How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

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

Postby adonai » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:20 pm

Was just wondering how much of a negative effect a detour through multiple federal court internships during law school will have on me in pursuing a DA position in the future? I know fed work is completely "irrelevant" to DA stuff but wondering if those experiences would actually be of any value (or conversely, hurt) when applying for a full-time DA position.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:24 pm

adonai wrote:Was just wondering how much of a negative effect a detour through multiple federal court internships during law school will have on me in pursuing a DA position in the future? I know fed work is completely "irrelevant" to DA stuff but wondering if those experiences would actually be of any value (or conversely, hurt) when applying for a full-time DA position.


Would be interested in seeing this as well.

brassmonkey7
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby brassmonkey7 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:15 am

Hate to be monotonous as it's been said here before ad nauseum but the best experience for DA/PD is to do DA/PD work. Fed work could be viewed innocuously or perhaps even favorably, but why not just take DA experience instead? In today's economy DA/PD work, at least in the big city offices that recruit nationally, is not a Plan B by any stretch of the imagination. The main issue I see with fed work is that it won't get you on your feet in court. You may have written the most brilliant memo in the world for HUD but a DA would probably rather have someone who had the experience of examining a cop in traffic court over that.

I'll give you an example. I've had some Fed PD work and a lot of state PD offices didn't ask me too much about it in my interviews other than to say, "Cool, you wrote something that went to District Court so I guess you can write," but the question always came back to, "How much trial experience have you had? What have you done on your feet in court?" Fed gov. isn't going to give you that, and unless you're at DOJ or maybe DHS or something, the substantive area of law will be far removed from what a DA does day-to-day at that.

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

Postby anjmissy » Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:39 pm

if im aiming for a position in a certain pd office, will i not look as competitive if i spend both my 1L and 2L summer there? I thought it would make me more competitive but I've been hearing that it may be the opposite. (also, this is a prestigious office)
Last edited by anjmissy on Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Borhas » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:12 pm

anjmissy wrote:if im aiming for a position in a certain pd office, will i not look as competitive if i spend both my 1L and 2L summer there? I thought it would make me more competitive but I've been hearing that it may be the opposite. (also, this is a pretentious office)


Who has been telling you that

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:15 pm

anjmissy wrote:if im aiming for a position in a certain pd office, will i not look as competitive if i spend both my 1L and 2L summer there? I thought it would make me more competitive but I've been hearing that it may be the opposite. (also, this is a pretentious office)


I suppose if you were a shitty intern during your two summers there then it would make you less competitive, since they know all of your faults and shortcomings very intimately. Otherwise how could it make you less competitive?

ajrm116
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby ajrm116 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:25 pm

FlanAl wrote: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?


Texas used to just leave it up to each court to determine how to provide counsel to the indigent. The Texas Fair Defense Act now requires some sort of uniformity across all courts in a given jurisdiction. The result is that some countywide PD offices are sprouting up. Houston, Dallas, and El Paso all have county level PD offices. San Antonio and Austin don't have trial level PD offices yet. Hopefully soon though!

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:59 pm

brassmonkey7 wrote:I'll give you an example. I've had some Fed PD work and a lot of state PD offices didn't ask me too much about it in my interviews other than to say, "Cool, you wrote something that went to District Court so I guess you can write," but the question always came back to, "How much trial experience have you had? What have you done on your feet in court?" Fed gov. isn't going to give you that, and unless you're at DOJ or maybe DHS or something, the substantive area of law will be far removed from what a DA does day-to-day at that.


Some USA offices will let you do petty offense trial work.

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

Postby robin600 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:05 am

3Ls with gigs can you please post stats? Greatly appreciated.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:27 pm

robin600 wrote:3Ls with gigs can you please post stats? Greatly appreciated.


(hired by PD agency)

top 15% at a T50, L Rev board, veteran, -- I honestly don't think anyone cared about any of that though. The most important things were my experience as an intern and the professors who acted as my references. If you can get one professor to go to bat for you on everything, you're solid.

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

Postby Jeremyl » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:26 pm

robin600 wrote:3Ls with gigs can you please post stats? Greatly appreciated.


my state doesn't hire anyone until we get bar results, so most just do post-bar internships. I just sent my applications out.

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

Postby robin600 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
robin600 wrote:3Ls with gigs can you please post stats? Greatly appreciated.


(hired by PD agency)

top 15% at a T50, L Rev board, veteran, -- I honestly don't think anyone cared about any of that though. The most important things were my experience as an intern and the professors who acted as my references. If you can get one professor to go to bat for you on everything, you're solid.

Yeah that's my strategy my profs have before ill count on them again. Do you think your grades and military experience put you over the top? Did they specifically ask for a transcript?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:12 pm

robin600 wrote:3Ls with gigs can you please post stats? Greatly appreciated.


I'll bite. Top 1/3 at a T30, no journal, moot court (not board), trial / court experience, PD 1L and 2L summers (different office than my post-grad employer), criminal defense clinic, personal (family) experiences with criminal justice system, strong CJS-related volunteer work. I think what got me the job was 1) trial experience, 2) the fact that I have a really strong answer to the "why PD?" question, and 3) that my resume shows that I'm a "true believer" in the cause.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:20 pm

Stats: somewhere between median and top third, T20, secondary journal, mock trial, 3 relevant internships (1 state 2 fed).

Job: Big-city DA office

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:50 pm

. decided I'd rather not give that information out. I'll just say you don't need awesome grades, mock trial, moot court, or journal to land a job at a very good DAs office.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
robin600 wrote:3Ls with gigs can you please post stats? Greatly appreciated.


I'll bite. Top 1/3 at a T30, no journal, moot court (not board), trial / court experience, PD 1L and 2L summers (different office than my post-grad employer), criminal defense clinic, personal (family) experiences with criminal justice system, strong CJS-related volunteer work. I think what got me the job was 1) trial experience, 2) the fact that I have a really strong answer to the "why PD?" question, and 3) that my resume shows that I'm a "true believer" in the cause.

I'm in a similar position but my grades are slightly below median which scares me a bit. I am a dual degree student though, and that also prevents me from doing trial team or moot court but I've taken beginning and advanced trial plus next year school year I will have an internship in the courtroom. Will have 4 pd internships by graduation. I'm just worried my no moot court and grades will bring me down, because it seems like many people that are getting jobs are above the curve. Did anyone ask for a transcript?

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

Postby Tanicius » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:22 pm

I have literally never been asked for a transcript by any public defender office I have interviewed for.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote: I'll bite. Top 1/3 at a T30, no journal, moot court (not board), trial / court experience, PD 1L and 2L summers (different office than my post-grad employer), criminal defense clinic, personal (family) experiences with criminal justice system, strong CJS-related volunteer work. I think what got me the job was 1) trial experience, 2) the fact that I have a really strong answer to the "why PD?" question, and 3) that my resume shows that I'm a "true believer" in the cause.


I'm the anon here. I was never asked for a transcript at any point in the hiring process but my resume lists relevant classes and the corresponding grades. I wouldn't worry too much about grades though - the PD offices I interviewed with were much more interested in court experience / commitment.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:24 pm

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.


I plan to do a full time externship for a legal services agency that makes this the bulk of their work. For whatever reason my school wont allow students to extern as PDs or anything if they have already or are planning on PDing for a summer (same applies to kids wanting to do fed gov jobs or work for a judge etc.) Do you think I'll be scrutinized? I'll have PD'd 1L and 2L summer, and have done all of the crime related stuff I can do while up at my school.

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

Postby adonai » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
I plan to do a full time externship for a legal services agency that makes this the bulk of their work. For whatever reason my school wont allow students to extern as PDs or anything if they have already or are planning on PDing for a summer (same applies to kids wanting to do fed gov jobs or work for a judge etc.) Do you think I'll be scrutinized? I'll have PD'd 1L and 2L summer, and have done all of the crime related stuff I can do while up at my school.

That's a strange policy. How would they know though? I'm assuming they would only know if you do the externship through the school for credit. In that case, I'd ditch the credits and do it anyway.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:14 am

adonai wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I plan to do a full time externship for a legal services agency that makes this the bulk of their work. For whatever reason my school wont allow students to extern as PDs or anything if they have already or are planning on PDing for a summer (same applies to kids wanting to do fed gov jobs or work for a judge etc.) Do you think I'll be scrutinized? I'll have PD'd 1L and 2L summer, and have done all of the crime related stuff I can do while up at my school.

That's a strange policy. How would they know though? I'm assuming they would only know if you do the externship through the school for credit. In that case, I'd ditch the credits and do it anyway.


They know because its full-time. Ii get to leave the campus and go work 40hrs a week for a semester's worth of credit. Where campus is doesn't actually have a PD, just court appointed attorneys. Yeah it is a strange policy, but they only let a handful of kids go away each semester and I'd really kind of like to get 2 summers and a semesters worth of full-time experience before I graduate.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:39 am

Friend of mine just got a pd job in a good office on the west coast of Florida. He was near the bottom of his class but he did the clinic in that office.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:10 pm

So how bad is it if I only have one semester of in court experience where I'm practicing? I have two other summers doing pd work.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:44 pm

robin600 wrote:3Ls with gigs can you please post stats? Greatly appreciated.


Around top 1/3 at T50 school. Secondary journal, clinic, and PD internship. Hired by a statewide PD office. Transcripts or grades never discussed, just internship and clinic experience.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:48 pm

3Ls who are offering stats for PD offices, can you be more specific about caliber of office? Are we talking Colorado-like or Kentucky-like for state systems? Miami-like or nowhere Mississippi-like for city systems?




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