How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

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

Postby Displeased » Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:49 pm

the lantern wrote:I'll just say that as long as you haven't been sleeping through the entirety of your law school career up until your 2L summer, you are more than capable of handling a light caseload. By that time, I had already taken trial advocacy, a year long clinic, and worked as an intern at the PD writing motions/misdo appeals. You might feel like you don't know what you're doing, but you do. It isn't that hard, and claiming that 2L interns are "barely competent," for example, is just not the case for most. To be honest, I think a lot of the writing the interns do is much better than the actual PDs, mostly because you have more time to spend on it.


I agree that 2L motions and appeals are just as good as actual PDs, if not better. If you put a PD's motion next to an intern's motion, you probably couldn't tell them apart. And I'm not suggesting that clients represented by 2Ls are getting screwed over.

But when it comes to court appearances, procedural stuff, and other things you just can't learn in law school (how to negotiate pleas, handling clients, keeping cool when the judge seems annoyed and the prosecution is aggressive, knowing what a "good" plea deal looks like, coping with unexpected witness testimony, etc), you need experience.

Its not a matter of grades or paying attention in school. Law school teaches you issue spotting, how to read opinions, legal analysis, and other behind the scenes stuff. It doesn't teach you the nitty-gritty of representation or the way random GDC judge number 275 handles his courtroom.

I'm not saying that a 2L summer intern will necessarily get worse outcomes for the client than a assistant PD. But there's a reason we have a bar exam, a reason why no jurisdiction in the country lets students handle their own caseload unsupervised, and a reason why they call it "lawl school".

2L summers are capable of representing clients, but the whole point of the summer program is that they're still learning and need constant supervision.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby the lantern » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:26 pm

Displeased wrote:
the lantern wrote:I'll just say that as long as you haven't been sleeping through the entirety of your law school career up until your 2L summer, you are more than capable of handling a light caseload. By that time, I had already taken trial advocacy, a year long clinic, and worked as an intern at the PD writing motions/misdo appeals. You might feel like you don't know what you're doing, but you do. It isn't that hard, and claiming that 2L interns are "barely competent," for example, is just not the case for most. To be honest, I think a lot of the writing the interns do is much better than the actual PDs, mostly because you have more time to spend on it.


I agree that 2L motions and appeals are just as good as actual PDs, if not better. If you put a PD's motion next to an intern's motion, you probably couldn't tell them apart. And I'm not suggesting that clients represented by 2Ls are getting screwed over.

But when it comes to court appearances, procedural stuff, and other things you just can't learn in law school (how to negotiate pleas, handling clients, keeping cool when the judge seems annoyed and the prosecution is aggressive, knowing what a "good" plea deal looks like, coping with unexpected witness testimony, etc), you need experience.

Its not a matter of grades or paying attention in school. Law school teaches you issue spotting, how to read opinions, legal analysis, and other behind the scenes stuff. It doesn't teach you the nitty-gritty of representation or the way random GDC judge number 275 handles his courtroom.

I'm not saying that a 2L summer intern will necessarily get worse outcomes for the client than a assistant PD. But there's a reason we have a bar exam, a reason why no jurisdiction in the country lets students handle their own caseload unsupervised, and a reason why they call it "lawl school".

2L summers are capable of representing clients, but the whole point of the summer program is that they're still learning and need constant supervision.


I think we are on the same page. I just wanted to reinforce the fact that if they hired you and they're asking you to handle your own caseload, chances are you know what you are doing. I know a lot of people are very nervous when they are asked to handle cases for the first times (I was), and part of that is because my older friends made it seem like handling pleas and even going to trial was a huge deal. Don't get me wrong, it is a lot of work and there is a lot on the line, but there is no reason to be nervous or scared more than you need to be :)

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

Postby Displeased » Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:17 pm

the lantern wrote:
I think we are on the same page. I just wanted to reinforce the fact that if they hired you and they're asking you to handle your own caseload, chances are you know what you are doing. I know a lot of people are very nervous when they are asked to handle cases for the first times (I was), and part of that is because my older friends made it seem like handling pleas and even going to trial was a huge deal. Don't get me wrong, it is a lot of work and there is a lot on the line, but there is no reason to be nervous or scared more than you need to be :)


Ah yes, we agree on that. I shouldn't have said that 2Ls are barely competent. I just started to get the impression that people were overestimating how much 2L summer interns "should" get to do at a PDs office.

Any given 2L summer intern who manages to get hired by a PD and given a caseload is likely competent enough to handle a trial with minimal supervision. However, I also think the PD's office has to balance the student's interest in getting practical court experience against the best interests of the client.

I think its perfectly reasonable for an office to say that, as a flat rule, students with a practice certificate are not permitted to handle trials, jury or bench. On the other hand, I also wouldn't criticize an office who allowed an intern to handle a jury trial, if that intern had been in the office for a while and had proven that they know what they're doing.

On the third hand, I definitely think students with a practice certificate should get to use it, at least at prelims, pleas, and motion arguments. Its really, really hard to botch a prelim or a plea, you'd almost have to be intentionally attempting to sabotage yourself.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:25 pm

What type of interview style should I expect for (3L) screeners with Colorado and Bronx Defenders at EJW?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What type of interview style should I expect for (3L) screeners with Colorado and Bronx Defenders at EJW?


Also would like to know. Also how are people prepping for interviews in general? I have an offer with another pd agency, if asked how should I explain this? December is when my commitment is due.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby seatown12 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:15 pm

Neither Colorado nor Bronx Defenders interviewed 3Ls at last year's EJW so you may not get a response about their screeners specifically.

As for PD interviews generally, have a compelling response to the "why PD?" question and for the hypos always err on the side of your client (even if you are concerned that doing so could be borderline unethical). Other than that just prepare as you would for any interview and be extra confident because after all they are hiring trial attorneys.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:09 pm

How long did other people applying to the DC PDS spend on the second question (the motion for judgment of acquittal)?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:21 pm

Anyone have experience with the Philly DA 1L summer internship program? Is it really important to get internship apps for DAs offices submitted right on December 1? Or can I "afford" to wait until after finals? The last one is on December 18. Their deadline is February 15.

Also,what sort of grades would I need for this? In light of the fact that they get 200 apps for 50 positions (according to the Arizona Government Honors site), how can I stand out from the pack? I do have ties to the area + tons of public service stuff, including experience working with DV victims. Want Philly DA soooooo bad!

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby okinawa » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:37 pm

.
Last edited by okinawa on Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How long did other people applying to the DC PDS spend on the second question (the motion for judgment of acquittal)?


About a week of intensive editing. Maybe 30 hours total.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby FlanAl » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone have experience with the Philly DA 1L summer internship program? Is it really important to get internship apps for DAs offices submitted right on December 1? Or can I "afford" to wait until after finals? The last one is on December 18. Their deadline is February 15.

Also,what sort of grades would I need for this? In light of the fact that they get 200 apps for 50 positions (according to the Arizona Government Honors site), how can I stand out from the pack? I do have ties to the area + tons of public service stuff, including experience working with DV victims. Want Philly DA soooooo bad!


Make sure they adhere to that 12/1 date. I'm pretty sure a few places don't.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:55 pm

FlanAl wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Anyone have experience with the Philly DA 1L summer internship program? Is it really important to get internship apps for DAs offices submitted right on December 1? Or can I "afford" to wait until after finals? The last one is on December 18. Their deadline is February 15.

Also,what sort of grades would I need for this? In light of the fact that they get 200 apps for 50 positions (according to the Arizona Government Honors site), how can I stand out from the pack? I do have ties to the area + tons of public service stuff, including experience working with DV victims. Want Philly DA soooooo bad!


Make sure they adhere to that 12/1 date. I'm pretty sure a few places don't.


:?: Confused. I thought all legal employers had to adhere to the NALP rules re: when 1Ls can apply to summer jobs?

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

Postby FlanAl » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:08 pm

pretty sure its just for firms and other people maybe adhere to it. I know at least one judge who picked 1L interns before december. when you type in philadelphia on the nalp directory the ONLY thing that comes up is law firms. I would recommend emailing an alum from your school at that office just asking about how they like it and expressing your interest. once you talk more than once maybe then slip in how you'd love to work there and what you should do. If they say wait until 12/1 then you have your answer. Also compliance with any nalp rule is voluntary. Their "all offers made to 1L's should be left open for two weeks" definitely does not apply to judges.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:14 am

Thanks FlanAl! I had no idea that non-NALP employers could accept apps earlier than 12/1; I'll look into this.

Stupid question, but do interviews for 1L intern positions at DA's offices feature lots of hypos like the 2L and ADA interviews? At my school, crim is in the spring semester, so I'm a little nervous about the prospect of answering on the fly a complex issue spotter about stuff I might've not learned about yet, lol. Also, since they're not "certified", what sorts of responsibilities do 1L summer interns have?

In my cover letter, should I specify interest in a particular unit? I especially want to work with DV/sexual assault victims, and have relevant work and volunteer experience in this area, but I'm willing to be flexible.

Also, for summer gigs, do DAs offices typically conduct drug tests? How about for permanent positions?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby shawty18ga » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks FlanAl! I had no idea that non-NALP employers could accept apps earlier than 12/1; I'll look into this.

Stupid question, but do interviews for 1L intern positions at DA's offices feature lots of hypos like the 2L and ADA interviews? At my school, crim is in the spring semester, so I'm a little nervous about the prospect of answering on the fly a complex issue spotter about stuff I might've not learned about yet, lol. Also, since they're not "certified", what sorts of responsibilities do 1L summer interns have?

In my cover letter, should I specify interest in a particular unit? I especially want to work with DV/sexual assault victims, and have relevant work and volunteer experience in this area, but I'm willing to be flexible.

Also, for summer gigs, do DAs offices typically conduct drug tests? How about for permanent positions?


My first summer DA gig had over 200 people apply for 5 spots. I can tell you that my 1L summer interviews were not particularly difficult. Mostly the "why prosecution" and "why here" type questions. Appellate section interview asked about how I was with the death penalty since there was a decent chance that I would end up working on a death penalty appeal. No drug testing for me. Only drug test I had was when I got a paying job at a state attorney's office in Florida. The same state attorney's office does not drug test clinic students.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby okinawa » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:17 am

though if you are worried (and not just curious) about drug testing, there are probably fields other than prosecution where you would be better suited. no judgment, just a thought.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby FlanAl » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:41 am

I've heard that a good of prosecutors use drugs. I don't think they are the gunho ones, just probably the guys who couldn't find any other job in the boom times or whatever.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby chrisbru » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:21 pm

okinawa wrote:though if you are worried (and not just curious) about drug testing, there are probably fields other than prosecution where you would be better suited. no judgment, just a thought.


That's bullshit... If you torrent music are you better suited for other fields than intellectual property? If someone wants to be a cop but regularly goes 5-10 over the speed limit, are there other fields he or she would be better suited?

Prosecution is a huge field... You don't have to agree with every aspect of it to want to go into it.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:34 pm

For prosecutor jobs, do you have to disclose ALL prior drug use a la DOJ? Will admitting to having used mj years ago be a cause for concern? (never caught/arrested, don't plan to use again because I live in fear of unemployment, lol)

In addition, other than obviously Innocence Project/indigent criminal defense stuff, are there other types of pro bono activities that provoke "suspicion"? Should I steer clear of ACLU, NLG, etc.? Refugee/asylum work is OK, right?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:42 pm

Just for reference: I was talking to a USAO about the background check and she said that for a permanent position, one of the dealbreakers was post-bar drug use. (The other dealbreakers were financial - late payment of taxes, failure to pay taxes, and failure to pay student loans.) Anyway, that doesn't prove anything about other prosecution positions, but the USAO has a pretty stringent background check, so I thought that was interesting. (I'm sure they don't love extensive pre-bar drug use, and it might ding you depending on the individual case, but it's not automatic.) I mean, I'm quite sure they ask about drug use (7 or 10 years? can't remember) and you have to disclose it, but it's not necessarily a ding.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby chrisbru » Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:15 pm

chrisbru wrote:
okinawa wrote:though if you are worried (and not just curious) about drug testing, there are probably fields other than prosecution where you would be better suited. no judgment, just a thought.


That's bullshit... If you torrent music are you better suited for other fields than intellectual property? If someone wants to be a cop but regularly goes 5-10 over the speed limit, are there other fields he or she would be better suited?

Prosecution is a huge field... You don't have to agree with every aspect of it to want to go into it.


To clarify - not advocating drug use for prosecutors (if you want to be a prosecutor, you should probably quit).

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby okinawa » Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:56 pm

chrisbru wrote:
okinawa wrote:though if you are worried (and not just curious) about drug testing, there are probably fields other than prosecution where you would be better suited. no judgment, just a thought.


That's bullshit... If you torrent music are you better suited for other fields than intellectual property? If someone wants to be a cop but regularly goes 5-10 over the speed limit, are there other fields he or she would be better suited?

Prosecution is a huge field... You don't have to agree with every aspect of it to want to go into it.


I don't know, it seems like someone who is currently using drugs in law school would probably be better suited for a field that doesn't have background checks to the extent that a lot of prosecutors do, and where recent drug use (even without conviction) would be a ding at most places.

And while I think someone who regularly breaks the particular law they are supposed to be enforcing is a bit hypocritical, that's a moral judgment. I'm definitely not saying that you have to agree with DEA policy to be a prosecutor. I was speaking from a strictly practical standpoint about seeking a job that will require you, to be eligible, to lie on your background check and not get caught.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:23 pm

Ding via mail from Brooklyn ~2 weeks after OCI interview.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby FlanAl » Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:35 pm

chrisbru wrote:
okinawa wrote:though if you are worried (and not just curious) about drug testing, there are probably fields other than prosecution where you would be better suited. no judgment, just a thought.


That's bullshit... If you torrent music are you better suited for other fields than intellectual property? If someone wants to be a cop but regularly goes 5-10 over the speed limit, are there other fields he or she would be better suited?

Prosecution is a huge field... You don't have to agree with every aspect of it to want to go into it.


Depending on your shop theres a chance that the VAST majority of what you'll be doing is prosecuting drug cases. If you're in a place that goes easy on mj possession and you smoke I could see it not being weird. But throwing people behind bars for something that you do regularly just seems weird to me.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Borhas » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:24 pm

FlanAl wrote:
chrisbru wrote:
okinawa wrote:though if you are worried (and not just curious) about drug testing, there are probably fields other than prosecution where you would be better suited. no judgment, just a thought.


That's bullshit... If you torrent music are you better suited for other fields than intellectual property? If someone wants to be a cop but regularly goes 5-10 over the speed limit, are there other fields he or she would be better suited?

Prosecution is a huge field... You don't have to agree with every aspect of it to want to go into it.


Depending on your shop theres a chance that the VAST majority of what you'll be doing is prosecuting drug cases. If you're in a place that goes easy on mj possession and you smoke I could see it not being weird. But throwing people behind bars for something that you do regularly just seems weird to me.


It's not just weird, it's downright hypocritical, but then again, we may as well have DA's that at least understand their target demograhpic.




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