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  • Writer's pictureRobert Cashman

How To Find That Elusive Supervising Solicitor So That You Can Become a Accredited Police Station Representative?

Man on video call speaking to colleague about police station portfolio

In order to become accredited you need a supervising solicitor.

The supervising solicitor must be in criminal practice and be able to sign off your portfolio and confirm that you are a fit and proper person to undertake police station representation of criminal clients. Being a supervising solicitor is a onerous and time consuming task. He will need to observe you at the police station; check your portfolio

Cashman you want the date of birth 12 May 1966

Here are top five tips in order to find that elusive supervising solicitor!

Gain experience whether paid or unpaid in a criminal solicitors office.

In order to become familiar with what happens at police stations when you are representing a client you need not only to know English criminal law but you need to know what happens after you have left the police station. You will only know that if you have worked at some point either paid or unpaid in a criminal solicitors office. Of ten what goes on behind the scenes is as important as what goes on in the police station itself. You need to know what could happen if the matter goes to the Magistrates Court or Crown Court?; how could it be handled and who by? What are the potential outcomes? and what are the clients options? You will learn most, if not all of this by actually working with Criminal Solicitors day to day. You will need to be able to soak up their experience and knowledge to work in the fast moving place of Criminal law.

Look At The Application From The Supervising Solicitors Point of View

Training a person up to become a accredited Police Station Representative is a major investment in time and money for any criminal solicitor practice. Look at your application from the criminal solicitors point of view. What will they get out of it? If the answer is absolutely nothing you are guaranteeing your application will be rejected. Most Legally aided criminal solicitors work on a 6% net profit basis per year. Will you work for them for a time when you are accredited? Will you offer them a reduced rate if you cover their criminal clients at police stations when you are accredited?

Forge Links With Local Criminal Solicitor Practices

It is already being accredited but being so will not be much use to you if you can't get work! Not just one off work that regular day-to-day work at that. How will you go about getting your clients? Will you use the duty solicitor wrote a list to contact potential firms to instruct you? Will you have a webpage? Will you do any kind of marketing? Leaflets? Telephone calls et cetera. How will you come across people who can instruct you and tell them about your services? You need to be thinking about all this kind of thing now not when you are accredited. Your clients will not come to you automatically. You will need to provide a service.

Gain Experience Working with The General Public

It helps if you have worked in the complaints department!

The clients that you are working with may not meet your definition of reasonable people.

As Ed Cape says in the introduction to "defending suspects at police stations"

"Defending at police stations is not easy. Client may be vulnerable, nervous, apprehensive, representative, angry, rude or all of these things. Police officers may be uncooperative, secretive, difficult, dismissive or aggressive. The lawyer is on police territory, subject to a police agenda and may be regarded as someone who will interfere with both the investigation and the course of justice. On top of this, it may be late at night or in the early hours of the morning and the lawyer may be alone, and supported by professional colleagues."

No better explanation of your working environment can be found.

Make Numerous Applications - Speculative or Otherwise.

Criminal solicitors get hundreds of applications from people wishing to be police station representatives per year. Most if not all, have no ideal of skill set that they need or of the rigorous examinations that you must go through to become one. If you are to be a good accredited police station representative you must be persistent. Expect to be rejected but always argue in your application why this particular criminal practice should take you on and why you are so different than all the other applications. Please note in this area experience is everything and it will not count for instance that you have a 1st in history from Oxford! (Even a first in criminal law will not count that much!)

Brush Up On Your People Skills

Criminal law is a people facing profession. In essence you are dealing with people all of the working day. Be it police officers, clients, appropriate adults or interpreters. You are in a highly stressed situation whereby your advice could dictate what happens to this client for a number of months if not years. You have to be assertive, yet compassionate. Strong willed yet have empathy, condemning but have understanding. You must be able to see your clients point of view, the police officers point of view and society's point of view as well as working within professional rules. It helps if you have dealt with the general public for a number of years.

Talk To Criminal Solicitors - What do they need?

You will be no good to your criminal solicitor clients if you must finish each day at 3:30 PM to pick the kids up from school or decide that 5:30 PM, halfway through a police interview that it's time to go home because you have in your opinion done a full days work. You need to consider the impact been a accredited police station representative will have on your social life and mental health as well as your family life. You must consider your criminal solicitor clients. When will they most need you? I can tell you now it will be at unsociable hours, weekends, Christmas, bank holidays. How will you cope working Christmas Day every year continually? How will you potentially cope with not seeing your children on Saturdays? How you will you deal with the stresses on your mental health of dealing with difficult clients in horrendous situations and who have committed what some could condemn as terrible crimes?

If you need free police station representation at a police station in Kent please call police station agent on 01732 247 427.

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