How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

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

Postby akili » Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:48 am

I have about a month left of my internship with a DAs office. What should I absolutely make sure that I do before I leave?

I've taken guilty pleas, sat second chair at a suppression hearing, will be doing an opening statement on a TBC Tuesday and my first witness on July 1. Should I be pushing for certain other experiences?

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

Postby adonai » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:33 pm

akili wrote:I have about a month left of my internship with a DAs office. What should I absolutely make sure that I do before I leave?

I've taken guilty pleas, sat second chair at a suppression hearing, will be doing an opening statement on a TBC Tuesday and my first witness on July 1. Should I be pushing for certain other experiences?

Prelims and a bench/misdemeanor trial if at all possible (if you are certified). Maybe ask to write a motion as well.

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

Postby akili » Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:08 am

adonai wrote:
akili wrote:I have about a month left of my internship with a DAs office. What should I absolutely make sure that I do before I leave?

I've taken guilty pleas, sat second chair at a suppression hearing, will be doing an opening statement on a TBC Tuesday and my first witness on July 1. Should I be pushing for certain other experiences?

Prelims and a bench/misdemeanor trial if at all possible (if you are certified). Maybe ask to write a motion as well.


Problem is they only do felonies. I'll get some experience in a bench trial but not the whole thing on my own. I'll ask about a motion though! Thanks

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:47 pm

So my 2L summer so far has been in a major city's PD offices and I am for sure going to be able to do a suppression hearing where I will cross examine the cop. So far I have prepped for a few crosses and directs in juvenile court cases but they settled at the last minute. Is that something I want to put on my resume, I prepped and mooted but 5 mins before trial my cases settled?

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

Postby adonai » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So my 2L summer so far has been in a major city's PD offices and I am for sure going to be able to do a suppression hearing where I will cross examine the cop. So far I have prepped for a few crosses and directs in juvenile court cases but they settled at the last minute. Is that something I want to put on my resume, I prepped and mooted but 5 mins before trial my cases settled?

Of course. Just put "Prepared for cross examinations" or "Prepared to conduct cross exams" or whatever. If you apply to a PD's office down the road, I'm sure they'd know what that means. The reality is, and they should know this, is that most cases settle before going to trial, but that the DAs/PDs prepare all the questions, prep the witnesses, etc. anyway as if they were 100% going to trial.

Sometimes DA interns don't get a single preliminary hearing to actually go forward because of last minute pleas. In that case, you'd have to put something like "prepared for x" and then be prepared to explain the fact you got no prelim experience. Otherwise, you wouldn't have anything to put on your resume.

Of course if you actually get to do cross exams, you wouldn't have to mention the fact that you prepared for them. That would be assumed :D

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby lmr » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:21 pm

How important is having juvenile pd as experience? Is it a plus to have on top of regular pd experience or neutral? Does it make you look more well-rounded or is just the overall commitment to PD work and courtroom experience enough? Trying decide bw doing another pd adult internship versus a juvenile one, which will make me a stronger applicant for outside states/counties?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:50 pm

lmr wrote:How important is having juvenile pd as experience? Is it a plus to have on top of regular pd experience or neutral? Does it make you look more well-rounded or is just the overall commitment to PD work and courtroom experience enough? Trying decide bw doing another pd adult internship versus a juvenile one, which will make me a stronger applicant for outside states/counties?

I had juvenile experience and it didn't seem to matter as such. More important is what you are actually doing, so if the juvenile internship will have you conducting adjudications but the adult internship will just be a lot of motions writing and observation, etc, go for the juvenile (or vice versa). Also, whenever possible, try to intern for offices at which you'll have a good shot at post-grad employment.

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

Postby Borhas » Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:43 pm

PD (and DA) experience hierarchy

misdemeanor trial (supervised but on your own) >> 2nd chairing and doing a small part of a felony trial, if it involves examining witnesses > any hearing which requires examining witness >> hearings in which you argue in front of a judge > junk calendar hearings (bail reduction, arguing for release on own recognizance, change of plea, arraignment)

all of these are better than research and writing

whether your clients are juveniles or adults doesn't matter (though it might help a small with offices that start noobs in juvenile court e.g. PDS)

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:23 pm

I know this was kind of covered earlier but you reminded me now so I'll ask again just in case. If you are at one of the "preftigious" pd offices that generally only let you do the last two on your list, even as a 2L, do you think that we will be greatly looked down upon when seeking full time employment?

I took the do 2L where you want to work advice, but it doesn't look like where I'm working will be hiring when I'm applying for work, so now I'm pretty worried. Any advice on how to make the most out of ror-ing people and writing for a summer?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby akili » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:26 pm

Borhas wrote:PD (and DA) experience hierarchy

misdemeanor trial (supervised but on your own) >> 2nd chairing and doing a small part of a felony trial, if it involves examining witnesses > any hearing which requires examining witness >> hearings in which you argue in front of a judge > junk calendar hearings (bail reduction, arguing for release on own recognizance, change of plea, arraignment)

all of these are better than research and writing

whether your clients are juveniles or adults doesn't matter (though it might help a small with offices that start noobs in juvenile court e.g. PDS)


This was really helpful. Thank you!

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

Postby Borhas » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I know this was kind of covered earlier but you reminded me now so I'll ask again just in case. If you are at one of the "preftigious" pd offices that generally only let you do the last two on your list, even as a 2L, do you think that we will be greatly looked down upon when seeking full time employment?

I took the do 2L where you want to work advice, but it doesn't look like where I'm working will be hiring when I'm applying for work, so now I'm pretty worried. Any advice on how to make the most out of ror-ing people and writing for a summer?


your time will be better spent at another office, unless for whatever reason you are gunning for that office (hopefully it's a big office that has a significant entry level hiring, like PDS or LA) then and only then would it be a good call.

My 2L summer was at PDS, it looks good on a resume I guess, but I would have rather been able to say I did a misdo trial. I had some court room experience in my 1L summer and 2L clinic, so it turned out ok. But if you didn't get any court time in 1L and if you aren't going to get at least a suppression hearing your 2L then I would be pretty concerned. You need to have at least a couple things that can kind of pass for trial-lite experience when you get to the "why trial lawyer" part of the interview.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby brassmonkey7 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:50 pm

Borhas wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I know this was kind of covered earlier but you reminded me now so I'll ask again just in case. If you are at one of the "preftigious" pd offices that generally only let you do the last two on your list, even as a 2L, do you think that we will be greatly looked down upon when seeking full time employment?

I took the do 2L where you want to work advice, but it doesn't look like where I'm working will be hiring when I'm applying for work, so now I'm pretty worried. Any advice on how to make the most out of ror-ing people and writing for a summer?


your time will be better spent at another office, unless for whatever reason you are gunning for that office (hopefully it's a big office that has a significant entry level hiring, like PDS or LA) then and only then would it be a good call.

My 2L summer was at PDS, it looks good on a resume I guess, but I would have rather been able to say I did a misdo trial. I had some court room experience in my 1L summer and 2L clinic, so it turned out ok. But if you didn't get any court time in 1L and if you aren't going to get at least a suppression hearing your 2L then I would be pretty concerned. You need to have at least a couple things that can kind of pass for trial-lite experience when you get to the "why trial lawyer" part of the interview.


Having a strong name on your resume for 2L summer will help even if it doesn't get you as much trial experience as is ideal- however you really need to strategize how you can use your 3L fall to make up for the deficiency. Are you in a crim defense/prosecution clinic? Can you intern for a pd/da near your school that would let you appear in court on some kind of student practice license? Make sure you have something to do 3L fall that can get you into court more- also fwiw, less prestigious offices are usually far more willing to let you into court because they're just less up tight about interns doing a lot in court. So if you're in school in a small town, intern at your small town office for the trial experience or if you're in a big city, consider traveling maybe to a burb or something that might be more willing to let you get into court.

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

Postby Borhas » Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:35 am

brassmonkey7 wrote:
Borhas wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I know this was kind of covered earlier but you reminded me now so I'll ask again just in case. If you are at one of the "preftigious" pd offices that generally only let you do the last two on your list, even as a 2L, do you think that we will be greatly looked down upon when seeking full time employment?

I took the do 2L where you want to work advice, but it doesn't look like where I'm working will be hiring when I'm applying for work, so now I'm pretty worried. Any advice on how to make the most out of ror-ing people and writing for a summer?


your time will be better spent at another office, unless for whatever reason you are gunning for that office (hopefully it's a big office that has a significant entry level hiring, like PDS or LA) then and only then would it be a good call.

My 2L summer was at PDS, it looks good on a resume I guess, but I would have rather been able to say I did a misdo trial. I had some court room experience in my 1L summer and 2L clinic, so it turned out ok. But if you didn't get any court time in 1L and if you aren't going to get at least a suppression hearing your 2L then I would be pretty concerned. You need to have at least a couple things that can kind of pass for trial-lite experience when you get to the "why trial lawyer" part of the interview.


Having a strong name on your resume for 2L summer will help even if it doesn't get you as much trial experience as is ideal- however you really need to strategize how you can use your 3L fall to make up for the deficiency. Are you in a crim defense/prosecution clinic? Can you intern for a pd/da near your school that would let you appear in court on some kind of student practice license? Make sure you have something to do 3L fall that can get you into court more- also fwiw, less prestigious offices are usually far more willing to let you into court because they're just less up tight about interns doing a lot in court. So if you're in school in a small town, intern at your small town office for the trial experience or if you're in a big city, consider traveling maybe to a burb or something that might be more willing to let you get into court.


Just to add some on the timing issue

If at all possible, do your clinic during 2L (I guess Spring 2L), even if you have something good lined up for 3L Fall, that might not be soon enough for the offices that hire at national job fairs or through OCI. Some of the offices that hire classes every year go to OCI to interview for post-bar gigs, so that would be around August (though this all depends on the particular county offices near your school). In an interview you will get very little benefit from saying "I plan on getting such and such experience in the upcoming semester." It's all about what you have already done. Outside of OCI there is the Equal Justice Works career fair. This past year it was on October 25. You may get some good experience in September and early October, but you may not. Point is, that you need to know when you are interviewing for the offices you want to work at. If substantial amount of your experience will be attained AFTER your interview, then it may not do you much good.

You may think to yourself that you should save your clinic until 3L spring so you can have a chill end to 3L without worrying about exams. But, a 3L Spring semester internship will be the least useful because by then the most desirable offices (Read: the ones that pay for post-bar work) will have already done their first round interviews.

In retrospect, the best thing I did was plan my schedule carefully so that I was able to fulfill the pre-reqs for the criminal practice clinic in time to take it during Spring of 2L. That allowed me to have more experience than a significant majority of everyone who was interviewing for the same jobs. Those few extra talking points, and that little bit extra criminal defense knowledge polish go a long way in such a competitive environment.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:15 am

I was thinking about pm'ing you but I feel like a lot of this dialogue should be helpful for people looking at this thread in the future.

So I did my school's defense clinic 2L fall, but unfortunately the most I was able to do was argue for a dismissal and set an adjournment date at arraignment. So yeah, trial lite. I probably should have taken trial ad in spring of my 2L year (its only offered in spring) but I opted to do a full time externship at a civil office for the whole semester. That got me in court making arguments three times, one time it actually got pretty heated between me an the other attorney. It also got me ridiculous amounts of client contact.

I'm already halfway through the 2L summer at the prestigious east coast office, so I'm just trying to figure out how to move forward.

My 1L internship at an unknown, but still fairly large (60+ attorneys) office in California let me do a lot of stuff that I guess they don't usually let 1Ls do, but no speaking on the record. I talked with the clinic professor about sort of doing the clinic over again but just doing the practical part and not the classroom component and he was receptive. My hope is that I can just get started on a project with him now so that once school starts I'll actually be able to do something right away.

I don't know, I think like Borhas, I'm sort of regretting the decision to go for prestige over an office that I was pretty sure would let me do stuff. They made it sound like interning there would lead to a job, but from a few of the conversations I've had with attorneys there that doesn't seem to be the case. I think a lot of the people on this board find themselves in that position in 2L year and I still don't know what the right call was, I guess I'll be able to say more about it once I'm actually employed.

Anyways, thanks a bunch for the insight Borhas, its good to hear from someone who made it coming from a fairly similar situation!

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby adonai » Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:53 pm

The only difference I can really see is that a large prestigious office will definitely have more interns, which means less work and opportunities for you. Smaller remote offices probably don't get as many interns and thus you have your pick of all the interesting assignments without worrying about other interns snatching them up. I asked the same question as anon above earlier and all this just has to be balanced with which office you ultimately want to end up at, hiring at the moment or not. It all comes down to a personal judgment call.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:01 pm

Borhas wrote:PD (and DA) experience hierarchy

misdemeanor trial (supervised but on your own) >> 2nd chairing and doing a small part of a felony trial, if it involves examining witnesses > any hearing which requires examining witness >> hearings in which you argue in front of a judge > junk calendar hearings (bail reduction, arguing for release on own recognizance, change of plea, arraignment)

all of these are better than research and writing

whether your clients are juveniles or adults doesn't matter (though it might help a small with offices that start noobs in juvenile court e.g. PDS)


Ok what if you had scheduled a suppression hearing and two trials but they all plead out or the DA wasn't ready because a witness was out. I feel I'm getting chances to do some big things but none of them are going :( how bad is that? I have prepped and practiced them all

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby BlueLotus » Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:30 pm

How is doing indigent civil legal aid 1L summer seen by DA/PD offices?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby adonai » Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:40 pm

BlueLotus wrote:How is doing indigent civil legal aid 1L summer seen by DA/PD offices?

Probably the next best thing you could do after DA/PD. Both like community service type stuff. I'm finding that it doesn't even really matter anymore, though (for DAs at least). I've seen plenty of people with civil private firm experience only who are getting DA gigs just as much as those who intern all three years at a DAs office. I think the most important factor is whether they could see themselves putting you in front of a jury, rather than you being dedicated to some cause. I'm discovering more and more that what experience you have and where you got it doesn't matter (unless of course it is trial experience). What matters most is what kind of person you are.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Foosters Galore » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:29 pm

adonai wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:How is doing indigent civil legal aid 1L summer seen by DA/PD offices?

Probably the next best thing you could do after DA/PD. Both like community service type stuff. I'm finding that it doesn't even really matter anymore, though (for DAs at least). I've seen plenty of people with civil private firm experience only who are getting DA gigs just as much as those who intern all three years at a DAs office. I think the most important factor is whether they could see themselves putting you in front of a jury, rather than you being dedicated to some cause. I'm discovering more and more that what experience you have and where you got it doesn't matter (unless of course it is trial experience). What matters most is what kind of person you are.


I think this is often undervalued by students. I have known persons who have given all their summers and several semesters to PD offices only to be passed up when offices are hiring. The people I know who have struck out where relatively soft-spoken, reserved, and quiet. It has to have quite an impact on the hiring committee if you're mumbling your way through the interview.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:00 pm

just bc someone is quiet and reserved in their real lives doesn't mean that they can't bring it in the courtroom. I know egomaniacs who have just bombed in court too. Yes personality matters and someone with muted passion isn't going to do well in an interview despite a bunch of pd experience but it's not just the quiet/reserved ones who have interview issues.

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

Postby adonai » Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:just bc someone is quiet and reserved in their real lives doesn't mean that they can't bring it in the courtroom. I know egomaniacs who have just bombed in court too. Yes personality matters and someone with muted passion isn't going to do well in an interview despite a bunch of pd experience but it's not just the quiet/reserved ones who have interview issues.

Of course. There is such a thing called "quiet confidence." But more often than not, I think the loudmouths have an easier time getting in just because they will make a bigger impact at an interview, and there's not enough time/resources to fully vet them. I don't think I've ever met a "normal" DA/PD before.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Borhas wrote:PD (and DA) experience hierarchy

misdemeanor trial (supervised but on your own) >> 2nd chairing and doing a small part of a felony trial, if it involves examining witnesses > any hearing which requires examining witness >> hearings in which you argue in front of a judge > junk calendar hearings (bail reduction, arguing for release on own recognizance, change of plea, arraignment)

all of these are better than research and writing

whether your clients are juveniles or adults doesn't matter (though it might help a small with offices that start noobs in juvenile court e.g. PDS)


Ok what if you had scheduled a suppression hearing and two trials but they all plead out or the DA wasn't ready because a witness was out. I feel I'm getting chances to do some big things but none of them are going :( how bad is that? I have prepped and practiced them all

Shamelessly bumping

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

Postby Borhas » Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Borhas wrote:PD (and DA) experience hierarchy

misdemeanor trial (supervised but on your own) >> 2nd chairing and doing a small part of a felony trial, if it involves examining witnesses > any hearing which requires examining witness >> hearings in which you argue in front of a judge > junk calendar hearings (bail reduction, arguing for release on own recognizance, change of plea, arraignment)

all of these are better than research and writing

whether your clients are juveniles or adults doesn't matter (though it might help a small with offices that start noobs in juvenile court e.g. PDS)


Ok what if you had scheduled a suppression hearing and two trials but they all plead out or the DA wasn't ready because a witness was out. I feel I'm getting chances to do some big things but none of them are going :( how bad is that? I have prepped and practiced them all


On your resume write that you worked up those specific things prior to pleading. In interviews explain how you prepared and why it was in the client's best interest to plea out. It kind of sucks but that's how it goes. I had three no-time waived trials set that plead out a week before. Just how it goes.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:28 am

So I am trying to gather a list of offices that are hiring, so I can just apply. Anyone know of where i could find a list of offices that are usually hiring?

so far

bronx
brooklyn
cook county
philly

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

Postby Borhas » Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So I am trying to gather a list of offices that are hiring, so I can just apply. Anyone know of where i could find a list of offices that are usually hiring?

so far

bronx
brooklyn
cook county
philly


Colorado State PD (hires deputy PDs before graduation)
Alameda County PD (paid post-bar clerkship)
San Diego County PD (paid post-bar clerkship)
Contra Costa County PD (paid post-bar clerkship)
Last edited by Borhas on Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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