How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

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Foosters Galore
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Foosters Galore » Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:34 pm

Thanks so much for starting this thread>

I'm a rising 2L and my goal is to one day be a PD. I'm currently interning this summer at the PD's office, and was selected for the moot court team next year. I chose not to participate in the write-on for the above mentioned reasons. I'm going to try and extern next spring (2L year) at the PD office near school. However, I'm kinda at a loss for what to do during the fall to enhance the resume. I'll have some moot court stuff, but I really want to show my commitment to the PD field. Would selecting a legal aid clinic (help the homeless with legal and financial problems) help, or should it really be more PD specific?

I realize that it looks like I'm on the right path, but because the name of the game in this field is commitment and experience, I just want to ensure that I'm not missing out on essential experiences, or that there are clinics/other opportunities I should be pursuing instead. Thanks so much for the help, this thread has been invaluable thus far.

2LLLL
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby 2LLLL » Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:38 pm

Thanks so much for starting this thread>

I'm a rising 2L and my goal is to one day be a PD. I'm currently interning this summer at the PD's office, and was selected for the moot court team next year. I chose not to participate in the write-on for the above mentioned reasons. I'm going to try and extern next spring (2L year) at the PD office near school. However, I'm kinda at a loss for what to do during the fall to enhance the resume. I'll have some moot court stuff, but I really want to show my commitment to the PD field. Would selecting a legal aid clinic (help the homeless with legal and financial problems) help, or should it really be more PD specific?

I realize that it looks like I'm on the right path, but because the name of the game in this field is commitment and experience, I just want to ensure that I'm not missing out on essential experiences, or that there are clinics/other opportunities I should be pursuing instead. Thanks so much for the help, this thread has been invaluable thus far.




At this point you're doing it right I'd say. Just continue taking criminal oriented classes -- CrimPro, Evidence, TrialAd, etc...., especially if they are taught by adjuncts with PD experience. If your school has a criminal-related clinic, I'd say do that, but any clinical experience should really help you out.

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esq
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby esq » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:54 am

Hope that posting job leads doesn't violate some rule (please have mercy on me if so Vanwinkle), but I thought I'd share an opening I found for what I would be gunning for with prosecution experience. Proof that government jobs still pop up every once and a while, hopefully lightning will strike again in three years when I'm looking:

County of San Diego
Deputy District Attorney I
Open for apps until June, 17th
DA Gig in San Diego

Starts at $59,716.80 - $69,139.20 annually, but if you can make level III after a few years of LRAP, 100,921.60 - $122,699.20 annually. Just thought I'd throw this out there for any of you who might be looking for entry level government work as a prosecutor.

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A'nold
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby A'nold » Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:59 am

esq wrote:Hope that posting job leads doesn't violate some rule (please have mercy on me if so Vanwinkle), but I thought I'd share an opening I found for what I would be gunning for with prosecution experience. Proof that government jobs still pop up every once and a while, hopefully lightning will strike again in three years when I'm looking:

County of San Diego
Deputy District Attorney I
Open for apps until June, 17th
DA Gig in San Diego

Starts at $59,716.80 - $69,139.20 annually, but if you can make level III after a few years of LRAP, 100,921.60 - $122,699.20 annually. Just thought I'd throw this out there for any of you who might be looking for entry level government work as a prosecutor.

The entry level salaries in my area are around 58k too. The whole 3 years out number looks much higher than I would have guessed.

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vanwinkle
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:16 am

esq wrote:Hope that posting job leads doesn't violate some rule

Heck no. Please, share.

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esq
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby esq » Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:00 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
esq wrote:Hope that posting job leads doesn't violate some rule

Heck no. Please, share.

Cool. I was worried, as I've seen with others, that it was considered spam or something. It'd be great if there was an employment section soley where job openings could be collected by TLS users. Is it just that monitoring something like this would be a living nightmare for you all?

HyeMart
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby HyeMart » Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:15 pm

for someone interested in persecution, a law school does not have a prosecution clinic, they do however have criminal law clinics for defense work, is this a good alternative?

seatown12
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby seatown12 » Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:47 pm

HyeMart wrote:for someone interested in persecution

lol

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A'nold
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby A'nold » Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:10 pm

Hey guys.

I wasn't able to take evidence this year and, as I posted earlier, I will be doing misdemeanors for a prosecutor's office this summer. Would it be useful to read an evidence E&E before studying up on the state rules, so I can get a general idea of how it all works?

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Tanicius
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Tanicius » Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:52 pm

A'nold wrote:Hey guys.

I wasn't able to take evidence this year and, as I posted earlier, I will be doing misdemeanors for a prosecutor's office this summer. Would it be useful to read an evidence E&E before studying up on the state rules, so I can get a general idea of how it all works?


Would be prudent. I don't see how you could participate in a trial of any kind without a working knowledge of what is and isn't admissible. Fortunately, evidence isn't as difficult a concept as long as you can mentally quarantine the tricky areas - Hearsay, Character Evidence, and Expert Foundation - and give them due time and consideration.

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A'nold
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby A'nold » Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:10 pm

Tanicius wrote:
A'nold wrote:Hey guys.

I wasn't able to take evidence this year and, as I posted earlier, I will be doing misdemeanors for a prosecutor's office this summer. Would it be useful to read an evidence E&E before studying up on the state rules, so I can get a general idea of how it all works?


Would be prudent. I don't see how you could participate in a trial of any kind without a working knowledge of what is and isn't admissible. Fortunately, evidence isn't as difficult a concept as long as you can mentally quarantine the tricky areas - Hearsay, Character Evidence, and Expert Foundation - and give them due time and consideration.

Thanks. Yeah, after taking every other type of crim class offered at my school I've been exposed to a lot of the concepts but basically have no idea how it works.

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Garinold
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Garinold » Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:00 pm

I've been looking forward to a career in prosecution since before I started law school. Now that I am a rising 3L I have to confess that I'm really concerned about my job prospects. It seems like governments everywhere are tightening their belts and work opportunities for both ADAs and PDs are drying up in most areas, save the very large city offices that are already extremely competitive.

I have identified about 16 DAs offices that I will be sending out resumes/coverletters/assorted forms to at the end of the summer or early fall, as they all essentially have deadlines for 3L students in late October or early November. Their website say, and I believe, the earlier one applies the better. So I'm debating between sending my materials out in late August before I go back to school or waiting till the middle or late September to build my resume a little more before sending everything out.

As it stands now I have taken many of the criminal justice pertinent courses (crim law, crim pro, evidence, and litigation skills), on my resume I have a semester long internship at a PD's office, I will have a summer long internship in the MCU of a Prosecutor's office by the end of the summer. I will also have the benefit of trying some municipal appeals this summer in the Traffic Unit, which will add in some court experience. If I send everything out in August my resume will consist of internships at the PD's office and the DA's office. I do have a judicial clerkship course lined up for this upcoming fall semester though. I am not sure if it will be with a judge at the local level or the federal level. I also don't know whether or not it will be with an appellate judge (Judge Rogers, 6th Circuit, apparently takes clerks on from this program at my school). So I'm between sending my materials out early with the PD's office & the DA's office or waiting, perhaps close to a month, to get back to school and get everything squared away with this clerkship to boost my resume, but I have no idea what it will be. Thoughts?

And for those of you that know people that work in this field, how competitive is someone with a B- grade average, that has a semester at a PD's office, a summer at a DA's office, a semester as a clerk, and with all of the major CJ courses taken (with decent grades in those)?

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Royal
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Royal » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:04 am

When and how does hiring typically take place for prosecutors/PDs? They don't typically give offers to 2L summers, right? So do you just send out applications for permanent positions during 3L?

seatown12
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby seatown12 » Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:41 am

Garinold wrote:I have identified about 16 DAs offices that I will be sending out resumes/coverletters/assorted forms to at the end of the summer or early fall ... I'm debating between sending my materials out in late August before I go back to school or waiting till the middle or late September to build my resume a little more before sending everything out.

Why only 16? My list has 42 PDs, and I plan to add more to it. I feel like this hiring is more subjective than firms, since DA/PDs want someone who is going to be a "good trial lawyer" not just top 10% w/ LR. It's a numbers game then until you find someone who thinks you have what it takes.

I would guess you're okay waiting to hear about the clerkship, but send apps as soon as you know.

Royal: Yes.

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Garinold
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Garinold » Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:50 pm

Right now I only have 16 DA's offices for several reasons. One reason is that I am looking for offices particularly in either NY & NJ, and anywhere else in the country where there is a large city (I'll go anywhere outside the NY/NJ area so long as it isn't in the shit end of nowhere where I'd end up doing nothing). The problem with this approach is that there are a lot of offices that will only look to hire people who have passed their state's bar exam (like Texas & California for example). I'm not going to one particular state to take the bar exam for a hail-mary shot at 3-4 DA's offices unless I have no offers/feedback by May 2012. The other reason is that so many offices aren't hiring or have outdated websites that give no information about hiring. I suppose my research should extend to making phone calls pretty soon.

Interested Observer
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Interested Observer » Sat Jun 18, 2011 4:09 pm

Royal wrote:When and how does hiring typically take place for prosecutors/PDs? They don't typically give offers to 2L summers, right? So do you just send out applications for permanent positions during 3L?


I can tell you what it's like from my experience trying to get a PD position in California. In the past, many PD offices would hire "Post-Bar Law Clerks" at an hourly wage. It was pretty much understood that, once you passed the bar, you would become a full-fledged salaried PD. Now, with budget cuts, PD offices are no longer doing the paid "Post-Bar Law Clerk" programs (there are a few exceptions -- Contra Costa County being one of them). However, they are doing "Volunteer Post-Bar Clerk" programs (and, some of these are quite competitive -- I know of a few people who were rejected from San Diego's program and Santa Clara's program). The general wisdom for trying to land a PD position now-a-days is this: volunteer after the bar at a PD somewhere, get bar results (and pass!), then start applying for entry-level gigs. Places are often hiring to fill in gaps left by attorneys who leave, but there isn't necessarily a cycle that it falls into. I just saw that Bakersfield is hiring entry-level (and experienced) PDs -- but you have to have passed the bar to even be considered for the entry-level positions. That is probably the most likely route to becoming a PD (in California). I don't know if this is true for prosecutors.

Alternatively, I know people who applied for Public Defender-type or criminal defense type of fellowships during their 3L year (like the Public Defender Corps). I don't know much about these fellowships since I didn't apply.

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Borhas
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Borhas » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:18 pm

Query:

better to try to intern at one office as much as possible to maximize chances at that officer?

OR

intern at as many different offices in different areas [of California] to open as many doors as possible?

GOAL: 1. job 2. at a PD office 3. So Cal or Nor Cal about equal desire... would work in the valley though

seatown12
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby seatown12 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:37 pm

If you definitely want CA and can identify an office that might actually be hiring I'd do both summers there. I am doing the opposite because I have no geographic preference.

goodolgil
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby goodolgil » Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:56 pm

UCLAtransfer wrote:
A'nold wrote:
HyeMart wrote:i had non-profit litigation in mind, which from what i'm reading on this site is very hard to get right out of school. My thinking is to gun for government out of law school and then with some experience try for big non-profits. Since the non-profit I'm thinking of would most likely be suing people rather than defending, signs seem to point to prosecution...but I would rather be a PD than gov. prosecutor.


O.k. One thing to think about that has been expressed many times in this thread is that you need to convince the office you are applying to that you are 100% committed to that line of work. The link b/w prosecution and big non-profit seems a little attenuated for me to plan your entire law school experience around. My initial thought (and I fully admit I could be very wrong) is that you should first and foremost shoot for tops grades and intern with nonprofits during your law school career and if you can't get into that line of work after law school you could shoot for some kind of civil litigation firm or, better yet, if you have the grades, work for a few years at a prestigious biglaw firm then apply.


I agree with A'nold w/r/t the attenuated link. I don't think that working in criminal law (whether prosecution or defense) is going to help you land a gig working as a civil plaintiff's attorney any more than any other generic type of law you could do. In fact, working in ANY type of civil litigation (whether plaintiff or defense-side) is probably going to help you achieve your goal much more readily than doing nearly any type of criminal law. I just don't see that there enough enough overlap between crim and civil that it would make sense to do one in the hopes of moving into the other, unless you had no other options.


FWIW, I'm working at a civil rights litigation firm in Chicago this summer and a bunch of the attorneys here worked for years at the Chicago PD's office.

Interested Observer
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Interested Observer » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:40 pm

Borhas wrote:Query:

better to try to intern at one office as much as possible to maximize chances at that officer?

OR

intern at as many different offices in different areas [of California] to open as many doors as possible?

GOAL: 1. job 2. at a PD office 3. So Cal or Nor Cal about equal desire... would work in the valley though



This really is an absolute toss-up. You have places like LA and SF who hire upwards of 60(?) interns each summer. I think you're better off actually working at a few PD offices for a few reasons. First, you get to see how different offices work -- you'll actually find that there are offices that are far better when it comes to teaching/mentorship and then there are offices that just don't give you any guidance whatsoever. Second, related to the first point, you'll have a better of idea as to what type of office you may want to work for in the future and will be better able to articulate that in a possible job interview. Third, you'll meet more people in different positions in a more widespread geography -- sometimes just knowing more people all over the place is better than knowing a couple really well. Fourth, if you end interning for a place like LA, you won't get to do anything in court because LA has a policy of not letting certified law clerks appear on behalf of their clients (you lose out on an opportunity to develop some marketable skills).

I think a good option is to volunteer for a two or three different offices during your law school tenure. You have two summers and then you have the option of externing at a PD office near your law school. I think you're absolutely right that you need to develop strong relationships with people, but that possibly can be done in one summer. I know of a guy who interned with a PD office during his first summer of law school. He didn't intern with them again but he's always kept in touch with one of the higher ups in the office (sending random texts/emails every now and then). He stays in the loop about all the new hiring and, I believe, would probably have a good shot once there's an opening and he's passed the bar.

Again, it's really a toss-up. But, I think a couple of offices would be wise.

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A'nold
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby A'nold » Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:47 pm

Well, set to start.....nervous and excited!

Interested Observer
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Interested Observer » Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:44 am

A'nold wrote:Well, set to start.....nervous and excited!



Keep us updated.

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A'nold
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby A'nold » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:26 am

Interested Observer wrote:
A'nold wrote:Well, set to start.....nervous and excited!



Keep us updated.

Very cool so far. Even got to do some stuff in court on the first day.

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A'nold
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby A'nold » Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:52 am

Meh. Deleted for excessive "typing as I think-ness."

Foosters Galore
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Foosters Galore » Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:50 pm

Borhas wrote:Query:

better to try to intern at one office as much as possible to maximize chances at that officer?

OR

intern at as many different offices in different areas [of California] to open as many doors as possible?

GOAL: 1. job 2. at a PD office 3. So Cal or Nor Cal about equal desire... would work in the valley though


EXACT same boat. Are you currently interning at a PD's office?




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