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Criminal Defence Solicitors


Salary:From 38,970 up to £46,820 depending on skills and PQE 

Working pattern:Full time, Permanent and/or Temporary 

Location:Central Belt 

Closing date:31 January 2022 at midnight 

Due to recent employee turnover and movements, we have vacancies in our Edinburgh and Dundee offices and are anticipating a number of vacancies within the next six months across the PDSO network, in particular the central belt, but also elsewhere in Scotland. We are therefore looking for experienced Criminal Defence Solicitors to join us on a permanent basis. Speculative applications for solicitor vacancies that may be available over the next six months are welcome for any our PDSO offices located around Scotland, with some travel around our central belt offices expected.

About us

The Public Defence Solicitors’ Office (PDSO) is a national network of publicly funded solicitors operating from seven offices across Scotland providing criminal legal assistance. Operating as a direct service of the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB), we advise and represent clients, who are eligible for criminal legal aid, in relation to summary and solemn cases at every level and in Scotland’s busiest courts all over the country.

The main purpose of the role is to manage criminal cases at all levels with a focus on duty solicitor work both at courts and at police stations.

What we are offering

As an organisation, SLAB and the PDSO can offer a secure and potentially long term career opportunity with highly rewarding work that can have a considerable impact on people’s lives. Our benefits package includes learning and development opportunities, flexible working hours, competitive holiday entitlement and a contributory defined benefit pension scheme.

About you

This is an excellent opportunity for skilled solicitors who are driven and self-motivated to achieve the best possible result. By using your own initiative to make things happen, you will work to high standards to produce high quality output and deliver the best possible service and case outcome for clients.

You should demonstrate excellent presentation skills with well-developed communication skills and be able to influence and persuade others, verbally and in writing, in such a way to be clearly understood.

You should have sound judgment skills and be able to evaluate information and courses of action to reach logical and objective decisions about what is most likely to lead to the desired results.

You should also have good planning and organising skills to be able to achieve results in a qualitative, timely and cost-effective way. Be able to set priorities and plan the efficient use of resources in order to monitor progress against objectives.

About the role

Main responsibilities of the Criminal Defence Solicitor:

  • Provide advice and representation to clients who are subject to criminal investigations or criminal proceedings.

  • Apply/adhere to practices, procedures and Codes of Practice to ensure the maximum efficiency and effectiveness of the PDSO.

  • Build effective relationships with clients and key contacts through appropriate contact.

  • Represent the PDSO in its relationship with outside bodies as required.

To be eligible for these roles you must be an enrolled solicitor with the Law Society of Scotland, with a full, current, unrestricted practising certificate from the Law Society of Scotland; an in-depth working knowledge of the criminal justice system and legal aid; at least a year of criminal court experience in Scots Law; a current valid driving licence, with immediate access to a car on an as-required basis and insurance cover for business use. Computer literacy in Word, Excel, time and case recording would be highly desirable.

To access the full job description, person specification and application details, please click the “Apply Online” button or visit

Application Information

Please apply online.

For assistance, please contact Amy Rennie on or 0131 240 2013.

If you are interested in being considered for current vacancies, or any future roles over the next six months, please complete the application form provided on our website, indicating from which office you’d prefer to work.

Interviews may be held via a video call thereafter and may be organised at short notice.

Applications for further roles will be considered until 30 June 2022. Any vacancies which arise may be filled quickly as required within the six month period, so please apply for these roles at your earliest convenience.

Application Options