Lieutenant-Colonel Steve Richards

Presenter details:

  • Date:

     February 15, 2017

  • Company:

     BC Criminal Justice Branch

  • Position:

     Special Prosecutions

  • Industry:

     2017, Law

  • Website:

     Visit online →

I am a lawyer, currently working as Crown Counsel with the Special Prosecutions office of the BC Criminal Justice Branch. Prior to joining the BC prosecution service, I served for 28 years in the Canadian Armed Forces, initially in the infantry, and later as a legal officer.

After completing a BA at Royal Roads Military College, I spent the first half of my military career as an infantry officer with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. Later, I attended law school at the University of Alberta, clerked at the Alberta Court of Appeal and Court of Queen’s Bench, and completed articles with a private law firm in Edmonton.

Over the past 14 years, I have served with the Office of the Judge Advocate General (JAG)as a legal advisor and as a military prosecutor in a variety of places. In addition to postings from coast-to-coast within Canada, and work in the United States, Jamaica, and in Europe, I have deployed on military operations in Croatia, Afghanistan, and Jerusalem/West Bank. I also served as a legal advisor during the Olympic security operation for the Vancouver 2010 games.

I left the Regular Force in 2015 to join BC’s Criminal Justice Branch as a Crown prosecutor. I worked as a Crown in Cranbrook, BC, and am currently working in Special Prosecutions, where I primarily prosecute gang and other organised crime-related offences. I continue to serve in the military reserve as the Deputy Director of Military Prosecutions (Reserve). I am also chief driver of two current Brentwood day students

I look forward to speaking with Brentwood students regarding careers in law, the military, or both.


I will recount my particular career journey after high school, including changes along the way, from military university; to serving in the army as an infantry officer; to law school; to life and work as a military lawyer in Canada and around the world; and finally to what guided my decision to take a position as a Crown prosecutor in BC.

I hope to provide students with some idea of the available opportunities that may lie ahead of them if they have an interest in serving in the military, as well as what my experiences have revealed – both positive and negative – about careers as a soldier and as a lawyer. I will also talk a bit about what has been involved for me in making significant career switches mid-stream.