I want to become an ADA - advise me

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Core
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I want to become an ADA - advise me

Postby Core » Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:36 pm

I'm a 1L at a T10 with not good but not terrible grades (below median, but not bottom 15-20%). I have a 1L summer job with a DA's office in NY, and I try to get involved in all the PI groups at school. Aside from doing well in crim this semester, what other stuff should I aim for? What kinds of activities do these offices value? Also, are geographic ties important for DA's offices in big cities (say Miami, Philly, Chicago, etc.)? Thanks.

zomginternets
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Re: I want to become an ADA - advise me

Postby zomginternets » Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:24 pm

There are quite a lot of threads on this topic already.

My understanding is that you'll be spending a good portion of your time in court as an ADA, so I think doing moot court or trial advocacy may be more of an advantage than LR.

Also, I understand that many DA offices want to see evidence that you actually believe in the criminal justice system and that you have a personal interest in providing that justice. Past law enforcement experience would probably help. Also, I've heard that doing any private criminal defense or public defender work can seriously undermine your chances (rightly or wrongly) of being hired as an ADA, although some say this does not really matter.

Oh, and get your grades up.

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Veyron
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Re: I want to become an ADA - advise me

Postby Veyron » Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:32 pm

^ Blah blah blah, TLS platitudes, blah blah blah.

Common route: Work for a V100 in the litigation division. Work on some white collar crim cases. Transfer to DA's office after a few years.

Non sequitur: I would be curious to hear what sort of grades below median but above top 1/4 are. If its not too personal, would you PM them to me? I'm still mystified about how flat the curve is. In return, I'd be happy to PM you my grades which (I think) are median. While its great that the school doesn't disclose from a career perspective, its annoying as fuck when you are trying to figure out where to bid.

BeautifulSW
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Re: I want to become an ADA - advise me

Postby BeautifulSW » Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:54 pm

I assume "ADA" means a state-level prosecutor's office? I don't know about the East Coast but in my part of the Rocky Mountains, you might be unpleasantly surprised at how important your class rank is.

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BruceWayne
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Re: I want to become an ADA - advise me

Postby BruceWayne » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:04 pm

Veyron wrote:^ Blah blah blah, TLS platitudes, blah blah blah.

Common route: Work for a V100 in the litigation division. Work on some white collar crim cases. Transfer to DA's office after a few years.

Non sequitur: I would be curious to hear what sort of grades below median but above top 1/4 are. If its not too personal, would you PM them to me? I'm still mystified about how flat the curve is. In return, I'd be happy to PM you my grades which (I think) are median. While its great that the school doesn't disclose from a career perspective, its annoying as fuck when you are trying to figure out where to bid.


Are you saying that this is the TLS platitude or are you being serious? Because that's really not the typical ADA route; and it doesn't make a whole lot of sense since most ADA's don't touch White collar stuff. I think you're thinking of becoming a AUSA; and even then that only applies if you are solely interested in working on Fraud/White Collar. I think people on here are so white shoe upper middle class that they forget that there are non White collar criminals.....working at a "vault 100" and then going ADA isn't the common route at all.

If you want to be an ADA.
http://www.law.virginia.edu/pdf/prosecutorhowto.pdf
Last edited by BruceWayne on Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Veyron
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Re: I want to become an ADA - advise me

Postby Veyron » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:06 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
Veyron wrote:^ Blah blah blah, TLS platitudes, blah blah blah.

Common route: Work for a V100 in the litigation division. Work on some white collar crim cases. Transfer to DA's office after a few years.

Non sequitur: I would be curious to hear what sort of grades below median but above top 1/4 are. If its not too personal, would you PM them to me? I'm still mystified about how flat the curve is. In return, I'd be happy to PM you my grades which (I think) are median. While its great that the school doesn't disclose from a career perspective, its annoying as fuck when you are trying to figure out where to bid.


Are you saying that this is the TLS platitude or are you being serious? Because that's really not the typical ADA route; and it doesn't make a whole lot of sense since most ADA's don't touch White collar stuff. I think you're thinking of becoming a USAO; and even then that only applies if you are solely interested in working on Fraud/White Collar. I think people on here are so white shoe upper middle class that they forget that there are non White collar criminals.....working at a "vault 100" and then going ADA isn't the common route at all.


It is possible that I am confusing the two.

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akili
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Re: I want to become an ADA - advise me

Postby akili » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:21 pm

BruceWayne wrote:If you want to be an ADA.
http://www.law.virginia.edu/pdf/prosecutorhowto.pdf


This was extremely helpful. Thank you!

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Core
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Re: I want to become an ADA - advise me

Postby Core » Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:42 am

zomginternets wrote:There are quite a lot of threads on this topic already.

My understanding is that you'll be spending a good portion of your time in court as an ADA, so I think doing moot court or trial advocacy may be more of an advantage than LR.

Also, I understand that many DA offices want to see evidence that you actually believe in the criminal justice system and that you have a personal interest in providing that justice. Past law enforcement experience would probably help. Also, I've heard that doing any private criminal defense or public defender work can seriously undermine your chances (rightly or wrongly) of being hired as an ADA, although some say this does not really matter.

Oh, and get your grades up
.

Thanks. Re: the bolded - wish I knew how to do that.

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Core
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Re: I want to become an ADA - advise me

Postby Core » Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:57 am

BeautifulSW wrote:I assume "ADA" means a state-level prosecutor's office? I don't know about the East Coast but in my part of the Rocky Mountains, you might be unpleasantly surprised at how important your class rank is.

Ah, thanks. Anybody have any insight as to importance of class rank in DA hiring on the East Coast?
I don't really know how I can work harder/smarter: I made my own outlines, took PTs, etc., last semester. Everybody here did that, though.

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Moxie
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Re: I want to become an ADA - advise me

Postby Moxie » Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:19 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
Veyron wrote:^ Blah blah blah, TLS platitudes, blah blah blah.

Common route: Work for a V100 in the litigation division. Work on some white collar crim cases. Transfer to DA's office after a few years.

Non sequitur: I would be curious to hear what sort of grades below median but above top 1/4 are. If its not too personal, would you PM them to me? I'm still mystified about how flat the curve is. In return, I'd be happy to PM you my grades which (I think) are median. While its great that the school doesn't disclose from a career perspective, its annoying as fuck when you are trying to figure out where to bid.


Are you saying that this is the TLS platitude or are you being serious? Because that's really not the typical ADA route; and it doesn't make a whole lot of sense since most ADA's don't touch White collar stuff. I think you're thinking of becoming a AUSA; and even then that only applies if you are solely interested in working on Fraud/White Collar. I think people on here are so white shoe upper middle class that they forget that there are non White collar criminals.....working at a "vault 100" and then going ADA isn't the common route at all.

If you want to be an ADA.
http://www.law.virginia.edu/pdf/prosecutorhowto.pdf


Great link there. And Veyron, that's definitely not the most common route, especially since a lot of ADAs want to see your interested in public service. Maybe for AUSA some Biglaw experience would be helpful, but a good number of those still come from public service backgrounds (ADAs, etc.)

Da Stain
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Re: I want to become an ADA - advise me

Postby Da Stain » Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:51 pm

In addition to UVA's guide, there's also one from Harvard, Yale and believe it or not, Pace Law School has a really thorough guide that was great. Links shouldn't be hard to find.

If you really want to be an ADA, get clinical experience. I can't emphasize that enough. GET CLINICAL EXPERIENCE. If your school has a prosectution clinic, awesome. Criminal Defense is great and you don't need to worry because you can always say, I just wanted to get into court. I had prosecution clinic experience and so-so grades and got interviews with every office I applied to.

Oh, and if you have no prosecution clinic, maybe try for a for-credit externship. There isn't a jurisdiction that isn't overloaded and doesn't need the help if you have a third-year practice certificate that lets you go into court.

Master Tofu
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Re: I want to become an ADA - advise me

Postby Master Tofu » Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:54 pm

Da Stain wrote:In addition to UVA's guide, there's also one from Harvard, Yale and believe it or not, Pace Law School has a really thorough guide that was great. Links shouldn't be hard to find.

If you really want to be an ADA, get clinical experience. I can't emphasize that enough. GET CLINICAL EXPERIENCE. If your school has a prosectution clinic, awesome. Criminal Defense is great and you don't need to worry because you can always say, I just wanted to get into court. I had prosecution clinic experience and so-so grades and got interviews with every office I applied to.

Oh, and if you have no prosecution clinic, maybe try for a for-credit externship. There isn't a jurisdiction that isn't overloaded and doesn't need the help if you have a third-year practice certificate that lets you go into court.



Back-handed compliment? "Oh man, you're Asian? But your English is so good!"

BeautifulSW
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Re: I want to become an ADA - advise me

Postby BeautifulSW » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:05 pm

Here in N.Mex., which is the only jurisdiction I can address, class rank usually matters more than school rank for entry level state attorney positions. In absolute terms, if you are willing to take a job in one of the really remote, unscenic parts of the state, you may be the only qualified applicant they can get (though this is becoming less common). But for Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos and even my own Las Cruces, we like to see and generally get top third.

Here is a link to the statewide DA salary schedule:

http://www.da.state.nm.us/hr_docs/fy09j ... Salary.pdf

Keep those entry-level salaries in mind when you are deciding how much to borrow.

FWIW, even with a state-wide hiring freeze on, N.Mex. is still hiring a few new state lawyers for some of those less desirable parts of the state. And we have a temporary limited license for public employment so if you can stand the heat and the salaries, you might take a look.

Da Stain
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Re: I want to become an ADA - advise me

Postby Da Stain » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:17 pm

I suppose it was a bit shitty to say, but since I wasn't bothering to find the link, I wanted to emphasize it was worthwhile considering most people wouldn't follow up on it otherwise if I just said "Pace has a guide too."

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Veyron
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Re: I want to become an ADA - advise me

Postby Veyron » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:03 pm

BeautifulSW wrote:Here in N.Mex., which is the only jurisdiction I can address, class rank usually matters more than school rank for entry level state attorney positions. In absolute terms, if you are willing to take a job in one of the really remote, unscenic parts of the state, you may be the only qualified applicant they can get (though this is becoming less common). But for Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos and even my own Las Cruces, we like to see and generally get top third.

Here is a link to the statewide DA salary schedule:

http://www.da.state.nm.us/hr_docs/fy09j ... Salary.pdf

Keep those entry-level salaries in mind when you are deciding how much to borrow.

FWIW, even with a state-wide hiring freeze on, N.Mex. is still hiring a few new state lawyers for some of those less desirable parts of the state. And we have a temporary limited license for public employment so if you can stand the heat and the salaries, you might take a look.


46k. Thats pretty good with LRAP. How would a district thats probably never even got more than a few applications from a small east coast school like Penn even know what top 1/3 is?

BeautifulSW
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Re: I want to become an ADA - advise me

Postby BeautifulSW » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:09 am

We DON'T get many apps from T14 schools. A few, to be sure, mostly Georgetown. DOn't know why. But we do know what class rank means and we do look. Even from Georgetown.

BeautifulSW
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Re: I want to become an ADA - advise me

Postby BeautifulSW » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:02 am

Oh, and regarding that $46K? It seems low because it IS low but take it with the understanding that you also get a 40 hour week, paid vacations, public holidays off, and medical insurance. Outside of Santa Fe, the COL is bargain-basement, too. There's a reason I've stuck with the state all these years.

Look folks; we're hiring a few attorneys. We've hired from Georgetown and Columbia but we've also hired from Cooley. (Not hyperbole; I knew an ADA from Cooley. But he WAS in the top third of his class.)




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