Creds for Criminal Prosecution

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Anonymous User
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Creds for Criminal Prosecution

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:04 pm

2L here with a goal of criminal prosecution post-graduation. I've got a semester in DOJ Crim and a semester with a federal judge, a criminal law-focused transcript, and I plan on doing a criminal defense clinic 3L year (my school doesn't have a prosecution clinic). If I don't work in a prosecutor's office this summer, what does that do to my chances after graduation? Will the semester in DOJ Crim be outweighed by the lack of prosecutorial work over the summer?

I have to choose between Manhattan DA and a highly selective federal regulatory agency (<4 positions for >500 applications). I'd prefer the work at Manhattan DA, but the agency is closer to home and would pay a ton more for the summer. I'm assuming DOJ Honors would still look favorably on federal work, but would CRM be shut out if I skipped out on criminal work this summer?

Deadline coming up fast, so any help is appreciated.

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A'nold
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Re: Creds for Criminal Prosecution

Postby A'nold » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:08 pm

I'm really not trying to derail this thread but op, have you heard that it is o.k. to work in a criminal defense clinic if you want to become a prosecutor? I have the same situation at my school (defense clinic but obviously no prosecution clinic).

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Re: Creds for Criminal Prosecution

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:16 pm

A'nold wrote:I'm really not trying to derail this thread but op, have you heard that it is o.k. to work in a criminal defense clinic if you want to become a prosecutor? I have the same situation at my school (defense clinic but obviously no prosecution clinic).


I've heard it's fine, for a few reasons. First, prosecutor's offices tend to be more forgiving of criminal defense work than public defenders are of criminal prosecution. Second, you're still gaining valuable in-court experience. Third, I think most offices understand that prosecution clinics are uncommon (I think Cardozo has one, but I don't know first-hand of any others). I would just be ready to explain why you took the clinic and why you're passionate about prosecution as opposed to defense (and I think experience in defense can actually provide some pretty educated reasons).

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A'nold
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Re: Creds for Criminal Prosecution

Postby A'nold » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
A'nold wrote:I'm really not trying to derail this thread but op, have you heard that it is o.k. to work in a criminal defense clinic if you want to become a prosecutor? I have the same situation at my school (defense clinic but obviously no prosecution clinic).


I've heard it's fine, for a few reasons. First, prosecutor's offices tend to be more forgiving of criminal defense work than public defenders are of criminal prosecution. Second, you're still gaining valuable in-court experience. Third, I think most offices understand that prosecution clinics are uncommon (I think Cardozo has one, but I don't know first-hand of any others). I would just be ready to explain why you took the clinic and why you're passionate about prosecution as opposed to defense (and I think experience in defense can actually provide some pretty educated reasons).

Thanks for those insights. As for your situation, my gut tells me that you'd probably be o.k. still and can spin it into a good "pro-prosecution" story such as "I tried something else that is really prestigious and all that, however, my heart is and has always been in prosecution and I now know for sure that there's nothing else I'd rather do."
However, I guess they could view it as "I tried prosecution b/c it was there for me 1L year, didn't like it, went into something I thought I'd like better, didn't like that or didn't get an offer, now I am going back to my back up plan."

I would think the former is more probable, but this is mere speculation. Good luck in your decision. :)

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Creds for Criminal Prosecution

Postby BarbellDreams » Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:48 pm

A'nold wrote:I'm really not trying to derail this thread but op, have you heard that it is o.k. to work in a criminal defense clinic if you want to become a prosecutor? I have the same situation at my school (defense clinic but obviously no prosecution clinic).


I have spoken with the head PD and a DA recruiter and they jokingly said that during your interview for a real job (post grad) they always ask "Have you ever considered working for (insert other side)?", if you answer yes or have it on your resume you will be red flagged and they'll pass you up automatically.

Not saying this is how it is everywhere, but this is directly from people in charge so, at least where I am at, you basically have to pick a side.

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A'nold
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Re: Creds for Criminal Prosecution

Postby A'nold » Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:31 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:
A'nold wrote:I'm really not trying to derail this thread but op, have you heard that it is o.k. to work in a criminal defense clinic if you want to become a prosecutor? I have the same situation at my school (defense clinic but obviously no prosecution clinic).


I have spoken with the head PD and a DA recruiter and they jokingly said that during your interview for a real job (post grad) they always ask "Have you ever considered working for (insert other side)?", if you answer yes or have it on your resume you will be red flagged and they'll pass you up automatically.

Not saying this is how it is everywhere, but this is directly from people in charge so, at least where I am at, you basically have to pick a side.

And ITE, you can't really afford to take chances.....

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Re: Creds for Criminal Prosecution

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:40 pm

Interesting; this applied to actual clinics, run through the law school?

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vamedic03
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Re: Creds for Criminal Prosecution

Postby vamedic03 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:43 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:
A'nold wrote:I'm really not trying to derail this thread but op, have you heard that it is o.k. to work in a criminal defense clinic if you want to become a prosecutor? I have the same situation at my school (defense clinic but obviously no prosecution clinic).


I have spoken with the head PD and a DA recruiter and they jokingly said that during your interview for a real job (post grad) they always ask "Have you ever considered working for (insert other side)?", if you answer yes or have it on your resume you will be red flagged and they'll pass you up automatically.

Not saying this is how it is everywhere, but this is directly from people in charge so, at least where I am at, you basically have to pick a side.


And I also know several ADA's and AUSA's who were former PD's.

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vamedic03
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Re: Creds for Criminal Prosecution

Postby vamedic03 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:2L here with a goal of criminal prosecution post-graduation. I've got a semester in DOJ Crim and a semester with a federal judge, a criminal law-focused transcript, and I plan on doing a criminal defense clinic 3L year (my school doesn't have a prosecution clinic). If I don't work in a prosecutor's office this summer, what does that do to my chances after graduation? Will the semester in DOJ Crim be outweighed by the lack of prosecutorial work over the summer?

I have to choose between Manhattan DA and a highly selective federal regulatory agency (<4 positions for >500 applications). I'd prefer the work at Manhattan DA, but the agency is closer to home and would pay a ton more for the summer. I'm assuming DOJ Honors would still look favorably on federal work, but would CRM be shut out if I skipped out on criminal work this summer?

Deadline coming up fast, so any help is appreciated.


If you want to be a prosecutor, then there is absolutely no reason that you should turn down Manhattan DA. That's hands down the top prosecutor's office in the country and having that experience on your resume will be very, very valuable.




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