How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

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

Postby cesmoc » Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:20 am

Since this thread seems like the place to be for us criminal law-minded folks, I was wondering if anyone here had any experience with SF public defender's office. I am currently a 1L at a Philly-area law school with strong ties to Cali and and Bay Area and am trying to figure out logistics. Would it better for me to work in a PD office in Philly (or somewhere else on the east coast), gain some experience, and then try to lateral into the SFPD office? Or should I try to go gung-ho for the Bay Area market with the hopes that CA is still hiring PDs when I graduate? Thanks for all the help guys.

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

Postby Borhas » Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:55 am

cesmoc wrote:Since this thread seems like the place to be for us criminal law-minded folks, I was wondering if anyone here had any experience with SF public defender's office. I am currently a 1L at a Philly-area law school with strong ties to Cali and and Bay Area and am trying to figure out logistics. Would it better for me to work in a PD office in Philly (or somewhere else on the east coast), gain some experience, and then try to lateral into the SFPD office? Or should I try to go gung-ho for the Bay Area market with the hopes that CA is still hiring PDs when I graduate? Thanks for all the help guys.


SFPD only takes lateral hires, and they rarely hire. If you work at Alameda County you could feasibly lateral into SF one day. The other Bay Area counties are also possible. I doubt you'd have a decent shot at SF from Philly. There are plenty of PD offices around the Bay Area w/ plenty of competent PD's who'd rather work in SF than elsewhere... for good reason, they pay the best and have the most liberal jury pool, and probably one of the more incompetent DA offices in the country, not to mention in one of the best cities in the world. It's a cush gig as far as PD jobs go, the down side is that SF doesn't have all that much serious crime.

I highly recommend you do a PD internship your 1L summer, wherever it is. Might not be a bad idea to do it around Philly so that you can continue to work during 2L year. Sorry I can't be more help. I'm just a 2L myself.

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Gettingstarted1928
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Gettingstarted1928 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:32 am

Seems like everyone is going PD. Any prosecution gunners having any luck with the job search?

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

Postby msuz » Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:43 am

I have a question for people who know about Prosecution job prospects... For less popular states like MI/OH/WI/MN, etc, what type of schools did most of the local/county prosecutors go to? At least where I am from, there seems to be a lot of people from the local TTT that has strong ties in the state, just a little bit less from the local, "regional" TT and T14 (which is probably expected since more of them go out of state), but even a local TTTT seems to have employed more prosecutors than one would probably expect.

Interested because I want to go into Prosecution/ADA work, and wondering if it would be worth it retaking the LSAT to get into the T14 or if I should just go with a large scholly to the local TT/TTT.

EDIT: Another option would be to go to a higher ranked TT/near T1 (ie, top 100/top 50) school that is out of state from where I want to practice, but would probably leave me with more flexibility later.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:30 am

How would local DA offices view a 2L summer with the USAO in their area, focusing on criminal work (nearly 100%)?

seatown12
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby seatown12 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:46 am

msuz wrote:Interested because I want to go into Prosecution/ADA work, and wondering if it would be worth it retaking the LSAT to get into the T14 or if I should just go with a large scholly to the local TT/TTT.

EDIT: Another option would be to go to a higher ranked TT/near T1 (ie, top 100/top 50) school that is out of state from where I want to practice, but would probably leave me with more flexibility later.

Take the money at the TTT located exactly where you want to practice, then work for the local prosecutor both summers and during school through a clinic/externship. Avoid debt and maximize your chance at that office.

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

Postby msuz » Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:44 am

seatown12 wrote:
msuz wrote:Interested because I want to go into Prosecution/ADA work, and wondering if it would be worth it retaking the LSAT to get into the T14 or if I should just go with a large scholly to the local TT/TTT.

EDIT: Another option would be to go to a higher ranked TT/near T1 (ie, top 100/top 50) school that is out of state from where I want to practice, but would probably leave me with more flexibility later.

Take the money at the TTT located exactly where you want to practice, then work for the local prosecutor both summers and during school through a clinic/externship. Avoid debt and maximize your chance at that office.


I understand the pros of this option, but worried I may be putting all my eggs in one basket? What if the place I intern at in the summer isnt hiring when I graduate?

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Gettingstarted1928
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Gettingstarted1928 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:26 pm

msuz wrote:
seatown12 wrote:
msuz wrote:Interested because I want to go into Prosecution/ADA work, and wondering if it would be worth it retaking the LSAT to get into the T14 or if I should just go with a large scholly to the local TT/TTT.

EDIT: Another option would be to go to a higher ranked TT/near T1 (ie, top 100/top 50) school that is out of state from where I want to practice, but would probably leave me with more flexibility later.

Take the money at the TTT located exactly where you want to practice, then work for the local prosecutor both summers and during school through a clinic/externship. Avoid debt and maximize your chance at that office.


I understand the pros of this option, but worried I may be putting all my eggs in one basket? What if the place I intern at in the summer isnt hiring when I graduate?


The poster above is right about choosing a school where you will not go into tremendous debt. This is assuming that you are not gunning for a high profile office (ex. Manhattan). The offices in my city are not really prestige whores. They care about motivation and experience.

As far as putting all your eggs in one basket, I'm not sure that would matter all that much. Sure, it sucks that you won't have connections at other offices, but I don't think you're by any means screwed. You have already racked up experience and have demonstrated an interest in the work, so you are still a marketable candidate. What you have to worry about most of all is how competitive it will be to get an ADA position in the first place. Government cut backs are rampant, which is my main concern. Additionally, I will bet that more and more students are realizing the grim prospects in the private sector and are looking towards government work, making competition that much more intense.

I'm only a 1L, so my knowledge is somewhat limited. Maybe someone with a little bit more knowledge could chime in.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How would local DA offices view a 2L summer with the USAO in their area, focusing on criminal work (nearly 100%)?


I think they'd view it as a positive. I'm having some success in my applications to local DAs and I spent my 2L summer at the USAO. The only thing is, they wouldn't want you to view them as merely a stepping stone to get to the Feds so be prepared to explain why you prefer the local route to the Federal route.

:)

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

Postby Borhas » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:10 am

msuz wrote:
seatown12 wrote:
msuz wrote:Interested because I want to go into Prosecution/ADA work, and wondering if it would be worth it retaking the LSAT to get into the T14 or if I should just go with a large scholly to the local TT/TTT.

EDIT: Another option would be to go to a higher ranked TT/near T1 (ie, top 100/top 50) school that is out of state from where I want to practice, but would probably leave me with more flexibility later.

Take the money at the TTT located exactly where you want to practice, then work for the local prosecutor both summers and during school through a clinic/externship. Avoid debt and maximize your chance at that office.


I understand the pros of this option, but worried I may be putting all my eggs in one basket? What if the place I intern at in the summer isnt hiring when I graduate?


I'm more partial to the go the best school in the region you want to work in, forget about debt and just hope 10-yr IBR is in place 13 years from now.

It can actually be pretty tough for TTT school students to land those internships. I worked at the San Diego PD last summer and while about 33% of the interns where Thomas Jefferson or Cal Western students, they were all 2L's w/ top grades The only 1L's at the place were two Michigan students and myself. I roomed w/ another TJ grad that said that those jobs were actually very competitive within their school, something like 100 people applied and 20 got spots. Maybe 80 weren't serious candidates but who knows.

My strategy is to put ALL my eggs in the PD basket though there is fortunately some overlap w/ the DA basket... but either way this is a risky strategy that requires sticking to your plan.

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

Postby msuz » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:48 am

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Last edited by msuz on Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby msuz » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:52 am

Gettingstarted1928 wrote:The poster above is right about choosing a school where you will not go into tremendous debt. This is assuming that you are not gunning for a high profile office (ex. Manhattan). The offices in my city are not really prestige whores. They care about motivation and experience.

This is basically one of the points I was trying to make in my post above/what Im banking my logic on.

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

Postby Borhas » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:57 am

msuz wrote:
Borhas wrote:I'm more partial to the go the best school in the region you want to work in, forget about debt and just hope 10-yr IBR is in place 13 years from now.

It can actually be pretty tough for TTT school students to land those internships. I worked at the San Diego PD last summer and while about 33% of the interns where Thomas Jefferson or Cal Western students, they were all 2L's w/ top grades The only 1L's at the place were two Michigan students and myself. I roomed w/ another TJ grad that said that those jobs were actually very competitive within their school, something like 100 people applied and 20 got spots. Maybe 80 weren't serious candidates but who knows.

My strategy is to put ALL my eggs in the PD basket though there is fortunately some overlap w/ the DA basket... but either way this is a risky strategy that requires sticking to your plan.

I see where youre coming from, and obviously I want to put myself in the best position I can to suceed. And maybe I'm wrong, but I feel like a place like San Diego has to be much more competitive than a medium sized Midwestern city would be, which is where I see myself ending up. I could go somewhere similarly ranked to your school like Wisconsin, Case Western, DePaul, etc, or I could stay in MI and try to get a scholly to MSU (TT) or Wayne (the in-state TTT with good reputation here I was talking about). On the outside chance that I would get into Michigan, I just feel like if I don't care about working some ultra-competitive place like LA/NY/Chicago (purposely left out Detroit lol), than a better bet is to take the lower ranked school for as little debt as possible.
The higher ranked school I go to, the better chance I feel like I have of ending up somewhere in the 25th-50th percentile with a huge debt, so I feel better about going to a lower ranked one, working my ass off, and having close to zero debt. Maybe all of the gloom and doom on TLS about "if ur not in top 15% at a T1 school ur screwed" is more directed at biglaw in competitive markets, but I still feel like a few good internships and long history of interest in criminal law with no debt AND going to a local school with good rep in the place you want to practice is worth something. Thoughts?


medium sized midwestern city? take the money and run, unless you get into Michigan, at that point I'd say go to Michigan.

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

Postby lawbanshee » Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:14 am

DA's being laid off by the bushel:

http://subprimejd.blogspot.com/2011/06/ ... mered.html

and

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/0 ... en_co.html

and

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/0 ... en_co.html

Legal Aid also getting hammered:

http://news.opb.org/article/legal-aid-f ... 0-layoffs/

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/sto ... 50179062/1


Talking about becoming a PD/ Prosecutor in this economy is like talking about becoming an astronaut or Powerball winner. With so many experienced folks out there, why on Earth would any office hire a newbie?

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

Postby msuz » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:20 pm

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Last edited by msuz on Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:18 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 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:57 pm

lawbanshee wrote:DA's being laid off by the bushel:

http://subprimejd.blogspot.com/2011/06/ ... mered.html

and

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/0 ... en_co.html

and

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/0 ... en_co.html

Legal Aid also getting hammered:

http://news.opb.org/article/legal-aid-f ... 0-layoffs/

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/sto ... 50179062/1


Talking about becoming a PD/ Prosecutor in this economy is like talking about becoming an astronaut or Powerball winner. With so many experienced folks out there, why on Earth would any office hire a newbie?


just an FYI

the first link (from June 2011) talks about layoffs in the Sacramento DA office

a month later the layoffs were cancelled, and no one lost their job

The District Attorney's Office, which last month notified 25 workers that they faced layoffs because of bleak financial conditions, issued an officewide email to employees saying they all had been spared.

Cindy Besemer, chief deputy district attorney, declined Tuesday to discuss where the office found funding to retain 18 attorneys and seven support staffers.

But an email she sent to all employees Monday said there will be no layoffs.

"We are rescinding layoff notices for permanent employees and canceling releases of temporary employees," her email said.

The email added that "the source of funding for these actions" will be announced before final budget hearings are held Sept. 7.

The move comes after months of warnings from Scully's office about what budget cutbacks by the cash-strapped county would mean.



Read more: --LinkRemoved--

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

Postby lawbanshee » Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:32 pm

Cindy Besemer, chief deputy district attorney, declined Tuesday to discuss where the office found funding to retain 18 attorneys and seven support staffers.

But an email she sent to all employees Monday said there will be no layoffs.

"We are rescinding layoff notices for permanent employees and canceling releases of temporary employees," her email said.

The email added that "the source of funding for these actions" will be announced before final budget hearings are held Sept. 7.

The move comes after months of warnings from Scully's office about what budget cutbacks by the cash-strapped county would mean.



Like that's gonna last. California is America's Greece. These jobs are gonna be cut sooner or later. Besides, just because they're holding the line doesn't mean they're looking to hire NEW DA's, does it?

And what about the other articles? Anyone see a trend here?

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

Postby Borhas » Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:41 pm

well, the "other articles" were actually one article about a New Jersey DA office

recession sucks, welcome to the economy

EDIT: nvm I think you're referring to the first blog

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

Postby lawbanshee » Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:46 pm

well, the "other articles" were actually one article about a New Jersey DA office

recession sucks, welcome to the economy


I don't need a "welcome." I've been grinding it out in this devilish farce of a "profession" since you guys were in junior high school.

Anyone planning on a "career" as a DA or PD is delusional to the point of mental illness.

Hell, Kansas isn't even prosectuing domestic violence anymore:

http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml

The trend is simply to prosecute less cases rather than hire more DA's. Prolly a good idea, we have too many laws as it is.

Guess reading isn'y your thing: the other article was about the NJ Legal Aid laying off 1/4 of its lawyers this year.


Also the NJ AG office no longer hires attorneys, they take on unpaid volunteers who are fully licensed and bar admitted. Same thing for NJ DOJ (US Attorney's) office.


This is a trend all across the country. I suggest you listen to Peter Schiff and Gerald Celente for an idea of how well this "recovery" is apt to play out. "Screwed" doesn't begin to define your situation.

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

Postby Borhas » Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:57 pm

welcome to life buddy

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

Postby msuz » Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:00 pm

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Last edited by msuz on Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

seatown12
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby seatown12 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:05 pm

Just ignore this guy, he doesn't know anything about these careers beyond what he's read on the internet. Don't let him derail the thread with this shit.

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

Postby lawbanshee » Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:08 pm

This is right, though. Jobs are harder to get everywhere, and posting random stories about a few layoffs seems more like unneccessary scare tactics than good information to me.


Jobs are hard to get everywhere. It's just that law is the single hardest of them all, by a wide margin too:

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/ ... t_website_

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

Postby msuz » Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:16 pm

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Last edited by msuz on Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby lawbanshee » Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:24 pm

Just ignore this guy, he doesn't know anything about these careers beyond what he's read on the internet. Don't let him derail the thread with this shit.


Admitted to both NY & NJ bars since 2003. Please inform us which bars you've passed and your experience working as an attorney and searching for jobs in this market. Thanks.




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