I want to be a prosecutor

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1macmac
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I want to be a prosecutor

Postby 1macmac » Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:45 am

I'm hoping to get into a T10 school. My goal is to become a criminal prosecutor, but Im not sure how admissions committee's at top schools feel about that field. Do they prefer corporate lawyers or pro bono lawyers? What do you think?

Geist13
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Re: I want to be a prosecutor

Postby Geist13 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:51 am

they don't care. Not sure why they would know you want to be one. I don't suggest writing a personal statement about being a prosecutor. Stick to to what you know about: yourself.

I also, however, don't really suggest going to law school if the only thing you can see yourself doing is prosecution. Basically, you won't get a job as a prosecutor. Most offices essentially aren't hiring and that won't be changing anytime soon. There is a ton of competition for the positions that exist. Its way harder than breaking into biglaw.

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Hjones33
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Re: I want to be a prosecutor

Postby Hjones33 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:24 pm

Geist13 wrote:they don't care. Not sure why they would know you want to be one. I don't suggest writing a personal statement about being a prosecutor. Stick to to what you know about: yourself.

I also, however, don't really suggest going to law school if the only thing you can see yourself doing is prosecution. Basically, you won't get a job as a prosecutor. Most offices essentially aren't hiring and that won't be changing anytime soon. There is a ton of competition for the positions that exist. Its way harder than breaking into biglaw.


Not trying to say you are wrong... But can someone else with knowledge about this comment on this. Is this true? Harder than biglaw? With so many DA offices in this country and the low pay, it is hard for me to believe that, but then again that is just an assumption on my part with no evidence.

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Geetar Man
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Re: I want to be a prosecutor

Postby Geetar Man » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:47 pm

Hjones33 wrote:
Geist13 wrote:they don't care. Not sure why they would know you want to be one. I don't suggest writing a personal statement about being a prosecutor. Stick to to what you know about: yourself.

I also, however, don't really suggest going to law school if the only thing you can see yourself doing is prosecution. Basically, you won't get a job as a prosecutor. Most offices essentially aren't hiring and that won't be changing anytime soon. There is a ton of competition for the positions that exist. Its way harder than breaking into biglaw.


Not trying to say you are wrong... But can someone else with knowledge about this comment on this. Is this true? Harder than biglaw? With so many DA offices in this country and the low pay, it is hard for me to believe that, but then again that is just an assumption on my part with no evidence.


I think that Giest is somewhat wrong. Going to law school with intentions of becoming a prosecutor is not that bad of an idea, compared to going to law school for any other reason. Law school, in the current conditions, comes with the risk of not finding a job, no matter what you want to do. As far as the statement that they arent hiring, that's true. The DOJ is in a hiring freeze and have been for a while. I'm not sure when they will get out of the freeze, but I doubt that it will be more than 2-3 years. I still think there's no point in waiting to get the degree, unless you're facing unmanageable debt.

As far as it being way harder than getting into biglaw, I think that might be true because so many people are applying for these jobs compared to people applying to biglaw. The reason I know this is because I currently work for the USAO. I'm in a similar but different position than you; I want to be a prosecutor however I have been working here for the past 5 years, since I was 18 years old (I'm 23 now). I believe that there is a good possibility that they will hire me back on as an attorney. It's all about who you know, honestly.

Geist13
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Re: I want to be a prosecutor

Postby Geist13 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:17 pm

Geetar Man wrote:
I think that Giest is somewhat wrong. Going to law school with intentions of becoming a prosecutor is not that bad of an idea, compared to going to law school for any other reason. Law school, in the current conditions, comes with the risk of not finding a job, no matter what you want to do. As far as the statement that they arent hiring, that's true. The DOJ is in a hiring freeze and have been for a while. I'm not sure when they will get out of the freeze, but I doubt that it will be more than 2-3 years. I still think there's no point in waiting to get the degree, unless you're facing unmanageable debt.

As far as it being way harder than getting into biglaw, I think that might be true because so many people are applying for these jobs compared to people applying to biglaw. The reason I know this is because I currently work for the USAO. I'm in a similar but different position than you; I want to be a prosecutor however I have been working here for the past 5 years, since I was 18 years old (I'm 23 now). I believe that there is a good possibility that they will hire me back on as an attorney. It's all about who you know, honestly.


Well first of all, DOJ hiring really has nothing to do with what most people are talking about when they talk about the prosecutor job market. Honestly, I highly doubt that you are going to be hired as an AUSA right out of law school. That's basically unheard of outside of whatever honors programs there are out there (I forgot what its called for the DOJ, if it even still exists). But if you do that's awesome and congratulations indeed! Be sure, however, OP, that I can't think of a bigger exception to any hiring trend than someone being hired as a federal prosecutor directly out of law school; it simply doesn't happen outside of extreme circumstances.

Prosecutor offices are tied to local budgets. This means that they have no money, aren't hiring and won't be hiring anytime soon (because local budgets won't be significantly improving in the short term). This does not mean that there won't be people who are able to land these spots. However, because the job market has constricted generally, there are not only many fewer positions available, there are more and more very competitive applicants for these positions. It's much harder than biglaw simply becuase there are so few positions out there. While I think biglaw SA's numbers are somewhere between 6K and 8K (actually I totally made that up but it sounds right) I would be dumbfounded if there are more than a few hundred entry level prosecutor positions available nationwide (full disclosure: I have nothing to back this up other than my observation of prosecutor hiring and discussions I've had with prosecutors about the process).

I'm not saying don't go to law school with the goal of being a prosecutor (I WANT to be a prosecutor). I'm saying don't go to law school if you are prosecutor or bust (i.e. you won't want to practice privately), because you're so unlikely to land a an entry level prosecutor job that you shouldn't really consider it a possibility.

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Mce252
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Re: I want to be a prosecutor

Postby Mce252 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:23 pm

Hjones33 wrote:
Geist13 wrote:they don't care. Not sure why they would know you want to be one. I don't suggest writing a personal statement about being a prosecutor. Stick to to what you know about: yourself.

I also, however, don't really suggest going to law school if the only thing you can see yourself doing is prosecution. Basically, you won't get a job as a prosecutor. Most offices essentially aren't hiring and that won't be changing anytime soon. There is a ton of competition for the positions that exist. Its way harder than breaking into biglaw.


Not trying to say you are wrong... But can someone else with knowledge about this comment on this. Is this true? Harder than biglaw? With so many DA offices in this country and the low pay, it is hard for me to believe that, but then again that is just an assumption on my part with no evidence.


It depends on the market. These past two years have seen steep budget cuts in many jurisdictions so it could be true in some places that DA jobs are harder to get than big law. However, this is probably not a general notion.

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Geetar Man
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Re: I want to be a prosecutor

Postby Geetar Man » Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:06 pm

Geist13 wrote:
Geetar Man wrote:
I think that Giest is somewhat wrong. Going to law school with intentions of becoming a prosecutor is not that bad of an idea, compared to going to law school for any other reason. Law school, in the current conditions, comes with the risk of not finding a job, no matter what you want to do. As far as the statement that they arent hiring, that's true. The DOJ is in a hiring freeze and have been for a while. I'm not sure when they will get out of the freeze, but I doubt that it will be more than 2-3 years. I still think there's no point in waiting to get the degree, unless you're facing unmanageable debt.

As far as it being way harder than getting into biglaw, I think that might be true because so many people are applying for these jobs compared to people applying to biglaw. The reason I know this is because I currently work for the USAO. I'm in a similar but different position than you; I want to be a prosecutor however I have been working here for the past 5 years, since I was 18 years old (I'm 23 now). I believe that there is a good possibility that they will hire me back on as an attorney. It's all about who you know, honestly.


Well first of all, DOJ hiring really has nothing to do with what most people are talking about when they talk about the prosecutor job market. Honestly, I highly doubt that you are going to be hired as an AUSA right out of law school. That's basically unheard of outside of whatever honors programs there are out there (I forgot what its called for the DOJ, if it even still exists). But if you do that's awesome and congratulations indeed! Be sure, however, OP, that I can't think of a bigger exception to any hiring trend than someone being hired as a federal prosecutor directly out of law school; it simply doesn't happen outside of extreme circumstances.

Prosecutor offices are tied to local budgets. This means that they have no money, aren't hiring and won't be hiring anytime soon (because local budgets won't be significantly improving in the short term). This does not mean that there won't be people who are able to land these spots. However, because the job market has constricted generally, there are not only many fewer positions available, there are more and more very competitive applicants for these positions. It's much harder than biglaw simply becuase there are so few positions out there. While I think biglaw SA's numbers are somewhere between 6K and 8K (actually I totally made that up but it sounds right) I would be dumbfounded if there are more than a few hundred entry level prosecutor positions available nationwide (full disclosure: I have nothing to back this up other than my observation of prosecutor hiring and discussions I've had with prosecutors about the process).

I'm not saying don't go to law school with the goal of being a prosecutor (I WANT to be a prosecutor). I'm saying don't go to law school if you are prosecutor or bust (i.e. you won't want to practice privately), because you're so unlikely to land a an entry level prosecutor job that you shouldn't really consider it a possibility.



I wrote out a long reply and then accidentally clicked on another bookmark. Now I'm going to keep what I was trying to say short.

Extreme circumstances? What would you say is an extreme circumstance?

Anecdotally, there are a few attorneys here in the USAO that are in their 20s/early 30s. I know of one who, for a fact, came straight from a Tier 2/3 law school (a LS in Akron, Ohio I believe) and is now an AUSA at the young age of 24. Mind you, he has been here for over a year already.

As far as prosecutor or bust, then yes, that's a bad mindset. Chances are you won't get ANY job right off the bat, such as prosecution/defending; the simple fact is that it's currently a shitty job market.

Lastly, I never claimed that I would get hired right out of LS to be an AUSA. All that I said was that it's a good possibility I would get hired back on as an attorney. As for when, who knows. But again, OP, make connections, meet people who are in prosecution (this may entail even getting a job at a courthouse or what not); a lot of it is about who you know.

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CactusPuppy
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Re: I want to be a prosecutor

Postby CactusPuppy » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:00 am

Wanting to be an American prosecutor is a pretty screwed up life goal.

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Geetar Man
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Re: I want to be a prosecutor

Postby Geetar Man » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:53 am

CactusPuppy wrote:Wanting to be an American prosecutor is a pretty screwed up life goal.


Wait, so wanting to prosecute criminals for breaking the laws of our state/country? Granted, some of the laws are fucked but hey, that's the society we live in. There's no changing the fact that some laws will be absurd/counterproductive, e.g., some marijuana laws. 8)

But on a more serious note, I hope you're joking. I think being a prosecutor is a very noble goal. I know it's my personal dream to be a prosecutor, litigating against big time offenders such as Hasan, Mcveigh, or Loughner. Though one wouldn't prosecute all of these people, it would be nice to bring justice to one or so high profile offenders and many low profile offenders.

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CactusPuppy
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Re: I want to be a prosecutor

Postby CactusPuppy » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:59 am

I'm sorry but ruining people's lives for smoking weed is not noble. USA has some of the most unjust criminal statutes in the industrialized world, and there is nothing noble about seeking the max for violation of mostly stupid and Constitutionally repugnant laws.

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Mce252
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Re: I want to be a prosecutor

Postby Mce252 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:13 pm

CactusPuppy wrote:I'm sorry but ruining people's lives for smoking weed is not noble. USA has some of the most unjust criminal statutes in the industrialized world, and there is nothing noble about seeking the max for violation of mostly stupid and Constitutionally repugnant laws.


Do you always carry a sign that reads "I'm an idiot"? You obviously haven't visited the county jails in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, or New Orleans recently. Have you ever even looked at crime statistics?

Getting arrested for smoking weed does not ruin anyone's life in the United States. It's a class C misdemeanor in many jurisidictions and carries a penalty similar to that of a traffic violation.

You must be an occupy person.

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Flappy Scribbleneck
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Re: I want to be a prosecutor

Postby Flappy Scribbleneck » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:04 pm

CactusPuppy wrote:Wanting to be an American prosecutor is a pretty screwed up life goal.


Wow

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Veyron
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Re: I want to be a prosecutor

Postby Veyron » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:15 pm

Hjones33 wrote:
Geist13 wrote:they don't care. Not sure why they would know you want to be one. I don't suggest writing a personal statement about being a prosecutor. Stick to to what you know about: yourself.

I also, however, don't really suggest going to law school if the only thing you can see yourself doing is prosecution. Basically, you won't get a job as a prosecutor. Most offices essentially aren't hiring and that won't be changing anytime soon. There is a ton of competition for the positions that exist. Its way harder than breaking into biglaw.


Not trying to say you are wrong... But can someone else with knowledge about this comment on this. Is this true? Harder than biglaw? With so many DA offices in this country and the low pay, it is hard for me to believe that, but then again that is just an assumption on my part with no evidence.


Ok, the idea that there are no jobs for prosecutors is one of those lies that its a good idea to believe. As BeautifulSW often points out, there are plenty of jobs for prosecutors if you are willing to live places like rural NM but lol at you if you think you're going to get a job right off the bat as an NYC prosecutor or some such. You may get a city job eventually, but not until you've put in your time in small town america.

Geist13
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Re: I want to be a prosecutor

Postby Geist13 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:30 pm

Veyron wrote:Ok, the idea that there are no jobs for prosecutors is one of those lies that its a good idea to believe. As BeautifulSW often points out, there are plenty of jobs for prosecutors if you are willing to live places like rural NM but lol at you if you think you're going to get a job right off the bat as an NYC prosecutor or some such. You may get a city job eventually, but not until you've put in your time in small town america.


Agreed. Although I do sincerely question how many openings there are available in rural places for kids coming right out of school. I hear about it a lot (most on TLS actually) but I don't really believe it.

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CactusPuppy
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Re: I want to be a prosecutor

Postby CactusPuppy » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:49 pm

Mce252 wrote:
CactusPuppy wrote:I'm sorry but ruining people's lives for smoking weed is not noble. USA has some of the most unjust criminal statutes in the industrialized world, and there is nothing noble about seeking the max for violation of mostly stupid and Constitutionally repugnant laws.


Do you always carry a sign that reads "I'm an idiot"? You obviously haven't visited the county jails in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, or New Orleans recently. Have you ever even looked at crime statistics?

Getting arrested for smoking weed does not ruin anyone's life in the United States. It's a class C misdemeanor in many jurisidictions and carries a penalty similar to that of a traffic violation.

You must be an occupy person.


enforcing drug laws does ruin people's lives. felony possession strips individuals of many civil and political rights + social entitlements.
Last edited by CactusPuppy on Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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kalvano
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Re: I want to be a prosecutor

Postby kalvano » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:02 pm

So all prosecutors do all day is ruin people's lives by enforcing drug laws? Got it.

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CactusPuppy
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Re: I want to be a prosecutor

Postby CactusPuppy » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:04 pm

kalvano wrote:So all prosecutors do all day is ruin people's lives by enforcing drug laws? Got it.


Yeah. That's totally what I said. You have really good reading skills.

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sunynp
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Re: I want to be a prosecutor

Postby sunynp » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:13 pm

One thing that indicates the hiring of prosecutors generally is that many jurisdictions have people competing to work for free for them. There are many licensed attorneys that are desperate they will volunteer for jobs.

You really need to research the job market before you decide where to go to school; location is important.

I'm not commenting on being a prosecutor, but you seem to have very naive ideas about someday getting to prosecute a major criminal. The chance you will ever get to do this is extremely remote. Just keep your eyes open and don't live in a fantasy world.

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Geetar Man
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Re: I want to be a prosecutor

Postby Geetar Man » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:15 pm

CactusPuppy wrote:enforcing drug laws does ruin people's lives. felony possession strips individuals of many civil and political rights + social entitlements.


kalvano wrote:So all prosecutors do all day is ruin people's lives by enforcing drug laws? Got it.


CactusPuppy wrote: Yeah. That's totally what I said. You have really good reading skills.



No, you didn't say that. Speaking of fallacies, you're making a fallacy of composition; just because something might be true of one part of something doesn't make it true about the whole. You're doing this by saying that enforcing the drug laws ruins people's lives, when what I really think you mean is that enforcing pot laws can possibly ruin someones life. Pot does not equal all drug laws, buddy.

If you do in fact think that enforcing all drug laws are ruining people's lives, would you say that enforcing laws for meth, cocaine, heroin, crack, etc... are ruining people's lives? I'd say to some extent, yes, but to some extent no. Putting someone in prison for using crack/meth or whatever is a good idea because those types of people are often the people who steal, kill, and what not. But imprisoning them doesnt ruin their lives anymore than the drug itself does. I think it would be foolish to think that enforcing all drug laws ruins lives.

As someone said above, an infraction for having pot is similar to (or even less than) recieving a speeding ticket in most states.

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Geetar Man
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Re: I want to be a prosecutor

Postby Geetar Man » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:20 pm

sunynp wrote:One thing that indicates the hiring of prosecutors generally is that many jurisdictions have people competing to work for free for them. There are many licensed attorneys that are desperate they will volunteer for jobs.

You really need to research the job market before you decide where to go to school; location is important.

I'm not commenting on being a prosecutor, but you seem to have very naive ideas about someday getting to prosecute a major criminal. The chance you will ever get to do this is extremely remote. Just keep your eyes open and don't live in a fantasy world.



I'm not living in a fantasy world. I already said that having the chance to prosecute a major criminal is slim. However, I said it would be my goal to be the attorney they assign the case to. Being the bigshot in an office is a noble goal and if I fall short of that, then fuck it. As long as I can be apart of the organization that would be able to prosecute the major criminal if one were to arise. If you haven't noticed, people have been committing huge crimes since before your grandparents thought about banging out, producing the people you call mom and dad, and criminals will continue to commit huge crimes in the future, no matter what. There ain't no rest for the wicked.

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sunynp
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Re: I want to be a prosecutor

Postby sunynp » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:25 pm

Geetar Man wrote:
sunynp wrote:One thing that indicates the hiring of prosecutors generally is that many jurisdictions have people competing to work for free for them. There are many licensed attorneys that are desperate they will volunteer for jobs.

You really need to research the job market before you decide where to go to school; location is important.

I'm not commenting on being a prosecutor, but you seem to have very naive ideas about someday getting to prosecute a major criminal. The chance you will ever get to do this is extremely remote. Just keep your eyes open and don't live in a fantasy world.



I'm not living in a fantasy world. I already said that having the chance to prosecute a major criminal is slim. However, I said it would be my goal to be the attorney they assign the case to. Being the bigshot in an office is a noble goal and if I fall short of that, then fuck it. As long as I can be apart of the organization that would be able to prosecute the major criminal.


What I am trying to get you to consider is that there is a good chance you may not get any job practicing law (depending on where you go and how you do) and if you do get a fulltime job, it won't be prosecuting.

Just look carefully at the job market wherever you go.

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Flappy Scribbleneck
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Re: I want to be a prosecutor

Postby Flappy Scribbleneck » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:28 pm

CactusPuppy wrote:
kalvano wrote:So all prosecutors do all day is ruin people's lives by enforcing drug laws? Got it.


Yeah. That's totally what I said. You have really good reading skills.


CactusPuppy, could you expand on your beliefs about marijuana laws.

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Geetar Man
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Re: I want to be a prosecutor

Postby Geetar Man » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:28 pm

sunynp wrote:
Geetar Man wrote:
sunynp wrote:One thing that indicates the hiring of prosecutors generally is that many jurisdictions have people competing to work for free for them. There are many licensed attorneys that are desperate they will volunteer for jobs.

You really need to research the job market before you decide where to go to school; location is important.

I'm not commenting on being a prosecutor, but you seem to have very naive ideas about someday getting to prosecute a major criminal. The chance you will ever get to do this is extremely remote. Just keep your eyes open and don't live in a fantasy world.



I'm not living in a fantasy world. I already said that having the chance to prosecute a major criminal is slim. However, I said it would be my goal to be the attorney they assign the case to. Being the bigshot in an office is a noble goal and if I fall short of that, then fuck it. As long as I can be apart of the organization that would be able to prosecute the major criminal.



What I am trying to get you to consider is that there is a good chance you may not get any job practicing law (depending on where you go and how you do) and if you do get a fulltime job, it won't be prosecuting.

Just look carefully at the job market wherever you go.


Where are you getting your "chances" from? Do you know anything about me? Or are you talking about law students in general? I KNOW PEOPLE MAN.

Just kidding bro, I know what you're trying to troll... I mean, say.

Geist13
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Re: I want to be a prosecutor

Postby Geist13 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:52 pm

CactusPuppy wrote:I'm sorry but ruining people's lives for smoking weed is not noble.


CactusPuppy wrote:felony possession strips individuals of many civil and political rights + social entitlements.


Go ahead. Go find a single example of someone currently being prosecuted for felony possession of marijuana. Felony possession of marijuana? Are you kidding me? I worked in narcotics office for 14 weeks this summer. Every felony narcotics case that came into the office crossed my desk (i had to do some BS paper work). I can count on one hand the amount of times I saw marjiuana being prosecuted at the felony level and in every instance it was PWID PLUS possession of a firearm. I truly hope you understand why PWID + firearm is totally different than possession.

Prosecutors do not have the time or the resources to pursue felony punishment for marijuana. It does not happen. Yeah kids may get a fine/slap on the wrist/ maybe community service and probation, but people are not getting felony convictions for mere possession of marijuana. Get the fuck out till you know what you are talking about.

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oaken
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Re: I want to be a prosecutor

Postby oaken » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:01 pm

CactusPuppy wrote:I'm sorry but ruining people's lives for smoking weed is not noble. USA has some of the most unjust criminal statutes in the industrialized world, and there is nothing noble about seeking the max for violation of mostly stupid and Constitutionally repugnant laws.


You are an absolute fucking moron.




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