How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
seatown12
Posts: 614
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:16 pm

Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby seatown12 » Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote: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...

Congrats on the summer position, and I think your advice will definitely help rising 1Ls, but I think most people ITT have already worked for PDs/DAs one or two summers and are focusing on how to get attorney positions post-graduation.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:17 pm

seatown12 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: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...

Congrats on the summer position, and I think your advice will definitely help rising 1Ls, but I think most people ITT have already worked for PDs/DAs one or two summers and are focusing on how to get attorney positions post-graduation.



hmm, I guess i should've edited in a quote of who I was talking to. There was a 0L on the page before who said he wanted advice on interviews because he lacked work experience.

As far as getting a job after graduation... I'd love to do criminal work, but I just don't know of enough counties in CA who are hiring. I've heard San Diego DA's office mentioned in this thread... as well as Alameda.

I've also heard rumors that the LA County Public Defender and District Attorney are planning on lifting their freeze some time in 2012. I don't know if this is just conjecture from the attorneys working there. Has anyone else heard the same? Both offices would be pretty amazing to work for, IMO. The LA County Public Defender pays better than any other office I've heard of (level 1's start at 60 thousand plus benefits).

User avatar
gobucks101
Posts: 1445
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 11:43 am

Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby gobucks101 » Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:42 pm

I know that most offices hire on need while some hire through OCI for the upcoming year (e.g. Brooklyn). What are some offices that are accepting resumes and interviewing this fall for positions upon graduation? I know Philly is at least one.

seatown12
Posts: 614
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:16 pm

Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby seatown12 » Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I've also heard rumors that the LA County Public Defender and District Attorney are planning on lifting their freeze some time in 2012. I don't know if this is just conjecture from the attorneys working there. Has anyone else heard the same? Both offices would be pretty amazing to work for, IMO. The LA County Public Defender pays better than any other office I've heard of (level 1's start at 60 thousand plus benefits).

lol it used to be $72k, and I heard in 2010 that they expected to lift the freeze in 2011. It is a legit office though.

User avatar
Peace of Mind
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:44 pm

Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Peace of Mind » Sat Jul 23, 2011 9:19 pm

Tag

User avatar
A'nold
Posts: 3622
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:07 pm

Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby A'nold » Sat Jul 23, 2011 9:39 pm

One question I have is whether the whole "local connection" thing matters as much as it does with firm jobs. Like an applicant from CA with great creds applying to a county prosecutor in MN. Would the outstanding applicant beat out an above average applicant from MN?

Interested Observer
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2009 1:53 pm

Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Interested Observer » Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:13 pm

A'nold wrote:One question I have is whether the whole "local connection" thing matters as much as it does with firm jobs. Like an applicant from CA with great creds applying to a county prosecutor in MN. Would the outstanding applicant beat out an above average applicant from MN?



I've heard about how the district attorney in the county I worked at viewed this. I worked at the PD, but I spoke with a private criminal defense attorney who had worked for the prosecutor for a number of years. He came from an out-of-state big city prosecutor's office before coming to this county (which is a smaller county in CA -- not a major market). From what he said, it seemed the district attorney really favored local people. The theory was that local people would be willing to spend their whole careers there and so the costs of training people were worth it. The DA over here favors hiring graduates from the local law school (not an ABA school, but rather a CBA school) over people from ABA schools but with no connections.

I don't know what this means overall, but my guess would be that smaller counties over the U.S. would be skeptical to hire people with no connections for fear of losing them after a few years.

User avatar
A'nold
Posts: 3622
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:07 pm

Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby A'nold » Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:33 am

Interested Observer wrote:
A'nold wrote:One question I have is whether the whole "local connection" thing matters as much as it does with firm jobs. Like an applicant from CA with great creds applying to a county prosecutor in MN. Would the outstanding applicant beat out an above average applicant from MN?



I've heard about how the district attorney in the county I worked at viewed this. I worked at the PD, but I spoke with a private criminal defense attorney who had worked for the prosecutor for a number of years. He came from an out-of-state big city prosecutor's office before coming to this county (which is a smaller county in CA -- not a major market). From what he said, it seemed the district attorney really favored local people. The theory was that local people would be willing to spend their whole careers there and so the costs of training people were worth it. The DA over here favors hiring graduates from the local law school (not an ABA school, but rather a CBA school) over people from ABA schools but with no connections.

I don't know what this means overall, but my guess would be that smaller counties over the U.S. would be skeptical to hire people with no connections for fear of losing them after a few years.

Yeah, it seems logical that it would be this way. It just kind of sucks considering there are fewer of these jobs than firm jobs in the first place, then tack on the local connection thing and getting an ADA job becomes a lot more difficult. Seems like you kind of have to be at the right place at the right time.

I guess you could really improve your odds by applying to city positions as well as county positions throughout your state and nearby states.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 24, 2011 1:26 am

Hey guys,
I am a graduate of a NYC school headed to one of the DA's offices in the city (NY, BX, BK, Qu, SI) following the bar. I received interviews at all offices except one and received offers from 3. Here are my tips to land a gig at a DA's office.

1. INTERN- every person in my class has interned at a district attorney's office somewhere. whether it be in NY, or another state, or county, every single person has this line on their resume. DA's offices are also more partial to ppl that do defense work like a PD, as it usually takes that experience coupled with a internship at the DA's office to truly see the "light". :D Internships with federal agencies such as the USAO or Federal Defenders is also looked favorably upon, however there are stark differences in their jobs (mainly resources and time allocation). I had both DA and USAO experience and through an interviewer was told that they liked my dedication to criminal prosecution.

2. CLASSES/GRADES- EVIDENCE, CRIM PRO, TRIAL AD- without these classes you will be not be taken seriously. These are the background classes for 90% of what you will be doing in the DA's office. If your school has a prosecution clinic, and many schools in the NY area do, do it. 2 people from my school who did the clinic had a leg up in the office due to their work there. I did not do a clinic as I did an externship(will talk about in pt. 4), but in my 1st round interview in one of the DA's office, i noticed he underlined on my transcript- Evidence, Crim Pro, Trial Ad, Professional Responsibility, White Collar Crime, etc. While grades used to not be such an important factor, I have noticed they have increasingly become more important in admissions decisions. As in a candidate with a 3.4 or a 3.3 will def be considered greater than someone with a 3.1 or a 3.08.

3. STUDENT TEAMS, STUDENT GROUPS- DA's offices look very favorable upon Moot court as well as trial advocacy teams. Many of the people in my class were either members of one of these teams or both. Moot court I have seen has been particularly praised as often the people who go into DA's offices are very trial oriented, and they need people in appeals who can write as well as argue in front of a panel. I think my membership on Moot Court and various roles including participant in competitions gave me a leg up in the process. Student groups such as prisoners rights advocacy groups are also looked favorable upon as it shows a dedication to serving the community and interacting with people who have been part of the criminal justice system.

4. REFERENCES- make contacts with ADA's or former ADA's who are professors or adjuncts in your school. By speaking with them and making connections, if you show a significant interest, you can list them as references (which most DA's offices require 3 usually made up of professors and past legal employers). I was able to do an externship with a office in NYC and my externship professor was an ADA at that office. His recommendation set me apart from other interns as I was able to get a recommendation from someone who knew both my legal work and academic ability.


5. STORY- have a compelling story as to why you want to be a prosecutor. In this market you honestly need a compelling story as to why you want to become a prosecutor that will set you apart from the other applicants. To give a small one line of myself, I grew up in the county that I will be an ADA, and due to the low socioeconomic neighborhood in which I lived, I wanted to make a difference on the level of crime and drug abuse in my hometown.

This isn't a job for ppl who struck out at 2L oci. Practically everyone i talked too who landed something at OCI (which is very few, C/O 2011), would love to be a prosecutor because its such a fun and great job. That said most ppl have planned for this position starting 1L summer or the 2L semesters. The drawback is pay, as is not extremely rewarding (NY: 60G, BX:56G BK: 50G, Q: 54G, SI: 53G). However there are many programs which can help a DA or PD including- IBR, PILF, LRAP, JRJ, NYBAR,- In which LRAP or JRJ can basically pay your IBR payments for you for 10 yrs in which your debt balance will be forgiven. The only drawback is that your limited to government and public interest service.

If anyone has any further questions regarding DA's offices, particularly in NY (i have done a lot of research regarding each office), please post your q here.

User avatar
A'nold
Posts: 3622
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:07 pm

Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby A'nold » Sun Jul 24, 2011 2:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:Hey guys,
I am a graduate of a NYC school headed to one of the DA's offices in the city (NY, BX, BK, Qu, SI) following the bar. I received interviews at all offices except one and received offers from 3. Here are my tips to land a gig at a DA's office.

1. INTERN- every person in my class has interned at a district attorney's office somewhere. whether it be in NY, or another state, or county, every single person has this line on their resume. DA's offices are also more partial to ppl that do defense work like a PD, as it usually takes that experience coupled with a internship at the DA's office to truly see the "light". :D Internships with federal agencies such as the USAO or Federal Defenders is also looked favorably upon, however there are stark differences in their jobs (mainly resources and time allocation). I had both DA and USAO experience and through an interviewer was told that they liked my dedication to criminal prosecution.

2. CLASSES/GRADES- EVIDENCE, CRIM PRO, TRIAL AD- without these classes you will be not be taken seriously. These are the background classes for 90% of what you will be doing in the DA's office. If your school has a prosecution clinic, and many schools in the NY area do, do it. 2 people from my school who did the clinic had a leg up in the office due to their work there. I did not do a clinic as I did an externship(will talk about in pt. 4), but in my 1st round interview in one of the DA's office, i noticed he underlined on my transcript- Evidence, Crim Pro, Trial Ad, Professional Responsibility, White Collar Crime, etc. While grades used to not be such an important factor, I have noticed they have increasingly become more important in admissions decisions. As in a candidate with a 3.4 or a 3.3 will def be considered greater than someone with a 3.1 or a 3.08.

3. STUDENT TEAMS, STUDENT GROUPS- DA's offices look very favorable upon Moot court as well as trial advocacy teams. Many of the people in my class were either members of one of these teams or both. Moot court I have seen has been particularly praised as often the people who go into DA's offices are very trial oriented, and they need people in appeals who can write as well as argue in front of a panel. I think my membership on Moot Court and various roles including participant in competitions gave me a leg up in the process. Student groups such as prisoners rights advocacy groups are also looked favorable upon as it shows a dedication to serving the community and interacting with people who have been part of the criminal justice system.

4. REFERENCES- make contacts with ADA's or former ADA's who are professors or adjuncts in your school. By speaking with them and making connections, if you show a significant interest, you can list them as references (which most DA's offices require 3 usually made up of professors and past legal employers). I was able to do an externship with a office in NYC and my externship professor was an ADA at that office. His recommendation set me apart from other interns as I was able to get a recommendation from someone who knew both my legal work and academic ability.


5. STORY- have a compelling story as to why you want to be a prosecutor. In this market you honestly need a compelling story as to why you want to become a prosecutor that will set you apart from the other applicants. To give a small one line of myself, I grew up in the county that I will be an ADA, and due to the low socioeconomic neighborhood in which I lived, I wanted to make a difference on the level of crime and drug abuse in my hometown.

This isn't a job for ppl who struck out at 2L oci. Practically everyone i talked too who landed something at OCI (which is very few, C/O 2011), would love to be a prosecutor because its such a fun and great job. That said most ppl have planned for this position starting 1L summer or the 2L semesters. The drawback is pay, as is not extremely rewarding (NY: 60G, BX:56G BK: 50G, Q: 54G, SI: 53G). However there are many programs which can help a DA or PD including- IBR, PILF, LRAP, JRJ, NYBAR,- In which LRAP or JRJ can basically pay your IBR payments for you for 10 yrs in which your debt balance will be forgiven. The only drawback is that your limited to government and public interest service.

If anyone has any further questions regarding DA's offices, particularly in NY (i have done a lot of research regarding each office), please post your q here.

Great post!

This post made me feel a lot better about my prospects b/c I meet every one of your must haves. It is very encouraging to know that you got 3 offers in a very competitive market. One thing I am especially grateful for is that I have prosecutors as references/recommenders, including a professor.

isay
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby isay » Sun Jul 24, 2011 5:19 am

Another 1L working at a DA office here, and now I'm pretty set on doing some kind of Criminal Law.

I am kinda worried that my grades and other stats are going to make things too difficult impossible. ~T40% at a SoCal T2 on a secondary journal and no Moot Court. I do have a pair of very close contacts pretty high up in the OC office (where I work) and should have some nice references from the DA's I'm actually working for. Is there some kind of floor for qualifications or can I make up for mediocre grades with experience? I know a few places that say they'll interview EVERYONE that applies, which makes me think they'll give you decent consideration when they're burning 30+ minutes for each person.

I also got hosed on class registration and I'm still stuck 10th on the waitlist for Evidence so I'm also shut out of almost every clinic, Trial Skills, for this semester at least. I'm sure I don't have a snowball's chance at biglaw anymore, so should I go balls to the wall on criminal law classes, even the ones that aren't terribly relevant to general prosecution/defense? Stuff like Counterterrorism Law, International Criminal Law, etc.

User avatar
Garinold
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 6:07 pm

Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Garinold » Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hey guys,
I am a graduate of a NYC school headed to one of the DA's offices in the city (NY, BX, BK, Qu, SI) following the bar. I received interviews at all offices except one and received offers from 3. Here are my tips to land a gig at a DA's office.

1. INTERN- every person in my class has interned at a district attorney's office somewhere. whether it be in NY, or another state, or county, every single person has this line on their resume. DA's offices are also more partial to ppl that do defense work like a PD, as it usually takes that experience coupled with a internship at the DA's office to truly see the "light". :D Internships with federal agencies such as the USAO or Federal Defenders is also looked favorably upon, however there are stark differences in their jobs (mainly resources and time allocation). I had both DA and USAO experience and through an interviewer was told that they liked my dedication to criminal prosecution.

2. CLASSES/GRADES- EVIDENCE, CRIM PRO, TRIAL AD- without these classes you will be not be taken seriously. These are the background classes for 90% of what you will be doing in the DA's office. If your school has a prosecution clinic, and many schools in the NY area do, do it. 2 people from my school who did the clinic had a leg up in the office due to their work there. I did not do a clinic as I did an externship(will talk about in pt. 4), but in my 1st round interview in one of the DA's office, i noticed he underlined on my transcript- Evidence, Crim Pro, Trial Ad, Professional Responsibility, White Collar Crime, etc. While grades used to not be such an important factor, I have noticed they have increasingly become more important in admissions decisions. As in a candidate with a 3.4 or a 3.3 will def be considered greater than someone with a 3.1 or a 3.08.

3. STUDENT TEAMS, STUDENT GROUPS- DA's offices look very favorable upon Moot court as well as trial advocacy teams. Many of the people in my class were either members of one of these teams or both. Moot court I have seen has been particularly praised as often the people who go into DA's offices are very trial oriented, and they need people in appeals who can write as well as argue in front of a panel. I think my membership on Moot Court and various roles including participant in competitions gave me a leg up in the process. Student groups such as prisoners rights advocacy groups are also looked favorable upon as it shows a dedication to serving the community and interacting with people who have been part of the criminal justice system.

4. REFERENCES- make contacts with ADA's or former ADA's who are professors or adjuncts in your school. By speaking with them and making connections, if you show a significant interest, you can list them as references (which most DA's offices require 3 usually made up of professors and past legal employers). I was able to do an externship with a office in NYC and my externship professor was an ADA at that office. His recommendation set me apart from other interns as I was able to get a recommendation from someone who knew both my legal work and academic ability.


5. STORY- have a compelling story as to why you want to be a prosecutor. In this market you honestly need a compelling story as to why you want to become a prosecutor that will set you apart from the other applicants. To give a small one line of myself, I grew up in the county that I will be an ADA, and due to the low socioeconomic neighborhood in which I lived, I wanted to make a difference on the level of crime and drug abuse in my hometown.

This isn't a job for ppl who struck out at 2L oci. Practically everyone i talked too who landed something at OCI (which is very few, C/O 2011), would love to be a prosecutor because its such a fun and great job. That said most ppl have planned for this position starting 1L summer or the 2L semesters. The drawback is pay, as is not extremely rewarding (NY: 60G, BX:56G BK: 50G, Q: 54G, SI: 53G). However there are many programs which can help a DA or PD including- IBR, PILF, LRAP, JRJ, NYBAR,- In which LRAP or JRJ can basically pay your IBR payments for you for 10 yrs in which your debt balance will be forgiven. The only drawback is that your limited to government and public interest service.

If anyone has any further questions regarding DA's offices, particularly in NY (i have done a lot of research regarding each office), please post your q here.



Your post gives me some hope. The one thing that I would like some elaboration on is how much and in what way do DA's office's consider grades. Every lawyer I have ever talked to has said that grades really aren't a factor at all, however, they usually have been on the job for many years and I sense things have changed since the times when they were hired. When you say grades are becoming increasingly important to DA's offices, are they looking closer at overall GPAs more so now than ever before or are they looking at your grades in those classes that are specifically relevant to the job (crim law, crim pro, evidence....etc)?

seatown12
Posts: 614
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:16 pm

Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby seatown12 » Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:05 pm

isay wrote:Another 1L working at a DA office here, and now I'm pretty set on doing some kind of Criminal Law.

I am kinda worried that my grades and other stats are going to make things too difficult impossible. ~T40% at a SoCal T2 on a secondary journal and no Moot Court. I do have a pair of very close contacts pretty high up in the OC office (where I work) and should have some nice references from the DA's I'm actually working for. Is there some kind of floor for qualifications or can I make up for mediocre grades with experience? I know a few places that say they'll interview EVERYONE that applies, which makes me think they'll give you decent consideration when they're burning 30+ minutes for each person.

I also got hosed on class registration and I'm still stuck 10th on the waitlist for Evidence so I'm also shut out of almost every clinic, Trial Skills, for this semester at least. I'm sure I don't have a snowball's chance at biglaw anymore, so should I go balls to the wall on criminal law classes, even the ones that aren't terribly relevant to general prosecution/defense? Stuff like Counterterrorism Law, International Criminal Law, etc.

Quit the journal, take every crim class, and try to get an externship.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I've also heard rumors that the LA County Public Defender and District Attorney are planning on lifting their freeze some time in 2012. I don't know if this is just conjecture from the attorneys working there. Has anyone else heard the same? Both offices would be pretty amazing to work for, IMO. The LA County Public Defender pays better than any other office I've heard of (level 1's start at 60 thousand plus benefits).

This is confirmed. A majority of DDA III's and support staff are going to promoted by the end of this year. Hiring is tentatively scheduled to resume in Spring 2012. LADA has budgeted very well during the recession and its dividends are now paying off. Some good news finally!

User avatar
Borhas
Posts: 4854
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:09 pm

Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Borhas » Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I've also heard rumors that the LA County Public Defender and District Attorney are planning on lifting their freeze some time in 2012. I don't know if this is just conjecture from the attorneys working there. Has anyone else heard the same? Both offices would be pretty amazing to work for, IMO. The LA County Public Defender pays better than any other office I've heard of (level 1's start at 60 thousand plus benefits).

This is confirmed. A majority of DDA III's and support staff are going to promoted by the end of this year. Hiring is tentatively scheduled to resume in Spring 2012. LADA has budgeted very well during the recession and its dividends are now paying off. Some good news finally!


That's fantastic!

The LA PD office is HUGE, something like 700+ attorneys. The DA's office is at least that large. So if they lift the freeze then PD/DA hiring in CA will definitely have some serious improvement.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:39 pm

Borhas wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I've also heard rumors that the LA County Public Defender and District Attorney are planning on lifting their freeze some time in 2012. I don't know if this is just conjecture from the attorneys working there. Has anyone else heard the same? Both offices would be pretty amazing to work for, IMO. The LA County Public Defender pays better than any other office I've heard of (level 1's start at 60 thousand plus benefits).

This is confirmed. A majority of DDA III's and support staff are going to promoted by the end of this year. Hiring is tentatively scheduled to resume in Spring 2012. LADA has budgeted very well during the recession and its dividends are now paying off. Some good news finally!


That's fantastic!

The LA PD office is HUGE, something like 700+ attorneys. The DA's office is at least that large. So if they lift the freeze then PD/DA hiring in CA will definitely have some serious improvement.

Poster above here. A total of 89 DDAs are confirmed to have left the office since 2009, in addition to hundreds of attorney spots that were already available but have closed/gone unfilled as a result of the budget crisis. The spots are definitely there, it is now down to the city to decide how many they will allow to be hired. Don't know anything about the PD's office though, but I'd imagine the go-ahead would be similar if the PDs budgeted well. I'd suggest all you LADA hopefuls start paying extra attention to honing those leads/networks.

User avatar
leobowski
Posts: 511
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:11 am

Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby leobowski » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:27 pm

Garinold wrote:

Your post gives me some hope. The one thing that I would like some elaboration on is how much and in what way do DA's office's consider grades. Every lawyer I have ever talked to has said that grades really aren't a factor at all, however, they usually have been on the job for many years and I sense things have changed since the times when they were hired. When you say grades are becoming increasingly important to DA's offices, are they looking closer at overall GPAs more so now than ever before or are they looking at your grades in those classes that are specifically relevant to the job (crim law, crim pro, evidence....etc)?



This is a generalization so take it with a grain of salt: Doesn't matter at all at rural offices. Matters somewhat in mid-sized cities, and you need stellar credentials for big city DA/PD jobs.

What really matters is that you intern and can argue a case in court.

User avatar
Garinold
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 6:07 pm

Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Garinold » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:00 pm

leobowski wrote:
Garinold wrote:

Your post gives me some hope. The one thing that I would like some elaboration on is how much and in what way do DA's office's consider grades. Every lawyer I have ever talked to has said that grades really aren't a factor at all, however, they usually have been on the job for many years and I sense things have changed since the times when they were hired. When you say grades are becoming increasingly important to DA's offices, are they looking closer at overall GPAs more so now than ever before or are they looking at your grades in those classes that are specifically relevant to the job (crim law, crim pro, evidence....etc)?



This is a generalization so take it with a grain of salt: Doesn't matter at all at rural offices. Matters somewhat in mid-sized cities, and you need stellar credentials for big city DA/PD jobs.

What really matters is that you intern and can argue a case in court.


At this moment I have compiled a list of 34 DA's offices that I will be applying to. 10 NY, 6 NJ, 10 FL, plus Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Louisville, Charlotte NC, Cincinnati, and New Orleans will receive my materials late this month or at least early next month. I'm am really getting mixed results as to whether or not I'm going to be competitive and its driving me f**king crazy. I have a resume that will consist of an internship at a public defender's office, an internship at a prosecutor's office, and an internship for a judge (not sure if it will be a state level judge or a federal one as it is a specialized program that gets set up through my school). Most people say I have good/competitive experience, but the flip side is that I don't have any of the ivory tower prestige stuff. I don't have grades that place me in the top 20% of the class, no law review/journal or moot court experience, and I wasn't on trial team. I have taken all the relevant courses for the job (crim law/pro, evidence, and litigation skills) and have done well in those but that's about it.

Sorry for the personal rant, but I've been hearing a lot of different things from attorneys and law students and don't know what to believe. I have absolutely no idea what the hell is going to happen and with this whole process a few weeks away I'm starting to lose my mind. Its worse than law school admissions by a lot.

seatown12
Posts: 614
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:16 pm

Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby seatown12 » Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:55 pm

As far as I can tell experience and commitment gets you in the door, and once you're in the room your demeanor and ability to think and argue under pressure gets you the job. I for one am glad as hell that I'm going into an area of the law where some geek on Cornell L. Rev. doesn't automatically get the job over me.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:00 pm

I'm a rising 2L and I want to be a PD after I graduate. This thread has been amazingly helpful, but I have a few questions that I was hoping someone might be able to answer.

First, does anyone know when I should be applying to PD offices for summer internships? On the one hand, all of the firm hiring and OCI stuff is making me think that I should be applying now, but applying so early seems kind of strange when I don't even have to apply for internships for next semester yet.

Second, I grew up in CA and most of my family is there, but I decided to go to Emory because I like Atlanta and wanted to open up another market for myself (I made this decision with the CA budget crisis and hiring freezes in mind). I would be happy working in either state after graduation, but now I'm not sure where I should intern next summer. I was in Atlanta last summer, and I was planning to work here again this summer to show that I'm not a flight risk. However, my career services adviser just told me that CA employers would question my commitment to the state if I stayed in Atlanta for the summer. I really don't want to close off any possibility of working in CA, but I also think there might be too many budget problems and hiring freezes there to put all of my eggs in that basket. Is my career services adviser right? Also, does anyone know how to find out which offices have hiring freezes and which might be hiring? I'm trying to figure out which state is less of a risk, but I'm having trouble finding the information I need.

Sorry, I'm just kind of confused and don't know what to do right now.

seatown12
Posts: 614
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:16 pm

Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby seatown12 » Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:24 pm

Incompetent career services strikes again; why would anyone question your commitment to an area in which you grew up and your entire family still lives? If you are from the Bay and want San Diego maybe it's another story but I'm sure you're okay for your hometown/region.

In my opinion you should apply both in ATL and back home and take the position in which you will have the most substantive experience, particularly in court. Unless you would take a job in Atlanta and think there will likely be one for you if you come back next summer--in that case stay in ATL.

As for the other question: definitely apply now. There is no possible harm in doing so, and if they don't want your materials until later they'll just tell you as much.

User avatar
Cornelius
Posts: 505
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 3:16 pm

Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Cornelius » Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:53 pm

As a 0L looking to go this route, I have a question for those with more experience. Interning 1L summer at a prosecutor's office seems like a no-brainer if you're set on the ADA path. My question is: is there any difficulty in obtaining such an internship 1L summer? That is, do people who want those types of internships usually get them, or is having nothing relevant 1L summer a good possibility? Hard to show interest before that since clinics and whatnot aren't until the subsequent year.

User avatar
npe
Posts: 138
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby npe » Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:19 pm

Funny application instructions from the Brooklyn DA:

Interested applicants for an Assistant District Attorney position should forward a cover letter, resume and statement of interest, but not a writing sample or transcript. The statement of interest should illustrate the applicant's reasons for seeking a position in public service with our office as well as information about experience both inside and outside of the classroom.


Um... what do we put in the cover letter then?

User avatar
Tanicius
Posts: 2957
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:54 am

Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Tanicius » Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:46 pm

npe wrote:Funny application instructions from the Brooklyn DA:

Interested applicants for an Assistant District Attorney position should forward a cover letter, resume and statement of interest, but not a writing sample or transcript. The statement of interest should illustrate the applicant's reasons for seeking a position in public service with our office as well as information about experience both inside and outside of the classroom.


Um... what do we put in the cover letter then?


A cover letter can be something as simple as a declaration of the purpose of the correspondence and a list of everything contained within.

Geist13
Posts: 739
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 3:21 pm

Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Geist13 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:43 am

Reviving this thread for job search questions.

I'm a 2L, interned at a large DA's office last summer (not in the same state as my school). The local prosecutors wouldn't even give me a screener at OCI (a bit flabbergasted, really). I can easily return to the office I worked last year. However, part of me wants a different type of experience. I was thinking about applying for State Attorney Criminal Appeals office in the state I worked last summer. Does anyone have any thoughts about how prosecutors view work at the appeals level? If I want to eventually land at the office I worked at last summer, would I be best served by just returning and working for them again? Or will doing criminal appeals down the street be an asset during the hiring process?




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.