How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

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Dingo Starr
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Dingo Starr » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:In Contra Costa County, the beginning misdemeanor attorneys get a ton of cases and many of them end up staying til Midnight several times a week. It gets a lot better for them once they get a handle on things after a year or two, and a hell of a lot better once they graduate to felonies.

Very interested in working for CoCo County (and volunteering before/during law school) PD. Please PM me with any tips about the application process. I already got an interview after hounding the office by email for weeks. They told me to get back in touch once I'm actually a law student. Thought the interview went well; just want to improve my odds to the greatest extent possible.

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

Postby BlueLotus » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:41 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Borhas wrote:I should add though, that the hours are worse in the beginning. The learning curve is extremely steep. The more senior attorneys sure as hell aren't staying here past 6:30 every night. Probably because they already know how to do the things that take me 30 minutes to figure out how to do, and they can do it in 5 minutes while it would take me an hour.

I SO know this feel.


lol, know that feel too, tho in a civil context.

i know PDs look askance with folks w/ a BigLawl background (and esp. wonder if such folks can take the severe pay-cut lateralling would entail) but how about those with white collar defense experience?

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

Postby Borhas » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:34 am

Dingo Starr wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:In Contra Costa County, the beginning misdemeanor attorneys get a ton of cases and many of them end up staying til Midnight several times a week. It gets a lot better for them once they get a handle on things after a year or two, and a hell of a lot better once they graduate to felonies.

Very interested in working for CoCo County (and volunteering before/during law school) PD. Please PM me with any tips about the application process. I already got an interview after hounding the office by email for weeks. They told me to get back in touch once I'm actually a law student. Thought the interview went well; just want to improve my odds to the greatest extent possible.



When you are in law school ask them how soon they will accept applications for 1L internships and then apply as soon as you can. Write a succinct cover letter about why you want to be a PD. Other than that there's not much else you can do.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:27 pm

Although I know generally DAs care less about grades, how low is too low for a criminal type class? If you get below an A/A- are the bigger offices (miami, cook co., etc) going to ask questions or is median/slightly above good enough? Or does it really vary by office/interviewer?

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

Postby gdane » Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Although I know generally DAs care less about grades, how low is too low for a criminal type class? If you get below an A/A- are the bigger offices (miami, cook co., etc) going to ask questions or is median/slightly above good enough? Or does it really vary by office/interviewer?

None of the places that I interviewed for ever asked me for grades or about a grade that I got. Granted, all my crim law grades were good, but it never came up. Don't worry about it. Get experience. That's what you'll get asked about.

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

Postby BlueLotus » Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:11 pm

gdane wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Although I know generally DAs care less about grades, how low is too low for a criminal type class? If you get below an A/A- are the bigger offices (miami, cook co., etc) going to ask questions or is median/slightly above good enough? Or does it really vary by office/interviewer?

None of the places that I interviewed for ever asked me for grades or about a grade that I got. Granted, all my crim law grades were good, but it never came up. Don't worry about it. Get experience. That's what you'll get asked about.


Same goes for most PDs/Legal Aid? Read on here that NH PD gets MAF if you get mediocre grades in key classes (evidence, crim pro, etc.)

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

Postby Tanicius » Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:25 pm

BlueLotus wrote:
gdane wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Although I know generally DAs care less about grades, how low is too low for a criminal type class? If you get below an A/A- are the bigger offices (miami, cook co., etc) going to ask questions or is median/slightly above good enough? Or does it really vary by office/interviewer?

None of the places that I interviewed for ever asked me for grades or about a grade that I got. Granted, all my crim law grades were good, but it never came up. Don't worry about it. Get experience. That's what you'll get asked about.


Same goes for most PDs/Legal Aid? Read on here that NH PD gets MAF if you get mediocre grades in key classes (evidence, crim pro, etc.)


NH getting "MAF" about certain grades is weird and highly unusual for PD job interviews. They ought to recognize that grades involve a high degree of luck and do not give as much insight on someone's abilities as their actual work experience and references.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Although I know generally DAs care less about grades, how low is too low for a criminal type class? If you get below an A/A- are the bigger offices (miami, cook co., etc) going to ask questions or is median/slightly above good enough? Or does it really vary by office/interviewer?



never got above a B+ in crim law, crim pro, evidence, trial ad, etc. Actually got a B in crim pro, which is below median at my school. Never once asked about grades during the interview process (Miami, Manhattan, etc). Was never even asked about classes except for a seminar that dealt with an interesting topic. The office I accepted at didnt even mention having to send them an official transcript. I'm not sure if differs from interviewer to interviewer, though.

I really think the most important factor is practical experience and then overall class standing. As someone mentioned above, grades do come down to a bit of luck sometimes. The difference between a B+ and an A- could be a few points. If you have decent grades overall, no one is going to hold a B against you just because you got it in criminal law.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Although I know generally DAs care less about grades, how low is too low for a criminal type class? If you get below an A/A- are the bigger offices (miami, cook co., etc) going to ask questions or is median/slightly above good enough? Or does it really vary by office/interviewer?



never got above a B+ in crim law, crim pro, evidence, trial ad, etc. Actually got a B in crim pro, which is below median at my school. Never once asked about grades during the interview process (Miami, Manhattan, etc). Was never even asked about classes except for a seminar that dealt with an interesting topic. The office I accepted at didnt even mention having to send them an official transcript. I'm not sure if differs from interviewer to interviewer, though.

I really think the most important factor is practical experience and then overall class standing. As someone mentioned above, grades do come down to a bit of luck sometimes. The difference between a B+ and an A- could be a few points. If you have decent grades overall, no one is going to hold a B against you just because you got it in criminal law.



Anon who asked the question here!

Thanks for the feedback everyone! Definitely makes me feel better about where I stand after 1L Fall!

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

Postby BlueLotus » Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Although I know generally DAs care less about grades, how low is too low for a criminal type class? If you get below an A/A- are the bigger offices (miami, cook co., etc) going to ask questions or is median/slightly above good enough? Or does it really vary by office/interviewer?



never got above a B+ in crim law, crim pro, evidence, trial ad, etc. Actually got a B in crim pro, which is below median at my school. Never once asked about grades during the interview process (Miami, Manhattan, etc). Was never even asked about classes except for a seminar that dealt with an interesting topic. The office I accepted at didnt even mention having to send them an official transcript. I'm not sure if differs from interviewer to interviewer, though.

I really think the most important factor is practical experience and then overall class standing. As someone mentioned above, grades do come down to a bit of luck sometimes. The difference between a B+ and an A- could be a few points. If you have decent grades overall, no one is going to hold a B against you just because you got it in criminal law.


Surprised Manhattan didn't ask! Thought they had a prestige-whore reputation...

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

Postby Borhas » Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Although I know generally DAs care less about grades, how low is too low for a criminal type class? If you get below an A/A- are the bigger offices (miami, cook co., etc) going to ask questions or is median/slightly above good enough? Or does it really vary by office/interviewer?



never got above a B+ in crim law, crim pro, evidence, trial ad, etc. Actually got a B in crim pro, which is below median at my school. Never once asked about grades during the interview process (Miami, Manhattan, etc). Was never even asked about classes except for a seminar that dealt with an interesting topic. The office I accepted at didnt even mention having to send them an official transcript. I'm not sure if differs from interviewer to interviewer, though.

I really think the most important factor is practical experience and then overall class standing. As someone mentioned above, grades do come down to a bit of luck sometimes. The difference between a B+ and an A- could be a few points. If you have decent grades overall, no one is going to hold a B against you just because you got it in criminal law.


are you from a really rich family?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:17 pm

Tanicius wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:
gdane wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Although I know generally DAs care less about grades, how low is too low for a criminal type class? If you get below an A/A- are the bigger offices (miami, cook co., etc) going to ask questions or is median/slightly above good enough? Or does it really vary by office/interviewer?

None of the places that I interviewed for ever asked me for grades or about a grade that I got. Granted, all my crim law grades were good, but it never came up. Don't worry about it. Get experience. That's what you'll get asked about.


Same goes for most PDs/Legal Aid? Read on here that NH PD gets MAF if you get mediocre grades in key classes (evidence, crim pro, etc.)


NH getting "MAF" about certain grades is weird and highly unusual for PD job interviews. They ought to recognize that grades involve a high degree of luck and do not give as much insight on someone's abilities as their actual work experience and references.


Got NH offer but have trash grades in every crim class. I think people read too much into the fact that they ask for an unofficial transcript, when a lot of the offices don't. Edited to add that I do not have rich parents.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:33 am

Borhas wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Although I know generally DAs care less about grades, how low is too low for a criminal type class? If you get below an A/A- are the bigger offices (miami, cook co., etc) going to ask questions or is median/slightly above good enough? Or does it really vary by office/interviewer?



never got above a B+ in crim law, crim pro, evidence, trial ad, etc. Actually got a B in crim pro, which is below median at my school. Never once asked about grades during the interview process (Miami, Manhattan, etc). Was never even asked about classes except for a seminar that dealt with an interesting topic. The office I accepted at didnt even mention having to send them an official transcript. I'm not sure if differs from interviewer to interviewer, though.

I really think the most important factor is practical experience and then overall class standing. As someone mentioned above, grades do come down to a bit of luck sometimes. The difference between a B+ and an A- could be a few points. If you have decent grades overall, no one is going to hold a B against you just because you got it in criminal law.


are you from a really rich family?


Nah. I still had grades that put me in the top 1/3 of the class but just never did very well in those classes. I had already done a misdemeanor jury trial by my 3L year so the focus on most of my interviews was that. I also did not end up at one of the prestigious offices like Mahattan or Philly so there is that.

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

Postby FlanAl » Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:49 pm

I think I posted on this earlier but its time to pick classes at my school. Anyone have any thoughts on how important taking bar courses is? I'm not feeling taking bizorgs or family law etc. but I haven't taken anything other than crim classes outside of 1L and am not sure how screwed that will make come bar exam time. I should also add that I'll be taking the bar in a state with a pretty high pass rate and its not NY or CA. I'd kinda rather just take whatever classes look interesting and have a fairly relaxed final semester but would love some advice.

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

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:58 pm

I didn't take anything because it was on the bar - and the only bar class I had beyond 1L was Evidence (maybe Advanced Torts counts), and I passed. A fairly easy state, and I basically made up my essays that had anything to do with business stuff, but it was fine. Yes, topics where you'd taken a class were easier, but I'd have slit my throat if you'd made me sit through a semester of secured transactions just for one essay on the bar exam.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:07 pm

Offer from Hennepin.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Offer from Hennepin.


Postgrad or intern? Congrats all the same!

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:23 pm

^Hennepin offer is for fulltime PD position.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:44 pm

BlueLotus wrote:Surprised Manhattan didn't ask! Thought they had a prestige-whore reputation...


I was asked to submit a transcript, but they didn't ask me about any specific grades (though I have good Crim grades, so I dunno...).

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

Postby FrankGallagher » Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:41 am

what type of work can you expect to do if you clerk at a PD's office your 1L summer?

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

Postby Borhas » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:25 am

FrankGallagher wrote:what type of work can you expect to do if you clerk at a PD's office your 1L summer?


research and writing

possibly client intake

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

Postby Borhas » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:27 am

FlanAl wrote:I think I posted on this earlier but its time to pick classes at my school. Anyone have any thoughts on how important taking bar courses is? I'm not feeling taking bizorgs or family law etc. but I haven't taken anything other than crim classes outside of 1L and am not sure how screwed that will make come bar exam time. I should also add that I'll be taking the bar in a state with a pretty high pass rate and its not NY or CA. I'd kinda rather just take whatever classes look interesting and have a fairly relaxed final semester but would love some advice.


it's not a big deal one way or another

they help a little but most of the prep courses do fine preparing you, and the most difficult part of the exam is the MBE, and those are mostly 1L classes. If you haven't taken Fed Civ Pro, you should take that.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:32 pm

Checking in, what kind of work should a 1L around median at a t20 except/look for for the 1L summer if I want to become a prosecutor?

Also would being a research assistant for my crim law professor be a good idea? Or would I be better served working elsewhere?

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

Postby gdane » Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Checking in, what kind of work should a 1L around median at a t20 except/look for for the 1L summer if I want to become a prosecutor?

Also would being a research assistant for my crim law professor be a good idea? Or would I be better served working elsewhere?

Be a research assistant to make some summer income, not for any kind of hiring boost, and intern at a prosecutors office. Good way to start.

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

Postby deadpanic » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Checking in, what kind of work should a 1L around median at a t20 except/look for for the 1L summer if I want to become a prosecutor?

Also would being a research assistant for my crim law professor be a good idea? Or would I be better served working elsewhere?


Grades/school are not really going to matter except for maybe some of the really big competitive offices like Manhattan.

Research assistant is fine, but probably not much if any boost. Prosecutors want to see you committed and in the trenches getting trial experience. You may not get to do any kind of limited practice, especially 1L summer, but you need to try to work in a DA's office or USA office if possible. Target the market you are trying to eventually practice in (obviously).




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