How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

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

Postby spleenworship » Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:13 pm

sd5289 wrote:
spleenworship wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:
spleenworship wrote:I believe they actually like Civil Aid experience. It's working for indigents after all.


Yeah, that's what I figured. I suppose that in the wake of Padilla v. Kentucky immigration experience is greatly valued by PDs, right? Yes, I did work with U/VAWA seekers, but some of those clients had criminal histories and I've had to research/write memos on the immigration consequences of those criminal convictions


Yeah, they do like that. That said, not vital - a lot if these offices retain outside immigration counsel for consultations.


Are you sure that's true for everywhere though? I responded to a lot of Padilla motions last summer, and many defendants plead guilty at arraignment or during calendar call, so often it's the PD who would be in the position to explain the immigration consequences of the plea. It can take all of two minutes if it happens at arraignment. This is in NYC though. I'm assuming it's a lot slower in other parts of the country.


I can only speak to my, slower, part of the country. What happens is that the PD talking to the client will give a hedged explanation, then send off the info to the outside counsel. A reply comes a few days later and the full explanation is given before the plea is entered.

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Easy-E
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Easy-E » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:24 pm

I'm curious, why does it seem like PD is much more popular in this thread than prosecution? I wasn't sure whether it was just something I'm imagining, or there is a big reason people lean towards one rather than the other.

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

Postby samcro_op » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:50 pm

emarxnj wrote:I'm curious, why does it seem like PD is much more popular in this thread than prosecution? I wasn't sure whether it was just something I'm imagining, or there is a big reason people lean towards one rather than the other.


I just can't imagine putting people into jail. It would just bother me because of how fucked prisons are as well as some other life experiences that I won't get into. However although I really want to do criminal defense for indigent clients I am still apprehensive about being in a PD office. I am only 1L and I have an internship in a PD office this summer as well as a few hours volunteering in an office near my school so I can figure it out. Ideally I would work for a non profit that has a specific focus of clients that I would defend. In the long term I'd love to start my own non profit. One of the reasons i may even give biglaw a shot because paying off loans, saving money, networking with rich colleagues might be more helpful to my long term goals.

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Easy-E
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Easy-E » Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:01 pm

samcro_op wrote:
emarxnj wrote:I'm curious, why does it seem like PD is much more popular in this thread than prosecution? I wasn't sure whether it was just something I'm imagining, or there is a big reason people lean towards one rather than the other.


I just can't imagine putting people into jail. It would just bother me because of how fucked prisons are as well as some other life experiences that I won't get into. However although I really want to do criminal defense for indigent clients I am still apprehensive about being in a PD office. I am only 1L and I have an internship in a PD office this summer as well as a few hours volunteering in an office near my school so I can figure it out. Ideally I would work for a non profit that has a specific focus of clients that I would defend. In the long term I'd love to start my own non profit. One of the reasons i may even give biglaw a shot because paying off loans, saving money, networking with rich colleagues might be more helpful to my long term goals.


I guess that makes sense. I think if you're in the right department the work could be rewarding on some level. I was discussing the different units at my last interview, and we got to talking about the special victims unit. They said most people either really want to work in it, or explicitly refuse to. Obviously the work is seriously heavy shit to be working with everyday, but I think putting someone like that behind bars would be extremely gratifying. I guess that can depend person to person, depending on your beliefs on the goals/effects of punishment though.

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

Postby spleenworship » Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:07 pm

Law school tends to attract liberal douchebags, such as myself. Liberal douchebags tend to prefer PD over DA.

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Easy-E
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Easy-E » Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:16 pm

spleenworship wrote:Law school tends to attract liberal douchebags, such as myself. Liberal douchebags tend to prefer PD over DA.


:lol: gotcha. I had a suspicion this might be the case, but I wasn't sure if it was something related to some other specific of the jobs (pay, hours, whatever).

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

Postby spleenworship » Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:43 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I think you can be a liberal douchebag and still be a prosecutor. At least, I try to tell myself this. :D

Also, I think the PD/prosecutor split here is mostly the randomness of the sample.


I dunno. In my class (small, only about 100 people) I'd say PD is favored over prosecution 2:1.

That said, I know loads of liberals who work for the DAs. I just said that liberals tend to prefer PD.

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

Postby BlueLotus » Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:58 pm

emarxnj wrote:
samcro_op wrote:
emarxnj wrote:I'm curious, why does it seem like PD is much more popular in this thread than prosecution? I wasn't sure whether it was just something I'm imagining, or there is a big reason people lean towards one rather than the other.


I just can't imagine putting people into jail. It would just bother me because of how fucked prisons are as well as some other life experiences that I won't get into. However although I really want to do criminal defense for indigent clients I am still apprehensive about being in a PD office. I am only 1L and I have an internship in a PD office this summer as well as a few hours volunteering in an office near my school so I can figure it out. Ideally I would work for a non profit that has a specific focus of clients that I would defend. In the long term I'd love to start my own non profit. One of the reasons i may even give biglaw a shot because paying off loans, saving money, networking with rich colleagues might be more helpful to my long term goals.


I guess that makes sense. I think if you're in the right department the work could be rewarding on some level. I was discussing the different units at my last interview, and we got to talking about the special victims unit. They said most people either really want to work in it, or explicitly refuse to. Obviously the work is seriously heavy shit to be working with everyday, but I think putting someone like that behind bars would be extremely gratifying. I guess that can depend person to person, depending on your beliefs on the goals/effects of punishment though.


I don't know much about DAs (Legal Aid gunner here) but don't you have to put in several years prosecuting pettier crimes before moving to domestic violence/sexual assault units? Putting a rapist/wifebeater behind bars may feel gratifying, but spending a couple of years locking up 20somethings caught with a baggie of MJ would have to suck immensely.

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kay2016
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby kay2016 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:04 pm

BlueLotus wrote:
I don't know much about DAs (Legal Aid gunner here) but don't you have to put in several years prosecuting pettier crimes before moving to domestic violence/sexual assault units? Putting a rapist/wifebeater behind bars may feel gratifying, but spending a couple of years locking up 20somethings caught with a baggie of MJ would have to suck immensely.


I think in most offices you're right and ADA/ASAs start with misdemeanors and such... But especially at the larger offices I've looked into you don't have to spend years there, longest I've seen is one year.. But I think this is one of those things that vary from office to office.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby encore1101 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:17 pm

BlueLotus wrote:
I don't know much about DAs (Legal Aid gunner here) but don't you have to put in several years prosecuting pettier crimes before moving to domestic violence/sexual assault units? Putting a rapist/wifebeater behind bars may feel gratifying, but spending a couple of years locking up 20somethings caught with a baggie of MJ would have to suck immensely.



It depends on the office, but generally, while most people start in Intake/Misdemeanor-type cases, other offices will let you start in other bureaus, such as Special Victims, Appeals, or Narcotics. Keep in mind that being a prosecutor isn't about giving people the maximum sentence possible, but (ideally) trying to strike a balance between the purposes of punishment. Not all prosecutors are about locking them away and throwing away a key-- such a system would be not sustainable, both in terms of logistics and politically.

As far as political viewpoints go, I think you're going to find that there's no correlation between liberal/conservative and whether you lean towards prosecution or PD.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Lawst » Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:10 pm

encore1101 wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:
I don't know much about DAs (Legal Aid gunner here) but don't you have to put in several years prosecuting pettier crimes before moving to domestic violence/sexual assault units? Putting a rapist/wifebeater behind bars may feel gratifying, but spending a couple of years locking up 20somethings caught with a baggie of MJ would have to suck immensely.



It depends on the office, but generally, while most people start in Intake/Misdemeanor-type cases, other offices will let you start in other bureaus, such as Special Victims, Appeals, or Narcotics. Keep in mind that being a prosecutor isn't about giving people the maximum sentence possible, but (ideally) trying to strike a balance between the purposes of punishment. Not all prosecutors are about locking them away and throwing away a key-- such a system would be not sustainable, both in terms of logistics and politically.

As far as political viewpoints go, I think you're going to find that there's no correlation between liberal/conservative and whether you lean towards prosecution or PD.


Ehhh. It might be that prosecutors can lean conservative or liberal maybe, but a conservative PD? I don't know about that.

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

Postby FlanAl » Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:36 pm

Lawst wrote:
encore1101 wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:
I don't know much about DAs (Legal Aid gunner here) but don't you have to put in several years prosecuting pettier crimes before moving to domestic violence/sexual assault units? Putting a rapist/wifebeater behind bars may feel gratifying, but spending a couple of years locking up 20somethings caught with a baggie of MJ would have to suck immensely.



It depends on the office, but generally, while most people start in Intake/Misdemeanor-type cases, other offices will let you start in other bureaus, such as Special Victims, Appeals, or Narcotics. Keep in mind that being a prosecutor isn't about giving people the maximum sentence possible, but (ideally) trying to strike a balance between the purposes of punishment. Not all prosecutors are about locking them away and throwing away a key-- such a system would be not sustainable, both in terms of logistics and politically.

As far as political viewpoints go, I think you're going to find that there's no correlation between liberal/conservative and whether you lean towards prosecution or PD.


Ehhh. It might be that prosecutors can lean conservative or liberal maybe, but a conservative PD? I don't know about that.


I've met a number of tea party type PD's who do the work to mess with the government infringing on people's freedom.

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

Postby gdane » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:04 am

Lots of defense lawyers tend to be conservative under the anti government, pro individual freedom belief. I still can't decide if they're less or more annoying than the liberal hippie my murderer client did no wrong, it's not right to lock people up PD's.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby jessuf » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:32 am

There are three main reasons why I'm drawn to PD work.

1. Fairness - I acknowledge that many clients have committed the charged crimes, but I want to ensure that my client is treated fairly in a procedural sense. Regardless of how strong the facts are, the government still needs to prove its case in a manner that doesn't violate the Constitution, rules of criminal procedure, evidence rules, etc.

2. People-centered approach - I like the focus on people. Clients are real people with real backgrounds, families, mental health issues, addictions, etc. I enjoy getting to know them, I like advocating for them, and it feels really good to make some impact on their lives. I see them as people who make mistakes sometimes, not as criminals.

3. Creative element - I like how creative I can be with defense theory, cross, etc. This is, I suppose, an element of litigation in general, but the defense side lets you be much more creative than the prosecutor's side.

Fundamentally, I don't think I could ever be a DA. I worked on the prosecutor side one summer on drug cases, and it was really unenjoyable for me. It was a lot less victim-centered than I thought it would be and way more focused on retribution than I thought it would be. In my current jurisdiction where I practice through my clinic, I have way more contact with complainants than the prosecutors do in some cases. I also think the sentencing laws are insanely messed up, especially the federal ones and especially as related to drugs.

With all of that said, while I could never see myself doing prosecutorial work, I could see myself maybe doing victim-side DV work.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:17 pm

encore1101 wrote:being a prosecutor isn't about giving people the maximum sentence possible, but (ideally) trying to strike a balance between the purposes of punishment

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby BlueLotus » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
encore1101 wrote:being a prosecutor isn't about giving people the maximum sentence possible, but (ideally) trying to strike a balance between the purposes of punishment

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


anon fail, lol.

do the crimmigration consultants for PDs offices come from immigration non-profits/legal aid? or from the private bar/firms?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Lawst » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:25 pm

FlanAl wrote:
Lawst wrote:
encore1101 wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:
I don't know much about DAs (Legal Aid gunner here) but don't you have to put in several years prosecuting pettier crimes before moving to domestic violence/sexual assault units? Putting a rapist/wifebeater behind bars may feel gratifying, but spending a couple of years locking up 20somethings caught with a baggie of MJ would have to suck immensely.



It depends on the office, but generally, while most people start in Intake/Misdemeanor-type cases, other offices will let you start in other bureaus, such as Special Victims, Appeals, or Narcotics. Keep in mind that being a prosecutor isn't about giving people the maximum sentence possible, but (ideally) trying to strike a balance between the purposes of punishment. Not all prosecutors are about locking them away and throwing away a key-- such a system would be not sustainable, both in terms of logistics and politically.

As far as political viewpoints go, I think you're going to find that there's no correlation between liberal/conservative and whether you lean towards prosecution or PD.


Ehhh. It might be that prosecutors can lean conservative or liberal maybe, but a conservative PD? I don't know about that.


I've met a number of tea party type PD's who do the work to mess with the government infringing on people's freedom.


Huh. OK, I admit I've been in a lovely East Coast liberal bubble for years and hadn't considered this possibility, but I guess I could see that. I still think most PDs tend to skew liberal, but I guess it depends on where you are in the country.

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

Postby gdane » Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:24 pm

Jessuf wrote:There are three main reasons why I'm drawn to PD work.

1. Fairness - I acknowledge that many clients have committed the charged crimes, but I want to ensure that my client is treated fairly in a procedural sense. Regardless of how strong the facts are, the government still needs to prove its case in a manner that doesn't violate the Constitution, rules of criminal procedure, evidence rules, etc.

2. People-centered approach - I like the focus on people. Clients are real people with real backgrounds, families, mental health issues, addictions, etc. I enjoy getting to know them, I like advocating for them, and it feels really good to make some impact on their lives. I see them as people who make mistakes sometimes, not as criminals.

3. Creative element - I like how creative I can be with defense theory, cross, etc. This is, I suppose, an element of litigation in general, but the defense side lets you be much more creative than the prosecutor's side.

Fundamentally, I don't think I could ever be a DA. I worked on the prosecutor side one summer on drug cases, and it was really unenjoyable for me. It was a lot less victim-centered than I thought it would be and way more focused on retribution than I thought it would be. In my current jurisdiction where I practice through my clinic, I have way more contact with complainants than the prosecutors do in some cases. I also think the sentencing laws are insanely messed up, especially the federal ones and especially as related to drugs.

With all of that said, while I could never see myself doing prosecutorial work, I could see myself maybe doing victim-side DV work.

This is all great. I'm glad you're so passionate about your work. You'll be a good defense lawyer.

On that note, I could never be a defense lawyer. I also worked in a narcotics department at a prosecutors office and although there may not be one specific victim you can point at, i looked at the big picture. These drug dealers are bringing in drugs that the local population gets hooked on. The homeless,kids, anyone. It's a plague. So in essence the victim in drug cases is often everyone. Drugs also bring weapons and violence, and gang activity. Gangs terrorize neighborhoods. It's all a vicious cycle that began with drugs. That's how I looked at it.

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

Postby BlueLotus » Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:27 pm

anyone know the entry-level salary for CPCS? Interested in the CAFL.

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

Postby spleenworship » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:54 pm

BlueLotus wrote:anyone know the entry-level salary for CPCS? Interested in the CAFL.


That's not a PD or DAs office I know of...

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:04 pm

BlueLotus wrote:I don't know much about DAs (Legal Aid gunner here) but don't you have to put in several years prosecuting pettier crimes before moving to domestic violence/sexual assault units? Putting a rapist/wifebeater behind bars may feel gratifying, but spending a couple of years locking up 20somethings caught with a baggie of MJ would have to suck immensely.

I'm a PD who often practices in a DV unit. At least in my jurisdiction, DAs and PDs will be working on DV cases within their first year, although rapes take much longer. The DA's office here actually has a special subdivison of the office that you get yourself assigned to where you do only DV.

I will warn you that it's not as exciting as you think. Around 90% of cases just get withdrawn because the supposed victim never shows up to testify.

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

Postby BlueLotus » Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:12 pm

spleenworship wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:anyone know the entry-level salary for CPCS? Interested in the CAFL.


That's not a PD or DAs office I know of...


I was referring to the Child and Family Law Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services (MA's statewide PD system). Also, anyone know about hiring for Bronx Defenders' Family Defense unit? Or Philly PD's Child Advocacy Unit?

One more thing, how important are "ties" for PD's offices (particularly those that have the civil units I mentioned above)? Some guy on here mentioned getting an interview from KY even though he had no connection whatsoever to the state, but maybe that was anomalous.

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

Postby FlanAl » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:53 pm

Bar Questions:

1) How the hell am I supposed to pay rent over summer/start a life in a different state for my career off of two unpaid internships and student loans? Private bar loans? Not to mention the fees to just take the test!

2) If the state I will be practicing in is a UBE state, would studying for a neighboring state with a fairly easy bar exam be feasible? (Just to keep options a little more open in the future?)

3) Is the UBE easier than most bar exams or is it up there with CA/NY?

4) How is it that different UBE states have different pass rates? http://www.statisticbrain.com/bar-exam-statistics/. Just a smarter group of test takers in Montana than Arizona?

Thanks!

I think maybe I'll put 2-4 in a separate thread.
Last edited by FlanAl on Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

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

Postby spleenworship » Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:33 pm

I only know the answe to #1: private bar loans, parents, friends, or becoming a hooker.

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

Postby sd5289 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:I don't know much about DAs (Legal Aid gunner here) but don't you have to put in several years prosecuting pettier crimes before moving to domestic violence/sexual assault units? Putting a rapist/wifebeater behind bars may feel gratifying, but spending a couple of years locking up 20somethings caught with a baggie of MJ would have to suck immensely.

I'm a PD who often practices in a DV unit. At least in my jurisdiction, DAs and PDs will be working on DV cases within their first year, although rapes take much longer. The DA's office here actually has a special subdivison of the office that you get yourself assigned to where you do only DV.


+1

That's the same here too. All MISD's are fair game for first years (ADAs anyway), though some offices wait a few months for you to do "regular" stuff before they train you on this. As far as DV goes, a huge majority of those cases are MISD's anyway.




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