Crown Prosecution Service

Emily Miller
Crown Prosecution Service

Crown Prosecution Service

Emily Miller is an HR officer at the Crown Prosecution Service. She is based in Liverpool and has been in her role for two years.

How did you end up in law?

I decided to take advantage of the opportunities offered by an apprenticeship rather than studying full time for a degree at university. I gained a place on the Civil Service’s fast track apprenticeship scheme in 2016 and was placed in the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) from there, specifically in the recruitment team in Liverpool, where I manage our National Legal Trainee Scheme.

What are the most/least enjoyable aspects of recruiting?

It’s rewarding to see candidates progress from the application stage right through to their appointment to qualified roles. I get to know everyone during the process and it’s great to see people progress in the organisation. For example, one of our recent qualifiers has successfully applied to become a crown advocate, which is a fantastic achievement given that just 12 months ago I was helping this candidate prepare to apply for one of our pupillages.

The most difficult part of the job is telling people that their applications have been unsuccessful when they have put so much hard work in, but we provide detailed feedback and encourage candidates to apply again the following year. There are lots of examples of candidates falling just short in their first application before coming back the next year to apply successfully.

Does the CPS train both solicitors and barristers?

Yes, everyone on our Legal Trainee Scheme is referred to as a trainee, but the training itself is tailored toward either qualifying as a solicitor or barrister, depending on their qualifications.

Do you socialise with your trainees?

Of course. We take on 30-40 trainees a year and they are based across the country, so our induction process is very important because it is often the first chance that many trainees have to meet their peers – especially if they have been assigned to an area where they are the only trainee. The nationwide nature of the scheme also means that a lot of social activities are organised more locally. For example, a group of trainees recently organised their own trainee conference which was attended by judges, as well as senior legal professionals from our organisation.

Do you attend law fairs or other careers events?

Yes, although we tend to target postgraduate students who are already doing the LPC or BPTC – groups of our trainees regularly engage with students at law school campus events and so on. We are also very active on social media – I would definitely encourage students to reach out to us on Twitter or LinkedIn if they have any questions.

Does the CPS provide work experience opportunities for candidates thinking of applying?

Yes, these opportunities are provided on an area by area basis and are less formal than you will find at commercial law firms. We encourage candidates to get in touch with us and CPS areas are more than happy to try to arrange a week’s shadowing of one of our barristers or solicitors.

What is the most common mistake you see candidates making, apart from the obvious typos?

We provide detailed guidance throughout the process, but especially at the initial application stage. Sometimes it is clear when a candidate has not read that advice, so we strongly encourage applicants to thoroughly read all the guidance before they apply, so that they don’t miss something important on the application form.

What are the attributes you look for in a trainee that are particularly suited to your firm?

We specialise in criminal prosecutions, so it’s important that candidates display real motivation for public service and justice. Pro bono work or volunteering – either legal or non-legal, full time or part time – are good examples of how you can demonstrate that you share the values of the CPS.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of joining the legal profession?

Candidates should definitely keep up with legal news and developments on a daily basis, particularly how the law is changing and what is happening with prosecutions if they are interested in a career at the CPS. News about the CPS is regularly posted on our website.

What is one key fact that you expect candidates to know about the CPS?

Applicants should be aware of our core values, which you can read all about on our website. Candidates should read up as much as they can so that they are prepared to apply and know what our organisation stands for. Our 2020 strategy can also be found online, which is absolutely key for candidates to know about.

What is your dream job (other than this one!)?

I’m a big foodie, so life as a food critic would be very nice!

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