How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:26 pm

I worked for a local public defender's office. And just looking at the last page, it seems that PDS pays. The Colorado Public Defender pays as well, but I'm not sure what their hiring timeline is.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:04 pm

rpcb wrote:
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?


It was really quick - I don't quite remember but I was all set up with the job VERY early in the Fall semester.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:39 pm

Should I put my GPA on the resume if it's above a 3 but still below median?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Should I put my GPA on the resume if it's above a 3 but still below median?


Don't draw attention to things that aren't your strengths.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Should I put my GPA on the resume if it's above a 3 but still below median?


Don't draw attention to things that aren't your strengths.


But won't they assume it's worse if I don't put it on there?

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anon sequitur
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby anon sequitur » Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
But won't they assume it's worse if I don't put it on there?


Some DA's and PD's care about GPA. Those are going to look at your transcript.

Some DA's and PD's don't care about GPA. Those are not going to go looking. But they would probably be somewhat impressed by a high GPA, so it doesn't hurt. But if you're below median, it's not going to impress them.

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

Postby Displeased » Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:02 pm

Always thought GPA on resume looked tacky. Besides, its basically meaningless to the employer. A 3.5 at School X might be equivalent to a 3.2 at School Y, and your employer doesn't have time to figure out the median at each school and calculate where you fall on the scale. If you have to put something, put your class rank.

I don't think any PD would "assume the worst" if you don't put your grades on your resume. As we've been saying all topic, most PDs don't care about your grades one bit, its a complete afterthought. The most important thing is experience dealing with indigent clients.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby samcro_op » Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:20 pm

Do we really have to send a paper application to the Santa Clara PD office?!

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Tanicius » Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:27 pm

samcro_op wrote:Do we really have to send a paper application to the Santa Clara PD office?!


I never heard that before, but you're a little fast at any rate -- they don't accept applications until March.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby BlueLotus » Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:06 pm

How ties conscious are PD/Legal Aid places? Has anyone here gotten a FTLT jerb from a PD/Legal Aid office in a state they've never lived, worked, or gone to school in?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:45 pm

BlueLotus wrote:How ties conscious are PD/Legal Aid places? Has anyone here gotten a FTLT jerb from a PD/Legal Aid office in a state they've never lived, worked, or gone to school in?


At PATH, the PDs all said that the fact that you applied means that you've shown adequate interest in living in the area. They didn't seem to even emphasize ties or localities at all. For them, ties/desire for the job seemed most important.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:54 pm

did 1L in an NYC DA's office, getting ready to start applying to USAO, DOJ and other federal prosecution gigs for 2L summer, taking crim classes..

anything else i need to be doing to position myself for one of the NY (NYC + suffolk/nassau) DA offices?


edit lower t14, median

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby gdane » Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:did 1L in an NYC DA's office, getting ready to start applying to USAO, DOJ and other federal prosecution gigs for 2L summer, taking crim classes..

anything else i need to be doing to position myself for one of the NY (NYC + suffolk/nassau) DA offices?


edit lower t14, median

Intern there during the school year if you can, do a criminal law clinic of some sort, get on trial team, moot court, take a trial advocacy class. There's lots you can do obviously.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby spleenworship » Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:53 am

BlueLotus wrote:How ties conscious are PD/Legal Aid places? Has anyone here gotten a FTLT jerb from a PD/Legal Aid office in a state they've never lived, worked, or gone to school in?


Philly, NH, and Miami PDs all asked me why I wanted to live in their cities since I was so far away. I told them I 1) wanted a PD job more than anything, and 2) What I liked about their city (in the case of Philly I also had some remote ties). Philly and Miami were both satisfied with this, while NH didn't seem to believe me. Honestly one of the biggest hurdles I faced was the very different cultures between big city philosophy and small city/rural philosophy. Here, you have to pick and choose when you are going to call the cop a liar, since you hve to deal with the same cops over and over again, and it helps sometimes to have them not actively hostile to you. In Philly and Miami they saw my reluctance as a weakness, because they have the luxury of dealing with a thousand or more cops, so they don't really run into the same people day after day.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby spleenworship » Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:54 am

gdane wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:did 1L in an NYC DA's office, getting ready to start applying to USAO, DOJ and other federal prosecution gigs for 2L summer, taking crim classes..

anything else i need to be doing to position myself for one of the NY (NYC + suffolk/nassau) DA offices?


edit lower t14, median

Intern there during the school year if you can, do a criminal law clinic of some sort, get on trial team, moot court, take a trial advocacy class. There's lots you can do obviously.



Did you get the DA job you wanted gdane?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby sd5289 » Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:did 1L in an NYC DA's office, getting ready to start applying to USAO, DOJ and other federal prosecution gigs for 2L summer, taking crim classes..

anything else i need to be doing to position myself for one of the NY (NYC + suffolk/nassau) DA offices?


edit lower t14, median


FYI: the application for SDNY opens soon and closes at the beginning of October. Get that app in ASAP.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:42 am

I got a job at a "true believer" PD office and had worked at a prosecutor's office during law school. I was asked about it (and was pretty much grilled on it, I thought they interviewed me just to tell me how terrible of a person I was for working in a prosecutor's office) and I had a good answer prepared. I explained how working at the prosecutor's office sucked, how the PD work was more rewarding and why it fit my personality better, how I couldn't imagine working at a prosecutor's office, blah, blah, blah and they must have liked what I had to say because I received an offer at the end of the interview. (Also, what I actually said was obviously more refined than what I just typed, but that was the gist of what I had to say about it).

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby BlueLotus » Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:21 am

spleenworship wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:How ties conscious are PD/Legal Aid places? Has anyone here gotten a FTLT jerb from a PD/Legal Aid office in a state they've never lived, worked, or gone to school in?


Philly, NH, and Miami PDs all asked me why I wanted to live in their cities since I was so far away. I told them I 1) wanted a PD job more than anything, and 2) What I liked about their city (in the case of Philly I also had some remote ties). Philly and Miami were both satisfied with this, while NH didn't seem to believe me. Honestly one of the biggest hurdles I faced was the very different cultures between big city philosophy and small city/rural philosophy. Here, you have to pick and choose when you are going to call the cop a liar, since you hve to deal with the same cops over and over again, and it helps sometimes to have them not actively hostile to you. In Philly and Miami they saw my reluctance as a weakness, because they have the luxury of dealing with a thousand or more cops, so they don't really run into the same people day after day.


How do I answer the inevitable "why VT" and "why Maine" questions when I've never stepped foot in the state of VT, and only vacationed in Maine?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby encore1101 » Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:47 am

BlueLotus wrote:How do I answer the inevitable "why VT" and "why Maine" questions when I've never stepped foot in the state of VT, and only vacationed in Maine?


I'm from San Diego, went to law school in NYC, applied to NYC/Miami DA offices and this was one of the harder questions for me to answer.

I usually found some defining characteristic about the Office or region. Some offices are big on community outreach (which I focused on because of my prior experience), some offices have special programs for domestic violence victims, minority outreach, etc.

You can talk about where you grew up and how it compares to the city, and you're looking for something similar/distinctive. You can talk about the practical reasons you want to work there, such as lower cost of living which will help with loans, etc. I don't know how it goes for PDs, but most DAs will have press releases that talk about special programs that the DA is implementing and how that interests you.

I tried to always give a practical reason, so the interviewer knows that I'm not just blowing smoke.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby BlueLotus » Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:43 am

encore1101 wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:How do I answer the inevitable "why VT" and "why Maine" questions when I've never stepped foot in the state of VT, and only vacationed in Maine?


I'm from San Diego, went to law school in NYC, applied to NYC/Miami DA offices and this was one of the harder questions for me to answer.

I usually found some defining characteristic about the Office or region. Some offices are big on community outreach (which I focused on because of my prior experience), some offices have special programs for domestic violence victims, minority outreach, etc.

You can talk about where you grew up and how it compares to the city, and you're looking for something similar/distinctive. You can talk about the practical reasons you want to work there, such as lower cost of living which will help with loans, etc. I don't know how it goes for PDs, but most DAs will have press releases that talk about special programs that the DA is implementing and how that interests you.

I tried to always give a practical reason, so the interviewer knows that I'm not just blowing smoke.


Thanks! This is helpful advice.

If an application does not limit the length of a writing sample, what is the max length it should be?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby encore1101 » Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:57 pm

BlueLotus wrote:
Thanks! This is helpful advice.

If an application does not limit the length of a writing sample, what is the max length it should be?


I'd say anything over 7 pages would be overkill, although I think the largest I submitted was 14 pages or so. You can generally get an idea for the writing ability of an individual within the first few pages of reading. Try to pick something that aptly demonstrates different facets of legal writing:
- articulate the applicable law in a way favorable to your position;
- state your position and the relief requested;
- compare/contrast with favorable/unfavorable cases from the same jurisdiction;

Insert an introduction page that briefly describes the context of the writing sample: the key facts, what procedural posture the case is in, what the writing sample is (appellate brief, motion, etc.), whether it was for class or an internship, how much assistance you received on it, whether there was a procedural issue that preceded the writing sample, etc. Then, if applicable, indicate that you removed some pages for brevity's sake.

I don't know how much emphasis is on your writing sample. From my experience (and talking over with friends), it seems like so long as its free of obvious errors or misstatements, you won't be denied an interview based on your writing sample. However, at the interview, prepare to answer any questions about your writing sample, including an overall "So tell me about your writing sample..."

You may get pushback on your position about your writing sample, so be ready to defend your position.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby BlueLotus » Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:00 pm

encore1101 wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:
Thanks! This is helpful advice.

If an application does not limit the length of a writing sample, what is the max length it should be?


I'd say anything over 7 pages would be overkill, although I think the largest I submitted was 14 pages or so. You can generally get an idea for the writing ability of an individual within the first few pages of reading. Try to pick something that aptly demonstrates different facets of legal writing:
- articulate the applicable law in a way favorable to your position;
- state your position and the relief requested;
- compare/contrast with favorable/unfavorable cases from the same jurisdiction;

Insert an introduction page that briefly describes the context of the writing sample: the key facts, what procedural posture the case is in, what the writing sample is (appellate brief, motion, etc.), whether it was for class or an internship, how much assistance you received on it, whether there was a procedural issue that preceded the writing sample, etc. Then, if applicable, indicate that you removed some pages for brevity's sake.

I don't know how much emphasis is on your writing sample. From my experience (and talking over with friends), it seems like so long as its free of obvious errors or misstatements, you won't be denied an interview based on your writing sample. However, at the interview, prepare to answer any questions about your writing sample, including an overall "So tell me about your writing sample..."

You may get pushback on your position about your writing sample, so be ready to defend your position.


Thanks! Didn't know I had to do a cover page, but I'll prepare one.

By the way, your dogs are freakin' adorable. :)

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:24 pm

how important is journal membership? if you have other crim-relevant things on your resume

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:47 pm

I am a member of a journal, and last year, i went through pd interviews. I don't think that my academic writing came up as much as I thought. While a PD's office did ask about one of my research projects, the vast majority of the interviews I went through focused on why I want to PD and how I could relate to clients and handle PD work. I think ultimately, while journal membership helps, trial skills and passion are more important.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby encore1101 » Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:55 pm

BlueLotus wrote:Thanks! Didn't know I had to do a cover page, but I'll prepare one.

By the way, your dogs are freakin' adorable. :)


Haha, thanks. That was their "let's take a selfie!" pose.

Just to emphasize, know your writing sample cold. Be ready to discuss it, the arguments in support and against your position, but why your position is ultimately correct.




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