Resume for DA offices

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Anonymous User
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Resume for DA offices

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:58 pm

I'm involved with the Innocence Project at my law school. Do you think most DA offices would view this positively or negatively if they see it on a resume? Shows an interest in criminal law, but definitely shows an interest in the defense side.

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vamedic03
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Re: Resume for DA offices

Postby vamedic03 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm involved with the Innocence Project at my law school. Do you think most DA offices would view this positively or negatively if they see it on a resume? Shows an interest in criminal law, but definitely shows an interest in the defense side.


I don't think most DA offices will care, but, do realize that working for a DA's office will turn off a lot of public defender organizations.

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ggocat
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Re: Resume for DA offices

Postby ggocat » Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm involved with the Innocence Project at my law school. Do you think most DA offices would view this positively or negatively if they see it on a resume? Shows an interest in criminal law, but definitely shows an interest in the defense side.

Many ADAs try to "earn their licks" and then go into private practice doing criminal defense. Having defense experience can suggest you will be a short-timer. I think it's a negative, but that will depend on the particular people involved in hiring at the DA's office. Even if a negative, it can be overcome.

Anonymous User
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Re: Resume for DA offices

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 02, 2010 2:31 pm

Thank you both for the feedback.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Resume for DA offices

Postby reasonable_man » Thu Dec 02, 2010 2:52 pm

Doesn't your law school have a Try'em and Fry'em clinic you can join instead?

Interested Observer
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Re: Resume for DA offices

Postby Interested Observer » Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:59 pm

ggocat wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm involved with the Innocence Project at my law school. Do you think most DA offices would view this positively or negatively if they see it on a resume? Shows an interest in criminal law, but definitely shows an interest in the defense side.

Many ADAs try to "earn their licks" and then go into private practice doing criminal defense. Having defense experience can suggest you will be a short-timer. I think it's a negative, but that will depend on the particular people involved in hiring at the DA's office. Even if a negative, it can be overcome.


Technically, working for the "innocence project" isn't doing "defense" work. In theory, both prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys alike should have the same feelings about what the innocence project is trying to accomplish -- the correction of the miscarriage of justice in the cases where innocent people were sent to prison. I would hope that prosecutors aren't against this. Of course, things can become a little more heated when the innocence project actually decides to take a case and attempts to litigate it, but there's no guarantee (or even a reasonable likelihood) that you will be working on cases at that level.

It just seems silly to me to think that prosecutors can view anyone who is involved in the innocence project negatively. But, then again, I've interned only with public defenders and I've done only criminal defense side work, so I have no clue how prosecutors think (except guessing based on how they act).

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john titor
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Re: Resume for DA offices

Postby john titor » Thu Dec 02, 2010 6:02 pm

at least where I am, criminal law experience of any kind is going to help you at either the PD or the DA. defense attorneys become prosecutors and prosecutors become defense attorneys quite frequently. i think it will definitely help you.

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spanktheduck
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Re: Resume for DA offices

Postby spanktheduck » Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:40 pm

Interested Observer wrote:
ggocat wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm involved with the Innocence Project at my law school. Do you think most DA offices would view this positively or negatively if they see it on a resume? Shows an interest in criminal law, but definitely shows an interest in the defense side.

Many ADAs try to "earn their licks" and then go into private practice doing criminal defense. Having defense experience can suggest you will be a short-timer. I think it's a negative, but that will depend on the particular people involved in hiring at the DA's office. Even if a negative, it can be overcome.


Technically, working for the "innocence project" isn't doing "defense" work. In theory, both prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys alike should have the same feelings about what the innocence project is trying to accomplish -- the correction of the miscarriage of justice in the cases where innocent people were sent to prison. I would hope that prosecutors aren't against this. Of course, things can become a little more heated when the innocence project actually decides to take a case and attempts to litigate it, but there's no guarantee (or even a reasonable likelihood) that you will be working on cases at that level.

It just seems silly to me to think that prosecutors can view anyone who is involved in the innocence project negatively. But, then again, I've interned only with public defenders and I've done only criminal defense side work, so I have no clue how prosecutors think (except guessing based on how they act).


Someone is litigating against the Innocence Project. They are prosecutors.

2LLLL
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Re: Resume for DA offices

Postby 2LLLL » Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:59 pm

Sell up the generic criminal law experience you got from it. Preferably you'd want to have something else on your resume indicating an interest in prosecution work, if not then you need to highlight that in your cover letter.

Interested Observer
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Re: Resume for DA offices

Postby Interested Observer » Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:41 pm

spanktheduck wrote:
Interested Observer wrote:
ggocat wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm involved with the Innocence Project at my law school. Do you think most DA offices would view this positively or negatively if they see it on a resume? Shows an interest in criminal law, but definitely shows an interest in the defense side.

Many ADAs try to "earn their licks" and then go into private practice doing criminal defense. Having defense experience can suggest you will be a short-timer. I think it's a negative, but that will depend on the particular people involved in hiring at the DA's office. Even if a negative, it can be overcome.


Technically, working for the "innocence project" isn't doing "defense" work. In theory, both prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys alike should have the same feelings about what the innocence project is trying to accomplish -- the correction of the miscarriage of justice in the cases where innocent people were sent to prison. I would hope that prosecutors aren't against this. Of course, things can become a little more heated when the innocence project actually decides to take a case and attempts to litigate it, but there's no guarantee (or even a reasonable likelihood) that you will be working on cases at that level.

It just seems silly to me to think that prosecutors can view anyone who is involved in the innocence project negatively. But, then again, I've interned only with public defenders and I've done only criminal defense side work, so I have no clue how prosecutors think (except guessing based on how they act).


Someone is litigating against the Innocence Project. They are prosecutors.


It's not always adversarial. And it still doesn't address the issue that the innocence project is about seeking justice -- which is what prosecutors are about also. Defense attorneys do not work to seek justice (unless you think of their jobs as a big picture thing -- that is, by doing what they do, justice is served in the larger sense). But, on a case-by-case basis, the job of the defense attorney is not to seek justice but rather to "beat" the prosecutors, whether it means getting the client off on a technicality or negotiating a favorable or host of other things. It seems that for prosecutors to look down upon someone who is involved in a group whose mission is to seek justice is rather silly when it's their exact same mission.


Just to clarify: I don't know how prosecutors view someone who works for the Innocence Project. My argument is mainly that I hope they would not look down upon it because their goals, in theory, should be aligned.

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ggocat
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Re: Resume for DA offices

Postby ggocat » Sat Dec 04, 2010 2:43 pm

Interested Observer wrote:My argument is mainly that I hope they would not look down upon it because their goals, in theory, should be aligned.

I think you're right about this. Also important for OP to remember that hiring decisions are made by different people. We often try to generalize, but in the end, you won't necessarily know what the prosecutor interviewing you thinks of the innocence project. I know some DAs who are DAs because they think they can make the most positive impact on the justice system as a DA (which is true), and they would probably view innocence project favorably. Others are DAs because they want to do criminal work and "could never defend a guilty person."




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