How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

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

Postby Borhas » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:54 am

Foosters Galore wrote:
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?


Yeah, I'm interning at San Diego right now. I'm leaning towards coming back here because 1) San Diego is the second best city in CA and 2) I really like my co-workers. All in all, I'm really glad I worked here over the summer. Great people. And more importantly, fantastic work experience. I've written a bunch of motions, and did research and all that, but I've also spent a ton of time in court, and I'll even get to examine and cross-examine witnesses in an evidentiary hearing this week.

On the other hand, LA and NorCal have plus sides too... LA has the advantage of having a huge market, and I have a lot of family and friends there. NorCal is great because the PD offices pay better... Santa Clara has ridiculously high salaries (some of the supervisors there make $210k+) Alameda and Contra Costa pay well too. Working in NorCal I could also have a better chance lateraling to the SF PD office. In the North PD's actually have a shot to become judges, but in the South it's all former prosecutors...

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:56 am

Why would you want to be a prosecutor? Enjoy ruining lives over casual drug use for your own political furtherment?

Cite: --LinkRemoved--

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

Postby Sentry » Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Why would you want to be a prosecutor? Enjoy ruining lives over casual drug use for your own political furtherment?

Cite: --LinkRemoved--

good use of anonymous.

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

Postby Foosters Galore » Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:40 pm

Borhas wrote:
Foosters Galore wrote:
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?


Yeah, I'm interning at San Diego right now. I'm leaning towards coming back here because 1) San Diego is the second best city in CA and 2) I really like my co-workers. All in all, I'm really glad I worked here over the summer. Great people. And more importantly, fantastic work experience. I've written a bunch of motions, and did research and all that, but I've also spent a ton of time in court, and I'll even get to examine and cross-examine witnesses in an evidentiary hearing this week.

On the other hand, LA and NorCal have plus sides too... LA has the advantage of having a huge market, and I have a lot of family and friends there. NorCal is great because the PD offices pay better... Santa Clara has ridiculously high salaries (some of the supervisors there make $210k+) Alameda and Contra Costa pay well too. Working in NorCal I could also have a better chance lateraling to the SF PD office. In the North PD's actually have a shot to become judges, but in the South it's all former prosecutors...


Cool. Good to hear you're enjoying it. Im interning this summer at the Orange County PD office. Also having a great time and doing some really interesting work. All this OCI chatter has made me a little worried that I'm doing it wrong (whatever that means), so its nice to connect with those similarly situated. I do have one concern about this route, and that's with the classes I'm taking (criminal law based), the internships/externships, lack of journal, etc., I will be completely unmarketable to any other employer outside of the criminal defense field. With that being the field I would like to enter, that wouldn't seem to be problematic, but with such a small number of jobs each year in CA in the field, if one strikes out with PD offices, where does that leave you? Anyway, just something I've been thinking about as others around me prepare for OCI and get ready to lock up employment post law school.

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

Postby npe » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Why would you want to be a prosecutor? Enjoy ruining lives over casual drug use for your own political furtherment?

Cite: --LinkRemoved--


LOL@"furtherment"

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

Postby TLSNYC » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:26 pm

I'm currently an 0L and want to get a head start this summer on fixing up my resume and drafting sample cover letters for prosecution-related positions. Because I am going straight from UG to LS, I don't have any work experience to speak of, except some great jobs I had in politics. If I mention them on my resume and cover letter would that be a problem? I generally feel like gov't jobs require a greater sheen of non-partisanship from prospective employees.

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

Postby Interested Observer » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:00 pm

Foosters Galore wrote:
Borhas wrote:
Foosters Galore wrote:
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?


Yeah, I'm interning at San Diego right now. I'm leaning towards coming back here because 1) San Diego is the second best city in CA and 2) I really like my co-workers. All in all, I'm really glad I worked here over the summer. Great people. And more importantly, fantastic work experience. I've written a bunch of motions, and did research and all that, but I've also spent a ton of time in court, and I'll even get to examine and cross-examine witnesses in an evidentiary hearing this week.

On the other hand, LA and NorCal have plus sides too... LA has the advantage of having a huge market, and I have a lot of family and friends there. NorCal is great because the PD offices pay better... Santa Clara has ridiculously high salaries (some of the supervisors there make $210k+) Alameda and Contra Costa pay well too. Working in NorCal I could also have a better chance lateraling to the SF PD office. In the North PD's actually have a shot to become judges, but in the South it's all former prosecutors...


Cool. Good to hear you're enjoying it. Im interning this summer at the Orange County PD office. Also having a great time and doing some really interesting work. All this OCI chatter has made me a little worried that I'm doing it wrong (whatever that means), so its nice to connect with those similarly situated. I do have one concern about this route, and that's with the classes I'm taking (criminal law based), the internships/externships, lack of journal, etc., I will be completely unmarketable to any other employer outside of the criminal defense field. With that being the field I would like to enter, that wouldn't seem to be problematic, but with such a small number of jobs each year in CA in the field, if one strikes out with PD offices, where does that leave you? Anyway, just something I've been thinking about as others around me prepare for OCI and get ready to lock up employment post law school.



There really is never a "striking" out with the PD offices -- the real issue is how long you can wait to land a job. I've been told by many PDs that if you keep looking (all over the state), you'll get something eventually, but, of course, "eventually" isn't really a consolation. That being said, with a criminal defense oriented resume, you could try to work for private criminal defense attorneys. As you probably know, private criminal defense is very small -- usually solo stuff or two or three person stuff. Very rarely will someone be seeking an associate, but it could happen -- it could be something you do on the cheap while waiting to land a permanent PD gig.

The other option is to go into civil litigation. These jobs might be harder to land b/c you'd have to convince the potential employer that you have an interest in the work, but you can spin this as saying that you have a genuine interest in litigation -- whether it's criminal or civil. You can justify why you chose to do more criminal law related things in law school b/c, frankly, that's the best chance you'll have of getting in court and getting some real experience. You can always market any practical litigation skills you get from a PD's office -- writing and arguing motions, discovery, fact investigations, and, hopefully, trial experience. But, again, your success here would really come down to whether you could convince them that you weren't just "settling" or that you had a genuine commitment to the work (as opposed to waiting to get a PD job).

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

Postby Borhas » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:00 am

Foosters Galore wrote:Cool. Good to hear you're enjoying it. Im interning this summer at the Orange County PD office. Also having a great time and doing some really interesting work. All this OCI chatter has made me a little worried that I'm doing it wrong (whatever that means), so its nice to connect with those similarly situated. I do have one concern about this route, and that's with the classes I'm taking (criminal law based), the internships/externships, lack of journal, etc., I will be completely unmarketable to any other employer outside of the criminal defense field. With that being the field I would like to enter, that wouldn't seem to be problematic, but with such a small number of jobs each year in CA in the field, if one strikes out with PD offices, where does that leave you? Anyway, just something I've been thinking about as others around me prepare for OCI and get ready to lock up employment post law school.


I don't think you'd be unmarketable, but ITE it might be a terminal disadvantage.

My guess is DUI's and a life of shit law poverty, maybe try to become a panel attorney, one of the attorneys that just got hired at here did that (she was solo for almost a year and then got hired by the PD). I don't think that would be pleasant.

also look into Defender Corp (part of AmeriCorp) they send people to NOLA and other parts of the South...

I'd rather be as marketable for the work I want to do than a jack ass of all trades... but it would still be wise to apply wide... and that means... gulp... Bakersfield.

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

Postby Borhas » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:05 am

TLSNYC wrote:I'm currently an 0L and want to get a head start this summer on fixing up my resume and drafting sample cover letters for prosecution-related positions. Because I am going straight from UG to LS, I don't have any work experience to speak of, except some great jobs I had in politics. If I mention them on my resume and cover letter would that be a problem? I generally feel like gov't jobs require a greater sheen of non-partisanship from prospective employees.


Well, put whatever work experience you DO have, political or not, on your resume. I don't think it'll matter much. Just get decent grades and apply to a bunch of DA offices as soon as possible in 1L (before you get your fall semester grades). Your cover letters are a bigger deal than your resume... as fucked up as that sounds.

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

Postby Foosters Galore » Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:18 pm

Borhas wrote:
Foosters Galore wrote:Cool. Good to hear you're enjoying it. Im interning this summer at the Orange County PD office. Also having a great time and doing some really interesting work. All this OCI chatter has made me a little worried that I'm doing it wrong (whatever that means), so its nice to connect with those similarly situated. I do have one concern about this route, and that's with the classes I'm taking (criminal law based), the internships/externships, lack of journal, etc., I will be completely unmarketable to any other employer outside of the criminal defense field. With that being the field I would like to enter, that wouldn't seem to be problematic, but with such a small number of jobs each year in CA in the field, if one strikes out with PD offices, where does that leave you? Anyway, just something I've been thinking about as others around me prepare for OCI and get ready to lock up employment post law school.


I don't think you'd be unmarketable, but ITE it might be a terminal disadvantage.

My guess is DUI's and a life of shit law poverty, maybe try to become a panel attorney, one of the attorneys that just got hired at here did that (she was solo for almost a year and then got hired by the PD). I don't think that would be pleasant.

also look into Defender Corp (part of AmeriCorp) they send people to NOLA and other parts of the South...

I'd rather be as marketable for the work I want to do than a jack ass of all trades... but it would still be wise to apply wide... and that means... gulp... Bakersfield.


Agreed. Best of luck to you.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby kalvano » Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:46 pm

Just thought I would drop by this thread. Currently interning for a criminal court here in town, and it's been awesome. One upside to being a court intern as opposed to a DA/PD intern is that I've gotten to see both sides of the same case, and also gotten to follow a defense counsel for an entire case as well as a prosecutor. So you really get a good overview of everything. Plus, it never hurts under work experience to be able to say "The Honorable Judge XYZ..."

My school has a judicial internship program, which is great. If you're school doesn't, contact some local criminal judges and see if they would be willing. It's my 1L summer, and I wasn't getting anything paid anyways. I can't say enough about how great it's been.

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

Postby A'nold » Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:05 pm

I'm set to do two jury trials in the near future...... :shock:

Geist13
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Geist13 » Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:10 pm

A'nold wrote:I'm set to do two jury trials in the near future...... :shock:


Jesus; that's awesome man. The judges around here don't even let me sit with the prosecutor. Have to have passed the bar in order to pass the bar. I am writing a really fun motion on an issue which has no precedent in the state though.

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

Postby A'nold » Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:22 pm

Geist13 wrote:
A'nold wrote:I'm set to do two jury trials in the near future...... :shock:


Jesus; that's awesome man. The judges around here don't even let me sit with the prosecutor. Have to have passed the bar in order to pass the bar. I am writing a really fun motion on an issue which has no precedent in the state though.

Yeah, I'm really lucky. I'm pretty sure I picked the right office to intern at.

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

Postby npe » Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:04 pm

A'nold wrote:
Geist13 wrote:
A'nold wrote:I'm set to do two jury trials in the near future...... :shock:


Jesus; that's awesome man. The judges around here don't even let me sit with the prosecutor. Have to have passed the bar in order to pass the bar. I am writing a really fun motion on an issue which has no precedent in the state though.

Yeah, I'm really lucky. I'm pretty sure I picked the right office to intern at.


Raging with jealousy. Fortunately, I'm doing a criminal defense clinic all 3L year which gives you a decent shot at multiple jury trials. I'd rather be doing prosecution though.

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

Postby Interested Observer » Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:24 pm

npe wrote:
A'nold wrote:
Geist13 wrote:
A'nold wrote:I'm set to do two jury trials in the near future...... :shock:


Jesus; that's awesome man. The judges around here don't even let me sit with the prosecutor. Have to have passed the bar in order to pass the bar. I am writing a really fun motion on an issue which has no precedent in the state though.

Yeah, I'm really lucky. I'm pretty sure I picked the right office to intern at.


Raging with jealousy. Fortunately, I'm doing a criminal defense clinic all 3L year which gives you a decent shot at multiple jury trials. I'd rather be doing prosecution though.



I've done a jury trial representing a defendant. And, I have to tell you, based on my experience and what I saw, it's probably way more fun doing it from the defense side than doing it from the prosecution. The primary skill you need to develop as a defense attorney is cross-examination. An equally important skill is thinking outside the box on how you can explain a set of facts -- which aren't always that good for you (ours were downright horrendous). While it seems the prosecution's job is much straight-forward -- often with professional witnesses in the form of police officers. Plus, the prosecution can almost do anything and they will be the love of all the judges. Whereas, no matter how meritorious a motion may be for the defense, you're probably going to lose.

To each his own as always, but I just wanted to tell you that working on the defense side might be a fun and interesting experience.

To A'nold: congrats. That should be some fun stuff, especially picking the jury. What kinds of cases are they?

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

Postby firemed » Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:00 am

This thread has been amazingly helpful.


Real quick hypo for you guys: If I started applying for DA jobs and got one, but then got a clerkship, do they generally seem willing to let you defer for a year, or would I end up applying for jobs all over again, but with a nice buff on the resume?

Also, if this is a dumb question, I apologize in advance.... I am still trying to learn a lot of this stuff.

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

Postby seatown12 » Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:14 am

If you already had the DA job you should just take it; I doubt they'd defer since they need an attorney now and aren't sure to in a year. Why throw away a career opportunity for a one year gig intended largely to improve your chances at securing said career?

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

Postby Interested Observer » Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:05 am

seatown12 wrote:If you already had the DA job you should just take it; I doubt they'd defer since they need an attorney now and aren't sure to in a year. Why throw away a career opportunity for a one year gig intended largely to improve your chances at securing said career?



While I think this is probably the best advice, I would want to know what kind of clerkship. If it's a tough federal district court or a federal COA, I would say do that. Sure, your job may no longer be there, but you've put yourself in a really good position to land some pretty sweet gigs. If you ever wanted to go on to become an AUSA, then a competitive clerkship is certainly nice to have (not to mention some pull from a judge).

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

Postby Borhas » Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:56 am

I was talking to this "shit" crim defense lawyer outside of the office while I was taking a smoke break. (Note: cig breaks are excellent way to "network") Anyway, the guy seemed to be higher than a kite, he was going on and on about a mile a minute about his life and how he's getting a divorce and his gf is stalking him yada yada, but at some point while he was taking a breath ready to explode into another monologue I asked him how he started out. Anyway, he said starting out kind of sucks and that you have to hustle to get your first clients, his particular method was to have his father-in-law, a bail bondsman, refer clients to him. (pretty sure this is not legal, and he actually referred to having his license suspended for a couple of years, and how the undercover cops tried to acquire his services in exchange for drugs, and raiding his office etc) Before he got his break he was scraping by charging no more than $2000 for a case. His father in law told him that being a bargain attorney is not the way to go, he said that when he referred people he told them they should get a Good Lawyer, and a Good Lawyer charges 10,000... by charging so little you may give away yourself as a shit lawyer. Anyway, he recommended to just get a desk at a law office (apparently a lot of solos just have desks in larger offices, to save money on rent etc) and just hustle by networking w/in the criminal elements of society. As soon as he got he settled his first big case he started getting referrals from the buddies of his client and then their buddies. I think he runs a divorce mill now. Anyway, thought it was an interesting encounter.


Interested Observer wrote:
seatown12 wrote:If you already had the DA job you should just take it; I doubt they'd defer since they need an attorney now and aren't sure to in a year. Why throw away a career opportunity for a one year gig intended largely to improve your chances at securing said career?



While I think this is probably the best advice, I would want to know what kind of clerkship. If it's a tough federal district court or a federal COA, I would say do that. Sure, your job may no longer be there, but you've put yourself in a really good position to land some pretty sweet gigs. If you ever wanted to go on to become an AUSA, then a competitive clerkship is certainly nice to have (not to mention some pull from a judge).


I'm not so sure a federal COA clerkship would do all that much towards AUSA jobs, they seem to be more about district court clerkships on account of those actually involving trial work. But I'm just basing that off on that AUSA that created a thread here a while back, so I don't really know how strong that argument is.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Foosters Galore » Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:45 pm

Hey Borhas,

What are your plans for OCI? Our bids are due at the end of the week (for businesses and firms only) and I'm starting to think I should put something together. Originally I was only going to bid on the Government/PI OCI ones, but those are not up yet. I'm just starting to get a little anxious as all I'm hearing is everyone discussing OCI and the importance of getting a 2L summer SA position. I realize that this is not what I want, and I am still planning on doing summer 2 at a PD office again, but for some reason, I feel like I'd be remiss to not bid on the firms.

On a side note, I wrote a pretty lengthy motion for this case, and the judge let me sit with the PD and the accused during the trial. Also got to go to chambers whenever the DA and PD went back to discuss the case. He kept referring to the Defense Counsel, on the record, as "Mr. Smith, Deputy Public Defender, and Mr. Galore, his ably prepared Law Clerk."
He also wrote out a quick court order allowing me to go to the Jail with the PD to talk to the client.

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

Postby Borhas » Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:07 pm

Foosters Galore wrote:Hey Borhas,

What are your plans for OCI? Our bids are due at the end of the week (for businesses and firms only) and I'm starting to think I should put something together. Originally I was only going to bid on the Government/PI OCI ones, but those are not up yet. I'm just starting to get a little anxious as all I'm hearing is everyone discussing OCI and the importance of getting a 2L summer SA position. I realize that this is not what I want, and I am still planning on doing summer 2 at a PD office again, but for some reason, I feel like I'd be remiss to not bid on the firms.

On a side note, I wrote a pretty lengthy motion for this case, and the judge let me sit with the PD and the accused during the trial. Also got to go to chambers whenever the DA and PD went back to discuss the case. He kept referring to the Defense Counsel, on the record, as "Mr. Smith, Deputy Public Defender, and Mr. Galore, his ably prepared Law Clerk."
He also wrote out a quick court order allowing me to go to the Jail with the PD to talk to the client.


OCI... huh

Well our bids were due earlier this week. We had a grand total of 3 DA offices (San Mateo, San Francisco, Alameda) and 3-4 PD offices, 2 ND Cal FPD offices (in SF and San Jose) in addition to Alameda PD and Santa Clara PD. I bid on the PDs highest and the DAs lowest... Alameda's DA gig is so sweet that there's no way I could turn that down if I got the opportunity (2L's are paid, and they can be hired directly after graduation, and Alameda is the most competent DA office in NorCal).

My guess is your school probably doesn't have many DA or PD's coming in either. And if they do, you'll still have a lot of bids left over for firms. I chose not to apply to any firms because 1) my ranking fell from top 5-10% to top 30% so it's not like I'd have a decent shot anyway and 2) I know what I want to do 3) other people are better suited for those jobs, and I'd be doing a disservice to them, the firms (not that I'd give a fuck), and myself by going for these jobs just for the sake of going for them.

If #1 was different I may have tried. When I had a top GPA I seriously considered going for 2L SA's, but ultimately would have probably turned down the offers anyway. If your grades are better than mine then surely the temptation is strong. I mean shit, what do the SA's get paid, like 30k+ for the summer? I could sure as hell use 30k for a summer of writing memos... but that short term benefit would not make up for the tremendous hit to my PD goals. I'm (and presumably you) are going for a career that you know you will find fulfilling. I think it would have been foolish to do any work other than that which maximizes my chances at getting hired at a PD office. PD offices don't just take people that couldn't make Big Law, competition is tougher than ever and losing focus may mean that you end up w/ nothing. Better to be master of one trade than a jack ass of all trades IMO.

Assuming you have the same goals I say don't make a head ache out of a good thing, make a decision and be confident. Don't apply to firms just because others are doing it, because frankly, our lot is A LOT different than most other law students. If we did whatever they thought was best then we would be doing ourselves a disservice. I'd say take the interviews for practice's sake, but is that really worth taking up slots that your peers could use, and who want them more anyway?

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

Postby A'nold » Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:27 pm

seatown12 wrote:If you already had the DA job you should just take it; I doubt they'd defer since they need an attorney now and aren't sure to in a year. Why throw away a career opportunity for a one year gig intended largely to improve your chances at securing said career?

Exactly what I was going to say.

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

Postby Foosters Galore » Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:34 pm

Borhas wrote:
Foosters Galore wrote:Hey Borhas,

What are your plans for OCI? Our bids are due at the end of the week (for businesses and firms only) and I'm starting to think I should put something together. Originally I was only going to bid on the Government/PI OCI ones, but those are not up yet. I'm just starting to get a little anxious as all I'm hearing is everyone discussing OCI and the importance of getting a 2L summer SA position. I realize that this is not what I want, and I am still planning on doing summer 2 at a PD office again, but for some reason, I feel like I'd be remiss to not bid on the firms.

On a side note, I wrote a pretty lengthy motion for this case, and the judge let me sit with the PD and the accused during the trial. Also got to go to chambers whenever the DA and PD went back to discuss the case. He kept referring to the Defense Counsel, on the record, as "Mr. Smith, Deputy Public Defender, and Mr. Galore, his ably prepared Law Clerk."
He also wrote out a quick court order allowing me to go to the Jail with the PD to talk to the client.


OCI... huh

Well our bids were due earlier this week. We had a grand total of 3 DA offices (San Mateo, San Francisco, Alameda) and 3-4 PD offices, 2 ND Cal FPD offices (in SF and San Jose) in addition to Alameda PD and Santa Clara PD. I bid on the PDs highest and the DAs lowest... Alameda's DA gig is so sweet that there's no way I could turn that down if I got the opportunity (2L's are paid, and they can be hired directly after graduation, and Alameda is the most competent DA office in NorCal).

My guess is your school probably doesn't have many DA or PD's coming in either. And if they do, you'll still have a lot of bids left over for firms. I chose not to apply to any firms because 1) my ranking fell from top 5-10% to top 30% so it's not like I'd have a decent shot anyway and 2) I know what I want to do 3) other people are better suited for those jobs, and I'd be doing a disservice to them, the firms (not that I'd give a fuck), and myself by going for these jobs just for the sake of going for them.

If #1 was different I may have tried. When I had a top GPA I seriously considered going for 2L SA's, but ultimately would have probably turned down the offers anyway. If your grades are better than mine then surely the temptation is strong. I mean shit, what do the SA's get paid, like 30k+ for the summer? I could sure as hell use 30k for a summer of writing memos... but that short term benefit would not make up for the tremendous hit to my PD goals. I'm (and presumably you) are going for a career that you know you will find fulfilling. I think it would have been foolish to do any work other than that which maximizes my chances at getting hired at a PD office. PD offices don't just take people that couldn't make Big Law, competition is tougher than ever and losing focus may mean that you end up w/ nothing. Better to be master of one trade than a jack ass of all trades IMO.

Assuming you have the same goals I say don't make a head ache out of a good thing, make a decision and be confident. Don't apply to firms just because others are doing it, because frankly, our lot is A LOT different than most other law students. If we did whatever they thought was best then we would be doing ourselves a disservice. I'd say take the interviews for practice's sake, but is that really worth taking up slots that your peers could use, and who want them more anyway?


Well said. The only reason I considered applying was for the interview experience, but I didn't think about taking others' slots. I'm top 20% at T2 in so-cal, so odds weren't stellar anyway. PD is what I want to do. In fact, I'm meeting with the attorney who interviewed and hired us for this summer later today about the possibility of coming back next summer. Just going to try and lock it up now, as opposed to having to deal with it during the school year. Totally concur about the "master of one trade" approach. Ive got a clinic lined up next semester and taking a bunch of criminal classes as well. I guess I'm doing all I can.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:48 pm

I'm a 1L at a PD's office this summer. I think one of the most important things to remember in getting a PD job is how you present yourself in the interview. (Obviously experience is important, but you can easily get that through a clinic/mock trial).

I didn't have any crim experience, but I did my level best to convey my interest in criminal defense work to the interviewer (which was genuine). There may be hypos in the interview as well. These hypos will probably be designed to test a few things:

1) Are you defense oriented? IE, will you zealously defend anyone, no matter how bad they are or what they did? This is a PD's job. It's the only way the criminal law system works. The interviewer might elicit a response on this by asking you whether you'd defend a child molester, even if you truly believe he was guilty. If you can't honestly answer that with a yes, you shouldn't be a PD.

2) They might seek to elicit a comment from you about the "stigma" attached to PD's and the work they do. If you do anything in your interview, make sure that you don't even give this sentiment the time of day. You need to truly believe that "stigma" is ridiculous.

3) They might ask you questions which implicate an element of attorney client privilege. If there is a hypo in your interview which involves you talking to your client, you need to be damn sure that your answer doesn't involve you telling any other hypothetical people what your hypothetical client told you.

4) There may be a question which involves whether you would encourage your client to take a DA's plea deal. The right answer will depend on how good you think the deal sounds. Some PD's are big on just going to trial. Other PD's encourage most of their clients to take plea deals if they are on the table. These PD's often end up having closer relationships to DA's and can get their clients better deals than private council usually can. There are pros and cons to both approaches. That said, you want to convince your interviewer that you are very excited about the idea that your job involves trial advocacy (even if that scares you).

And finally, I think that PD interviews are often keyed to see if you have a thick skin and can think on your feet. The interviewer might be a bit intense or adversarial. This isn't because they are trying to hurt your feelings. It's because PD's need to be able to take a little abuse. They also need to rely on quick thinking, courage, and wit to snap back from this abuse and keep going.




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