertise in mentoring, coaching and training. You will have PAL 3 or 4 legal aid listing (preferably PAL 4), or the ability to apply for one, having had significant experience in conducting a variety of criminal matters before our courts. Around half of your time will be focused on leadership and management within our office, with the balance spent representing clients as part of an interesting and challenging caseload comprised of PAL 3 and 4 criminal cases.

Click here for a Position Description 

We are looking to appoint in the range of $140,000 to $190,000.

Principal Lawyer (two positions)

This is a new professional leadership role in the PDS. You will be an expert practitioner and specialist in criminal advocacy with a deep understanding of criminal law practice in New Zealand and extensive criminal litigation experience. Your ability to build and nurture professional relationships complements your criminal work and you have proven credibility with judges, peers and others in the legal community. You will be passionate about growing the next generation of lawyers through mentoring and supporting their professional development. You will be a significant resource to the PDS in providing guidance and leadership on the law and court processes. You will have a caseload of varied criminal work - including high profile and challenging cases, High Court and Court of Appeal appearances. You must have a criminal lawyer provider approval at level 4, or the ability to obtain it in the near future and be qualified to practise law in New Zealand.

Click here for a Position Description

We are looking to appoint in the range of $130,000 to $180,000.

APPLY and complete the application form, attaching your CV and cover letter.

Applications close on Sunday 4 October. If you have any questions, please contact

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