How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:58 pm

I'm a 3L hired as a pd, with a prosecution stain on my resume , and I haven't faced any resistance, even from true believer offices mentioned above. As long as 1. You've done PD stuff since your time on the dark side 2. You have a good narrative about why you'd never even consider the dark side again and 3. It wasn't a heinously shitty prosecutor like New Orleans, the Bronx, or anything in Texas or Arizona, the door isn't closed. There are too many high quality true believe applicantsr out there for offices to consider considering anyone who doesn't meet the above 3 criteria. You can always do private DUI defense!

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 23, 2014 2:36 pm

2L. With an offer to do my 2L summer at PDS. I would prefer to move to/stay in CA long term. Would most CA offices recognize PDS and view it positively or would I derive the greatest benefit from interning at a CA office where I would like to work (post grad). I am scared that the office where I intern in CA may be unable to hire me (budget cuts/no retirements/competitive hiring process). Also I would consider PDS but I also know the hiring process at PDS is quite competitive.

The offices I would consider instead of PDS would be Santa Clara, contra costa, alameda, sf, Marin. Thoughts? Thank you.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby samcro_op » Sat Aug 23, 2014 3:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:2L. With an offer to do my 2L summer at PDS. I would prefer to move to/stay in CA long term. Would most CA offices recognize PDS and view it positively or would I derive the greatest benefit from interning at a CA office where I would like to work (post grad). I am scared that the office where I intern in CA may be unable to hire me (budget cuts/no retirements/competitive hiring process). Also I would consider PDS but I also know the hiring process at PDS is quite competitive.

The offices I would consider instead of PDS would be Santa Clara, contra costa, alameda, sf, Marin. Thoughts? Thank you.


This almost exact thing has been discussed many times and only in the last 10 pages or so.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Tanicius » Sat Aug 23, 2014 3:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:2L. With an offer to do my 2L summer at PDS. I would prefer to move to/stay in CA long term. Would most CA offices recognize PDS and view it positively or would I derive the greatest benefit from interning at a CA office where I would like to work (post grad). I am scared that the office where I intern in CA may be unable to hire me (budget cuts/no retirements/competitive hiring process). Also I would consider PDS but I also know the hiring process at PDS is quite competitive.

The offices I would consider instead of PDS would be Santa Clara, contra costa, alameda, sf, Marin. Thoughts? Thank you.


Unlike most of the CA offices, PDS has nation-wide employment carrying power. You put it on your resume, and it's like going to Harvard as far as most PD offices are concerned. If you want to be employed in CA, interning at a CA office only really helps if you want to be employed at that particular office. Its connections won't really help at any other CA county offices. So, I think you should actually choose PDS even if your current CA office is expected to hire next year.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 23, 2014 3:52 pm

Tanicius wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:2L. With an offer to do my 2L summer at PDS. I would prefer to move to/stay in CA long term. Would most CA offices recognize PDS and view it positively or would I derive the greatest benefit from interning at a CA office where I would like to work (post grad). I am scared that the office where I intern in CA may be unable to hire me (budget cuts/no retirements/competitive hiring process). Also I would consider PDS but I also know the hiring process at PDS is quite competitive.

The offices I would consider instead of PDS would be Santa Clara, contra costa, alameda, sf, Marin. Thoughts? Thank you.


Unlike most of the CA offices, PDS has nation-wide employment carrying power. You put it on your resume, and it's like going to Harvard as far as most PD offices are concerned. If you want to be employed in CA, interning at a CA office only really helps if you want to be employed at that particular office. Its connections won't really help at any other CA county offices. So, I think you should actually choose PDS even if your current CA office is expected to hire next year.


+1

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby rpcb » Sat Aug 23, 2014 5:31 pm

Tanicius wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:2L. With an offer to do my 2L summer at PDS. I would prefer to move to/stay in CA long term. Would most CA offices recognize PDS and view it positively or would I derive the greatest benefit from interning at a CA office where I would like to work (post grad). I am scared that the office where I intern in CA may be unable to hire me (budget cuts/no retirements/competitive hiring process). Also I would consider PDS but I also know the hiring process at PDS is quite competitive.

The offices I would consider instead of PDS would be Santa Clara, contra costa, alameda, sf, Marin. Thoughts? Thank you.


Unlike most of the CA offices, PDS has nation-wide employment carrying power. You put it on your resume, and it's like going to Harvard as far as most PD offices are concerned. If you want to be employed in CA, interning at a CA office only really helps if you want to be employed at that particular office. Its connections won't really help at any other CA county offices. So, I think you should actually choose PDS even if your current CA office is expected to hire next year.


Would you say that is true regardless of experience? I imagine if he got good experience at a California office and was able to argue motions at a California office and do other stuff in the courtroom that would obviously turn the tables. Plus it does seem like Alameda County PD office has a good reputation. I would definitely consider going there for 2L summer

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 23, 2014 5:42 pm

How many people here have scheduled interviews with PDS? I applied at the beginning of this week and so far have only received an automated message saying they received my app. I know its still pretty early it would just be nice to hear how long it took from those of you who have something set up.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby anon sequitur » Sat Aug 23, 2014 6:08 pm

I don't really think the prestige of PDS is as strong a factor for getting a job as it is made out on here. It's very, very selective because they pay well, are better funded, and have fairly low caseloads. So they can pick and choose very competitive applicants.

But for hiring for other PD jobs, you've got to deal with the local people in charge, and I haven't seen much evidence that they're going to be especially impressed with any particular office, especially an out-of-state one.

I think PDS's prestige, such as it is, is probably most helpful for getting a job after being a PD, like transitioning into other governmental work, Federal PD work, capital defender offices, ACLU, innocence project, etc. But I don't really see it doing anything special to open doors at other PD offices.

For actual PD hiring, I'd rather spend my 2L at a big urban office that lets its interns handle trials, and especially one in a state where I'm hoping to practice someday.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby rpcb » Sat Aug 23, 2014 6:13 pm

anon sequitur wrote:I don't really think the prestige of PDS is as strong a factor for getting a job as it is made out on here. It's very, very selective because they pay well, are better funded, and have fairly low caseloads. So they can pick and choose very competitive applicants.

But for hiring for other PD jobs, you've got to deal with the local people in charge, and I haven't seen much evidence that they're going to be especially impressed with any particular office, especially an out-of-state one.

I think PDS's prestige, such as it is, is probably most helpful for getting a job after being a PD, like transitioning into other governmental work, Federal PD work, capital defender offices, ACLU, innocence project, etc. But I don't really see it doing anything special to open doors at other PD offices.

For actual PD hiring, I'd rather spend my 2L at a big urban office that lets its interns handle trials, and especially one in a state where I'm hoping to practice someday.


That is what I suspected. I am no expert but I imagine valuable experience anywhere can trump the prestige of the office. Not saying you don't get great experience at PDS though. I bet you do.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 23, 2014 6:17 pm

anon sequitur wrote:I don't really think the prestige of PDS is as strong a factor for getting a job as it is made out on here. It's very, very selective because they pay well, are better funded, and have fairly low caseloads. So they can pick and choose very competitive applicants.

But for hiring for other PD jobs, you've got to deal with the local people in charge, and I haven't seen much evidence that they're going to be especially impressed with any particular office, especially an out-of-state one.

I think PDS's prestige, such as it is, is probably most helpful for getting a job after being a PD, like transitioning into other governmental work, Federal PD work, capital defender offices, ACLU, innocence project, etc. But I don't really see it doing anything special to open doors at other PD offices.

For actual PD hiring, I'd rather spend my 2L at a big urban office that lets its interns handle trials, and especially one in a state where I'm hoping to practice someday.


I disagree. Applicants at my law school who had PDS on the resume, and applicants at my current PD job who had PDS on their resume, had a ridiculous cycle last year. I'm entering a job in the midwest beside two PDS alums, one of whom has no connections to the state. Two of my law school classmates did PDS, and they are working at Bronx and Georgetown for the Prettman. At EJW they secured interviews with practically every office they applied to, while the rest of us were lucky to get more than one or two and had to scrounge for table talk scraps. PDS alums mopped up.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Aug 23, 2014 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby rpcb » Sat Aug 23, 2014 6:20 pm

So I registered for the EJW fair in October. I see that the registration guide says not to apply to the employers directly but by pressing "view linked interview schedule." That works fine for most employers but some of the registered employers like the Defender Association of Philadelphia do not have job postings to apply for. Anyone know what to do when this happens?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby rpcb » Sat Aug 23, 2014 6:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
anon sequitur wrote:I don't really think the prestige of PDS is as strong a factor for getting a job as it is made out on here. It's very, very selective because they pay well, are better funded, and have fairly low caseloads. So they can pick and choose very competitive applicants.

But for hiring for other PD jobs, you've got to deal with the local people in charge, and I haven't seen much evidence that they're going to be especially impressed with any particular office, especially an out-of-state one.

I think PDS's prestige, such as it is, is probably most helpful for getting a job after being a PD, like transitioning into other governmental work, Federal PD work, capital defender offices, ACLU, innocence project, etc. But I don't really see it doing anything special to open doors at other PD offices.

For actual PD hiring, I'd rather spend my 2L at a big urban office that lets its interns handle trials, and especially one in a state where I'm hoping to practice someday.


I disagree. Applicants at my law school who had PDS on the resume, and applicants at my current PD job who had PDS on their resume, had a ridiculous cycle last year. I'm entering a job in the midwest beside two PDS alums, one of whom has no connections to the state. Two of my law school classmates did PDS, and they are working at Bronx and Georgetown for the Prettman. At EJW they secured interviews with practically every office they applied to, while the rest of us were lucky to get more than one or two and had to scrounge for table talk scraps. PDS alums mopped up.


Do you think any other organizations have similar pull, such as Bronx Defenders?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 23, 2014 6:27 pm

rpcb wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I disagree. Applicants at my law school who had PDS on the resume, and applicants at my current PD job who had PDS on their resume, had a ridiculous cycle last year. I'm entering a job in the midwest beside two PDS alums, one of whom has no connections to the state. Two of my law school classmates did PDS, and they are working at Bronx and Georgetown for the Prettman. At EJW they secured interviews with practically every office they applied to, while the rest of us were lucky to get more than one or two and had to scrounge for table talk scraps. PDS alums mopped up.


Do you think any other organizations have similar pull, such as Bronx Defenders?


Yes, the Bronx and New Orleans are probably the other two main organizations that carry similar weight. You have to realize, at EJW they have hundreds of applications, and these offices are getting thousands more applications throughout the country that are just cold applications from other 3Ls and licensed attorneys. They use a line like PDS as a metric that gives instant qualification. It's the same way firms use GPA or law school as a way to auto-thin the herd. Going to PDS is no guarantee that you'll be an amazing addition to their office, but they perceive it as an automatically positive indication of competence and dedication to the cause. "If PDS let this person in, they must have hardcore drunk the public defender Koolaid. Let's keep their application at the top." It's prestige-whorish, unfair, and short-sighted, but unfortunately that is how a lot of the annual nation-wide hiring has been going lately.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
I disagree. Applicants at my law school who had PDS on the resume, and applicants at my current PD job who had PDS on their resume, had a ridiculous cycle last year. I'm entering a job in the midwest beside two PDS alums, one of whom has no connections to the state. Two of my law school classmates did PDS, and they are working at Bronx and Georgetown for the Prettman. At EJW they secured interviews with practically every office they applied to, while the rest of us were lucky to get more than one or two and had to scrounge for table talk scraps. PDS alums mopped up.


Anything else the PDS alum had in common? Like great grades from top schools, along with LR? Knowing that PDS is pretty selective, one would expect their former interns to do well regardless.

Anyway, I'll remain skeptical until I hear from a person in charge of hiring who says that a summer at PDS would set an applicant apart as compared to someone from some other big city PD office. I've spoken to several people who have explicitly disclaimed the idea, but maybe they were unusual or had a pro-West coast bias.

I'm not at all skeptical of the idea that PD hiring has been changing and is more "prestige" based, but that (in my perhaps limited experience) it seems to come in the form of a greater focus on grades and school, the kind of signals that are used for all sorts of legal jobs.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby The Dark Shepard » Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:54 pm

incoming 1L here. I'm leaning 75% or so towards PD over DA, but I'm not a "true believer" by any means. With that in mind, do I need to be solely focused on PD stuff these next 3 years, or would having some DA "stain" not be that bad?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:00 am

The Dark Shepard wrote:incoming 1L here. I'm leaning 75% or so towards PD over DA, but I'm not a "true believer" by any means. With that in mind, do I need to be solely focused on PD stuff these next 3 years, or would having some DA "stain" not be that bad?


In all honesty, it depends on the PDs office. Some offices, especially big, well known offices like the Bronx Defenders and PDS, are true believer offices. They want people 110% dedicated to the cause and prosecution stuff is a big no. At the PATH (Public Defender Advocacy, Training, and Hiring) Conference, put on by PDS, several of the PDs, including the Director of hiring at the Bronx Defenders and attorneys at the Philly Defenders and PDS, made it VERY clear that DA experience is almost always a very bad thing. From what I saw working this summer at PDS, the culture is very anti-prosecution. They don't want to hire people who can even imagine ever working at a DA's office, let alone someone who has done it.

On the other hand, many PD offices don't care. The PD of New Jersey has said repeatedly that he would rather hire a good trial attorney that had DA experience than a less talented PD focused candidate. When he said that at PATH, he got some seriously dirty looks from other panelists. I get the impression that it's rare. Many smaller offices, in less populous areas, seem to be more open to that than bigger offices, which are often "true believer" offices.

With all of this said, if you work at a DA your first summer. You can try to claim it was the "dark ages" and you've since seen the light. If you work there after that, you're pushing it with making any of your excuses believable.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:
The Dark Shepard wrote:incoming 1L here. I'm leaning 75% or so towards PD over DA, but I'm not a "true believer" by any means. With that in mind, do I need to be solely focused on PD stuff these next 3 years, or would having some DA "stain" not be that bad?


In all honesty, it depends on the PDs office. Some offices, especially big, well known offices like the Bronx Defenders and PDS, are true believer offices. They want people 110% dedicated to the cause and prosecution stuff is a big no. At the PATH (Public Defender Advocacy, Training, and Hiring) Conference, put on by PDS, several of the PDs, including the Director of hiring at the Bronx Defenders and attorneys at the Philly Defenders and PDS, made it VERY clear that DA experience is almost always a very bad thing. From what I saw working this summer at PDS, the culture is very anti-prosecution. They don't want to hire people who can even imagine ever working at a DA's office, let alone someone who has done it.

On the other hand, many PD offices don't care. The PD of New Jersey has said repeatedly that he would rather hire a good trial attorney that had DA experience than a less talented PD focused candidate. When he said that at PATH, he got some seriously dirty looks from other panelists. I get the impression that it's rare. Many smaller offices, in less populous areas, seem to be more open to that than bigger offices, which are often "true believer" offices.

With all of this said, if you work at a DA your first summer. You can try to claim it was the "dark ages" and you've since seen the light. If you work there after that, you're pushing it with making any of your excuses believable.


+1. Adding on to this, I've interned for a public defender's office in a big city, and the advice that I got was to work for the prosecutor's office first. The rationale was that it provides great training. But, I agree that offices like PDS and Bronx want to know that you're 110% dedicated to the cause. I'm more in the true believer camp! (And to the person who attended PATH, it seems really helpful. I wish I attended it!)

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby BlueLotus » Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:05 pm

Anyone interview with BDS's Immigration Practice? Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 24, 2014 4:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I disagree. Applicants at my law school who had PDS on the resume, and applicants at my current PD job who had PDS on their resume, had a ridiculous cycle last year. I'm entering a job in the midwest beside two PDS alums, one of whom has no connections to the state. Two of my law school classmates did PDS, and they are working at Bronx and Georgetown for the Prettman. At EJW they secured interviews with practically every office they applied to, while the rest of us were lucky to get more than one or two and had to scrounge for table talk scraps. PDS alums mopped up.


Anything else the PDS alum had in common? Like great grades from top schools, along with LR? Knowing that PDS is pretty selective, one would expect their former interns to do well regardless.

Anyway, I'll remain skeptical until I hear from a person in charge of hiring who says that a summer at PDS would set an applicant apart as compared to someone from some other big city PD office. I've spoken to several people who have explicitly disclaimed the idea, but maybe they were unusual or had a pro-West coast bias.

I'm not at all skeptical of the idea that PD hiring has been changing and is more "prestige" based, but that (in my perhaps limited experience) it seems to come in the form of a greater focus on grades and school, the kind of signals that are used for all sorts of legal jobs.


I would seriously doubt that "great grades" or "LR" had anything to do with those PDS alums getting hired, considering how few PD offices even ask about grades, and how most of them consider journal/LR to be a waste of time you should have spent doing real work. I applied to about 20 PD offices, and only one (PDS, actually) even asked for my grades, and even they said they just wanted a transcript to prove that I really went to law school and to see what classes I took, more than for the grades. School prestige matters some, but mostly, the prestige-based hiring comes in the form of being able to reject people who aren't totally PD focused, and people who don't have a pretty extensive background in doing this work. If you're thinking about grades or LR, you're focusing on the wrong things in law school.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
The Dark Shepard wrote:incoming 1L here. I'm leaning 75% or so towards PD over DA, but I'm not a "true believer" by any means. With that in mind, do I need to be solely focused on PD stuff these next 3 years, or would having some DA "stain" not be that bad?


In all honesty, it depends on the PDs office. Some offices, especially big, well known offices like the Bronx Defenders and PDS, are true believer offices. They want people 110% dedicated to the cause and prosecution stuff is a big no. At the PATH (Public Defender Advocacy, Training, and Hiring) Conference, put on by PDS, several of the PDs, including the Director of hiring at the Bronx Defenders and attorneys at the Philly Defenders and PDS, made it VERY clear that DA experience is almost always a very bad thing. From what I saw working this summer at PDS, the culture is very anti-prosecution. They don't want to hire people who can even imagine ever working at a DA's office, let alone someone who has done it.

On the other hand, many PD offices don't care. The PD of New Jersey has said repeatedly that he would rather hire a good trial attorney that had DA experience than a less talented PD focused candidate. When he said that at PATH, he got some seriously dirty looks from other panelists. I get the impression that it's rare. Many smaller offices, in less populous areas, seem to be more open to that than bigger offices, which are often "true believer" offices.

With all of this said, if you work at a DA your first summer. You can try to claim it was the "dark ages" and you've since seen the light. If you work there after that, you're pushing it with making any of your excuses believable.


+1. Adding on to this, I've interned for a public defender's office in a big city, and the advice that I got was to work for the prosecutor's office first. The rationale was that it provides great training. But, I agree that offices like PDS and Bronx want to know that you're 110% dedicated to the cause. I'm more in the true believer camp! (And to the person who attended PATH, it seems really helpful. I wish I attended it!)


I also agree with what has been said on the subject. PD office I interned at was the same way. They won't throw your application out but you better convince them that you are completely through with anything remotely prosecution related. They could not stand prosecutors. Granted this was in the South where the criminal justice system, IMO, is just really really bad.

If you think you are set on PD you really should just do PD related work, especially your second summer. If you are not sure, I would still do PD work because, in general, DA offices do not mind as much if you have worked for the other side. Since you said you are 75% sure you want public defense, I would really focus on that type of work your first year. If you do not like it, you should not have much of a problem going over to the dark side.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote: If you think you are set on PD you really should just do PD related work, especially your second summer. If you are not sure, I would still do PD work because, in general, DA offices do not mind as much if you have worked for the other side. Since you said you are 75% sure you want public defense, I would really focus on that type of work your first year. If you do not like it, you should not have much of a problem going over to the dark side.


This is a great point - DA offices in general seem to care a lot less about the "true believer" stuff.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby samcro_op » Sun Aug 24, 2014 6:26 pm

Does PDS pay their summers?
Also I got a bad grade in CrimPro (didn't realize there was a last page and didn't answer a portion of the exam) do you think that'll negatively effect me? I go to a Tier 1 school.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 24, 2014 9:02 pm

samcro_op wrote:Does PDS pay their summers?
Also I got a bad grade in CrimPro (didn't realize there was a last page and didn't answer a portion of the exam) do you think that'll negatively effect me? I go to a Tier 1 school.


PDS paid this year - almost $8000 for the summer (if you didn't have other outside funding too. If you did, it was less). But it's not a regular thing. This is the first year they paid in several years and we were all told when we were hired that there was no pay. Then, about two months before we started, they got funding to pay us! Needless to say, we were thrilled!

As far as a bad grade in Crim Pro, I don't know. I hadn't even taken Crim Pro (I'm taking it this semester). I think overall grades are more important. But even more important than that is interest/passion. I wouldn't count you out because of one bad grade.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby rpcb » Mon Aug 25, 2014 1:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:
samcro_op wrote:Does PDS pay their summers?
Also I got a bad grade in CrimPro (didn't realize there was a last page and didn't answer a portion of the exam) do you think that'll negatively effect me? I go to a Tier 1 school.


PDS paid this year - almost $8000 for the summer (if you didn't have other outside funding too. If you did, it was less). But it's not a regular thing. This is the first year they paid in several years and we were all told when we were hired that there was no pay. Then, about two months before we started, they got funding to pay us! Needless to say, we were thrilled!

As far as a bad grade in Crim Pro, I don't know. I hadn't even taken Crim Pro (I'm taking it this semester). I think overall grades are more important. But even more important than that is interest/passion. I wouldn't count you out because of one bad grade.


How long did it take you to hear back after you applied?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 25, 2014 1:38 pm

is there any listing of public defender offices that pay 2L summers? and can someone shed some light for me on what the normal timeline/process for 2L summer hiring looks like?




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