How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:24 pm

Hey guys,
Could any of you shed any knowledge on what to expect for an interview with an appellate defender office? Thanks!

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:16 am

So about this Appellate Defender... if you don't mind, is this interview for an internship or full-time? For one of the NYC offices? CAL? OAD? Applied to both and crickets thus far. Thanks!

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

Postby barry » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:28 am

Hey guys I just got grilled by a panel interview at a DA's and feel pretty bad about it. Has anyone got a job after they felt they had a rough interview?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:41 am

barry wrote:Hey guys I just got grilled by a panel interview at a DA's and feel pretty bad about it. Has anyone got a job after they felt they had a rough interview?


I've gotten callbacks after tough interviews. The interviews like that are designed to test you under pressure. It's not something you're likely to feel good about afterward, but that doesn't mean you didn't do well.

Curiosity13
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Curiosity13 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:00 am

Appellate interviews are very similar to your typical defender interviews. They're going to want to know about your ability to work with their clients. They will spend a bit more time than usual discussing your writing ability. Other than that, they were pretty typical.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:14 am

I realize this thread is now leaning towards discussion of post-graduate employment. However, I am going to try and take it on a detour. I am unsure on whether I want to go public defender or prosecutor. I will be interning at the public defender's office this summer (I am a 2l) and was thinking about interning at a public defender's office this spring as well.

My questions: will this (coupled with top 5 percent at t14 and secondary journal) make me competitive for most public defender offices upon graduation? and what about prosecutor's offices?

Thanks in advance guys!

P.S. I am also starting to think about maybe applying for federal clerkships and am curious as to the value of these (and district vs appellate) for either the prosecution or public defense career path?

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

Postby Rocío » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:06 am

barry wrote:Hey guys I just got grilled by a panel interview at a DA's and feel pretty bad about it. Has anyone got a job after they felt they had a rough interview?


These are called hostile interviews and are really common with prosecutor and public defender offices. I had plenty of them, and received callbacks and even offers after these types of interviews. Like the anon poster above said, the purpose is to see how you deal with pressure. If you become defensive or flustered, that's a bad sign. But if you kept your cool, you should be fine.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:10 am

My questions: will this (coupled with top 5 percent at t14 and secondary journal) make me competitive for most public defender offices upon graduation? and what about prosecutor's offices?


Top 5% at T14? I would think the only hesitation is that a PD or DA office may think you will jump to BigLaw for the bigger salary.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:49 am

barry wrote:Hey guys I just got grilled by a panel interview at a DA's and feel pretty bad about it. Has anyone got a job after they felt they had a rough interview?


I was almost sweating through my suit I got grilled so much during a DA panel interview. It was supposed to last twenty minutes and I was in there for at least an hour as the lead ADA continued to change the hypothetical over and over. I'll be working at that office this fall.

You probably did a lot better than you think.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:
barry wrote:Hey guys I just got grilled by a panel interview at a DA's and feel pretty bad about it. Has anyone got a job after they felt they had a rough interview?


I was almost sweating through my suit I got grilled so much during a DA panel interview. It was supposed to last twenty minutes and I was in there for at least an hour as the lead ADA continued to change the hypothetical over and over. I'll be working at that office this fall.

You probably did a lot better than you think.


Same here my interview was practically the interviewer screaming at me for my supposedly unethical and unfair answers. Working there post-grad.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby FlanAl » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I realize this thread is now leaning towards discussion of post-graduate employment. However, I am going to try and take it on a detour. I am unsure on whether I want to go public defender or prosecutor. I will be interning at the public defender's office this summer (I am a 2l) and was thinking about interning at a public defender's office this spring as well.

My questions: will this (coupled with top 5 percent at t14 and secondary journal) make me competitive for most public defender offices upon graduation? and what about prosecutor's offices?

Thanks in advance guys!

P.S. I am also starting to think about maybe applying for federal clerkships and am curious as to the value of these (and district vs appellate) for either the prosecution or public defense career path?


my guess would be to gun for clerkships and then for PDS in DC. It seems like a lot of offices kinda vary on what they are looking for, but every single PD I've ever talked to speaks highly of PDS.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby wbrother » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
My questions: will this (coupled with top 5 percent at t14 and secondary journal) make me competitive for most public defender offices upon graduation? and what about prosecutor's offices?


Top 5% at T14? I would think the only hesitation is that a PD or DA office may think you will jump to BigLaw for the bigger salary.


Have PD/DA offices ever demonstrated any type of yield protecting? I suppose it would make sense for top 5% t14, but from what I've heard BigLaw doesn't really like to recruit from PD/DA as much as they do out of law school. Curious if anyone on here as actually data/experience/anecdotes.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:40 pm

wbrother wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
My questions: will this (coupled with top 5 percent at t14 and secondary journal) make me competitive for most public defender offices upon graduation? and what about prosecutor's offices?


Top 5% at T14? I would think the only hesitation is that a PD or DA office may think you will jump to BigLaw for the bigger salary.


Have PD/DA offices ever demonstrated any type of yield protecting? I suppose it would make sense for top 5% t14, but from what I've heard BigLaw doesn't really like to recruit from PD/DA as much as they do out of law school. Curious if anyone on here as actually data/experience/anecdotes.


I'm around top 10% at T14. Got offers at multiple PD offices and will be joining PDS.

Nearly certain that YP doesn't happen at PD offices. The grades certainly weren't the most important part of my applications, but they were a nice cherry on top.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Borhas » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:04 pm

FlanAl wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I realize this thread is now leaning towards discussion of post-graduate employment. However, I am going to try and take it on a detour. I am unsure on whether I want to go public defender or prosecutor. I will be interning at the public defender's office this summer (I am a 2l) and was thinking about interning at a public defender's office this spring as well.

My questions: will this (coupled with top 5 percent at t14 and secondary journal) make me competitive for most public defender offices upon graduation? and what about prosecutor's offices?

Thanks in advance guys!

P.S. I am also starting to think about maybe applying for federal clerkships and am curious as to the value of these (and district vs appellate) for either the prosecution or public defense career path?


my guess would be to gun for clerkships and then for PDS in DC. It seems like a lot of offices kinda vary on what they are looking for, but every single PD I've ever talked to speaks highly of PDS.


PDS has a wealth of resources, is highly respected in the most "prestigious" legal community, and has excellent exit options. The down side is that the culture/people there seem to have their eyes set on different things than being a career PD so turn over is relatively high. They're also pretty arrogant but I would be too if I was a DC trial lawyer.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:05 pm

Please forgive my ignorance, but I have some questions about public defender offices. So is PDS just hands down the best? I have heard it referred as such on several occasions and I was just wondering why this is true? What really makes the difference?

Does it matter which public defender office you intern at your 2l summer for post-grad hiring?

Finally, what is the salary of big city public defender offices? It seems like these would be more desirable because of the better cases, experience, and opportunities but I was just wondering what my quality of life would be? I'm at GULC so they have the loan repayment program where they will pay your loan payments for you for 10 years and then after 10 years it is forgiven tax free by the government through the public service ibr thing fwiw.

Thanks!

Edited to respond to prior post: what are the exit options exactly? I'm also still curious as to what specifically sets them apart from other public defender offices and my 2l intern question.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Please forgive my ignorance, but I have some questions about public defender offices. So is PDS just hands down the best? I have heard it referred as such on several occasions and I was just wondering why this is true? What really makes the difference?

Does it matter which public defender office you intern at your 2l summer for post-grad hiring?

Finally, what is the salary of big city public defender offices? It seems like these would be more desirable because of the better cases, experience, and opportunities but I was just wondering what my quality of life would be? I'm at GULC so they have the loan repayment program where they will pay your loan payments for you for 10 years and then after 10 years it is forgiven tax free by the government through the public service ibr thing fwiw.

Thanks!

Edited to respond to prior post: what are the exit options exactly? I'm also still curious as to what specifically sets them apart from other public defender offices and my 2l intern question.


Office rankings

There are a few tiers of PD offices. This isn't a precise thing at all, but I think it's directionally on point.

1. Bronx and PDS are consistently referred to as the best two, and for different reasons. The Bronx pioneered its holistic model and serves clients in a very non-traditional way. PDS, meanwhile, is an incredibly aggressive trial office. They train up the panel attorneys in D.C., receive more funding than state or local offices (because the office is federally funded), and have more manageable caseloads than state or local offices.

2. After the Bronx and PDS is a tier that includes Brooklyn, Miami, LA, and SF.

3. After that are the high-performing state systems like Colorado and Massachusetts.

4. Then there's everyone else.

Where to intern 2L summer

Generally, you have a better chance of getting an offer if you interned at the office. Both the Bronx and PDS guarantee interviews to their interns. Legal Aid does the same.

Salaries

SF is the highest, at 100K. LA is in the 70s. PDS is 66. NJ is 60. Everywhere in NYC is 50. Miami is 42.

EDIT: More info on salaries and offices here.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Borhas » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Please forgive my ignorance, but I have some questions about public defender offices. So is PDS just hands down the best? I have heard it referred as such on several occasions and I was just wondering why this is true? What really makes the difference?

Does it matter which public defender office you intern at your 2l summer for post-grad hiring?

Finally, what is the salary of big city public defender offices? It seems like these would be more desirable because of the better cases, experience, and opportunities but I was just wondering what my quality of life would be? I'm at GULC so they have the loan repayment program where they will pay your loan payments for you for 10 years and then after 10 years it is forgiven tax free by the government through the public service ibr thing fwiw.

Thanks!

Edited to respond to prior post: what are the exit options exactly? I'm also still curious as to what specifically sets them apart from other public defender offices and my 2l intern question.



1) they definitely are the most prestigious, but some random small town PD doesn't have the resources they do so how do you compare? The only people I've heard call them the best were PDS attorneys. I'd rather work there though, its nice to have investigators, social workers and a kick ass appellate division. As far as exit options they seem to get a few people on the DC Cir as judges which is a legit exit. Also folks go and become professors or into random policy jobs, or even civil litigation.

2) big city PD salary starts at 40 to 60 or so k or something like that, not a lot but with ibr and lrap you can afford to have a family

3) if you work at an office you will have a better chance of a post grad job at that office, so yes, it matters. I worked at PDS my 2l summer but I wasn't prestigious enough to get q post grad job so I regret not interning at a bit less competitive of an office. But I really enjoyed it and I got paid so it was all good.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:53 pm

I will probably be working at a different public defender for 2l summer. One of the Virginia or Maryland ones, but not PDS. Obviously, this is not as good as simply interning at PDS, but would I still be competitive for PDS? I'm the anon from above with top 5% at GULC. Should I try and intern there this spring or would that not likely make a difference?

Also, apologizing if the answer is buried in this megathread, but how does the actual hiring timeline normally work? You generally apply in the fall or the spring of your third year? How would this work with clerkship applications? I would apply to both and then just withdraw if I managed to get a federal clerkship offer? I would appreciate all input.

Thanks a lot for answering my questions. This site has been a huge help!

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby akili » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I will probably be working at a different public defender for 2l summer. One of the Virginia or Maryland ones, but not PDS. Obviously, this is not as good as simply interning at PDS, but would I still be competitive for PDS? I'm the anon from above with top 5% at GULC. Should I try and intern there this spring or would that not likely make a difference?

Also, apologizing if the answer is buried in this megathread, but how does the actual hiring timeline normally work? You generally apply in the fall or the spring of your third year? How would this work with clerkship applications? I would apply to both and then just withdraw if I managed to get a federal clerkship offer? I would appreciate all input.

Thanks a lot for answering my questions. This site has been a huge help!


I'm curious if anyone also knows the timelines for state-level clerkships and DA hiring

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:04 am

I'm the same anon who's starting at PDS in the fall.

Get the best experience you can for the summer. This means arguing in court if possible, maybe handling preliminary hearings or low-level trials. While the PDS name is sexy, they don't let interns appear on the record. Doing it during the school year isn't a terrible idea, though GULC's clinics let you actually do trials. That's a more valuable experience IMO.

Hiring timelines are largely after the clerkship app process. For example, the Bronx, PDS, and Miami sent out offers only one to three weeks ago.

Happy to answer any other Qs.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:41 am

akili wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I will probably be working at a different public defender for 2l summer. One of the Virginia or Maryland ones, but not PDS. Obviously, this is not as good as simply interning at PDS, but would I still be competitive for PDS? I'm the anon from above with top 5% at GULC. Should I try and intern there this spring or would that not likely make a difference?

Also, apologizing if the answer is buried in this megathread, but how does the actual hiring timeline normally work? You generally apply in the fall or the spring of your third year? How would this work with clerkship applications? I would apply to both and then just withdraw if I managed to get a federal clerkship offer? I would appreciate all input.

Thanks a lot for answering my questions. This site has been a huge help!


I'm curious if anyone also knows the timelines for state-level clerkships and DA hiring

State-level clerkships vary a lot by state/court, but some states hire as early as spring semester 2L. You need Vermont Law School's guide to state clerkships (http://www.vermontlaw.edu/Resources/Jud ... ources.htm). It requires a login/password, but your school's CSO should be able to give it to you. (I don't know much about DA hiring and I think it also varies by location - I know people have been posting here about interviewing during 3L; the people from my school who got DA gigs in-state didn't get hired till post-bar, although I think they'd all interned for the DA during school.)

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby purr se » Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:Get the best experience you can for the summer. This means arguing in court if possible, maybe handling preliminary hearings or low-level trials. While the PDS name is sexy, they don't let interns appear on the record. Doing it during the school year isn't a terrible idea, though GULC's clinics let you actually do trials. That's a more valuable experience IMO.
.


This. Seek out experiences that allow you to handle prelim exams, hearings, trials, and / or sentencings.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:47 am

So this is what I'm getting from all of this, pds is great to intern at but you don't appear on the record, so does this mean that 3Ls who spent their 2L summer at a pd office that was more hands on are more competitive come applying for post grad position? I know pds is great but do they actually extend offers to their 2L interns?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Curiosity13 » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:
wbrother wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
My questions: will this (coupled with top 5 percent at t14 and secondary journal) make me competitive for most public defender offices upon graduation? and what about prosecutor's offices?


Top 5% at T14? I would think the only hesitation is that a PD or DA office may think you will jump to BigLaw for the bigger salary.


Have PD/DA offices ever demonstrated any type of yield protecting? I suppose it would make sense for top 5% t14, but from what I've heard BigLaw doesn't really like to recruit from PD/DA as much as they do out of law school. Curious if anyone on here as actually data/experience/anecdotes.


I'm around top 10% at T14. Got offers at multiple PD offices and will be joining PDS.

Nearly certain that YP doesn't happen at PD offices. The grades certainly weren't the most important part of my applications, but they were a nice cherry on top.



Hey! I will be joining PDS too! PM me as I would love to meet someone else who will be in my incoming class before we actually get there.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Curiosity13 » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm the same anon who's starting at PDS in the fall.

Get the best experience you can for the summer. This means arguing in court if possible, maybe handling preliminary hearings or low-level trials. While the PDS name is sexy, they don't let interns appear on the record. Doing it during the school year isn't a terrible idea, though GULC's clinics let you actually do trials. That's a more valuable experience IMO.

Hiring timelines are largely after the clerkship app process. For example, the Bronx, PDS, and Miami sent out offers only one to three weeks ago.

Happy to answer any other Qs.


Just to clarify slightly, there are certain divisions in PDS where the intern will appear on the record as counsel for clients. I was in the parole division at PDS during my 2L summer and I had my own caseload/clients and was the sole counsel responsible for advocating for them before the United States Parole Commission. The institutional service division interns will also have their own clients and conduct administrative hearings within the jails.




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