How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:18 pm

I don't think moot court hurts anyone (and I thought it was fun), but if you have to choose I think a better use of time would be to do a clinic or intern/extern for the PD/DA, to get you time in court, or make connections in an office that might hire you. At my school, of mock trial and moot court, most of the PD/DA crowd did mock trial, if they did anything (besides clinics and interning).

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

Postby Rootbeer » Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:40 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I don't think moot court hurts anyone (and I thought it was fun), but if you have to choose I think a better use of time would be to do a clinic or intern/extern for the PD/DA, to get you time in court, or make connections in an office that might hire you. At my school, of mock trial and moot court, most of the PD/DA crowd did mock trial, if they did anything (besides clinics and interning).


I completely second this. I'll also note that mock trial is reasonably useful, more so than moot court, but when you start doing clinicals or internships where you're actually trying cases, you start to realize that mock trial is mostly just edutainment which doesn't quite prepare you for the real thing.

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

Postby gdane » Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:09 pm

UnamSanctam wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Do PD's care about moot court at all? It's a huge time commitment and I would rather spend my time doing pro bono stuff, but I might consider trying out if it will be a big plus on my resume.


Same question but with pros.

Miami SAO and USAO asked me why I wasn't on moot court. Neither one gave a shit about me being on a journal though. Ha.

Definitely do clinics, moot court, anything that can give you even a bit of "trial" and "real world" experience outside of actually doing it.

jddt19
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby jddt19 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:36 am

Just from a young prosecutor...I see all sorts of questions on how journal/ moot court/ clinics/ internships/ etc have an impact on hiring. I get it... you're worried about just getting the job, and you're asking these questions in the context of being hired. That said, you probably don't want to suck at your job if you do get hired. And if you get hired at a small to mid size prosecution/PD shop (and that will be the vast majority), you will get almost no training.

I really mean that- you'll be given a handful of files and told to go try cases. If you're an ASA, you'll get a stack of misdemeanors with trials and motion hearings that afternoon. The defense MTQS (motion to quash and suppress) will be boilerplate and generic- the cops violated Terry. You'll need to be able to direct the cop through his testimony and apply it to the Terry framework in this specific instance- was it a consent encounter, is there something for a stop and frisk that will get the gun/ dope in, etc. You'll need to know background on 'high crime environments' and state specific law on patting down for weapons.

That said, internships and clinics are what will allow you to recognize fact patterns, effectively question witnesses, and argue in front of a Judge. I'm sure journals and moot court are nice, but they have very little to do with day to day litigating in the trenches.

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

Postby Rootbeer » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:41 am

Here's a sad sack question:

Since DA Offices seem to generally like you putting all your eggs in their basket during law school, what are some options for the chumps who gunned hard, took all the DA clinicals they could, took every relevant class that would fit into their schedule, constantly worked for free, did a bunch of mock trial baloney, etc. and don't end up securing a DA job due to budget issues at the offices they worked at/not having ties to out of area offices/God hating them? Really dedicating yourself to the field, like most of the offices want nowadays, doesn't leave a lot of time to explore other legal interests, so what other places would take this hypothetical sad sack after graduation?

Seems like the only other places that could really use the skills developed from such focus in law school are PDs...who generally see you as infected with evil DA zombie virus. I'm guessing state/city agencies may pay some attention, but I'm also guessing they'd want somebody a bit more mooty or journaly.

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

Postby adonai » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:55 pm

Rootbeer wrote:Here's a sad sack question:

Since DA Offices seem to generally like you putting all your eggs in their basket during law school, what are some options for the chumps who gunned hard, took all the DA clinicals they could, took every relevant class that would fit into their schedule, constantly worked for free, did a bunch of mock trial baloney, etc. and don't end up securing a DA job due to budget issues at the offices they worked at/not having ties to out of area offices/God hating them? Really dedicating yourself to the field, like most of the offices want nowadays, doesn't leave a lot of time to explore other legal interests, so what other places would take this hypothetical sad sack after graduation?

Seems like the only other places that could really use the skills developed from such focus in law school are PDs...who generally see you as infected with evil DA zombie virus. I'm guessing state/city agencies may pay some attention, but I'm also guessing they'd want somebody a bit more mooty or journaly.

Private sector criminal defense firm is one option. Clerking for a criminal court (most state trial judges will hail from DA than from PD background) until a DA spot opens up or until you get one is also another option. Applying for relevant year-long fellowships are also another option.

You could also stick with working for free for a year and be one of the first in line to get picked up at your office if all else fails, and if you have the means to do so.

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

Postby the lantern » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:14 pm

1) Clerk at trial level. You might scoff at it but it is very good experience. If you have a criminal docket, you'll see good/bad written/oral advocacy, and you'll get a ton of experience with criminal law in general.

2) Wait and see. At least around here, no DA office even makes offers prior to obtaining bar results. I'm not sure what life is like for this sad sack, but 100% of my DA classmates do not have jobs yet.

3) Get a fellowship. It could be one of these ghetto fellowship offered by a law school (e.g. $15 an hour for 6 months while seeking work) or an actual fellowship.

4) Do research work for a professor or one of the research centers at your school. These positions are usually pretty flexible in their hours and they get you a really good professional reference. Also, they generally expect that you're looking for something else.

5) Private crim defense work. I don't feel like this is realistic. There is essentially no incentive to hire a fresh law school grad except MAYBE for those with clinic and stand up experience through PD/DA internship.

These are just some suggestions. I could imagine a lot more too. I'm not sure if this is actually a hypothetical or not, but the sad sack seems to have an unnecessarily negative point of view.

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

Postby Rootbeer » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:26 am

Looks like reasonable suggestions so far...appreciated. It actually is hypothetical at this point. This scenario hasn't actually happened, but I'm bracing myself in case it does happen. It wouldn't be the first time I've gotten burned by surprise budget shortfalls. I'm personally waiting to hear back on a position in a DA's office that I love and made a lot of friends in over the past couple of years (they do hire prior to bar results). I think I have a darn good shot at it and have invested a LOT of time and energy into becoming an ADA there, but every day of uncertainty triggers thoughts of doing everything right while busting my butt for no payoff. The experiences I gain from working there as an intern are nothing short of awesome and continually affirm my desire to stay for the long haul...but the thought of dedicating the wide majority of my time in law school towards training for a job I may never get is a genuine fear. It might be overly negative thinking, but I don't think it's unrealistic.

I am also just plain curious as to what other entities would value DA/PD skills. Private criminal defense seems the most obvious, but I couldn't zealously advocate for defendants I believe are guilty/ineligible for diversion programs, which means I have no business doing defense work. If only the Phoenix Wright/Al Pacino business model of only defending the innocent was viable...

Regardless of whether things work out for me personally, I have been speculating, as a general matter, about how it's kinda crappy that all these DA/PD offices want you to dedicate your law school life to them (sometimes beyond), but leave you a less attractive candidate for other types of jobs if they don't have the money to hire you (or just depend on a steady stream of free student labor with no actual intentions of hiring). Doing real life DA/PD work doesn't leave much time to work in other areas of law, especially if you tackle multiple days of court during the semester. While it makes you a good trial soldier and coats your spine in steel, it would seem that it leaves you less attractive candidate for just about every other position since most seem to do a heck of a lot more research and writing than trial work. For example...I definitely would not scoff at trial level clerking and wouldn't mind doing it, but would a judge really want a clerk who never bothered to do journal junk or moot briefs because they were too busy doing mock trial or non-clerk internships that don't involve much LRW?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:38 am

Another question regarding DA interviews:

For hypotheticals, how exactly did you study? Is there any resource that you found particularly helpful?

Second, did you find it helpful to review local and state rules of criminal procedure or do you think this would be a waste of time?

Thanks in advance.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:Another question regarding DA interviews:

For hypotheticals, how exactly did you study? Is there any resource that you found particularly helpful?

Second, did you find it helpful to review local and state rules of criminal procedure or do you think this would be a waste of time?

Thanks in advance.


Everyone has different experiences. It's a bit hard to really buckle down and prepare efficiently since you won't have the first clue as to what you'll be asked at any particular interview. You may not even get hypos...I've had a panel where I was expecting to get grilled hard on hypos, but didn't even get a single one. Not being presented with hypos doesn't mean you'll be treated with kid gloves, though. Interviewers may give you guff about your answers to questions like "What makes you stand out from all the others we interview?" Often, they're peeing on your answers just to see how you deal with it. Being able to respond to things like that is just as important as any hypo.

What you should spend your time on may depend on the particular office. I made the mistake of not committing a Criminal Procedure outline to memory when I interviewed with Miami SAO and got roasted. That was pretty much the entirety of an hour long (possibly longer) interview for me. Admittedly, it was pretty fun, even though I didn't think everything would revolve around one crazy hypo and I didn't cut the mustard. You could encounter something like that, but I found that most hypos I've been asked are ethical in nature. A good start would be to have an idea of what you would do if your only witness died and the defendant wants to plea. Also, figure out what you would do/say if you had a domestic violence case where the victim doesn't want to proceed. Those two types of questions are common. Local stuff could be useful, but I wouldn't let it monopolize your time...the stuff they usually teach in any Crim Pro course should be enough, just be sure to commit it to memory and don't let the interviewers confuse you.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:36 am

Rootbeer wrote:Regardless of whether things work out for me personally, I have been speculating, as a general matter, about how it's kinda crappy that all these DA/PD offices want you to dedicate your law school life to them (sometimes beyond), but leave you a less attractive candidate for other types of jobs if they don't have the money to hire you (or just depend on a steady stream of free student labor with no actual intentions of hiring). Doing real life DA/PD work doesn't leave much time to work in other areas of law, especially if you tackle multiple days of court during the semester. While it makes you a good trial soldier and coats your spine in steel, it would seem that it leaves you less attractive candidate for just about every other position since most seem to do a heck of a lot more research and writing than trial work. For example...I definitely would not scoff at trial level clerking and wouldn't mind doing it, but would a judge really want a clerk who never bothered to do journal junk or moot briefs because they were too busy doing mock trial or non-clerk internships that don't involve much LRW?

I agree with you overall, but I think the problem isn't limited to PD/DA offices. If you gun hard for biglaw, and that doesn't work out, you're not going to be a very competitive candidate for PD/DA or other PI work, either. Granted, you can shift your target from biglaw to midlaw/shitlaw, but a lot of people seem to get those jobs from working for the firms during school - so say you go to a big firm 2L but get no-offered, the jobs in smaller firms may well go to people who were working for those firms from the start, rather than someone trying to get in during 3L. To some extent, choosing any specialization is going to shut you out of jobs - the question is whether it opens enough other doors to make it worthwhile.

Though I'll admit it seems easier to translate PD work into other PI - prosecuting doesn't seem quite as applicable. However, I could see DA experience being relevant to places like County or City Attorney's offices - not necessarily criminal, but government work, representing Da Man...

Also, my impression is that trial level state clerks don't actually do that much writing, and in fact, some of the DA types from my class are doing trial level state clerkships. So I wouldn't rule that out. (Federal trial judges probably do want to see journal etc., though.)

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

Postby FlanAl » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:Having interned at an NYC PD office, I'd say the main advantage to LAS over the alternate providers is that it may be a better office to work at if you want to hang a shingle one day and do private criminal defense in NYC/the NYC area. Because it's the oldest PD office in the city (the alternative providers are around 15 years old), old timer private defense attorneys know LAS better than they know the alternate providers. A lot of them are also former LAS attorneys. If you were to hang a shingle and try to get work referred to you, LAS may get you farther in that endeavor. However, the alternate providers are probably better other kinds of exit options like public policy work.

could you elaborate on these public policy exit options? It seems like most PD's are lifers, it would be interesting to learn about what some of the common paths are after PD.

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

Postby FlanAl » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:20 am

Rootbeer wrote: For example...I definitely would not scoff at trial level clerking and wouldn't mind doing it, but would a judge really want a clerk who never bothered to do journal junk or moot briefs because they were too busy doing mock trial or non-clerk internships that don't involve much LRW?

I wonder about this too because it is definitely something I'd consider doing right after graduation.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby iShotFirst » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Another question regarding DA interviews:

For hypotheticals, how exactly did you study? Is there any resource that you found particularly helpful?

Second, did you find it helpful to review local and state rules of criminal procedure or do you think this would be a waste of time?

Thanks in advance.


Everyone has different experiences. It's a bit hard to really buckle down and prepare efficiently since you won't have the first clue as to what you'll be asked at any particular interview. You may not even get hypos...I've had a panel where I was expecting to get grilled hard on hypos, but didn't even get a single one. Not being presented with hypos doesn't mean you'll be treated with kid gloves, though. Interviewers may give you guff about your answers to questions like "What makes you stand out from all the others we interview?" Often, they're peeing on your answers just to see how you deal with it. Being able to respond to things like that is just as important as any hypo.

What you should spend your time on may depend on the particular office. I made the mistake of not committing a Criminal Procedure outline to memory when I interviewed with Miami SAO and got roasted. That was pretty much the entirety of an hour long (possibly longer) interview for me. Admittedly, it was pretty fun, even though I didn't think everything would revolve around one crazy hypo and I didn't cut the mustard. You could encounter something like that, but I found that most hypos I've been asked are ethical in nature. A good start would be to have an idea of what you would do if your only witness died and the defendant wants to plea. Also, figure out what you would do/say if you had a domestic violence case where the victim doesn't want to proceed. Those two types of questions are common. Local stuff could be useful, but I wouldn't let it monopolize your time...the stuff they usually teach in any Crim Pro course should be enough, just be sure to commit it to memory and don't let the interviewers confuse you.



All of this is great advice... I also had the panel interview with no hypos, really threw me.

I wouldnt look at local rules at all, just focus on the 4th/5th/6th Amd, Terry, etc.

Look online. Find all the hypotheticals you can. Go over them and write down your answers. Then, if you have it at your school, find a professor who is a former prosecutor (I used my Prosecutorial Clinic professor) and ask them about the hypos. Once you have your Crim Pro materials and your hypos, run over them as much as you think you need.

Understand that you may not get the exact hypos you read, but if you can find enough then any you get will probably be close to what you prepared, probably with some differences. In one interview, I had two hypos, one was the exact same as one I had prepared, and one was out of left field. But working with all those hypos helped me deal with the random one. The two hypos described above are VERY typical.

And if they ask you "what hypos have you gone over" or something, dont tell them specifics, if you do you are only asking for them to switch things up on you/make the hypos they present more difficult.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:17 pm

panel interview for 1L, advice? and please don't say they wont ask hypos, I've had other interviews and hypos have been asked on each. I'm leaning toward the side that if I get a question that I truly don't know how to work thru, i should just say, i'll ask someone else and research it in the rule/code..is that ok?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:43 pm

FlanAl wrote:
Rootbeer wrote: For example...I definitely would not scoff at trial level clerking and wouldn't mind doing it, but would a judge really want a clerk who never bothered to do journal junk or moot briefs because they were too busy doing mock trial or non-clerk internships that don't involve much LRW?

I wonder about this too because it is definitely something I'd consider doing right after graduation.


Trial courts in my area are offering shit for post grad clerkships right now, too. $15 an hour, no benefits, and only guaranteed for 6 months.

Oh joy.

jml8756
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby jml8756 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:panel interview for 1L, advice? and please don't say they wont ask hypos, I've had other interviews and hypos have been asked on each. I'm leaning toward the side that if I get a question that I truly don't know how to work thru, i should just say, i'll ask someone else and research it in the rule/code..is that ok?


Nope. Not ok. I mean you can SAY that - of course in real life you're going to do some research and consult supervisors on tough issues. But the purpose of these hypos is to test your judgment and your ability to make decisions on your feet. If you try to say "I would do some research" they will reply by saying you have no time, the decision needs to be made now.

I have heard that if it's a discovery issue, generally err on the side of disclosing. These offices aren't looking for people who will do anything for a guilty. They're looking for people who will take the cases as they come, good facts and bad, and make ethical decisions about how to proceed.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:03 pm

Has anyone here worked at an office that had a DA that was a law enforcement officer before he/she became a DA?

I am a police officer going to law school part-time and I am not sure I will have any opportunities to work as a law clerk due to work and was curious how any prior ex LEO's made the transition.

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

Postby FlanAl » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:32 pm

have you guys all heard about the new hbo documentary "gideon's army". I just watched the NYT blog video about it http://www.nytimes.com/video/2013/01/23 ... stice.html looks like it could be interesting. from the trailer it looks kind of like the same thing as that "presumed guilty" PBS documentary. I haven't seen either so I wouldn't know but thats just the hit I get from the trailers.

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

Postby Tanicius » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:47 pm

FlanAl wrote:have you guys all heard about the new hbo documentary "gideon's army". I just watched the NYT blog video about it http://www.nytimes.com/video/2013/01/23 ... stice.html looks like it could be interesting. from the trailer it looks kind of like the same thing as that "presumed guilty" PBS documentary. I haven't seen either so I wouldn't know but thats just the hit I get from the trailers.


That looks awesome. Can't wait to watch it at home.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby adonai » Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:36 am

Tanicius wrote:
FlanAl wrote:have you guys all heard about the new hbo documentary "gideon's army". I just watched the NYT blog video about it http://www.nytimes.com/video/2013/01/23 ... stice.html looks like it could be interesting. from the trailer it looks kind of like the same thing as that "presumed guilty" PBS documentary. I haven't seen either so I wouldn't know but thats just the hit I get from the trailers.


That looks awesome. Can't wait to watch it at home.

+1. Wonder when it'll be available to watch

ash0117
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby ash0117 » Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:32 pm

This may have already been answered, but this is a mega-thread and I am short on time.

1L, top 25% at a T1, goal has always been PI. Anyhow, I have an interview tomorrow for the county's PD office. I was wondering what you guys thought some useful questions may be to ask him. My resume screams community service/ non-profit/ do good type but nothing related to criminal law, since I really only discovered I liked it since I've been in law school.

Also, I am a female and I'm thinking of wardrobe choices. I've read the interview clothes thread but that seems more firm oriented and OCI based. I have a skirt suit, but I was wondering how conservative I need to be... What type of top is best? Jewelry? Are panty hose necessary? I should add it's in a small to mid size Southern town.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Rootbeer » Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:27 pm

ash0117 wrote:This may have already been answered, but this is a mega-thread and I am short on time.

1L, top 25% at a T1, goal has always been PI. Anyhow, I have an interview tomorrow for the county's PD office. I was wondering what you guys thought some useful questions may be to ask him. My resume screams community service/ non-profit/ do good type but nothing related to criminal law, since I really only discovered I liked it since I've been in law school.

Also, I am a female and I'm thinking of wardrobe choices. I've read the interview clothes thread but that seems more firm oriented and OCI based. I have a skirt suit, but I was wondering how conservative I need to be... What type of top is best? Jewelry? Are panty hose necessary? I should add it's in a small to mid size Southern town.


I'm a prosecution guy, so my advice might suck, but I think a good place to start would be to surf their website and see if there are any programs they run or participate in that sound interesting to you. If there are, ask questions about it, since you'll have something good to talk about if they interview knows about it while also showing particular in their office. You should also consider asking about the different units they have, what kind of defendants you get in different areas of the county, and maybe what kind of classes outside of the obvious you should take next year to be in a good position to become a PD. Aside from the questions, I would think that it's more important to concentrate on dynamite answers to the questions of why a PD and why this office which focus on expressing a commitment to assisting the indigent and a commitment to the particular community the office serves. In a small community, being clear about why you want to be there is super important...ESPECIALLY in the South. The answers should also come from a personal, individual perspective rather than parroting a canned answer you read in a forum.

As far as wardrobe, I'm not a woman, so I can't be specific. However, I believe you should err on the side of conservative. Dress nice, look smart, and look put together, but I think it would be a good idea to avoid anything flashy and be careful about jewelry. If I were going to interview with a PD, I wouldn't want to dress in anything which would suggest that I'm a hotshot who doesn't care about or understand low-income struggles. Like, if I had a Rolex (ha), I wouldn't wear a Rolex to the interview. I have to think about whether I would say the same in court, though, since there is a certain value to making an indigent client feel like they have a hotshot lawyer when a lot of them stereotype PDs as crappy lawyers. One thing I've seen is that a lot of PDs unfortunately dress poorly, with some even wearing sneakers. Anyway, for the interview, something professional, but simple and conservative is what I think you should strive for. Stand out with your words, not your clothes. As a Southerner myself, I know most folk, even in law, to not be terribly uptight about wardrobe, so I don't think you need to worry about looking perfect.
Last edited by Rootbeer on Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Lady Heather » Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:30 pm

ash0117 wrote:This may have already been answered, but this is a mega-thread and I am short on time.

1L, top 25% at a T1, goal has always been PI. Anyhow, I have an interview tomorrow for the county's PD office. I was wondering what you guys thought some useful questions may be to ask him. My resume screams community service/ non-profit/ do good type but nothing related to criminal law, since I really only discovered I liked it since I've been in law school.

Also, I am a female and I'm thinking of wardrobe choices. I've read the interview clothes thread but that seems more firm oriented and OCI based. I have a skirt suit, but I was wondering how conservative I need to be... What type of top is best? Jewelry? Are panty hose necessary? I should add it's in a small to mid size Southern town.
You don't need to worry about the lack of crim on your resume. A majority of 1Ls have no crim experience. You might get a Q about how you would feel about representing people who hurt people (depending on what kind of do-gooder/community service you've done). Make sure you ask about the work YOU would actually do this summer. I had an internship where the supervisor just expected me to follow attorneys around and observe trials. I had to beg for every assignment I got.

Wear a nice blouse (silk/satin, if you have it). Be conservative with jewelry - wear a couple of pieces, at most, and nothing avant-garde. I tend to be against women wearing panty-hose to work, but this is one of those areas where you could go either way.

ash0117
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby ash0117 » Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:43 pm

Lady Heather wrote:
ash0117 wrote:This may have already been answered, but this is a mega-thread and I am short on time.

1L, top 25% at a T1, goal has always been PI. Anyhow, I have an interview tomorrow for the county's PD office. I was wondering what you guys thought some useful questions may be to ask him. My resume screams community service/ non-profit/ do good type but nothing related to criminal law, since I really only discovered I liked it since I've been in law school.

Also, I am a female and I'm thinking of wardrobe choices. I've read the interview clothes thread but that seems more firm oriented and OCI based. I have a skirt suit, but I was wondering how conservative I need to be... What type of top is best? Jewelry? Are panty hose necessary? I should add it's in a small to mid size Southern town.


You don't need to worry about the lack of crim on your resume. A majority of 1Ls have no crim experience. You might get a Q about how you would feel about representing people who hurt people (depending on what kind of do-gooder/community service you've done). Make sure you ask about the work YOU would actually do this summer. I had an internship where the supervisor just expected me to follow attorneys around and observe trials. I had to beg for every assignment I got.

Wear a nice blouse (silk/satin, if you have it). Be conservative with jewelry - wear a couple of pieces, at most, and nothing avant-garde. I tend to be against women wearing panty-hose to work, but this is one of those areas where you could go either way.


Thanks! This was very helpful. It's a small office (smaller town) and from past interns I've heard it's a pretty hands on experience, so I'm excited.

Rootbeer wrote:I'm a prosecution guy, so my advice might suck, but I think a good place to start would be to surf their website and see if there are any programs they run or participate in that sound interesting to you. If there are, ask questions about it, since you'll have something good to talk about if they interview knows about it while also showing particular in their office. You should also consider asking about the different units they have, what kind of defendants you get in different areas of the county, and maybe what kind of classes outside of the obvious you should take next year to be in a good position to become a PD. Aside from the questions, I would think that it's more important to concentrate on dynamite answers to the questions of why a PD and why this office which focus on expressing a commitment to assisting the indigent and a commitment to the particular community the office serves. In a small community, being clear about why you want to be there is super important...ESPECIALLY in the South. The answers should also come from a personal, individual perspective rather than parroting a canned answer you read in a forum.

As far as wardrobe, I'm not a woman, so I can't be specific. However, I believe you should err on the side of conservative. Dress nice, look smart, and look put together, but I think it would be a good idea to avoid anything flashy and be careful about jewelry. If I were going to interview with a PD, I wouldn't want to dress in anything which would suggest that I'm a hotshot who doesn't care about or understand low-income struggles. Like, if I had a Rolex (ha), I wouldn't wear a Rolex to the interview. I have to think about whether I would say the same in court, though, since there is a certain value to making an indigent client feel like they have a hotshot lawyer when a lot of them stereotype PDs as crappy lawyers. One thing I've seen is that a lot of PDs unfortunately dress poorly, with some even wearing sneakers. Anyway, for the interview, something professional, but simple and conservative is what I think you should strive for. Stand out with your words, not your clothes. As a Southerner myself, I know most folk, even in law, to not be terribly uptight about wardrobe, so I don't think you need to worry about looking perfect.


Thanks for the great tips! I've already got a game plan regarding ties, since I am not from the area originally. And makes sense about the clothes, basically you don't want to stand out because of your clothes.




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