Biglaw--> Criminal Law/Public Defender

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Anonymous User
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Biglaw--> Criminal Law/Public Defender

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:08 am

Is it possible to change area of practice in this kind of way?

I've always been interested in becoming a public defender, but tuition debt would sort of force me to work in private practice. Any thoughts?

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ozarkhack
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Re: Biglaw--> Criminal Law/Public Defender

Postby ozarkhack » Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:20 am

IBR = not being "forced" into Biglaw before your PD career.

Anonymous User
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Re: Biglaw--> Criminal Law/Public Defender

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:14 am

ozarkhack wrote:IBR = not being "forced" into Biglaw before your PD career.


IBR?

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underdawg
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Re: Biglaw--> Criminal Law/Public Defender

Postby underdawg » Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:
ozarkhack wrote:IBR = not being "forced" into Biglaw before your PD career.


IBR?

lmgtfy

Anonymous User
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Re: Biglaw--> Criminal Law/Public Defender

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:39 am

underdawg wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
ozarkhack wrote:IBR = not being "forced" into Biglaw before your PD career.


IBR?

lmgtfy


Now you're just making it harder for me. What's IBR and what's lmgtfy?

Also, I would be happy to receive some thoughtful opinions/advice on this.

If my area of practice is tax in private practice, would it also be possible to be a prosecutor?

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underdawg
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Re: Biglaw--> Criminal Law/Public Defender

Postby underdawg » Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:
underdawg wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
ozarkhack wrote:IBR = not being "forced" into Biglaw before your PD career.


IBR?

lmgtfy


Now you're just making it harder for me. What's IBR and what's lmgtfy?

Also, I would be happy to receive some thoughtful opinions/advice on this.

If my area of practice is tax in private practice, would it also be possible to be a prosecutor?

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=lmgtfy

Anonymous User
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Re: Biglaw--> Criminal Law/Public Defender

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 08, 2010 4:40 am

I couldn't find answers to my question. Any other suggestions?

Snuffie
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Re: Biglaw--> Criminal Law/Public Defender

Postby Snuffie » Mon Mar 08, 2010 4:43 am

Anonymous User wrote:I couldn't find answers to my question. Any other suggestions?


IBR=Income-Based Repayment

Anonymous User
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Re: Biglaw--> Criminal Law/Public Defender

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:56 pm

Sure, it's possible, but probably not the best way to get into a career as a prosecutor or public defender. You aren't exactly going to be getting a lot of trial experience as a entry-level associate at a big firm, and there are actually tons of committed public interest types out there who gun for these jobs, who only want these jobs, and whose resumes demonstrate that.

That said, I have heard of people getting these jobs via pro bono work they did while at their firms. I still think that Big Law is actually a value-add for some PI organizations (although a lot of the wisdom these days is that you need to go straight public interest to look good to PI orgs). They get a young, smart lawyer who was trained for them (which many can't afford to do much of), and I know that many of my classmates who will end up at firms also have strong public interest backgrounds.

So: mixed-bag. If you are going to try this, get some experience in public defense/prosecution during 1L summer/externships/clinics/whatever, so it doesn't just look like you are a burned-out second year associate when you come calling. Big public defenders do a lot of entry level hiring although, as noted, these jobs are actually in pretty high demand.

Anonymous User
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Re: Biglaw--> Criminal Law/Public Defender

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:36 pm

This is actually what I am hoping to do. From what CSO and guest speakers have said, back in the day you could go to biglaw and PI orgs would be ecstatic about having you come to their organization. Nowadays, PI hiring is way down and there are so many very qualified candidates that are only seeking PI work making it difficult, if not impossible to step down. However, I think that things are going to pick up eventually (probably well before you would have paid off your student debt) and PI orgs will one again start hiring biglaw "grads."

IBR for public service is great, but going straight to biglaw if you can seems to be the safer bet (i.e. assuming that you will be able to exit biglaw and go into a PD/prosecutor position). The thing was IBR is that it take 10 years before your loans are forgiven and during that time frame your loans only increase in size while you make the minimum 15% of your income payments. So that pretty much strikes out the possibility of leaving the PI org pretty far into the future, and if you think that you may at one point want to go into some sort of private practice (even if at a smaller criminal defense firm) that will be really tough to do when you have an outstanding student loan balance of something like $500K 8 years from now. With biglaw you will make enough money that you can wipe out $200K in student loans in 2 years of less (not bad).

plum
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Re: Biglaw--> Criminal Law/Public Defender

Postby plum » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:16 am

how competitive are these kinds of positions (PD etc) that would qualify for IBR? could you get them graduating at the bottom of your class?

green
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Re: Biglaw--> Criminal Law/Public Defender

Postby green » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:22 am

plum wrote:how competitive are these kinds of positions (PD etc) that would qualify for IBR? could you get them graduating at the bottom of your class?


Some PDs don't even ask for your grades, but others factor them into the hiring decision. By far the most important thing is that you demonstrate that you want to do the work.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Biglaw--> Criminal Law/Public Defender

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:25 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is it possible to change area of practice in this kind of way?

I've always been interested in becoming a public defender, but tuition debt would sort of force me to work in private practice. Any thoughts?

I've met several PDs who did this, but it's a lot harder now because of the weak job market. If the economy picks back up again and there start being better paying jobs for people to go to, this might get more feasible again.

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IzziesGal
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Re: Biglaw--> Criminal Law/Public Defender

Postby IzziesGal » Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:56 pm

I politely refer you to my thread on the same (similar?) topic to spare you from coming under attack the way I did. :wink:

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=131758

The short of it seems to be that if you do lit work at a big firm, you can transition. If you're straight transactional (like tax would be), you might have a much harder time (but it is not impossible).

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Biglaw--> Criminal Law/Public Defender

Postby XxSpyKEx » Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:33 pm

plum wrote:how competitive are these kinds of positions (PD etc) that would qualify for IBR? could you get them graduating at the bottom of your class?


In this situation it would be wise to intern at the PD's office you want to work at 2L summer. It's not a guarantee by any stretch but it gives you a leg up on during the hiring process when and if the office does hire. I think this is how orange county PD's office does a lot of its hiring (i.e. through past interns and current volunteer attorneys).




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