How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

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gurldawl3
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby gurldawl3 » Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:37 pm

Has anyone recently interviewed with the Los Angeles PD? I had my first in early May and placed in Group 1, but haven't heard anything since. Anyone have an idea how long the process is and how many interviews to expect in total? Any other info would be greatly appreciated!

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

Postby adonai » Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:24 pm

This has probably been asked before, but when trying to establish relationships in a DA/PD office, is it best to stay dedicated to one office or meet as many people as possible by going to different offices? I ended up in a branch that is far from my home. To go back after my summer to that same office would be pretty inconvenient for me. Concern I have with the latter option is I might spread myself too thin and not build substantive relationships when it comes time to getting recs. I am in an district where interns are many year round and probably easily forgettable.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:48 pm

adonai wrote:This has probably been asked before, but when trying to establish relationships in a DA/PD office, is it best to stay dedicated to one office or meet as many people as possible by going to different offices? I ended up in a branch that is far from my home. To go back after my summer to that same office would be pretty inconvenient for me. Concern I have with the latter option is I might spread myself too thin and not build substantive relationships when it comes time to getting recs. I am in an district where interns are many year round and probably easily forgettable.


You've hit on the $64k question for prosecutor's offices. These jobs aren't easy to get, so you want to maximize your chances at the office you ultimately want to wind up at without taking yourself out of the running at other places if your #1 doesn't pan out.

The answer to your question will largely depend on the offices you're targeting. Some offices, like Chicago, are heavily dependent on your specific connections to that office. Others, like Miami or some of the NYC offices, are more willing to expand their horizons as long as you've interned somewhere.

If your #1 office is far from school, maybe spend your summers there and a semester or two somewhere that's closer to school. At the least, you should spend your summer before 3L at your #1 office so you can get some courtroom experience.

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

Postby adonai » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:51 am

Anonymous User wrote:
adonai wrote:This has probably been asked before, but when trying to establish relationships in a DA/PD office, is it best to stay dedicated to one office or meet as many people as possible by going to different offices? I ended up in a branch that is far from my home. To go back after my summer to that same office would be pretty inconvenient for me. Concern I have with the latter option is I might spread myself too thin and not build substantive relationships when it comes time to getting recs. I am in an district where interns are many year round and probably easily forgettable.


You've hit on the $64k question for prosecutor's offices. These jobs aren't easy to get, so you want to maximize your chances at the office you ultimately want to wind up at without taking yourself out of the running at other places if your #1 doesn't pan out.

The answer to your question will largely depend on the offices you're targeting. Some offices, like Chicago, are heavily dependent on your specific connections to that office. Others, like Miami or some of the NYC offices, are more willing to expand their horizons as long as you've interned somewhere.

If your #1 office is far from school, maybe spend your summers there and a semester or two somewhere that's closer to school. At the least, you should spend your summer before 3L at your #1 office so you can get some courtroom experience.

I should have clarified further that I am talking about the same office, but different branches of the same office. So I am in X county prosecutor's office in Y city, but am concerned about spreading myself thin if I end up doing another gig in Z city (which is much closer to home) for the same county prosecutor's office. Wondering if I should just stick with Y city's branch division even though it is far since I am already working there and building relationships. BTW I am a rising 3L and Y city branch division has already hinted at the fact they want to give me trial experience. Not sure if I will be allowed that over at Z city.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:54 am

adonai wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
adonai wrote:This has probably been asked before, but when trying to establish relationships in a DA/PD office, is it best to stay dedicated to one office or meet as many people as possible by going to different offices? I ended up in a branch that is far from my home. To go back after my summer to that same office would be pretty inconvenient for me. Concern I have with the latter option is I might spread myself too thin and not build substantive relationships when it comes time to getting recs. I am in an district where interns are many year round and probably easily forgettable.


You've hit on the $64k question for prosecutor's offices. These jobs aren't easy to get, so you want to maximize your chances at the office you ultimately want to wind up at without taking yourself out of the running at other places if your #1 doesn't pan out.

The answer to your question will largely depend on the offices you're targeting. Some offices, like Chicago, are heavily dependent on your specific connections to that office. Others, like Miami or some of the NYC offices, are more willing to expand their horizons as long as you've interned somewhere.

If your #1 office is far from school, maybe spend your summers there and a semester or two somewhere that's closer to school. At the least, you should spend your summer before 3L at your #1 office so you can get some courtroom experience.

I should have clarified further that I am talking about the same office, but different branches of the same office. So I am in X county prosecutor's office in Y city, but am concerned about spreading myself thin if I end up doing another gig in Z city (which is much closer to home) for the same county prosecutor's office. Wondering if I should just stick with Y city's branch division even though it is far since I am already working there and building relationships. BTW I am a rising 3L and Y city branch division has already hinted at the fact they want to give me trial experience. Not sure if I will be allowed that over at Z city.


Ah, that's a bit of a different situation. Is there a "main" branch in your county? I would consider spending at least some time there.

I can tell you that the county I worked in had a similar setup - a major city with several suburban branches. It was nice to be in the suburbs if it was close to where you live and they gave you a lot of good work, but it was generally understood that the people who could best help you get hired were in the main office.

Another option might be to just ask your ADAs what they think. Just straight up tell them your situation - you love working at at Y Branch and you're looking forward to getting trial experience, but Z Branch is much closer and you're wondering if that would be a good option for you. If you put it diplomatically enough and with an air of sincerely asking for their opinion, I bet they would be more than willing to tell you what they think about Z Branch in terms of your opportunities for trial experience and ultimately getting hired by the office.

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

Postby Borhas » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:00 pm

The only thing that I can think of that trumps working around the people that actually do the hiring (the main office) is to actually get a trial or two under your belt. As the poster above says, asks the current folks, they may know how much input the satellite offices have in the hiring process. If the satellite offices just tell the main office who to hire, then the satellite offices will effectively be the people that do the hiring.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:25 pm

I don't know how it is at other offices, but at my office the ADAs LOVED to talk about hiring strategy with the law clerks. Especially the younger ones who recently went through the process themselves. It's a valuable resource you should use if you can. They will know much more about the hiring practices of your specific office than any of us on this forum.

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

Postby lmr » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:26 pm

Borhas wrote:The only thing that I can think of that trumps working around the people that actually do the hiring (the main office) is to actually get a trial or two under your belt. As the poster above says, asks the current folks, they may know how much input the satellite offices have in the hiring process. If the satellite offices just tell the main office who to hire, then the satellite offices will effectively be the people that do the hiring.





I disagree-you can't underestimate how political the hiring process can be- you are more likely to get hired if you've worked under or around the hiring head than if you work in a satellite office. trial>main office if you are applying to different counties/states but connections really matter. I know a 3L who interned in an office-had more courtroom experience than anyone and didn't make it to the third round-prob because all his experience was in the satellite office. Idk maybe this is just exclusive to the office in-but I don't know. My DA track friends in my county have said similar things.

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

Postby lmr » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:31 pm

Which PD offices are more receptive to applicants who never interned with their office before or those w zero connections but lots of PD experience? Am I screwed when applying to offices out of county/state if I intern five semesters with one office or does that experience help?

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

Postby adonai » Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:54 pm

Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of interning at main, and I don't even know if there is anyone who is in charge of hiring per se, other than the actual DA. All I remember hearing from someone in the past is that one should cling to a higher level DA who could recommend you. In my case, that would probably be the branch head or assistant head. Of course, the higher the better, but the real higher ups are probably not involved with interns and are probably inaccessible. I guess I'll have to probe further. Thanks for the suggestions/opinions.

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

Postby jml8756 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:37 pm

adonai wrote:Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of interning at main, and I don't even know if there is anyone who is in charge of hiring per se, other than the actual DA. All I remember hearing from someone in the past is that one should cling to a higher level DA who could recommend you. In my case, that would probably be the branch head or assistant head. Of course, the higher the better, but the real higher ups are probably not involved with interns and are probably inaccessible. I guess I'll have to probe further. Thanks for the suggestions/opinions.


Finding a high-up supervisor who will fight for you is probably the single-best thing you can do to get hired. If you don't have that kind of access, another option is getting a judge to help you. A lot of judges are former prosecutors who might have connections to the ADAs in your office (or the DA himself). If you have your student practice license and get to do a lot of stuff in front of one particular judge, you should ask that judge for a recommendation regardless of their connections to the office, but if they do have those connections so much the better.

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

Postby Borhas » Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:37 am

lmr wrote:Which PD offices are more receptive to applicants who never interned with their office before or those w zero connections but lots of PD experience? Am I screwed when applying to offices out of county/state if I intern five semesters with one office or does that experience help?


Colorado state PD is probably the most receptive

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

Postby dreakol » Sun Jun 09, 2013 3:11 pm

so when is a good time for a rising 3L to start spamming the old resume when the office doesnt give a specific timeline?

seriously plan to apply to every county in every state

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

Postby adonai » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:28 pm

Do journal leadership positions matter at all for improving one's chances to get a DA position? Not a criminal law related journal.

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

Postby wbrother » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:30 pm

adonai wrote:Do journal leadership positions matter at all for improving one's chances to get a DA position? Not a criminal law related journal.

Other people in this thread have informed me that they don't.

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

Postby wbrother » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:34 pm

Hey All,

I'm thinking of contacting an undergrad alum who used to work as a PD in LA (my dream office) and who works as a judge. He spoke at my undergrad recently, but I wasn't able to catch his speech. I want to know if the letter I'm thinking of sending out is appropriate, and if contacting him at all would be more than a waste of time. Thanks in advance.

Dear Judge Doe,

My name is Wbrother and I am a recent graduate of XXX. I was given your name by one of my pre-law advisors after you spoke at the XXX Conference back in March. I am very interested in pursuing a career in public defense and would love to talk with you about your experiences as a public defender. I was born and raised in Los Angeles and will return this summer before beginning my studies at the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law in the fall.

I will be home in Los Angeles on July 15th and I do not begin classes until August 26th. I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and discuss your experiences. Will you be available to meet for a short informational interview during that time?
Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to meeting you.

Sincerely,
wbrother

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

Postby adonai » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:41 pm

wbrother wrote:
adonai wrote:Do journal leadership positions matter at all for improving one's chances to get a DA position? Not a criminal law related journal.

Other people in this thread have informed me that they don't.

Thanks, that's all I needed to hear before making this decision..

wbrother wrote:Hey All,

I'm thinking of contacting an undergrad alum who used to work as a PD in LA (my dream office) and who works as a judge. He spoke at my undergrad recently, but I wasn't able to catch his speech. I want to know if the letter I'm thinking of sending out is appropriate, and if contacting him at all would be more than a waste of time. Thanks in advance.

Dear Judge Doe,

My name is Wbrother and I am a recent graduate of XXX. I was given your name by one of my pre-law advisors after you spoke at the XXX Conference back in March. I am very interested in pursuing a career in public defense and would love to talk with you about your experiences as a public defender. I was born and raised in Los Angeles and will return this summer before beginning my studies at the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law in the fall.

I will be home in Los Angeles on July 15th and I do not begin classes until August 26th. I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and discuss your experiences. Will you be available to meet for a short informational interview during that time?
Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to meeting you.

Sincerely,
wbrother

Worst the judge could do is say no. If anything, he/she would probably invite you into chambers during some down time. I don't think they'd meet with you outside for security concerns. The judge's speaking at your school shows he/she is at least a little bit interested in sharing his/her story and helping young people. I've worked for three judges and your letter looks great.

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

Postby wbrother » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:53 pm

adonai wrote:Thanks, that's all I needed to hear before making this decision..

No problem man. People here have said that your time can/should be spent doing externships or clinics instead of journal positions. Thanks for the letter help, I'll be cautiously optimistic.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:55 pm

Easy Answer..........Don't be.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 11, 2013 6:58 pm

Is anyone familiar with jobs for prosecutors in IL? I'm not talking about Cook County but am talking about the counties surrounding it. I have a few questions (of urgent nature...lost a scholarship and am trying to see whether I should transfer) but would like to be able to PM someone and ask a few questions first.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:16 pm

just join JAG, for real their prosecution wins almost 100% of the time (different court rules apply)
the defense is almost just there to use as a centerpiece.

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

Postby Tanicius » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:just join JAG, for real their prosecution wins almost 100% of the time (different court rules apply)
the defense is almost just there to use as a centerpiece.



Yeah, just join it. It's easy, anyone can just apply online and start work the next week.

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

Postby adonai » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:03 pm

Tanicius wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:just join JAG, for real their prosecution wins almost 100% of the time (different court rules apply)
the defense is almost just there to use as a centerpiece.



Yeah, just join it. It's easy, anyone can just apply online and start work the next week.

Yep, so easy to do hours of extensive application paperwork, a 4 hour interview, all for a 95% chance of rejection. Gets even easier when you go through MEPS if you somehow get through that first phase!

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

Postby FlanAl » Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:46 pm

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=210685&start=50

so this thread has me kinda freaked out. Where you guys able to secure private loans for the bar etc?

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

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:18 am

FlanAl wrote:http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=210685&start=50

so this thread has me kinda freaked out. Where you guys able to secure private loans for the bar etc?

At my school, it was pretty standard to be able to adjust your GradPlus loans to get money to cover the bar. The thing to do is pay attention to deadlines and not miss the opportunity to get those loans (as the OP in the thread above did). You could ask your financial aid office about it now, so you can plan in advance.




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