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.