How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:35 am

adonai wrote:If you had only one choice between two classes, one being on how to evaluate/file criminal charges and cases and one with how to deal with counsel and witnesses in a criminal courtroom, which class would you take?


Elaborate on the first class. Is it a class on how to be an issuing DA or something? Does it teach you about sentencing, pleas, and bit of crim pro? Take that one. You can take a trial adv course next semester. 95% of what you do as a DA or PD is plea bargaining, so I think that'd be more beneficial.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:00 am

I interviewed with a local prosecution office 2 weeks ago and he told me he had to interview someone on the 6th. Incredibly shitty

I got another offer for an internship but its a 30 minute commute. Should I call the other guy and ask if he can make a decision?

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

Postby robin600 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:02 am

adonai wrote:If you had only one choice between two classes, one being on how to evaluate/file criminal charges and cases and one with how to deal with counsel and witnesses in a criminal courtroom, which class would you take?

You have an entire class on how to file charges? That's really weird b/c it pretty simple. Arrest someone write a basic and vague complaint submit to court. Done

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

Postby Tanicius » Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:04 am

robin600 wrote:
adonai wrote:If you had only one choice between two classes, one being on how to evaluate/file criminal charges and cases and one with how to deal with counsel and witnesses in a criminal courtroom, which class would you take?

You have an entire class on how to file charges? That's really weird b/c it pretty simple. Arrest someone write a basic and vague complaint submit to court. Done



No, don't stop him. It would actually be pretty nice if a lot of the DA's in my jurisdiction got the statute subsection correct on the first go and didn't charge my dudes with a ton of inapplicable enhancements just because they sound cool. Talk about an unnecessary flood of litigation this causes.

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

Postby lmr » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:48 pm

Tanicius wrote:
robin600 wrote:
adonai wrote:If you had only one choice between two classes, one being on how to evaluate/file criminal charges and cases and one with how to deal with counsel and witnesses in a criminal courtroom, which class would you take?

You have an entire class on how to file charges? That's really weird b/c it pretty simple. Arrest someone write a basic and vague complaint submit to court. Done



No, don't stop him. It would actually be pretty nice if a lot of the DA's in my jurisdiction got the statute subsection correct on the first go and didn't charge my dudes with a ton of inapplicable enhancements just because they sound cool. Talk about an unnecessary flood of litigation this causes.


The unnecessary charges are used to incentivize settling, they aren't a byproduct of ignorant DAs. Often times DAs add more after prelim that are just ridiculous but they get away w it...but I agree the 1st class sounds more practical and unique than the trial adv course. he/she should definitely take that one.

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

Postby lmr » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:00 pm

I get this is prob a dumb question but when you are writing cover letters to a bunch of PD offices, each cover letter is going to be a bit tailored to that office. how do you do that? Every office has the same mission statement/values. how do I convey in my cover letter that I researched their office or that I didn't just send in the same cover letter to each. What are unique facts I can extract?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby adonai » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:03 pm

robin600 wrote:
adonai wrote:If you had only one choice between two classes, one being on how to evaluate/file criminal charges and cases and one with how to deal with counsel and witnesses in a criminal courtroom, which class would you take?

You have an entire class on how to file charges? That's really weird b/c it pretty simple. Arrest someone write a basic and vague complaint submit to court. Done

They're mini-practical skills courses. First class is basically teaching filing duty, how to evaluate a police report and charges, what charges to file, etc. Second class is courtroom communication oriented stuff as stated before. I don't think either have a interactive component.

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

Postby robin600 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:57 pm

adonai wrote:
robin600 wrote:
adonai wrote:If you had only one choice between two classes, one being on how to evaluate/file criminal charges and cases and one with how to deal with counsel and witnesses in a criminal courtroom, which class would you take?

You have an entire class on how to file charges? That's really weird b/c it pretty simple. Arrest someone write a basic and vague complaint submit to court. Done

They're mini-practical skills courses. First class is basically teaching filing duty, how to evaluate a police report and charges, what charges to file, etc. Second class is courtroom communication oriented stuff as stated before. I don't think either have a interactive component.

Oh ok I was thinking a whole semester on complaints

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

Postby seatown12 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:25 pm

adonai wrote:
robin600 wrote:
adonai wrote:If you had only one choice between two classes, one being on how to evaluate/file criminal charges and cases and one with how to deal with counsel and witnesses in a criminal courtroom, which class would you take?

You have an entire class on how to file charges? That's really weird b/c it pretty simple. Arrest someone write a basic and vague complaint submit to court. Done

They're mini-practical skills courses. First class is basically teaching filing duty, how to evaluate a police report and charges, what charges to file, etc. Second class is courtroom communication oriented stuff as stated before. I don't think either have a interactive component.

I would take the second course because I think a veteran practitioner (whom I assume is teaching the course) will have more insight and useful advice about courtroom interaction than the charging decision, which in my experience (admittedly as an outsider) seems not to be particularly complex and at any rate heavily driven by office policy.

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Ty Webb
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Ty Webb » Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:07 pm

Looking for a little advice from the experienced PD types here. My situation is a bit odd, so I'm interested in opinions on what my next move should be.

About me:

T50 recently graduated (May)
Top 40% or so grades (went from top-8% first semester progressively down toward median :| )
Spent 1L summer working for a Major League Baseball organization (non-legal, but a really cool job)
Spent 2L summer working a BIGLAW associateship, hated it
Started taking death penalty/crim law classes from a great professor 3L fall, found my passion
Worked in a post-conviction DP/innocence clinic entire 3L year
Did internship in felony/juvenile/appellate divisions at Harris County (Houston) PD's office spring semester 3L year

I put off taking the bar because I'm saving money right now to take BarBri/pay the fees associated with taking the bar. Absolutely loved showing up to work at the PD's office all semester, even though the emotional grind of working on felony cases was a lot to handle. Found my passion a bit too late, so I missed the PD recruiting from last year. Ideally looking to catch on with a PD's office before deciding where to take the bar (can take either February or July or both, if necessary).

I have 100% geographical flexibility. From South Carolina, went to law school in Texas. I'd love to get back to Houston, but the Harris County PD doesn't hire entry-level. I made a number of great contacts there. Didn't have the opportunity at the PD's office to take on any cases of my own (Harris County PD doesn't do misdemeanor), but I played an active role in trial prep/voir dire/client meetings. Plus I helped work on multiple appeals, including one that has a really good shot in the state appeals court right now.

What things should I be doing? I've done the basic research on all of the different offices, and I emailed a lot of people last spring (to find out that most hire during the fall).

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

Postby Borhas » Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:34 pm

first thing is to sign up for the Equal Justice Works career fair, also try to volunteer at a PD place right now while you apply to other places

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

Postby thecactus » Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:17 pm

I have a question about writing samples. I just finished my 1L at a county PD office in California. Fortunately, I was given a lot of substantive work and came out with a lot of writing samples to choose from. I notice that a lot of people on this thread have been recommending that you should use a suppression motion as a writing sample. Is there any particular reason why that is? If it helps, I've written the following types of motions this summer:

Motion to modify a probation condition
995 motion (in CA this is the motion you file to have charges dismissed because the state didn't establish PC after the prelim)
Suppression Motion
The points and authorities section of a habeas petition (however, this is still unfiled, so I am reluctant to ask my supervisor if I can use it as a writing sample)
Pitchess motion (compelling discovery of a cop's personnel records)

Is there something about suppression motions that inherently require better legal writing or something?

Thanks!

MSUlaw49
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby MSUlaw49 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:26 pm

Is it worth it to apply to PD positions or go to EJW if I have done all DA internships?

I just dont want to strike out on all DA options and be out

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

Postby Borhas » Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:15 pm

MSUlaw49 wrote:Is it worth it to apply to PD positions or go to EJW if I have done all DA internships?

I just dont want to strike out on all DA options and be out


Nah you're almost certainly auto dinged from any PD that hires nationally

EJW is more than just PD agencies but it's pretty competitive all the way around

MSUlaw49
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby MSUlaw49 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:21 pm

Borhas wrote:
MSUlaw49 wrote:Is it worth it to apply to PD positions or go to EJW if I have done all DA internships?

I just dont want to strike out on all DA options and be out


Nah you're almost certainly auto dinged from any PD that hires nationally

EJW is more than just PD agencies but it's pretty competitive all the way around

What if I have trial and courtroom experience?

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

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:29 pm

MSUlaw49 wrote:
Borhas wrote:
MSUlaw49 wrote:Is it worth it to apply to PD positions or go to EJW if I have done all DA internships?

I just dont want to strike out on all DA options and be out


Nah you're almost certainly auto dinged from any PD that hires nationally

EJW is more than just PD agencies but it's pretty competitive all the way around

What if I have trial and courtroom experience?

The problem is that, according to accepted wisdom, most PDs are such true believers that if they see DA experience, they will conclude you're not sufficiently dedicated to defense. I don't suppose there's any reason not to apply, but recognize that the DA work will be a black mark against you when there are plenty of people who have done nothing but PD work. You'd have to have a really good reason for applying to the PD.

(If you were referring more specifically to EJW, sorry, I don't know much about that.)

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:42 pm

Should I do a semester with federal defenders office? It would be for my last semester or should I stay with my local office? Just to broaden my experience, make myself more appealing to outside counties? not that it would matter since it'd be my last semester...

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

Postby Borhas » Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:05 am

Anonymous User wrote:Should I do a semester with federal defenders office? It would be for my last semester or should I stay with my local office? Just to broaden my experience, make myself more appealing to outside counties? not that it would matter since it'd be my last semester...


Stay local

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

Postby spleenworship » Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:52 am

I need some advice. In my market the DAs hire first at OCI. The PDs hire in the spring. EJW happens a month and a little more after OCI ends. I put in for DAs... But I would really rather work for a PDs office. but I won't know if PDs will hire me until after OCI is over. So part of me says withdraw so you get the kind of job you want. On the other hand, part of me says "take any damn job you can get."

What should I do, do you think?

My resume leans towards PD but I can write it up to look somewhat DA (which is what I did, emphasizing trial stuff and downplaying PD externships and such).

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Void » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:13 am

spleenworship wrote:I need some advice. In my market the DAs hire first at OCI. The PDs hire in the spring. EJW happens a month and a little more after OCI ends. I put in for DAs... But I would really rather work for a PDs office. but I won't know if PDs will hire me until after OCI is over. So part of me says withdraw so you get the kind of job you want. On the other hand, part of me says "take any damn job you can get."

What should I do, do you think?

My resume leans towards PD but I can write it up to look somewhat DA (which is what I did, emphasizing trial stuff and downplaying PD externships and such).


If you were around here, I would recommend that you withdraw your DA application and never mention that you submitted it in the first place. I've interviewed at PD offices in 3 northeastern states, and the PRIMARY focus of all three interviews was pretty obviously to test my dedication to defending indigent clients. As has been discussed on this thread many times, associating yourself with prosecutors can seriously hurt your first impression with PDs, and although I don't think it will totally ruin your shot entirely, it definitely can create a presumption that you're just looking for a criminal law job rather than specifically aiming to be a public defender.

Maybe I'm an idealistic "true believer" type, but I actually think it makes sense for PDs to take this stance. It's not necessarily a childish "we hate prosecutors because they're the bad guys" thing- it's more about making sure that applicants are really, truly dedicated- to the extent that they will unquestionably do everything in their power to protect a client who is absolutely guilty of something like violently sexually assaulting a six-year-old. It's obviously possible to have this kind of dedication and also maintain an interest in working as a prosecutor, but I think it makes sense to see DA experience/interest as a red flag.

Edit: I'm talking about post-graduation employment, not internships and such.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:15 am

spleenworship wrote:I need some advice. In my market the DAs hire first at OCI. The PDs hire in the spring. EJW happens a month and a little more after OCI ends. I put in for DAs... But I would really rather work for a PDs office. but I won't know if PDs will hire me until after OCI is over. So part of me says withdraw so you get the kind of job you want. On the other hand, part of me says "take any damn job you can get."

What should I do, do you think?

My resume leans towards PD but I can write it up to look somewhat DA (which is what I did, emphasizing trial stuff and downplaying PD externships and such).

Take a DA job if one is offered and renege if you later get a PD job.

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kapital98
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby kapital98 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:
spleenworship wrote:I need some advice. In my market the DAs hire first at OCI. The PDs hire in the spring. EJW happens a month and a little more after OCI ends. I put in for DAs... But I would really rather work for a PDs office. but I won't know if PDs will hire me until after OCI is over. So part of me says withdraw so you get the kind of job you want. On the other hand, part of me says "take any damn job you can get."

What should I do, do you think?

My resume leans towards PD but I can write it up to look somewhat DA (which is what I did, emphasizing trial stuff and downplaying PD externships and such).

Take a DA job if one is offered and renege if you later get a PD job.


That may not be the best idea if its in the same market. You will have to work with the DAs you reneged on. But, at least you'll have a job?

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

Postby spleenworship » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:17 am

Let's rephrase the argument slightly. ITE is it worth losing the chance at 3 smaller jobs to get a chance at 3-5 jobs I really want?

I'm closer to a "true believer" than not... But I've got a mortgage and 2 kids to feed.

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

Postby Borhas » Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:42 pm

spleenworship wrote:Let's rephrase the argument slightly. ITE is it worth losing the chance at 3 smaller jobs to get a chance at 3-5 jobs I really want?

I'm closer to a "true believer" than not... But I've got a mortgage and 2 kids to feed.


Apply and then reneg later if you get a better offer

Seriously.

ITE you have to be a rational economic actor

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:49 pm

Borhas wrote:
spleenworship wrote:Let's rephrase the argument slightly. ITE is it worth losing the chance at 3 smaller jobs to get a chance at 3-5 jobs I really want?

I'm closer to a "true believer" than not... But I've got a mortgage and 2 kids to feed.


Apply and then reneg later if you get a better offer

Seriously.

ITE you have to be a rational economic actor


THIS. You can't be turning down interviews (without a really good reason) so you can hold out for a handful of dream jobs. You need to maximize at this point.




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