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Malicious Prosecutor

So You Want To Be A Crown (criminal)

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9 hours ago, LawIsLoveLawIsLife said:

For those that summered with the Crown's office in 2L, what were your 1L grades and work experience like?

Summering at CLO - Criminal with a high B+ in 1L and course prize in Crim Law (I mention b/c it was brought up in interviews). Received offers from two trial Crown offices and DOJ.

Edited by EMP

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On 5/26/2017 at 10:30 PM, EMP said:

Summering at CLO - Criminal with a high B+ in 1L and course prize in Crim Law (I mention b/c it was brought up in interviews). Received offers from two trial Crown offices and DOJ.

What were the rest of your grades like?

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Apologies if this was brought up elsewhere, I didn't see it in this particular thread: how much discretion does a Crown prosecutor have with regards to accepting/declining certain files? Specifically, if you're assigned a file that for whatever reason you, personally, don't feel you can proceed with (murder of a child/children, for instance), is it bad form to say so and ask that another Crown handle it?

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4 hours ago, RGoodfellow said:

Apologies if this was brought up elsewhere, I didn't see it in this particular thread: how much discretion does a Crown prosecutor have with regards to accepting/declining certain files? Specifically, if you're assigned a file that for whatever reason you, personally, don't feel you can proceed with (murder of a child/children, for instance), is it bad form to say so and ask that another Crown handle it?

You have some discretion. You can let your supervisor know your preferences when it comes to assigned files. However, if you can't deal with cases involving child victims, you probably shouldn't do provincial Crown work. Dealing with violence against children is unfortunately a big part of the job.

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10 hours ago, BHC1 said:

You have some discretion. You can let your supervisor know your preferences when it comes to assigned files. However, if you can't deal with cases involving child victims, you probably shouldn't do provincial Crown work. Dealing with violence against children is unfortunately a big part of the job.

That's good to know, thank you. I just finished listening to a podcast that talked about Timothy Jones Jr and how he killed his five children, and I thought to myself "I don't know if I could have looked at the photos of the bodies". That's so incredibly unfortunate that violence against children is such a big part of the job. Those poor kids...

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18 hours ago, RGoodfellow said:

Apologies if this was brought up elsewhere, I didn't see it in this particular thread: how much discretion does a Crown prosecutor have with regards to accepting/declining certain files? Specifically, if you're assigned a file that for whatever reason you, personally, don't feel you can proceed with (murder of a child/children, for instance), is it bad form to say so and ask that another Crown handle it?

It's going to depend on your office.  If you're with the Feds you don't have to worry, for example.  If you apply to a specialized unit you'd better be able to handle the kinds of files that office takes on.

If you're in a small jurisdiction you're kind of stuck - you're the only Crown in a given courthouse on a given day - you have to be able to speak to the file.

In a large urban office... depends how often it comes up, and what the reason is.  If you couldn't handle sex assaults, or kiddie files, we could probably accommodate you (I hope you like frauds!).  If you try to say you can't handle impaired files though.... tough luck.  Everyone has to do them.

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11 hours ago, Malicious Prosecutor said:

It's going to depend on your office.  If you're with the Feds you don't have to worry, for example.  If you apply to a specialized unit you'd better be able to handle the kinds of files that office takes on.

If you're in a small jurisdiction you're kind of stuck - you're the only Crown in a given courthouse on a given day - you have to be able to speak to the file.

In a large urban office... depends how often it comes up, and what the reason is.  If you couldn't handle sex assaults, or kiddie files, we could probably accommodate you (I hope you like frauds!).  If you try to say you can't handle impaired files though.... tough luck.  Everyone has to do them.

Thank you! This helps a lot.

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Hi Malicious Prosecutor,

I've always wanted to do criminal law and being a crown is one of my career goals. However, I am an immigrant and my native language is not English. I can speak and write English with minimal difficulties but I am concerned that I will be at a major disadvantage when I argue in court (I assume this is inevitable for a Crown). Does being a Crown/criminal defense lawyer require strong lanuage skills? and if so, is there any way I can improve? 

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11 hours ago, Dofin42 said:

Hi Malicious Prosecutor,

I've always wanted to do criminal law and being a crown is one of my career goals. However, I am an immigrant and my native language is not English. I can speak and write English with minimal difficulties but I am concerned that I will be at a major disadvantage when I argue in court (I assume this is inevitable for a Crown). Does being a Crown/criminal defense lawyer require strong lanuage skills? and if so, is there any way I can improve? 

Okay, so yes communication is very important, which includes language skills.  The entire point of being a litigator is to try and communicate your position to the judge.

That being said, government is a very diverse working environment.  We utilize substantive interviews rather than rely on "fit" for this purpose.  As well because so many criminals, and so many victims, are from racialized and/or immigrant communities so people with diverse backgrounds and extra languages are really seen as an asset, not a liability.

So I don't know - is it you feel you have a strong accent, or that you need to still improve on your english skills?  Unfortunately I can't give you any advice on what to work on as you're already one up on me - I have never learned a second language.

Edited by Malicious Prosecutor
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I would recommend making it a habit to read caselaw, with particular attention to the Analysis portions. So much of what we do is argue nuance and you need to be able to make these finer points and appreciate subtle distinctions in law. 

The oral advocacy should be fine. Your writing is strong and your command of the language comes across as solid. It’s really keeping your brain attuned to the subtleties of the law that I would focus on. 

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10 hours ago, Hegdis said:

I would recommend making it a habit to read caselaw, with particular attention to the Analysis portions. So much of what we do is argue nuance and you need to be able to make these finer points and appreciate subtle distinctions in law. 

The oral advocacy should be fine. Your writing is strong and your command of the language comes across as solid. It’s really keeping your brain attuned to the subtleties of the law that I would focus on. 

Thanks for the advice! and @Malicious Prosecutor too for your kind response.

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5 hours ago, GoblinKing said:

How would one get into prosecuting regulatory offences. 

Regulatory offences are a mixed bag.  Contrary to @LSorBust they are not just prosecuted by the Feds - I know here with ACPS we prosecute a bunch of regulatory offences.  City also prosecutes bylaws, and some areas still retain private counsel for the prosecution.

Because it's such a mixed bag I can't give you any single answer how to get into it.  I can tell you that in ACPS regulatory offences are mostly prosecuted by our Specialized Prosecution branch, and that typically people are hired into Specialized out of the general prosecution service - it has a reduced file load (although each file is enormous).

I suspect that in law school saying "I want to prosecute, say, Workplace Health and Safety offences" would be to ridiculously narrow your potential hires.  If you want to prosecute, go get experience prosecuting at whatever level you can, then work on specializing from there.

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1 minute ago, Malicious Prosecutor said:

Regulatory offences are a mixed bag.  Contrary to @LSorBust they are not just prosecuted by the Feds - I know here with ACPS we prosecute a bunch of regulatory offences.  City also prosecutes bylaws, and some areas still retain private counsel for the prosecution.

Because it's such a mixed bag I can't give you any single answer how to get into it.  I can tell you that in ACPS regulatory offences are mostly prosecuted by our Specialized Prosecution branch, and that typically people are hired into Specialized out of the general prosecution service - it has a reduced file load (although each file is enormous).

I suspect that in law school saying "I want to prosecute, say, Workplace Health and Safety offences" would be to ridiculously narrow your potential hires.  If you want to prosecute, go get experience prosecuting at whatever level you can, then work on specializing from there.

Thank you. 

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1 hour ago, Malicious Prosecutor said:

Regulatory offences are a mixed bag.  Contrary to @LSorBust they are not just prosecuted by the Feds - I know here with ACPS we prosecute a bunch of regulatory offences.  City also prosecutes bylaws, and some areas still retain private counsel for the prosecution.

Because it's such a mixed bag I can't give you any single answer how to get into it.  I can tell you that in ACPS regulatory offences are mostly prosecuted by our Specialized Prosecution branch, and that typically people are hired into Specialized out of the general prosecution service - it has a reduced file load (although each file is enormous).

I suspect that in law school saying "I want to prosecute, say, Workplace Health and Safety offences" would be to ridiculously narrow your potential hires.  If you want to prosecute, go get experience prosecuting at whatever level you can, then work on specializing from there.

Never said they were just prosecuted by the Feds, but frankly, the DOJ does a huge number of those files. But you're one of those people on here who just needs to always be right, so, hope that makes you feel great about yourself!

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13 hours ago, LSorBust said:

Never said they were just prosecuted by the Feds, but frankly, the DOJ does a huge number of those files. But you're one of those people on here who just needs to always be right, so, hope that makes you feel great about yourself!

Thank you - I am indeed awesome.

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14 hours ago, LSorBust said:

Never said they were just prosecuted by the Feds, but frankly, the DOJ does a huge number of those files. But you're one of those people on here who just needs to always be right, so, hope that makes you feel great about yourself!

PPSC, not DOJ. 

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17 hours ago, LSorBust said:

Never said they were just prosecuted by the Feds, but frankly, the DOJ does a huge number of those files. But you're one of those people on here who just needs to always be right, so, hope that makes you feel great about yourself!

MP and I pretty much disagree on most issues. But like, you legit said "work for the feds" and MP noted that it's not just the feds. It wasn't a /r/iamverysmart moment - all he did was add nuance to your answer so that Goblinking has more information. I would have chimed in the same - regulatory offenses are not only done by the feds.

How you go from an assertive statement (work for the feds) to "I never said it wasn't just the Feds!" is questionable.

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