How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

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

Postby BlueLotus » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:12 pm

gdane wrote:
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.


RA might be a hiring boost if the prof is a former ADA/PD with good connections to offices that hire regularly

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:22 pm

Got 1st semester grades back, did really well. Without revealing myself, ended up in top 3% (at/over 4.0) at a t50 school. Would it be pretty plausible to get prosecution job at one of the big competitive locations (Manhattan, Cook, Miami Dade, etc.) if I stayed around top 5-ish percent and worked a couple times at a DA office?

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

Postby Tanicius » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Got 1st semester grades back, did really well. Without revealing myself, ended up in top 3% (at/over 4.0) at a t50 school. Would it be pretty plausible to get prosecution job at one of the big competitive locations (Manhattan, Cook, Miami Dade, etc.) if I stayed around top 5-ish percent and worked a couple times at a DA office?


Grades only count for so much with DA offices. I think where this *is* an advantage would be *federal* prosecution work -- DOJ Honors, US Attorney offices, etc. You're in a good spot for some kind of bigfed if you make an effort to target a specific field.

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

Postby gdane » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:45 am

BlueLotus wrote:
gdane wrote:
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.


RA might be a hiring boost if the prof is a former ADA/PD with good connections to offices that hire regularly

Yea definitely. I guess I meant that dude shouldn't expect a hiring boost just because he works for someone that teaches crim law.

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

Postby xChiTowNx » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:31 am

There is a tryout for the top mock trial team at my TTT - should I concern myself with the tryout or focus on getting real world office experience? Currently have an externship and a witness exam skills course that is a prerequisite to try out for another profs trial team this semester.

Advice?

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sd5289
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby sd5289 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:51 am

xChiTowNx wrote:There is a tryout for the top mock trial team at my TTT - should I concern myself with the tryout or focus on getting real world office experience? Currently have an externship and a witness exam skills course that is a prerequisite to try out for another profs trial team this semester.

Advice?


Don't sacrifice the real world experience you could get for the mock trial team. Do both if you can/want to, but if you have to choose one over the other, the real world experience always wins.

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

Postby BlueLotus » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:13 am

^ I am wondering the same, tho I more interested in civil legal aid. my crim/evidence prof is pressuring me into doing moot ct. but i don't think i have enough time, being that i am externing for 20 hours a week.

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sd5289
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby sd5289 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:53 pm

I am doing moot court, but I am also working in a year-long clinic and plan on doing some externships 3L year. I've actually had fun in moot court, but again, wouldn't have done it if it meant I couldn't do the clinic. The two kinda ate up all my time last semester though. No wonder I 2LOL'd right up to Thanksgiving...

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

Postby adonai » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:41 am

All I have to say is profs are usually thinking about what's best for the school or alternatively, what they think is best for you within school. Some of them are so far removed from real life and the job market that they don't know that real life work experience will always trump school activities. Too many students are duped into RAing or student body or whatever and are missing out on a lot of substantive experiences.

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

Postby BlueLotus » Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:03 am

adonai wrote:All I have to say is profs are usually thinking about what's best for the school or alternatively, what they think is best for you within school. Some of them are so far removed from real life and the job market that they don't know that real life work experience will always trump school activities. Too many students are duped into RAing or student body or whatever and are missing out on a lot of substantive experiences.


Yeah good point. I was getting slightly swayed by my prof since he was at the AG's office (crim division) for over a decade before academia.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:04 pm

Anyone considering taking bar in two states to keep their job opportunities as open as possible? I'm wondering about the logistics, and got a lot of useful informatino here:

http://www.ncbex.org/assets/media_files/Comp-Guide/CompGuide.pdf

Hoping to end up in California eventually, but not sure my first job will be there. Also worried that an out-of-state applicant will have a much harder time getting interviews, even with experience and membership in the CA bar. But I figure waiting for a job offer without bar membership would be much harder.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:26 am

I'm in a slightly similar position in that I'll be starting somewhere other than CA but want to get back to CA asap. I don't think I'll be able to take both tests so I'm thinking about studying for the CA bar a little while I study for the other state and then take CA the next July (I'll make studying for the CA bar my hobby that year…) I have heard that the california bar can take a really long time with character and fitness etc. so its probably best to get it out of the way early and so that you are a member applying to jobs.

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

Postby Borhas » Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:38 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm in a slightly similar position in that I'll be starting somewhere other than CA but want to get back to CA asap. I don't think I'll be able to take both tests so I'm thinking about studying for the CA bar a little while I study for the other state and then take CA the next July (I'll make studying for the CA bar my hobby that year…) I have heard that the california bar can take a really long time with character and fitness etc. so its probably best to get it out of the way early and so that you are a member applying to jobs.


studying for the bar when you are a first year PD is not realistic

take them both if you can.

I sort of regret not planning on taking the CA bar in February after I took the CO bar in july. It's not a big deal to me because I really like CO and the office I'm at, but you realistically will not have time for hobbies, much less soul crushing "hobbies" like studying for the CA bar.

Edit: now that I think about it, that plan is dumb, there's no way I'd be comfortable taking a February bar without significant study time in January, which again has proven to be more or less impossible.

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

Postby BlueLotus » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:29 pm

Borhas wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm in a slightly similar position in that I'll be starting somewhere other than CA but want to get back to CA asap. I don't think I'll be able to take both tests so I'm thinking about studying for the CA bar a little while I study for the other state and then take CA the next July (I'll make studying for the CA bar my hobby that year…) I have heard that the california bar can take a really long time with character and fitness etc. so its probably best to get it out of the way early and so that you are a member applying to jobs.


studying for the bar when you are a first year PD is not realistic

take them both if you can.

I sort of regret not planning on taking the CA bar in February after I took the CO bar in july. It's not a big deal to me because I really like CO and the office I'm at, but you realistically will not have time for hobbies, much less soul crushing "hobbies" like studying for the CA bar.

Edit: now that I think about it, that plan is dumb, there's no way I'd be comfortable taking a February bar without significant study time in January, which again has proven to be more or less impossible.


Borhas, how many active cases do you juggle at once?

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

Postby Borhas » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:37 pm

BlueLotus wrote:
Borhas wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm in a slightly similar position in that I'll be starting somewhere other than CA but want to get back to CA asap. I don't think I'll be able to take both tests so I'm thinking about studying for the CA bar a little while I study for the other state and then take CA the next July (I'll make studying for the CA bar my hobby that year…) I have heard that the california bar can take a really long time with character and fitness etc. so its probably best to get it out of the way early and so that you are a member applying to jobs.


studying for the bar when you are a first year PD is not realistic

take them both if you can.

I sort of regret not planning on taking the CA bar in February after I took the CO bar in july. It's not a big deal to me because I really like CO and the office I'm at, but you realistically will not have time for hobbies, much less soul crushing "hobbies" like studying for the CA bar.

Edit: now that I think about it, that plan is dumb, there's no way I'd be comfortable taking a February bar without significant study time in January, which again has proven to be more or less impossible.


Borhas, how many active cases do you juggle at once?


I think I have like 60-80 or so. It fluctuates pretty quickly. Of course some clients have 2-3 cases and they can all be disposed of in one deal, and another client can have one minor case that goes to trial but there are like 4-5 witnesses to prep.

My caseload is much lighter than the other people who started the same time as me because my predecessor was super organized and the court/judge I work hasn't been bad lately and he hates trial so he pressures to DA and the PD to come to terms whenever possible.

A high case load for a misdo attorney around here is probably 120-150, and I am probably in the busiest office in the state.

Overall this PD system here has it's shit together. Unlike some place like New Orleans where you'll have two to three times the case load, and half the resources (at best).

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby BlueLotus » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:43 pm

Borhas wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:
Borhas wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm in a slightly similar position in that I'll be starting somewhere other than CA but want to get back to CA asap. I don't think I'll be able to take both tests so I'm thinking about studying for the CA bar a little while I study for the other state and then take CA the next July (I'll make studying for the CA bar my hobby that year…) I have heard that the california bar can take a really long time with character and fitness etc. so its probably best to get it out of the way early and so that you are a member applying to jobs.


studying for the bar when you are a first year PD is not realistic

take them both if you can.

I sort of regret not planning on taking the CA bar in February after I took the CO bar in july. It's not a big deal to me because I really like CO and the office I'm at, but you realistically will not have time for hobbies, much less soul crushing "hobbies" like studying for the CA bar.

Edit: now that I think about it, that plan is dumb, there's no way I'd be comfortable taking a February bar without significant study time in January, which again has proven to be more or less impossible.


Borhas, how many active cases do you juggle at once?


I think I have like 60-80 or so. It fluctuates pretty quickly. Of course some clients have 2-3 cases and they can all be disposed of in one deal, and another client can have one minor case that goes to trial but there are like 4-5 witnesses to prep.

My caseload is much lighter than the other people who started the same time as me because my predecessor was super organized and the court/judge I work hasn't been bad lately and he hates trial so he pressures to DA and the PD to come to terms whenever possible.

A high case load for a misdo attorney around here is probably 120-150, and I am probably in the busiest office in the state.

Overall this PD system here has it's shit together. Unlike some place like New Orleans where you'll have two to three times the case load, and half the resources (at best).


Thanks!

Know of anyone who switched from civil legal aid to PD? Would such lateralling be tough since legal aid lawyers don't get nearly as much (though certainly more than folks starting out in BigLaw) in-court experience as PD? I have an immigration background and know Spanish, which I've heard is very valued by PDs.

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

Postby Borhas » Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:51 pm

Colorado State PD does almost all (if not all) of its hiring pre-graduation so lateraling here doesn't really happen.

I know people that have done it in California though.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:44 pm

xChiTowNx wrote:There is a tryout for the top mock trial team at my TTT - should I concern myself with the tryout or focus on getting real world office experience? Currently have an externship and a witness exam skills course that is a prerequisite to try out for another profs trial team this semester.

Advice?


Does mock trial or moot court look better on resume for wanting to be a prosecutor or does it not matter?

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

Postby BlueLotus » Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
xChiTowNx wrote:There is a tryout for the top mock trial team at my TTT - should I concern myself with the tryout or focus on getting real world office experience? Currently have an externship and a witness exam skills course that is a prerequisite to try out for another profs trial team this semester.

Advice?


Does mock trial or moot court look better on resume for wanting to be a prosecutor or does it not matter?


yeah, wondering the same. i'm interning 20+ hours/week on top of 12 credits of classes, so I'm not sure I have the time to do either. But my crim/evidence prof is pressuring me into it b/c I'm interested in PD/family law. :|

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

Postby gdane » Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:06 pm

Do it. I was asked about moot court during all my interviews.

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

Postby Tanicius » Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
xChiTowNx wrote:There is a tryout for the top mock trial team at my TTT - should I concern myself with the tryout or focus on getting real world office experience? Currently have an externship and a witness exam skills course that is a prerequisite to try out for another profs trial team this semester.

Advice?


Does mock trial or moot court look better on resume for wanting to be a prosecutor or does it not matter?


Trial skills are definitely more translate-able to the job.

Honestly, the "extracurricular trial/moot court does not matter" shtick is kind of over-generalized. Mock trial was the strength I had going into my interviews. If those skills are something you spend a lot of time developing, and you can actually give them a taste of your ability during the interview process, then that is a real asset that can set you apart from someone who has simply done a lot of volunteer work. There are many dedicated, personable people who have spent a lot of time volunteering and working at clinics, but those hours don't mean they can stand up in court and advocate when they start their first day on the job. Time spent investing in your trial skills, however, can mean exactly that.

I also think people sometimes misunderstand the true problem, which is with the applicant's method of expressing their skills rather than the employer's simply being unimpressed by them. For a long time I struggled to properly market my trial skills. Just putting down on the resume that you've done mock trial a lot, or gotten onto a prestigious team or even done exceedingly well at some competitions is not really being true to what this activity does for you. From one year's worth of competition, that means you've done a lot: you've worked on these cases for probably hundreds of hours, theorizing, strategizing, honing and practicing; you've tried them a dozen times between all your scrimmages and competitive rounds; and you've probably been involved in at least some capacity as a leader/mentor/teacher to other people. Those are all important skills that public defender and prosecutor offices want you to have, but part of the problem is that many of the people who do the hiring have not even the faintest idea that all of that work is involved.

For one of my competitions, I was given a 300-page fact pattern and had 24 hours to work with it before I would have to try it. The following day I did two four-hour trials against top-notch competition, without using any scripts, and then I had the rest of the evening to go over 200 pages of fact pattern changes and do it all over again tomorrow. After the fourth trial was completed on the second day, I then had to take an hour-long deposition of a real PhD, defend an hour-long deposition of another PhD, and then take home another 100 pages of case changes that night in prep for the third day of competition. The next day, in-between rounds, I had 30 minutes to formulate and argue a motion in limine to a new change in witness testimony before the sixth, final trial. Distilling all of that down to a "Won [name of competition]" was a mistake I made for a long time on my resume; changing it to reflect what I actually did for the competition resulted in getting a lot more admiration and questioning about it during the interview. Many older attorneys have no idea what mock trial is or why it can be a big deal. They think it's like the law school theater group or something and they give you an "Aww, that sounds cute!" line when you tell them about it. This is especially true if your recruiter or interviewer is an HR person. I think this will change as more people get exposed to what it is over the next few decades, but for now it takes work to communicate its importance.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:14 pm

gdane wrote:Do it. I was asked about moot court during all my interviews.


one clarification though on my question: i meant is moot court better than mock trial or mock trial better than court moot or does that not matter?

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

Postby gdane » Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
gdane wrote:Do it. I was asked about moot court during all my interviews.


one clarification though on my question: i meant is moot court better than mock trial or mock trial better than court moot or does that not matter?

Oh no idea. Of course if say do both. But they may not be possible if you're already doing a million other things. I'd say moot court just cause it tends to have a bit more "prestige."

But definitely do some kind of trial advocacy class. I have real world experience (thank you CLI), but I was asked whether I formally learned trial technique.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
gdane wrote:Do it. I was asked about moot court during all my interviews.


one clarification though on my question: i meant is moot court better than mock trial or mock trial better than court moot or does that not matter?

I've never been asked about moot court. It's probably because I have a lot of other (some unusual) stuff on my resume to talk about, but really, moot court has never come up. Which isn't to say "don't do it," it's just to agree with Tanicius that it's more about being able to show how what you've done makes you a desirable candidate, than about checking any particular box.

(At my school all the PD/DA people did mock trial, but it was a very regional school and the coaches were local attorneys, so there was that element as well - my sense was that the mock trial coaches were a little more involved/hands on than the moot court ones. But that all probably varies a lot by school. Also, people who didn't want to write did mock trial. It probably has more of the fun stuff than moot court does.)

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

Postby Borhas » Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:51 pm

moot court is a waste of time




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