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Careers in Criminal Law

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Anyone know how one can start a career in criminal law in Canada? Any Crown Attorneys out there? Or Public Defenders? Looking for entry level experience and advise. Thank you

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22 minutes ago, cgoppy said:

Anyone know how one can start a career in criminal law in Canada? Any Crown Attorneys out there? Or Public Defenders? Looking for entry level experience and advise. Thank you

Are you in a Canadian Law school now?

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On 12/24/2018 at 12:18 PM, Luckycharm said:

Are you in a Canadian Law school now?

No, I am a U.S. licensed attorney with some criminal defense and civil litigation experience looking to practice in Canada.

 

On 12/24/2018 at 12:12 PM, Savethewhales said:

Such a broad question. What are you asking here? 

My question is regarding the transition process for a U.S. attorney to practice criminal law in Canada.

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You are similar to a NCA student but you may get partial or whole exemption for article. 

Taking certain courses and the bar exams are most likely required

Edited by Luckycharm

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I am already accredited by the NCA, having taken all my examinations. I believe I would be able to be exempt wholly from articling due to my work experience. Currently contemplating whether it is worthwhile to take the Bar Exam based on career prospects.

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Certain markets are over saturated while others are underserved. Where do you intend to live?

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4 minutes ago, Hegdis said:

Certain markets are over saturated while others are underserved. Where do you intend to live?

Toronto, ON

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7 minutes ago, Hegdis said:

Certain markets are over saturated while others are underserved. Where do you intend to live?

But open to suggestions....

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Posted (edited)

I recently transitioned from labour relations to criminal (defence) - what specifically would you like to know? Generally speaking firms want previous litigation experience so you should be fine.

I can provide some insight into the job itself but please note I am not as experienced compared to other people here. Accordingly you should give my feedback marginal weight.

Edited by Scheer

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On 12/26/2018 at 1:27 PM, cgoppy said:

No, I am a U.S. licensed attorney with some criminal defense and civil litigation experience looking to practice in Canada.

 

My question is regarding the transition process for a U.S. attorney to practice criminal law in Canada.

I suspect you have more of an immigration question here, than an accreditation issue.  Are you legally entitled to work in Canada at present?

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59 minutes ago, Malicious Prosecutor said:

I suspect you have more of an immigration question here, than an accreditation issue.  Are you legally entitled to work in Canada at present?

Yes, I am a Canadian Citizen. 

 

21 hours ago, Scheer said:

I recently transitioned from labour relations to criminal (defence) - what specifically would you like to know? Generally speaking firms want previous litigation experience so you should be fine.

I can provide some insight into the job itself but please note I am not as experienced compared to other people here. Accordingly you should give my feedback marginal weight.

How did you secure an entry level job? 

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You look for postings, network, and apply. There is no particular magic to it.

Your biggest hurdle will be convincing your employer that you understand the Charter and the jurisprudence that springs from it. It permeates nearly every aspect of criminal law in Canada. 

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9 minutes ago, Hegdis said:

You look for postings, network, and apply. There is no particular magic to it.

Your biggest hurdle will be convincing your employer that you understand the Charter and the jurisprudence that springs from it. It permeates nearly every aspect of criminal law in Canada. 

I did study the Charter and its attendant Jurisprudence as part of my NCA exams, which I passed. What about the transfer-ability of skills learned from the U.S. system to the Canadian system?

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On 12/27/2018 at 7:55 AM, cgoppy said:

I am already accredited by the NCA, having taken all my examinations. I believe I would be able to be exempt wholly from articling due to my work experience. Currently contemplating whether it is worthwhile to take the Bar Exam based on career prospects.

Okay, since you are a Canadian citizen (it's amazing how many people hand-wave away the immigration side of such questions...)

If you're accredited by the NCA go ahead and get your bar admission first and foremost, or at least be able to confirm that all you need to do is apply.

So I'm a Crown Prosecutor.  Applying for Crown jobs you have two strikes against you: you don't live in the immediate area you'd be applying to, and you don't have direct Crown experience.  Some of the links above will suggest you try to apply to rural and northern areas and that can be good advice, because I think it unlikely you'd get a position in a major centre right off the bat.

I suspect you'd be better off just up-and-moving to wherever you want to go, start up a private practice (or try and arrange an office-share at least), and start to get yourself known, and build up your local experience.  From there start applying widely.

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45 minutes ago, cgoppy said:

I did study the Charter and its attendant Jurisprudence as part of my NCA exams, which I passed. What about the transfer-ability of skills learned from the U.S. system to the Canadian system?

That's not going to convince any employer  that you understand the Charter as it applies to the day-to-day practice of criminal law in Canada. 

Like any other job, you need to either (1) convince someone to hire you, and/or (2) convince clients to retain you. Criminal law is no different than any other practice, except for the fact that there are very, very few associate-type positions (and even fewer that would pay well).

MP has already pointed out the problems you'll have getting into the Crown. Therefore,  I second his advice to look at setting up a private practice, with all that that entails. 

With respect to transferable skills, if you have a significant amount of trial experience, that could count for something. But, again, you'll likely be working as a sole/office sharing if you're practising criminal defense. 

 

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1 hour ago, cgoppy said:

I did study the Charter and its attendant Jurisprudence as part of my NCA exams, which I passed. What about the transfer-ability of skills learned from the U.S. system to the Canadian system?

I don't think any of that is particularly helpful to you. It's a given that we've all studied that. The question is what value do you add to a criminal practice, and how will you attract clients? (Also a pertinent question if you intend to be a sole practitioner.) These are the questions you need to answer.  In criminal law, you generally "eat what you kill" - at least a percentage, and maybe all, of your income is based on the clients you find. 

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