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Moving from Defence to Crown

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Hello Everyone -

Just looking for some general advice. I am currently articling in criminal defence in Alberta. My employer has not yet given me a firm offer of being hired back as an associate, but have made some comments on me starting up my own practice once I am called.

This scares the crap out of me to say the least. I want to start looking for an associate job, or ideally, would like to apply to work with the Crown. I've spoken to a couple of people that work out of the Provincial Crown's in Calgary and they have told me that a willingness to relocate is the best way for me to taken seriously as a good candidate. 

Now I am totally willing to move around in Alberta if that means that I could potentially get a job with the Crown, but I am wondering if anyone else has any experience with doing this (defence -> Crown). I want to get a feel for the likelihood and/or mere possibility of this even happening so any input would be greatly appreciated. 

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A lot of people do this. It’s a fairly well trod path. Crown work is better to start off with as you get the structure, mentorship and support that can be lacking when you are a new call doing defence. 

As well, Crown can focus on the files that are assigned to them without any of the time-consuming bother of running a small business, courting clients, keeping books, etc. This means they can focus on learning the craft with plenty of trial time whereas defence counsel have to learn and employ a whole other set of skills on top of just learning how to litigate. 

It’s a good idea to pursue Crown work at this stage. I would encourage it. 

Look up the various Crown manuals and learn the protocols and policies. It’s all public information. Learn all about bail court and make sure you are up on R v Jordan. Talk to other people who have interviewed: it is a structured process, not at all like most other job interviews. Prepare. 

And good luck.

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Don't go to the dark side!!!!!!

Seriously, do you want to be a Crown because you're worried about job security, or do you actually want to be one? 

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9 minutes ago, Hegdis said:

A lot of people do this. It’s a fairly well trod path. Crown work is better to start off with as you get the structure, mentorship and support that can be lacking when you are a new call doing defence. 

As well, Crown can focus on the files that are assigned to them without any of the time-consuming bother of running a small business, courting clients, keeping books, etc. This means they can focus on learning the craft with plenty of trial time whereas defence counsel have to learn and employ a whole other set of skills on top of just learning how to litigate. 

It’s a good idea to pursue Crown work at this stage. I would encourage it. 

Look up the various Crown manuals and learn the protocols and policies. It’s all public information. Learn all about bail court and make sure you are up on R v Jordan. Talk to other people who have interviewed: it is a structured process, not at all like most other job interviews. Prepare. 

And good luck.

Awesome! That's great to hear. I was wondering a bit about the recruitment process.. Would I apply after I am officially done articling or would I start applying closer to call, etc. If you know, I'd love to get your advice!!

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4 minutes ago, providence said:

Don't go to the dark side!!!!!!

Seriously, do you want to be a Crown because you're worried about job security, or do you actually want to be one? 

Hahah, well I did apply there for articles, just didn't work out for me. I have enjoyed defence so far, but I think I am better suited to work for the Crown. 

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17 minutes ago, defence said:

Awesome! That's great to hear. I was wondering a bit about the recruitment process.. Would I apply after I am officially done articling or would I start applying closer to call, etc. If you know, I'd love to get your advice!!

Provincial Crown in BC post their jobs on a government website. Federal Crown agents sometimes post on their firm website when there is an opening. I actually do not know what the PPSC does but I am sure you could find out. Alberta will have their own thing.

Gone are the days where you are hired seasonally. Jobs are posted when there is an opening. Could be tomorrow or March or next August. Learn where things are posted and check regularly. And put the word out that you are interested - colleagues can be great about communicating opportunities that come up.

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8 hours ago, Hegdis said:

Provincial Crown in BC post their jobs on a government website. Federal Crown agents sometimes post on their firm website when there is an opening. I actually do not know what the PPSC does but I am sure you could find out. Alberta will have their own thing.

Gone are the days where you are hired seasonally. Jobs are posted when there is an opening. Could be tomorrow or March or next August. Learn where things are posted and check regularly. And put the word out that you are interested - colleagues can be great about communicating opportunities that come up.

Got it. Thank you for your insight! 

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I can't speak to Alberta - but in BC the Northern offices are constantly and consistently looking.  If you are willing to relocate I would think that you could probably find an opening before too long.

(or on actually looking - it appears the island is in search at the moment). Start here:

 

https://search.employment.gov.bc.ca/cgi-bin/a/searchjobs_quick.cgi?a=search

 

Edit - my link isn't working as hoped - but if you go there, hit the search again and hit "Court and Judicial Services" in the "Category" box - Bob's yer Uncle.  

Edited by Rumpy

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5 hours ago, Rumpy said:

I can't speak to Alberta - but in BC the Northern offices are constantly and consistently looking.  If you are willing to relocate I would think that you could probably find an opening before too long.

(or on actually looking - it appears the island is in search at the moment). Start here:

 

https://search.employment.gov.bc.ca/cgi-bin/a/searchjobs_quick.cgi?a=search

 

Edit - my link isn't working as hoped - but if you go there, hit the search again and hit "Court and Judicial Services" in the "Category" box - Bob's yer Uncle.  

Amazing! Thanks. I know how to find jobs at Alberta Justice already, but wasn't really sure about BC. Thank you so much for the help!

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I'm in the same boat as the OP and I wanted to piggy-back this thread for Ontario.

I'm not sure what the case is for other provinces, but for Ontario I hear it's difficult to secure even a remote Crown location due to the preference for candidates in the hiring pool. Can anyone speak to the prospects of the Crown hiring outside their internal hiring pool? Are the internal candidates looking to specifically work in coveted locations or is it a feeding frenzy (so to speak) for any Crown position, regardless of location?

Thanks!

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