How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

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

Postby Arsenals » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:59 pm

Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:
Arsenals wrote:
Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:
Arsenals wrote:I'm a 3L with an interview at a state's PD office. They sent me a 2 page hypo in advance. They told me i should be prepared to discuss theory of defense, investigation needs, potential pretrial motions, and potential evidentiary issues. I also need to prepare a 10 minute closing. I have not been on mock trial or anything like that. Where should I start to begin preparing?

Nervous! :o


Why are you applying to a PD's office if you haven't done any mock trial? I'm already assuming that you view the PD's office as a fall back because you haven't seemed to prepare for the job. That probably is going to kill your chances.

Don't even know what to tell you-- where to begin? There is a real art to trials. They teach classes on it and stuff. I guess go buy a trial ad book and read the entire thing for starters..?


It is not a fall back option. I have been focused on public interest work and had several internships with legal services type offices. Those offices obviously dont have budgets to hire right now, but the PDs office does and at this point I would say it is my first choice. i just didn't get involved with my school's mock trial team 1L year and then it was too late...

Thanks for the side of advice with all that criticism.


Yeah, I'm usually not so critical. My apologies.

Maybe where you live the PD's need people, but in my neck of the woods its really competitive and you would be interviewing with people that literally already had trials under their belt (I'm not talking about mock trials either---student practice act). They could hit the ground running, while you would be asking open ended questions on cross and fumbling through voir dires. PD offices are all trials, all the time. You haven't taken trial ad?

I'm doing it again. I'm sorry. GL


you are super mr. assumer! I said i wasn't on the mock trial team. i did in fact take trial ad and i do understand the basics of direct vs. cross, basic concept of a opening, closing, etc. my trial ad hypos were all civil cases. im mostly concerned with coming up with "theory of defense" and stuff like that because i havent been involved with the nuts and bolts of any criminal case.

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

Postby Tanicius » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:05 pm

Arsenals wrote:you are super mr. assumer! I said i wasn't on the mock trial team. i did in fact take trial ad and i do understand the basics of direct vs. cross, basic concept of a opening, closing, etc. my trial ad hypos were all civil cases. im mostly concerned with coming up with "theory of defense" and stuff like that because i havent been involved with the nuts and bolts of any criminal case.



Well that's workable then dude. When it comes to criminal defense theories, a big part of it is wholly separate from setting up a traditional legal defense - just setting up a story of your client as a human being, trying as much as you can undo the prejudices your client walks into the room with no matter what their gender or skin color is simply because they have been accused of a crime.

When it comes to the legal part of the theory, obviously the burden of proof is different. It's a really high standard, and while jurors get bored and skeptical when your entire defense comes down to "nuhhhh you can't prove it!" it is a worthwhile point to hammer on. All in all though, the most compelling defense are those that cast your client in a human light and have an actual story of innocence - an explanation for how your guy came to be here in front of this jury that doesn't end with "because he did it."

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

Postby Arsenals » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:14 pm

Tanicius wrote:
Arsenals wrote:you are super mr. assumer! I said i wasn't on the mock trial team. i did in fact take trial ad and i do understand the basics of direct vs. cross, basic concept of a opening, closing, etc. my trial ad hypos were all civil cases. im mostly concerned with coming up with "theory of defense" and stuff like that because i havent been involved with the nuts and bolts of any criminal case.



Well that's workable then dude. When it comes to criminal defense theories, a big part of it is wholly separate from setting up a traditional legal defense - just setting up a story of your client as a human being, trying as much as you can undo the prejudices your client walks into the room with no matter what their gender or skin color is simply because they have been accused of a crime.

When it comes to the legal part of the theory, obviously the burden of proof is different. It's a really high standard, and while jurors get bored and skeptical when your entire defense comes down to "nuhhhh you can't prove it!" it is a worthwhile point to hammer on. All in all though, the most compelling defense are those that cast your client in a human light and have an actual story of innocence - an explanation for how your guy came to be here in front of this jury that doesn't end with "because he did it."


Thanks !

jml8756
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby jml8756 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:02 pm

Tanicius wrote:
Arsenals wrote:you are super mr. assumer! I said i wasn't on the mock trial team. i did in fact take trial ad and i do understand the basics of direct vs. cross, basic concept of a opening, closing, etc. my trial ad hypos were all civil cases. im mostly concerned with coming up with "theory of defense" and stuff like that because i havent been involved with the nuts and bolts of any criminal case.



Well that's workable then dude. When it comes to criminal defense theories, a big part of it is wholly separate from setting up a traditional legal defense - just setting up a story of your client as a human being, trying as much as you can undo the prejudices your client walks into the room with no matter what their gender or skin color is simply because they have been accused of a crime.

When it comes to the legal part of the theory, obviously the burden of proof is different. It's a really high standard, and while jurors get bored and skeptical when your entire defense comes down to "nuhhhh you can't prove it!" it is a worthwhile point to hammer on. All in all though, the most compelling defense are those that cast your client in a human light and have an actual story of innocence - an explanation for how your guy came to be here in front of this jury that doesn't end with "because he did it."


This is good advice. I would also add that generally, there is a pretty finite list of criminal defenses. You don't need to get super creative because cases usually fall into a category, especially for the purposes of your hypo. They include the following:

1. I did not do it.
a. I have an alibi. I was at X place with Y person doing Z activities.
b. John Smith is actually the person who did it (usually only if there is a co-defendant; be careful about accusing other people without serious evidence.)

2. I did it, BUT I am still not guilty because:
a. Insanity.
b. Self-defense.
c. Necessity.
d. Entrapment.

3. If all else fails, hammer reasonable doubt.
a. Mistaken identification.
b. No physical evidence.
c. Biased witnesses.

Obviously there are more but these are going to be your most typical scenarios. Remember that affirmative defenses must be filed before trial, and alibis must be disclosed to the prosecution. So if you think your hypo falls into an affirmative defense category, be prepared for your interviewers to say "OK, the judge denies your theory of entrapment and won't let you present it to the jury. What is your defense at trial?" In real life you would probably seriously consider a guilty plea at that point, but I don't know if you should say that during a PD interview since I'm coming from a prosecution perspective :)

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

Postby Arsenals » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:24 pm

jml8756 wrote: So if you think your hypo falls into an affirmative defense category, be prepared for your interviewers to say "OK, the judge denies your theory of entrapment and won't let you present it to the jury. What is your defense at trial?" In real life you would probably seriously consider a guilty plea at that point, but I don't know if you should say that during a PD interview since I'm coming from a prosecution perspective :)


THANK YOU! so helpful.

If they ask the above question... would my answer just be reasonable doubt?

jml8756
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby jml8756 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:46 pm

Arsenals wrote:
jml8756 wrote: So if you think your hypo falls into an affirmative defense category, be prepared for your interviewers to say "OK, the judge denies your theory of entrapment and won't let you present it to the jury. What is your defense at trial?" In real life you would probably seriously consider a guilty plea at that point, but I don't know if you should say that during a PD interview since I'm coming from a prosecution perspective :)


THANK YOU! so helpful.

If they ask the above question... would my answer just be reasonable doubt?


Most likely. I would consider throwing in a sentence or two about informing your client of his options at that point. If his DNA is all over the place and he's on video, a responsible attorney will need to present the client with an honest and frank assessment of his chances at trial. Although, like I said, that's my prosecutorial perspective, so maybe a PD person will want to chime in on that.

Also remember that if a judge denies your affirmative defense, you definitely will not be doing a bench trial.

ETA: Always consider a motion to suppress for the following evidence: drugs, defendant's statements, and lineups. You'll also want to exclude certain evidence that is prejudicial, i.e. gory photos, irrelevant drug/alcohol use, or gang membership. This stuff is SOP for experienced PDs to the point where it becomes very formulaic.

Anonymous User
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:25 pm

any of you considering the state clerkship-->DA office route? would supreme be better than a trial judge (if they take clerks at that level)?

I have some criminal stuff on my record and i'd like to put more of a gap between the charge and applications for permanent positions and i'm thinking this might be a good way to do it and also make some connections.

Anonymous User
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:03 pm

Anyone heard from Colorado after EJW?

Anonymous User
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone heard from Colorado after EJW?


Or West Palm Beach? Or San Diego federal?

the lantern
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby the lantern » Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:any of you considering the state clerkship-->DA office route? would supreme be better than a trial judge (if they take clerks at that level)?

I have some criminal stuff on my record and i'd like to put more of a gap between the charge and applications for permanent positions and i'm thinking this might be a good way to do it and also make some connections.


One pro to clerkship --> DA is that (at least here) DA's offices won't even look at your application until you have passed the bar. With a clerkship, you could actually start working right away, do a year's worth of work getting familiar with the nuts and bolts of state law, and then move onto your career. I'm a PD wannabe, but I'm considering doing this (although primarily because I'd like to be an appellate defender).

Anonymous User
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Anyone heard from Colorado after EJW?


Or West Palm Beach? Or San Diego federal?


No word yet on Palm Beach and Colorado

Anonymous User
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:47 pm

Any 2Ls hear from Mecklenburg yet? They told me a week getting nervous.

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

Postby casualty » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:33 pm

Anybody have any inside info concerning Vermont Defender's PRO or New York Defender Services? Trying to figure office reputation, amount of 2L responsibility offered, and post-graduate employment opportunities.

Anonymous User
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:03 pm

Dinged from bronx pd today for 2L internship

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:26 pm

Got the Bronx gig!! Woo hoo! 2L so happy now I have to decide between Bronx and Miami.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:45 pm

Entered law school in fall 2011, but took a leave of absence mid-way for medical reasons and had to start all over again this fall. Haven't looked at my transcript yet, but if there's a bunch of Ws for last fall, how badly will this impact me in the job search?

Anonymous User
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Entered law school in fall 2011, but took a leave of absence mid-way for medical reasons and had to start all over again this fall. Haven't looked at my transcript yet, but if there's a bunch of Ws for last fall, how badly will this impact me in the job search?

Similar thing happened to me in undergrad. I don't think anyone is going to care a long as you have a good explanation which you do. Every pd office I worked for and interviewed for never asked for my grades anyways. Although some do.

Anonymous User
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Entered law school in fall 2011, but took a leave of absence mid-way for medical reasons and had to start all over again this fall. Haven't looked at my transcript yet, but if there's a bunch of Ws for last fall, how badly will this impact me in the job search?

Similar thing happened to me in undergrad. I don't think anyone is going to care a long as you have a good explanation which you do. Every pd office I worked for and interviewed for never asked for my grades anyways. Although some do.


That's a relief...I was worried about being considered a "liability", or whatever.

Oh, and :shock: regarding your point about PDs offices never asking for grades. Do DAs offices tend to be holistic/less grades-focused as well when evaluating candidates? (my resume screams "public service")

the lantern
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby the lantern » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:41 pm

I think you all underestimate how busy these public defender agencies (and their attorneys) are. They all said they'd get back to us in November, but I'd expect it to be later rather than sooner. :)

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:02 pm

the lantern wrote:I think you all underestimate how busy these public defender agencies (and their attorneys) are. They all said they'd get back to us in November, but I'd expect it to be later rather than sooner. :)

Mecklenburg told me last week.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:13 am

OCI with Palm Beach State Attorney this morning.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Got the Bronx gig!! Woo hoo! 2L so happy now I have to decide between Bronx and Miami.


when/did you interview for the Bronx gig? Also when did you apply? I saw that their apps were up in August but didn't get mine in until late September (feel like this might have had a negative effect)

Thanks and congrats again

Anonymous User
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Got the Bronx gig!! Woo hoo! 2L so happy now I have to decide between Bronx and Miami.


when/did you interview for the Bronx gig? Also when did you apply? I saw that their apps were up in August but didn't get mine in until late September (feel like this might have had a negative effect)

Thanks and congrats again


I interviewed at EJW so I submitted my app around the same time you did.

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

Postby FlanAl » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:45 pm

I'm seeing mostly ny pd offices and some of the places on the EJW list (popular offices). has anyone targeted offices outside this? I'm sure some of the 3L's have widened the search. I'd love to hear more about other offices. Massachusetts, Missouri, Oregon, Washington? Thanks!

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
the lantern wrote:I think you all underestimate how busy these public defender agencies (and their attorneys) are. They all said they'd get back to us in November, but I'd expect it to be later rather than sooner. :)

Mecklenburg told me last week.


As in they gave you an answer?




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