How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

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

Postby Displeased » Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is it better to intern during 2L summer at an office that handles cases vertically? Or does it not matter. Also, what kind of work should PD gunners be doing during 2l summer?


You intern at the office that lets you appear in court the most. That's it.

All other things being equal, I think vertical representation is more common than horizontal representation, and vertical representation is almost always better for the client, so I'd intern at the vertical office over the horizontal office.

How did you all stomach not doing OCI? It's a long shot for me anyways but I am already stressing about the Vale and I am only a 2L. It seems counterintuitive to not take interviews with the legal market but as my summer at a PD has progressed I am positive this is what I want to do.


Not doing OCI and not having a job lined up by graduation was tough for me. The transactional/civil law people in law school tend to think of PD as being a "fallback" job, so they don't understand how they can get hired for 100k+ positions during their 3L year but PD offices won't hire till you pass the bar. Its very easy to think that you're doing something wrong.

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

Postby Tanicius » Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:22 am

I would highly recommend not doing OCI if you're gung-ho about PD work because of the investments of time, energy and emotional self-worth you will make if you go through OCI. It's very hard to turn down instant money and job security even if the job is something you know deep down you will absolutely fucking hate. You will feel like shit when the firm rejections start trickling in, even if a week before the interview you had absolutely no interest in getting an offer. Like grades, it becomes another arbitrary measure of your self-worth, and if you're someone like me who didn't put much preparation or intellectual curiosity into OCI in the first place, this arbitrary measure in particular is not going to reflect kindly on you, cause you're gonna get rejected a lot more than the other guy with the same grades who knew firms by name 6 months ago.

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

Postby Borhas » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is it better to intern during 2L summer at an office that handles cases vertically? Or does it not matter. Also, what kind of work should PD gunners be doing during 2l summer?

Ideally you want to be handling a misdemeanor caseload, advise clients, negotiate w/ DAs, handle the docket, write and argue motions, and most importantly do some trials

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

Postby Borhas » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:24 am

Colorado state pd won't hire anyone who has interned at the DA.

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

Postby sd5289 » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:41 am

Displeased wrote:Its not like PDs think prosecutors have cooties, or are so ideologically blinded that they can't imagine working with prosecutors. People switch sides all the time. But hiring a 3L is risky enough, and PD offices always have insanely high turnover. There's already a huge risk that a fresh 3L won't have the stomach for the job, or the courtroom skill, or the thick skin required. Why take the additional risk of hiring a 3L that is comfortable with both sides?

But if you have worked for both sides, no reason to panic. I agree with Spleen (as I seem to always do in this thread), just say that you wanted to see what both sides were like, and have a coherent explanation for why you favor one side over another.


That may be true in your market, but the general rule here is if you've done DA, good luck getting PD. For example, I had a friend who did a volunteer project during 1L that had very tiny connection to prosecution (mind you, she was in Family Court for this project). She's PD bound, but she was a) questioned about it extensively her first summer by a local PD, and b) was advised by that local PD's office to sever her ties completely with the project if she wanted any shot at being a PD.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby aladdinismyprince » Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:47 pm

sd5289 wrote:
Displeased wrote:Its not like PDs think prosecutors have cooties, or are so ideologically blinded that they can't imagine working with prosecutors. People switch sides all the time. But hiring a 3L is risky enough, and PD offices always have insanely high turnover. There's already a huge risk that a fresh 3L won't have the stomach for the job, or the courtroom skill, or the thick skin required. Why take the additional risk of hiring a 3L that is comfortable with both sides?

But if you have worked for both sides, no reason to panic. I agree with Spleen (as I seem to always do in this thread), just say that you wanted to see what both sides were like, and have a coherent explanation for why you favor one side over another.


That may be true in your market, but the general rule here is if you've done DA, good luck getting PD. For example, I had a friend who did a volunteer project during 1L that had very tiny connection to prosecution (mind you, she was in Family Court for this project). She's PD bound, but she was a) questioned about it extensively her first summer by a local PD, and b) was advised by that local PD's office to sever her ties completely with the project if she wanted any shot at being a PD.


I mostly agree with sd5289. I was at the PATH conference in D.C. (PATH= Public Defender Advocacy, Training & Hiring) and literally every single panel (all compromised of hiring people from various PD offices) talked about how difficult it would be to get a job at their office if you had any prosecutorial experience in your background. New Jersey was a notable exception. To be fair, PATH is a bit of a skewed sample. Because PATH is hosted and organized by PDS, most of the offices invited to the conference are very client-oriented/true believer offices. There are a number of secular offices out there (like NJ) who won't care as much about an internship with a DA.

The overall point: if you have worked for both sides, you need to do serious research on the offices you are applying to and if you are applying to hardcore true believer offices, you need to have a great explanation for why you worked for a prosecutor and a convincing pitch about why you will never ever do it again.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby rpcb » Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:24 pm

aladdinismyprince wrote:
sd5289 wrote:
Displeased wrote:Its not like PDs think prosecutors have cooties, or are so ideologically blinded that they can't imagine working with prosecutors. People switch sides all the time. But hiring a 3L is risky enough, and PD offices always have insanely high turnover. There's already a huge risk that a fresh 3L won't have the stomach for the job, or the courtroom skill, or the thick skin required. Why take the additional risk of hiring a 3L that is comfortable with both sides?

But if you have worked for both sides, no reason to panic. I agree with Spleen (as I seem to always do in this thread), just say that you wanted to see what both sides were like, and have a coherent explanation for why you favor one side over another.


That may be true in your market, but the general rule here is if you've done DA, good luck getting PD. For example, I had a friend who did a volunteer project during 1L that had very tiny connection to prosecution (mind you, she was in Family Court for this project). She's PD bound, but she was a) questioned about it extensively her first summer by a local PD, and b) was advised by that local PD's office to sever her ties completely with the project if she wanted any shot at being a PD.


I mostly agree with sd5289. I was at the PATH conference in D.C. (PATH= Public Defender Advocacy, Training & Hiring) and literally every single panel (all compromised of hiring people from various PD offices) talked about how difficult it would be to get a job at their office if you had any prosecutorial experience in your background. New Jersey was a notable exception. To be fair, PATH is a bit of a skewed sample. Because PATH is hosted and organized by PDS, most of the offices invited to the conference are very client-oriented/true believer offices. There are a number of secular offices out there (like NJ) who won't care as much about an internship with a DA.

The overall point: if you have worked for both sides, you need to do serious research on the offices you are applying to and if you are applying to hardcore true believer offices, you need to have a great explanation for why you worked for a prosecutor and a convincing pitch about why you will never ever do it again.


This is definitely some good info. I interned at a PD office this summer and it was filled with true believers. The training director spoke to us about getting a job at the office and she said while they will not throw out your app because you have prosecutorial experience (some offices will certainly do this) you better have a good explanation for why you did it and that you will never do it again. I actually knew someone that was grilled just for being in the actual innocence project. These offices want people who will defend somebody regardless of the crime and whether or not the individual is guilty. The attorneys at my office couldn't stand prosecutors. They disdained them actually. There was some variation in opinion but on the whole they did not think highly of people over at the DA's office and acted civilly pretty much for the sake of the client. This is in the south, however, where the criminal justice system is worse than anywhere so maybe feelings are different in other places.

I think if you did something prosecutor-related your 1L year you will have a better chance at coming back from it, but if you interned at a DA's office your 2L year, forget it. There are too may dedicated people who will have resumes and experiences PD offices will find more valuable.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby rpcb » Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:40 pm

samcro_op wrote:How did you all stomach not doing OCI? It's a long shot for me anyways but I am already stressing about the Vale and I am only a 2L. It seems counterintuitive to not take interviews with the legal market but as my summer at a PD has progressed I am positive this is what I want to do.

Today anyone in my shoes *hug*

I think I might skip EJW this year, I think I want to try to get into one of the Bay Area places that pay their post bars.


It has been pretty tough for me. I did not know I wanted to do PD work when I fist came into law school so OCI was something I obviously thought I was going to do. I have been getting some work done at school for PD apps for the EJW conference and it is weird seeing basically every guy I know (many girls too, but it seems more of them are public interest oriented) in a suit going to interviews and receptions afterwards. It feels weird listening to them talk about it because I am doing something completely different.

Earlier today a classmate act very rude to me when I told him that I wanted to be a public defender and so wasn't doing OCI. He gave me this weird look for about 5 seconds and then asked "Are you crazy?" It was a classless way to act but I've accepted that some law students are just like that. Nothing I can do about it. And to be fair most of my law school buddies have been supportive.

At the end of the day, I am like you in that I know this is what I wanted to do. Even when I thought I wanted to do biglaw I knew it was only going to be like a 2 or 3 year thing to pay off debt and then move on to something else. But I had a really rewarding experience at a PD office and I know this is what I want to do.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby samcro_op » Thu Aug 14, 2014 4:31 pm

rpcb wrote:
samcro_op wrote:How did you all stomach not doing OCI? It's a long shot for me anyways but I am already stressing about the Vale and I am only a 2L. It seems counterintuitive to not take interviews with the legal market but as my summer at a PD has progressed I am positive this is what I want to do.

Today anyone in my shoes *hug*

I think I might skip EJW this year, I think I want to try to get into one of the Bay Area places that pay their post bars.


It has been pretty tough for me. I did not know I wanted to do PD work when I fist came into law school so OCI was something I obviously thought I was going to do. I have been getting some work done at school for PD apps for the EJW conference and it is weird seeing basically every guy I know (many girls too, but it seems more of them are public interest oriented) in a suit going to interviews and receptions afterwards. It feels weird listening to them talk about it because I am doing something completely different.

Earlier today a classmate act very rude to me when I told him that I wanted to be a public defender and so wasn't doing OCI. He gave me this weird look for about 5 seconds and then asked "Are you crazy?" It was a classless way to act but I've accepted that some law students are just like that. Nothing I can do about it. And to be fair most of my law school buddies have been supportive.

At the end of the day, I am like you in that I know this is what I wanted to do. Even when I thought I wanted to do biglaw I knew it was only going to be like a 2 or 3 year thing to pay off debt and then move on to something else. But I had a really rewarding experience at a PD office and I know this is what I want to do.


Thanks for this! *hug* I hope you stick around next year when we are applying for jobs! I just cancelled Monday's interviews and will likely be cancelling the rest later tonight!

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby cooperlaserpup » Thu Aug 14, 2014 4:33 pm

sd5289 wrote:
Displeased wrote:Its not like PDs think prosecutors have cooties, or are so ideologically blinded that they can't imagine working with prosecutors. People switch sides all the time. But hiring a 3L is risky enough, and PD offices always have insanely high turnover. There's already a huge risk that a fresh 3L won't have the stomach for the job, or the courtroom skill, or the thick skin required. Why take the additional risk of hiring a 3L that is comfortable with both sides?

But if you have worked for both sides, no reason to panic. I agree with Spleen (as I seem to always do in this thread), just say that you wanted to see what both sides were like, and have a coherent explanation for why you favor one side over another.


That may be true in your market, but the general rule here is if you've done DA, good luck getting PD. For example, I had a friend who did a volunteer project during 1L that had very tiny connection to prosecution (mind you, she was in Family Court for this project). She's PD bound, but she was a) questioned about it extensively her first summer by a local PD, and b) was advised by that local PD's office to sever her ties completely with the project if she wanted any shot at being a PD.


This was true in my experience as well. One of my directors at a small office said flat out she would never hire someone who had interned or worked as a prosecutor because it would be disloyal to her clients. The only person she ever hired was a former Jag corp guy who was required by the military to do a prosecution rotation.

That being said, its okay to work for DOJ civil rights/ disability rights, etc....but that probably goes without saying.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby cooperlaserpup » Thu Aug 14, 2014 4:36 pm

rpcb wrote:
This is definitely some good info. I interned at a PD office this summer and it was filled with true believers. The training director spoke to us about getting a job at the office and she said while they will not throw out your app because you have prosecutorial experience (some offices will certainly do this) you better have a good explanation for why you did it and that you will never do it again. I actually knew someone that was grilled just for being in the actual innocence project. These offices want people who will defend somebody regardless of the crime and whether or not the individual is guilty. The attorneys at my office couldn't stand prosecutors. They disdained them actually. There was some variation in opinion but on the whole they did not think highly of people over at the DA's office and acted civilly pretty much for the sake of the client. This is in the south, however, where the criminal justice system is worse than anywhere so maybe feelings are different in other places.

I think if you did something prosecutor-related your 1L year you will have a better chance at coming back from it, but if you interned at a DA's office your 2L year, forget it. There are too may dedicated people who will have resumes and experiences PD offices will find more valuable.


My clinic director always says this about PD applicants (she is on the board of a very prestigious PD office)- THIS IS NOT THE INNOCENCE PROJECT. THIS IS THE GUILTY PROJECT! I discussed my innocence project involvement in interviews by discussing what I learned about the systemic flaws that lead to wrongful convictions. Interviewers seemed to accept that, but I always made a point of explaining that I know I will rarely represent an "innocent" person.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Tanicius » Thu Aug 14, 2014 4:42 pm

That's always kind of annoyed me about Innocence Projects and the press they get. It's really important work, but it's not representative of most of the injustice. 100% innocent people are not the only people who deserve due process and fair sentencing.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby sd5289 » Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:15 pm

rpcb wrote:Earlier today a classmate act very rude to me when I told him that I wanted to be a public defender and so wasn't doing OCI. He gave me this weird look for about 5 seconds and then asked "Are you crazy?" It was a classless way to act but I've accepted that some law students are just like that. Nothing I can do about it. And to be fair most of my law school buddies have been supportive.


I didn't do OCI either (the irony being that some of the first round interviews I've scheduled for permanent hiring or going to be on-campus, lulz). I was 100% positive I wanted to work as a prosecutor, and the kind of interviewing you go through for that (and PD for that matter) is not the same as the kind of interviewing you get at OCI or CB's. I wouldn't let it bother you.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby cooperlaserpup » Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:46 pm

Tanicius wrote:That's always kind of annoyed me about Innocence Projects and the press they get. It's really important work, but it's not representative of most of the injustice. 100% innocent people are not the only people who deserve due process and fair sentencing.


exactly. its not hard to want justice for someone who is innocent. PD offices want to know you want justice for someone who is guilty.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby rpcb » Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:49 pm

sd5289 wrote:
rpcb wrote:Earlier today a classmate act very rude to me when I told him that I wanted to be a public defender and so wasn't doing OCI. He gave me this weird look for about 5 seconds and then asked "Are you crazy?" It was a classless way to act but I've accepted that some law students are just like that. Nothing I can do about it. And to be fair most of my law school buddies have been supportive.


I didn't do OCI either (the irony being that some of the first round interviews I've scheduled for permanent hiring or going to be on-campus, lulz). I was 100% positive I wanted to work as a prosecutor, and the kind of interviewing you go through for that (and PD for that matter) is not the same as the kind of interviewing you get at OCI or CB's. I wouldn't let it bother you.


Oh yeah...it is a completely different process. But when my classmate asked me if I was crazy he was saying I was stupid to go for a lowly pd job rather than trying to make a lot of money doing biglaw. He is a really materialistic person. I really don't care too much what people like him think though, so I kind of just let it slide.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Displeased » Fri Aug 15, 2014 7:49 am

We all disdain prosecutors, but that doesn't mean we won't hire a former one. After court, I regularly return to the office with stories of how hilariously smug the Commonwealth was, until the judge came back with a not guilty or a probation/no incarceration sentence. Prosecutors are sometimes terrible, sanctimonious, self-righteous people. But any PD who would throw out an application just because the applicant had some prosecutorial experience is a bad PD.

On another note, please don't romanticize the work too much, guys. Generally speaking, its about seeking justice. But its rarely about innocence or guilt, and you aren't special for realizing that your clients will almost never be innocent.

Day to day, its about clients who hate you. Its about clients who will do their best to undermine their own defense. Its about clients who will lie straight to your face, expect you to repeat the lie to the judge, and be furious at you if you call them on it. Its about clients who think that you are working with the Commonwealth. Its about clients who think the cops can help them more than you can (and they might be right about that). Its about clients who, after you get them found not guilty of crimes that carries decades of mandatory minimum time, but guilty of one relatively minor crime, literally spit in your face and then file an ineffective assistance of counsel claim. Its about repeat shoplifters who wonder why the charge has to be "on their record". Its about the client who shits their pants when the judge pronounces sentence. Its about the client with an IQ of 63 and paranoid schizophrenia.

Its about THE client. Not clients in general. And not "seeking justice". Its about the one client sitting next to you at counsel table at that moment. And then when he gets sent off to jail, its about the one after that, and the one after that, and the one after that.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:00 am

The thing is that a lot of people have reported here that their particular local PD won't hire someone with prosecutorial experience, so I guess that must mean there are a lot of bad PDs out there.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Displeased » Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:45 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:The thing is that a lot of people have reported here that their particular local PD won't hire someone with prosecutorial experience, so I guess that must mean there are a lot of bad PDs out there.


Just find it hard to believe that prosecutorial experience is so disqualifying. That has not been my experience at all.

They may not interview a 3l with prosecutorial experience, but I dunno about it being disqualifying for everyone. Maybe I'm being over dramatic with the "bad pd" line.

I will say that I never worked for a prestigious, true believer office, so maybe the Bronx defenders and the California PDs and the Colorado PDs maintain their ideological purity and can afford not to touch former prosecutors.

By the way, there are several head PDs in my state (meaning they run an office), who used to be prosecutors. The head PD for Hampton, VA, which is a larger city and a 20+ person office, used to be a prosecutor.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:56 am

I don't think its "romanticizing" to explain what true believer hiring panels are going to want to hear about your involvement with the innocence project. I was given very specific and very good advice on how to handle that in my resume, because not responding the right way in an interview can mean not getting an offer. And I think acknowledgement that being a PD does not mean representing the wrongfully accused day in and day out is the opposite of romanticizing, its realistic.

Anyone who has even interned or been an intern investigator knows its not glamorous, there's really no need for condescension in an advice thread.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Tanicius » Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:59 am

Displeased wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:The thing is that a lot of people have reported here that their particular local PD won't hire someone with prosecutorial experience, so I guess that must mean there are a lot of bad PDs out there.


Just find it hard to believe that prosecutorial experience is so disqualifying. That has not been my experience at all.

They may not interview a 3l with prosecutorial experience, but I dunno about it being disqualifying for everyone. Maybe I'm being over dramatic with the "bad pd" line.

I will say that I never worked for a prestigious, true believer office, so maybe the Bronx defenders and the California PDs and the Colorado PDs maintain their ideological purity and can afford not to touch former prosecutors.

By the way, one of the more most aggressively true believer APDs I ever worked with used to be a prosecutor. There's at least one head PD in my state (meaning he runs an office), who used to be a prosecutor.


Yeah, there are two elements going on here. The first is that, with PSLF in play, very academically impressive candidates are applying (hundreds now), and some public defender offices are realizing suddenly that they can model their hiring in the same vein as the ACLU and biglaw. They're almost becoming like TFA in snobbishness: "We only want the best people from HYS," etc. It's misguided, because just like how someone from Metro State's teaching program could be a better math teacher than someone from Yale's philosophy department, someone with impressive social justice credentials from Penn Law could be fuck-all good at being an advocate in the trenches. A lot of these recruiting people seem to have stars in their eyes, which is very weird because none of our clients give half a damn whether their lawyer went to Georgetown or Kentucky for law school, or whether they were on law review.

The other element is definitely that this specific hiring track we're talking about is for 3Ls -- people who have effectively never really practiced law before. This reasoning, I understand and sympathize with. When you are inundated with other 1,000 applications, all of whom have never practiced law before, why would you risk picking one of the applicants who has prosecution experience and might not be 100% sold on public defense, when you have 300 applicants that are both amazing and 100% sold on public defense? It's just a pure numbers game. If you have the choice to statistically raise your chances of hiring someone who's going to be a good fit, why would you not pick that option? I do think the true believer mentality gets in the way here, though. Resumes should only matter prior to the actual interview. In the actual interview, if you're really impressed with someone, it shouldn't matter what kind of background they have.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby FlanAl » Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:42 am

Yeah, I think most of the advice about staying away from the prosecutor's shop is for 3L hiring. I can't see a PD office looking for someone with "3-5 years experience" taking a civil litigation person over a former prosecutor. As far as the private bar is concerned, former prosecutors are usually the best defense lawyers.

I think for 3Ls it totally makes sense because the offices are investing in you and if your more the type that's just fascinated by litigation/crim law its way more likely that you'll jump ship once you have experience.

ALSO, I guess I'm the lone voice on here for this but I think you all should do OCI. A screener is a screener regardless of where you are interviewing and the cattle call atmosphere will prep you pretty well for EJW. I also think that, depending on your background, doing 1L PD then 2L big law but interning at PD's during the school year would probably still make you a solid candidate of 3L hiring. AND even though it doesn't make any sense, PD hiring people seem to be becoming a little more prestige obsessed and giving them the opportunity to say that you went to X t14 and summered at Cravath or whatever will make them happy.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby sd5289 » Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:54 am

Displeased wrote:We all disdain prosecutors, but that doesn't mean we won't hire a former one. After court, I regularly return to the office with stories of how hilariously smug the Commonwealth was, until the judge came back with a not guilty or a probation/no incarceration sentence. Prosecutors are sometimes terrible, sanctimonious, self-righteous people. But any PD who would throw out an application just because the applicant had some prosecutorial experience is a bad PD.


And I've never met any PD's that qualify for that description... :roll:

On a more serious note, while that may be your thinking, the fact is that PD offices in my market will not look at you if you have any prosecutorial experience in law school. I know of only one exception to that rule, and she seriously drank the PD Kool-Aid. Everyone else I know had to go private if they wanted to do criminal defense. The PD offices here don't need to waste their time looking at possibly "tainted" candidates when they've got so many true believer candidates lining up who have 100% defense experience in law school.

ETA: should add that I'm talking about New York.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Displeased » Fri Aug 15, 2014 12:43 pm

sd5289 wrote:
Displeased wrote:We all disdain prosecutors, but that doesn't mean we won't hire a former one. After court, I regularly return to the office with stories of how hilariously smug the Commonwealth was, until the judge came back with a not guilty or a probation/no incarceration sentence. Prosecutors are sometimes terrible, sanctimonious, self-righteous people. But any PD who would throw out an application just because the applicant had some prosecutorial experience is a bad PD.


And I've never met any PD's that qualify for that description... :roll:

On a more serious note, while that may be your thinking, the fact is that PD offices in my market will not look at you if you have any prosecutorial experience in law school. I know of only one exception to that rule, and she seriously drank the PD Kool-Aid. Everyone else I know had to go private if they wanted to do criminal defense. The PD offices here don't need to waste their time looking at possibly "tainted" candidates when they've got so many true believer candidates lining up who have 100% defense experience in law school.

ETA: should add that I'm talking about New York.


Ok, I'll agree with that, there's no real reason for a PD to look at a 3L with mixed experience when there's a hundred applicants with pure PD experience. Still worth applying, of course.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby rpcb » Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:31 pm

FlanAl wrote:Yeah, I think most of the advice about staying away from the prosecutor's shop is for 3L hiring. I can't see a PD office looking for someone with "3-5 years experience" taking a civil litigation person over a former prosecutor. As far as the private bar is concerned, former prosecutors are usually the best defense lawyers.

I think for 3Ls it totally makes sense because the offices are investing in you and if your more the type that's just fascinated by litigation/crim law its way more likely that you'll jump ship once you have experience.

ALSO, I guess I'm the lone voice on here for this but I think you all should do OCI. A screener is a screener regardless of where you are interviewing and the cattle call atmosphere will prep you pretty well for EJW. I also think that, depending on your background, doing 1L PD then 2L big law but interning at PD's during the school year would probably still make you a solid candidate of 3L hiring. AND even though it doesn't make any sense, PD hiring people seem to be becoming a little more prestige obsessed and giving them the opportunity to say that you went to X t14 and summered at Cravath or whatever will make them happy.


I can see how in some cases doing OCI and going to a firm may help, but I can also see your hurting. From what I have heard and seen it does seem like PD offices are getting more prestige happy, in choosing students, especially in regards to school choice. The human resource director at the PD office I worked at specifically said they looked at what school you went to. I was also surprised at how many students went to highly ranked schools while I was clerking. I go to a school just outside the t14, and I thought my fellow clerks would be mostly from local law schools, but there were people from almost every t14, t20 school.

It seems there are plenty of people who come to law school specifically for public defense, or are at least public interest minded and are eventually choose public defense as a career. I think working at a firm can be a further disadvantage because interns at many pd offices may get more trial experience. That is how I'm thinking of it anyway, but I could very well be wrong.

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

Postby rpcb » Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:34 pm

Displeased wrote:
sd5289 wrote:
Displeased wrote:We all disdain prosecutors, but that doesn't mean we won't hire a former one. After court, I regularly return to the office with stories of how hilariously smug the Commonwealth was, until the judge came back with a not guilty or a probation/no incarceration sentence. Prosecutors are sometimes terrible, sanctimonious, self-righteous people. But any PD who would throw out an application just because the applicant had some prosecutorial experience is a bad PD.


And I've never met any PD's that qualify for that description... :roll:

On a more serious note, while that may be your thinking, the fact is that PD offices in my market will not look at you if you have any prosecutorial experience in law school. I know of only one exception to that rule, and she seriously drank the PD Kool-Aid. Everyone else I know had to go private if they wanted to do criminal defense. The PD offices here don't need to waste their time looking at possibly "tainted" candidates when they've got so many true believer candidates lining up who have 100% defense experience in law school.

ETA: should add that I'm talking about New York.


Ok, I'll agree with that, there's no real reason for a PD to look at a 3L with mixed experience when there's a hundred applicants with pure PD experience. Still worth applying, of course.


Yeah I don't think I was clear when I was talking about public defender's views on prosecutors. I was specifically talking about 3L applicants. I imagine if a prosecutor with experience wanted to become a PD I bet he or she would have a better shot.




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