How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

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robin600
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby robin600 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:57 am

the lantern wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What are everyone's thoughts on having worked/interned with a private criminal defense attorney? I'm assuming it doesn't necessarily hurt for PD jobs, but does it make one any more competitive?


Being in the midst of a PD job search that is currently fruitless, let me share with you my major take-way so far.

Nothing will help you secure a PD job as much as A PD EXPERIENCE. Simple as that. Private criminal could help you if the private attorney has connections sure. But if you aren't looking to work connections and you're literally just looking to amass experience that will help you impress a PD hiring panel at an office... THEN WORK FOR A PD.

Work for a PD during the semester, work for one over the summer, do crim defense clinic... look for whatever opportunities you can. If you can't secure a PD job for the summer look for something related. Do immigration work, do abuse and neglect cases, do appellate work, do something that is relevant to representing indigent people in criminal cases. A PD office will scrutinize your choices... private defense will be scrutinized, a firm will be scrutinized, getting divorces for poor people might even be scrutinized.

Obviously if you can't find PD work so be it, but I would stress and others above have stressed too, an experience that is not working for a PD will not substitute in the minds of a zealous PD office.


If you want to be a PD, PD work is important, like this guy/gal said. Private criminal work will at least give you some experience, but it isn't the same. You need to show a commitment to serving the indigent. In addition, working for the PD will give you valuable contacts within the system you want to work in. In the PD system I'll be working in, you MUST intern with the office in order to get a post-grad job and getting the job is highly-dependent on what your supervisor writes in your evaluation. You want to be working in the PD system as soon as possible if this is what you want to do. I actually didn't work in a PD office my 1L summer and almost got thrown out of the PD track altogether for doing so. I ended up doing an internship during my 2L year and an externship during my 3L year to make up for it. I can't say that this is the case for every office, but I would imagine getting a lot of experience within the office and getting to know as many attorneys in the office as possible cannot hurt you.

Are you working in Colorado PD? They are the only agency I know of that does this.

For those of you with 3L PD offers currently can you PM me I have a few interview questions.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:1L here, just got grades back (black, top 15% at top 25), do I fwd an unofficial copy to every PD office I applied for or do I wait for them to request the grades? How does this work

Don't do anything until they ask for them. And they aren't going to ask for them.


is there any harm in sending them before they ask? Esp since I haven't heard anything since I applied early Dec.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:1L here, just got grades back (black, top 15% at top 25), do I fwd an unofficial copy to every PD office I applied for or do I wait for them to request the grades? How does this work

Don't do anything until they ask for them. And they aren't going to ask for them.


is there any harm in sending them before they ask? Esp since I haven't heard anything since I applied early Dec.

I personally think so because PDs are typically very busy people that don't want to be bothered constantly. While many top offices have someone in charge of HR duties most offices don't. Second, most hiring doesn't occur for 1Ls until spring, I got hired in late Feb/early March. If you feel you need to send it in send it around hiring time when they actually may remember it or want to do something with it. Third, most PD offices don't ask for grades or request a transcript. Sending in your first semester grades means not a lot. Many PD offices only care about the classes you take not the grades you get in them. Plus 1L classes are the same everywhere.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:34 am

Anybody know anything about LA County DA? If they're hiring?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:42 am

robin600 wrote:

If you want to be a PD, PD work is important, like this guy/gal said. Private criminal work will at least give you some experience, but it isn't the same. You need to show a commitment to serving the indigent. In addition, working for the PD will give you valuable contacts within the system you want to work in. In the PD system I'll be working in, you MUST intern with the office in order to get a post-grad job and getting the job is highly-dependent on what your supervisor writes in your evaluation. You want to be working in the PD system as soon as possible if this is what you want to do. I actually didn't work in a PD office my 1L summer and almost got thrown out of the PD track altogether for doing so. I ended up doing an internship during my 2L year and an externship during my 3L year to make up for it. I can't say that this is the case for every office, but I would imagine getting a lot of experience within the office and getting to know as many attorneys in the office as possible cannot hurt you.

Are you working in Colorado PD? They are the only agency I know of that does this.


I got an offer from Colorado and I never interned with them.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:Anybody know anything about LA County DA? If they're hiring?


I know they don't hire before bar results unlike the other big offices.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:08 pm

So for 3Ls with offers can we get stats?

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

Postby adonai » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anybody know anything about LA County DA? If they're hiring?

They hired something like ~30 DDA I's this past Spring (700+ apps) for the first time in about 3 years. Didn't hear anything about them opening up the DDA I exam this past winter when they were supposed to, so they may have frozen their hiring again?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:05 pm

What does CPCS think of prosecution experience? I want to work in the Boston area this summer and the CPCS Boston office is full. Would working for the Suffolk Co DA hurt me when trying to get a post-grad job with CPCS? I know PDS generally won't interview you with prosecution experience on your resume.

About me: I first did a semester at a nearby prosecutor's office (my CSO has said I can leave this off my resume when applying to PD jobs). I then spent a summer at a public defender's office (outside of New England). I am now working at a different public defender agency. I expect to return to my current position in the fall. Ultimately, I want to work in New England. I have no "ties," and the last time I was in the region was for work a few summers ago.

For post-grad employment at CPCS, should I do public defense outside of the northeast or work for the Suffolk Co DA?

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

Postby the lantern » Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:11 pm

I honestly just don't understand how someone can be cool with being either a PD or a prosecutor, and I would imagine many PD agencies will feel the same way. I was in the same boat as you (didn't get in with my PD office of choice), so I went and worked for a private firm. To get PD experience, I did an internship during the spring of my 2L year and an externship during fall of my 3L year. I explained what happened (why I wasn't a PD 2L summer), why I want to be a PD, and why I'm generally awesome, and I got a job.

If you really would feel comfortable doing either, go for it. I'd just really be worried about being screened out immediately for having prosecution experience.

Prosecutors delight in locking poor brown people in cages. This is the kind of shit you say at a PD interview and then get the job.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:23 pm

the lantern wrote:I honestly just don't understand how someone can be cool with being either a PD or a prosecutor, and I would imagine many PD agencies will feel the same way. I was in the same boat as you (didn't get in with my PD office of choice), so I went and worked for a private firm. To get PD experience, I did an internship during the spring of my 2L year and an externship during fall of my 3L year. I explained what happened (why I wasn't a PD 2L summer), why I want to be a PD, and why I'm generally awesome, and I got a job.

If you really would feel comfortable doing either, go for it. I'd just really be worried about being screened out immediately for having prosecution experience.

Prosecutors delight in locking poor brown people in cages. This is the kind of shit you say at a PD interview and then get the job.

This is why I asked specifically about CPCS. I am hoping someone knows if prosecution experience is a negative for CPCS. I am trying to determine which is more important for CPCS: proven interest in working in Massachusetts or just a general desire to do public defense anywhere.

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

Postby the lantern » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:03 pm

Well, I'm sure someone here will give you the specifics. I know a person who was hired by CPCS with no ties to the region and hadn't worked as an intern. So take that for what its worth.

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

Postby Rocío » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
the lantern wrote:I honestly just don't understand how someone can be cool with being either a PD or a prosecutor, and I would imagine many PD agencies will feel the same way. I was in the same boat as you (didn't get in with my PD office of choice), so I went and worked for a private firm. To get PD experience, I did an internship during the spring of my 2L year and an externship during fall of my 3L year. I explained what happened (why I wasn't a PD 2L summer), why I want to be a PD, and why I'm generally awesome, and I got a job.

If you really would feel comfortable doing either, go for it. I'd just really be worried about being screened out immediately for having prosecution experience.

Prosecutors delight in locking poor brown people in cages. This is the kind of shit you say at a PD interview and then get the job.

This is why I asked specifically about CPCS. I am hoping someone knows if prosecution experience is a negative for CPCS. I am trying to determine which is more important for CPCS: proven interest in working in Massachusetts or just a general desire to do public defense anywhere.


You better be able to explain why you have *two* prosecutor stints on your résumé to CPCS. I know people who did the prosecution side of my criminal clinic and they couldn't make it beyond the screener interview at CPCS. They will grill you on whether you think there are "certain types of criminals" who should go to jail - be prepared for questions about child molestation/abuse, rape, and animal cruelty. That being said, I know some people who had one prosecutor experience, followed by PD work on their résumé, who got hired. Those candidates were able to convincingly convey that they "saw the light" while interning at a prosecutor office and so jumped ship. I think two prosecutor experiences will be a lot harder to spin. Not saying impossible, but challenging, because CPCS looks for true believers.

You should consider contacting other CPCS offices near Boston - like Quincy and Salem. And, if you have a car, try Dedham, Brockton, Medford or beyond if you are willing to commute.
Last edited by Rocío on Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:00 pm

Rocío wrote:You should consider contacting other CPCS offices near Boston - like Quincy and Salem. And, if you have a car, try Dedham, Brockton, Medford or beyond if you are willing to commute.

I can take the commuter rail to Salem or Quincy, but I won't have a car. Would those offices let me represent clients without access to a vehicle?

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

Postby Rocío » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Rocío wrote:You should consider contacting other CPCS offices near Boston - like Quincy and Salem. And, if you have a car, try Dedham, Brockton, Medford or beyond if you are willing to commute.

I can take the commuter rail to Salem or Quincy, but I won't have a car. Would those offices let me represent clients without access to a vehicle?


Yes, if this is just a summer internship. You will be supervised, so if you need a car to go somewhere (like, a prison), your supervisor will most likely take you. Otherwise, there is always Zip Car for those types of things...

Also, forget to mention - check out the Roxbury CPCS office, which is in Boston and T accessible. Malden, where there is another CPCS office, is off the orange line. Somerville is also T accessible...

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:55 pm

Rocío: Thanks for the information and suggestions. I'll call those offices next week.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:01 pm

Anyone know the starting salary of new PDs in Miami-Dade? Thanks.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone know the starting salary of new PDs in Miami-Dade? Thanks.


I think it's $42k. I know assistant state attorneys are $40k.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:07 pm

Can someone please shed light on NYC ADA starting salaries? And how much potential of growth is there in terms of salary over say 10 years?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:01 pm

DANY: 60K
BXDA: 58K
Brooklyn: 50K

Not sure about the other boroughs but most have this info on their websites.

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

Postby BlueLotus » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:33 am

Any 1Ls who applied to DAs offices hear back yet?

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

Postby A'nold » Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:45 am

Wow, this old thread is still going. Nice. Good luck to you all.

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

Postby FlanAl » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone have experience as an intern with the Harris County (Houston) PD? It's a new office and they say they only hire experienced attorneys. I have a job with a state PD office but man, this would be a sweet place to lateral to. Check these salaries:

http://www.texastribune.org/library/dat ... 80/?page=1

That's gotta be one of the highest paying PD offices in the country .


This just blew my mind. I had looked into Austin a few years ago and from what I can tell they pretty much just use court appointed attorneys (if someone knows otherwise I'd love to know more!). Wouldn't texas be the best place to be a pd? This kind of pay with no state income tax AND the fact that so many badass trial attorneys come from texas. I guess there'd be more stigma towards PDs there than other places?

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

Postby FlanAl » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm currently a 1L and in the process of lining up work for this summer. If I know I absolutely want to end up at the Cook County PD's office but I don't think I'll have the grades to land it right out of school, would I be better off starting in a smaller market and getting 2 to 3 years experience? I have a connection to the Cook County PD's office so part of me wants to go there this summer and bust my ass to then hopefully summer there again after 2L with my 711 and then land the gig directly. However, in reality I don't think I did well enough first semester to be competitive to land the gig directly so I'm thinking I might start in a smaller county in Illinois where I also have a connection who has made it pretty clear that I would be seriously looked at after graduation. I know time and circumstances can change things over the next 3 years but I want to take the safest route with it in mind that my ultimate goal is to end up at the Cook County PD's. I'll do anything to get it, even if I have to take the long route and work in bumfuck Illinois for a few years.


Thoughts on what my game plan should be? Should I summer in Cook County and hope my hard work trumps my grades or play it safe by showing off my work ethic to a less desirable office but with a higher probability of landing something straight out of LS? Thanks.


Is the smaller county your hometown? If so it may be worth strengthening that connection and then doing Cook 2L summer. That way you could have a narrative like "well I tried the big city, but really I like my hometown more" when you go for permanent employment. The smaller county might let you do more hands on stuff too.

As far as grades etc. go I've never heard of that effecting 1L employment or really for full time employment at graduation. If you poke through the thread you'll see a couple posters talking about how grades don't seem to matter that much for PD employment. You seem really dedicated to working as a PD in that particular county, if you're able to convey that commitment in your application I really don't think your grades will hold you back. Also its definitely at least worth trying, right?

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

Postby FlanAl » Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:06 am

FlanAl wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone have experience as an intern with the Harris County (Houston) PD? It's a new office and they say they only hire experienced attorneys. I have a job with a state PD office but man, this would be a sweet place to lateral to. Check these salaries:

http://www.texastribune.org/library/dat ... 80/?page=1

That's gotta be one of the highest paying PD offices in the country .


This just blew my mind. I had looked into Austin a few years ago and from what I can tell they pretty much just use court appointed attorneys (if someone knows otherwise I'd love to know more!). Wouldn't texas be the best place to be a pd? This kind of pay with no state income tax AND the fact that so many badass trial attorneys come from texas. I guess there'd be more stigma towards PDs there than other places?


apparently its just a pilot program http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas ... 536162.php
hopefully its still there in two years!




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