ILANZ, In-House Lawyers Association of New Zealand

Senior Criminal Defence Lawyer - Auckland

Like any big concept the idea of justice evolves as our society changes. What was normal 5 years ago may not be acceptable now.

That's why, at the Ministry of Justice we're on a journey to redefine our relationship with New Zealanders.


Auckland (Manukau office)


  • Satisfying, interesting and intellectually challenging work
  • Significant time in court and running trials
  • Supportive, experienced and talented colleagues

We are looking for a Senior Lawyer - Team Leader, with a speciality in criminal advocacy, to join the team in the largest of the PDS offices at Manukau - with around 55 legal and support staff. 

We have clients at the Manukau, Papakura and Pukekohe District Courts, as well as the higher courts.  It is a busy and sometimes demanding environment with variety and challenge and you will join a diverse and supportive team in one of the fastest growing communities in the country. 

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. 

In this role you are the voice of some of the most marginalised people in the criminal justice system.

To qualify you must be passionate about criminal justice issues and:

  • have a PAL 3 or 4 approval level and be qualified to practice law in New Zealand
  • have proven credibility with judges, peers and others in the legal community
  • be comfortable to be part of a team who support and rely on one-another
  • enjoy sharing legal expertise, exchanging ideas and brainstorming 
  • 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.  

You will lead a team of up to six lawyers and have a caseload of varied criminal work - including high profile and challenging cases, High Court and Court of Appeal appearances. You will also be involved in training, mentoring and supervising junior PDS lawyers.  Our work comes to us via Legal Aid and we make sure that you are supported by an experience administrative team - meaning you can focus on doing what you do best. 

As an employee of the PDS you will have access to a well-designed and embedded national training programme, professional development and opportunities to attend conferences, along with access to a professional supervision programme. 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 so much more support and collegiality than anywhere else I have worked.  You have so many experts around you to bounce ideas off.  (Edith)


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

Applications close on Friday 16 February 2018