Ellie, Public Defender Service

Ellie Stephens, LLB Law

"This placement has allowed me to further my knowledge on the criminal justice system and has motivated me to study the Legal Practise Course in the future and one day to become a qualified solicitor."


As part of our ‘Learning through the Workplace’ module for LLB Law we were assigned a 70-hour placement. My placement was with the Public Defender Service PDS. I have always had an interest in criminal law, and this was an opportunity to have a real insight into how it works every day.

The placement was extremely full on! Not one single day was the same, so it gave me a real insight into the everyday life of a criminal solicitor. I attended both the magistrates and crown court to sit in on trials and court hearings. I also read through numerous different files at the office which enlightened me to see that there are many different crimes occurring. I also attended police stations where I sat with clients and in on interviews which was rather nerve-wrecking but also very interesting. Overall, the whole experience of this placement was brilliant, and I found it thoroughly enjoyable.

The thing I enjoyed the most about my placement was how involved I was with the team. Not once did I feel excluded or uninvolved. There was always something to do and all the solicitors at the PDS tried to involve me as much as possible. They ensured that I had experience at the office, court and the police stations which summarised to me how every day as a criminal solicitor is different. They really wanted me to benefit from my experience on placement which I certainly think I did. They were all extremely welcoming and taught me a lot during my time there and I hope to visit them again one day in the future.

Before my placement I was rather unsure as to what career path I wanted to aspire to however after it I can happily say I love the aspect of criminal law and working with the PDS would be a goal of mine in the future.