In this interview, Imaan Osman answers some questions about what made her become a CPS legal trainee. She also shares some information about the process of applying, her motivations for wanting to join the service, as well as tips that we hope will make this application round a successful one for you.
Area: London North
Why did you choose to apply to the Legal Trainee Scheme (LTS)?
I’ve always wanted to do criminal law, so the CPS made sense as a sensible option given pay at the criminal bar. I also loved knowing you could do secondments. You don’t get this option a lot at other chambers; you sort of cover everything to do with that area of law. In the CPS, you can focus on one area of law during secondments. This is great if you want to become a specialist lawyer.
What was the application process like?
I found the application process long but not stressful. The amount of time to prepare was adequate and easy to fit around a schedule with work and adult life. The anxiousness of waiting to hear back if you got through to the next stages was the hardest. I was lucky I interviewed on one of the last days, so I didn’t wait long to find out about my pupillage.
How did you prepare for each element of the application cycle?
The video recording was difficult to prepare for as you don’t know the questions. But what I did do is get comfortable in front of the camera. I did pre-record myself a few times, just talking about myself to appear more comfortable. For the assessment, I used the CPS website for the guidance of prosecution principles.
What are your favourite aspects thus far? Would you recommend LTS, and if so, why?
I would recommend the role to every pupil. I am enjoying my pupillage more than I anticipated. My favourite aspect is the training that you get to participate with your other pupils. It’s not a competition at the CPS, so you bounce off and learn from each other. You’re not just learning from your supervisor but a range of different people.
What myth about prosecuting as an employee of the Crown Prosecution Service would you like to dispel?
The myth I would like to dispel is that we are overworked. There is work to do and lots of it, but your hours and well-being are well looked after.
What tips would you give to future trainees?
Don’t assume at the interview stage that the interviewer knows everything about you. They might not have been the same people to read your CV or video calls, so answer everything with that in mind. Also, don’t be afraid to talk about yourself. I don’t particularly enjoy it, but I forced myself to do it in my CPS interview, and it paid off.