How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

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

Postby Tanicius » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:25 pm

One of the weirdest fucking Federalist Society talks I ever saw was some crazy 9th Circuit judge from Alaska who argued that we should outlaw pro bono services and only let the brightest, smartest, most academically top-notch grads from Yale and Harvard do indigent defense. I was all like, Wut? He said that the problem with pro bono services is that the people who do it don't always have expertise in the type of case they're working on. Okay, fair, credited. But he said the problem with public defenders is that we let dumb people become PD's, and that only people good enough to clerk for the Supreme Court should be public defenders. I was all like, and I'm paraphrasing here: Dude, the problem with public defense is that libertarian cookoos like you don't want to pay enough money (TAXES! Scary word!) to hire enough of us, not that we've got a dearth of talent. That guy was really fricking whack.

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

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:34 pm

FlanAl wrote:Yeah, I edited out the snark about that. But I'd imagine state law enforcement and conservative groups would be the place to look.

ugh.

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

Postby spleenworship » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:20 am

Tanicius wrote:One of the weirdest fucking Federalist Society talks I ever saw was some crazy 9th Circuit judge from Alaska who argued that we should outlaw pro bono services and only let the brightest, smartest, most academically top-notch grads from Yale and Harvard do indigent defense. I was all like, Wut? He said that the problem with pro bono services is that the people who do it don't always have expertise in the type of case they're working on. Okay, fair, credited. But he said the problem with public defenders is that we let dumb people become PD's, and that only people good enough to clerk for the Supreme Court should be public defenders. I was all like, and I'm paraphrasing here: Dude, the problem with public defense is that libertarian cookoos like you don't want to pay enough money (TAXES! Scary word!) to hire enough of us, not that we've got a dearth of talent. That guy was really fricking whack.



Yeah. With a big enough case load, a Yale grad and a TTT grad look equally competent. And that's scary. Because I know I ain't near as smert as HYS people. (Being serious). If all PDs offices paid like PDS and doubled their staffing it would make such a huge difference. Also, frankly, the DAs need the same raise and caseload reduction. Half the time a PD wants to kill opposing counsel it's not because the DA is dumb or a dick, it's cuz the DA has like zero time to do a proper evaluation of his cases and is negotiating basically blind on the plea deal.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:44 pm

need advice

So I did pd work 1L summer, im doing pd work this upcoming summer as well, and I want to do PD work in general.

If I do a 1 year clerkship after law school will that make me a more competitive applicant for pd work in dc/va..or should I just apply for pd opportunities my third year?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:need advice

So I did pd work 1L summer, im doing pd work this upcoming summer as well, and I want to do PD work in general.

If I do a 1 year clerkship after law school will that make me a more competitive applicant for pd work in dc/va..or should I just apply for pd opportunities my third year?


The best thing you could do is go straight to PD work, but there are some reasons to consider clerkship anyway. For one, you can't apply for a PD position in Virginia until you're barred. Though each county hires its own new PDs, it's a statewide system, and from what I have heard you cannot even apply through the website if you're not barred yet. So, post-graduation, you would likely work as an intern until you get bar results, and as a volunteer attorney once you're barred until something opens up. And it will probably open up in the hinterlands. If you can get a fellowship to keep you in food and home during this period, great, but it's not easy.

For DC, it comes down to PDS being such a competitive office. PDS didn't even hire a class this year, except for the announcement in the last week that it will hire supposedly three people from the class of 2014. But at least with DC, you have the chance at a pre-bar offer.

So, though I think most PDs would say that it makes the most sense to go right into the work and get in the courtroom, it comes down to what you can make work for you financially if you're committed to staying or being in the DC area.

batman0101
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby batman0101 » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:50 pm

Is anyone here familiar with the Florida market for PD's? I'm a 1L, and I really have no concrete idea of the market here. I know that both the PD & SAO offices have high turnover and consequently hire recent graduates fairly regularly, so it seems like a safe option.

I'm willing to relocate anywhere in the state, work in rural offices, etc.

So my I guess my question is: if I load up on PD internships, clinics, trial team, etc. and have decent grades what are the odds of failing to find any PD work? Really just trying to assess the level of risk associated with gearing my resume towards PD work.

I welcome any input from those outside of FL as well btw.

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

Postby FlanAl » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:need advice

So I did pd work 1L summer, im doing pd work this upcoming summer as well, and I want to do PD work in general.

If I do a 1 year clerkship after law school will that make me a more competitive applicant for pd work in dc/va..or should I just apply for pd opportunities my third year?


I started looking into state court clerkships a little late but at sometime last semester. I got a few people to write letters of recommendation for me etc.. But when I was told that there was the same sort of expectation with a state court as there was with a fed court i.e. if the judge offers it you have to take it, I backed off. I don't know if this is exactly the case but I would make sure that it was.

Since you are a 2L, I think you have a ton of time to figure out a clerkship that could work. For me the ideal would have been:

- clerkship in a county/state that has a good public defender that only hires people who have passed the bar
- also, added bonus if this clerkship is in a place where that pd office pays well (a lot of the places that don't hire pre bar but still have reputable pd's pay pretty well)
- A judge that has a close relationship with the pd office (an ex pd would be ideal but also someone from private practice who sympathizes would be good. many judges seem to just be annoyed at the existence of pds, don't get one of these)
- A friendly judge that will become a mentor and not just a boss

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

Postby FlanAl » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:24 pm

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=225262
just a thread about rejecting judges. Also wanted to add that if all the circumstances had lined up that I posted about above I think I would have taken that over going to a pd right away. I will have no idea how judges or prosecutor's think when I start my pd job and will probably never have the type of insight that a clerkship offers. I don't know how important this is but I'll always wonder.

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

Postby spleenworship » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:30 pm

I really wished if gotten a district court clerkship. Imagine the litigation and trial teqhniques you'd have the inside track on how at least one judge decides. From there it would be so much easier to extrapolate.

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

Postby samcro_op » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:53 pm

I asked in the Skadden/EJW thread but no one responded so I was wondering if any of you had any insight on how to gun for these things. My school has not gotten a Skadden in a long time (according to the ATL website) so I don't want to trust my CSO about giving me the best advice. I want to do indigent defense but I'd rather work for a non-profit over a PD if possible. I would love to do a project that incorporates a holistic approach and although BDS would be cool I think it would be even cooler to do a fellowship at a non profit or try and get a fellowship to implement a type of program at a "non holistic" office.

Anyways I am rambling but I am just wondering what is the best way to go about looking for these fellowships. What the timeline is to approach agencies, how you would do this. I do not want to work at any orgs in the area of my school so I know I will have to do a lot of leg work. Also how does it work if you are applying for these 3L but also looking for a PD or other job? What if you get a PD job before hearing about a fellowship? Any info or links are greatly appreciated. I know this isn't the most appropriate thread but I thought maybe some of you might have considered these. Thanks.

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

Postby FlanAl » Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:27 pm

Our school does a thing like skadden the person who got it is working at Bronx. She'll be doing like parole and probation type stuff. The issue with these fellowships, and why I don't think many of us here pursued them, is that in the public defender realm they prevent you from being a straight ahead public defender. They work more with doing a project on the collateral issues that a holistic office does.

I'm really confused when you say you want to do indigent defense but don't want to be a public defender? Do you mean that you would only want to work for a holistic non profit PD and not a state PD? You should know that the difference is mostly determined by state budget/history etc.

Also, many of the people on here and in the PD world see it as a trial attorney job and that you should want to do trials. The way these fellowships are designed you will most likely not be doing trials.

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

Postby samcro_op » Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:31 pm

FlanAl wrote:Our school does a thing like skadden the person who got it is working at Bronx. She'll be doing like parole and probation type stuff. The issue with these fellowships, and why I don't think many of us here pursued them, is that in the public defender realm they prevent you from being a straight ahead public defender. They work more with doing a project on the collateral issues that a holistic office does.

I'm really confused when you say you want to do indigent defense but don't want to be a public defender? Do you mean that you would only want to work for a holistic non profit PD and not a state PD? You should know that the difference is mostly determined by state budget/history etc.

Also, many of the people on here and in the PD world see it as a trial attorney job and that you should want to do trials. The way these fellowships are designed you will most likely not be doing trials.


I guess I would rather work with a non profit who does indigent defense but with a specific focus area. Although I am interested in trials I am also very interested in working on those collateral issues as well.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:14 pm

I have a phone interview for a 2L summer internship with PDS in DC. Anyone know what sort of things they ask and what I should be prepared for?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have a phone interview for a 2L summer internship with PDS in DC. Anyone know what sort of things they ask and what I should be prepared for?


I had an interview with PDS back in September/October, but I'm not sure how helpful my experience is. I got a couple of hypos regarding how to handle clients being dishonest and judges pressuring you to give up information about clients. They were fairly gentle, and then some discussion of previous PI work experience. Standard stuff. Just out of curiosity, are you HYS or have anything really special about your resume/background? I got the feeling that my interview was just pro forma, done as a favor of the interviewer who was an alum of my school (MVP level).

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:11 am

Anonymous User wrote:I have a phone interview for a 2L summer internship with PDS in DC. Anyone know what sort of things they ask and what I should be prepared for?


make sure you know about the division you are interviewing for

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:28 pm

1L here - my goal is to be a public defender after graduation. i have an offer to work at both a state and a federal office (both in same city, so location is irrelevant). they won't let me split my summer and do both. is there one thats better than the other? what factors should i use to decide between the two? appreciate any feedback

conn09
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby conn09 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:1L here - my goal is to be a public defender after graduation. i have an offer to work at both a state and a federal office (both in same city, so location is irrelevant). they won't let me split my summer and do both. is there one thats better than the other? what factors should i use to decide between the two? appreciate any feedback



In terms of what you can actually do as a 1L, I think the Fed office is probably the better choice, in both places you'll be doing nothing but research and writing. However, ignore all of the above if you want to work in the office in that state office after you graduate. At that point you need to go there and talk to everyone who could possibly get you a job.

ash0117
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby ash0117 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:1L here - my goal is to be a public defender after graduation. i have an offer to work at both a state and a federal office (both in same city, so location is irrelevant). they won't let me split my summer and do both. is there one thats better than the other? what factors should i use to decide between the two? appreciate any feedback


Federal PDs don't really hire new grads, so if you're looking to start building connections at an office you could see yourself at long term, working at the state PD may be better. I don't know if the FPD looks better on a resume. With that said, in all honesty, as a 1L it really doesn't matter as far as "prestige" goes.

For what it's worth, I faced the same choice my 1L summer and I chose the state PD. I was VERY happy I did. I had a couples friends working for the FPD and ALL they did was research and writing (they were not at the same office). On the other hand, at the state PD, I did some research and writing, but I was also able to draft motions, attend court with PDs, help with trial prep, interview clients, and assist at trials (my input was actually requested during jury selection, for instance). Basically the only thing I didn't do is actually appear before a judge because I didn't have my third year practice certificate yet. I feel like I got a lot more hands on experience there than my friends that worked for the FPD have.

I think it really is a decision you have to make depending on what you're looking for and what the culture of the offices are like.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:03 pm

Question: if I represent clients at bail hearings, hearings begging the judge to give my client a temporary drivers license, and other appearances where the DA is not yet ready for trial, is that considered "standing before a judge?" I haven't gone to trial yet (there's a chance I will, I hope) and if I don't I'm just trying to figure out, in future job interviews, what I'm allowed to say I did do.

ash0117
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby ash0117 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Question: if I represent clients at bail hearings, hearings begging the judge to give my client a temporary drivers license, and other appearances where the DA is not yet ready for trial, is that considered "standing before a judge?" I haven't gone to trial yet (there's a chance I will, I hope) and if I don't I'm just trying to figure out, in future job interviews, what I'm allowed to say I did do.


Yes, appearing before a judge (there were several 2Ls appearing in court last summer) included first appearances, pleas, other hearings, and misdemeanor trials.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:need advice

So I did pd work 1L summer, im doing pd work this upcoming summer as well, and I want to do PD work in general.

If I do a 1 year clerkship after law school will that make me a more competitive applicant for pd work in dc/va..or should I just apply for pd opportunities my third year?


I really don't want this to seem like a humblebrag, but I don't necessarily agree with the advice that you shouldn't do a clerkship if you want to be a PD. I also want to be a PD and it was sort of just assumed that I would do a clerkship first. Now, perhaps I was getting different advice because I am competitive for feeder judges; maybe only feeders are considered "worth it" when deciding whether to go into practice or go straight into PD work.

However, if you are interested in PDS (you said you were interested in D.C.), then I think clerking is very important. A large portion of this summer's class is from HYS and I suspect many of them will clerk before becoming PDs. Many of the staff attorneys at PDS have clerked as well. Just my two cents...

Good luck!

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:29 pm

Friend just started at PDS in the fall. None of the new class (of 10ish staff attorneys) clerked.

On the other hand, there's a former SCOTUS clerk at PDS, too.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have a phone interview for a 2L summer internship with PDS in DC. Anyone know what sort of things they ask and what I should be prepared for?


I had an interview with PDS back in September/October, but I'm not sure how helpful my experience is. I got a couple of hypos regarding how to handle clients being dishonest and judges pressuring you to give up information about clients. They were fairly gentle, and then some discussion of previous PI work experience. Standard stuff. Just out of curiosity, are you HYS or have anything really special about your resume/background? I got the feeling that my interview was just pro forma, done as a favor of the interviewer who was an alum of my school (MVP level).


I am median at a T-50, so really nothing special. I was shocked to even get the interview but my resume SCREAMS PD. I worked at a small PDs office last summer, participate in expungement clinics, and I am a member of of the innocence clinic at my school. I also have a really good personal story for "why PD?" My interview went very well, in my opinion. She seemed to like that I had a lot of experience. But honestly, I was shocked that I was even considered.

I got an offer today, so I guess they saw something they liked!

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

Postby FlanAl » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:32 pm

Congrats!

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:34 pm

Quick question. I'm clerking 2/9/D.C. and wondering what my chances are of going straight to a USAO. For job postings like this (LinkRemoved), are they really saying "We just put 1 year experience as the minimum because we must, you really don't stand a chance unless you have significant experience," or should I send in an application?




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