Sun | Jul 15, 2018

Andrea Martin-Swaby- A force to be reckoned with

Published:Monday | March 5, 2018 | 12:00 AMKeisha Hill

It is well known that being smart, competent, and skilled are the keys to being a successful lawyer. However, you must also have the passion, zeal and determination to be successful - especially in a competitive environment.

Andrea Martin-Swaby, deputy director of public prosecutions, with over 12 years experience in criminal prosecutions, is a highly motivated and dedicated team player with excellent people and project management skills.

A quick leaner with a goal of continuous improvement, Martin-Swaby has held the position of deputy director of public prosecutions since 2015.

Her main responsibilities include representing the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in the Court of Appeal, prosecuting in the Circuit Court and in the Resident Magistrates' Court.

"I have direct responsibility for managing cyber crime matters in the lower and high courts. In addition to my cases I also supervise the prosecutors that manage these case loads and assist police officers that are investigating cyber crime-related matters," Martin-Swaby said.

Martin-Swaby, who toyed with the idea of being an accountant or a lawyer while a student at Campion College, chose the latter and enrolled in the Faculty of Law at the University of the West Indies (UWI) following her graduation.

In 2003, she graduated with a bachelor of laws degree with an upper second class honours and then completed her certificate of legal education at the Norman Manley Law School in 2005. Fresh out of law school, Martin-Swaby wanted to establish her own private practice, but having been offered a post as clerk of the courts in the Ministry of Justice, she changed course.

"At the Norman Manley Law School I fell in love with trial advocacy and discovered that I had a passion that was suitable for the courts. Following graduation, I wanted to do defence work and felt that the private bar would have been more exciting, but when I was offered the job as clerk of the courts, I decided to change direction," Martin-Swaby said.

As clerk of the courts, Martin-Swaby's responsibilities included prosecuting in the Resident Magistrates' Court, assisting law enforcement officers to prepare case briefs, as well as conducting legal research and preparing opinions on matters of law.

With a number of important cases under her belt, Martin-Swaby has also written several journals and conducted presentations on varying topics related to cyber law, identity theft, and mutual legal assistance in the fight against corruption.

"I have a very demanding schedule, but I have to find the time to improve myself. I delve into a lot of research at night and on weekends to gather material to write my articles," Martin-Swaby said.

Martin-Swaby is also a firm believer in family. She is married with two children and despite her busy schedule, she finds the time to spend with them.

"I started my family while being in the profession. As prosecutors we are taught how to exercise efficient time management. Family is important to me and my children have an appreciation of what I do and I try to spend as much time as possible with them," she said.

keisha.hill@gleanerjm.com