How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

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

Postby samcro_op » Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If you want to demonstrate your understanding of prison-related trauma, work with the fucking prisoners.


This is what I was sort of thinking. Just by working with victims doesn't mean that you're going to understand them better. Audit some social work courses or volunteer with people who have been traumatized that aren't red flags/going to be the victims you will regularly be having to cross examine. I think you can easily help with disenfranchised groups without it being with the sort of victim group that raises eyebrows.

The Dark Shepard
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby The Dark Shepard » Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:42 pm

So it is considered impossible to balance both understanding victims and understanding criminals? Given that I've worked with victims in the past, should I give up on the PD dream already?

Not to mention, it isn't as if the DA is representing the victim. They're representing the state. Not quite the same thing

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

Postby Tanicius » Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:43 pm

The Dark Shepard wrote:So it is considered impossible to balance both understanding victims and understanding criminals? Given that I've worked with victims in the past, should I give up on the PD dream already?


No, it's not impossible at all. The issue is how employers calculate risk and prioritize hierarchies of applicants.

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

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:44 pm

Most people I know who've worked with DV victims really would have a hard time defending DV defendants, though. It's a pretty polarizing issue. I'm not saying it should be an auto-ding but I really do get why PDs would be leery.

(And I also don't know how PD offices handle it, so not saying people shouldn't apply to PDs - I think working directly with indigent clients would transfer effectively to being a PD. Just that people would have to know how to spin their experience.)

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:03 pm

Would working at 2 different NYC DA offices hurt with chances of hiring? Say I work Brooklyn 1L and manhattan 2L or vice versa..

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

Postby BlueLotus » Wed Sep 17, 2014 4:18 pm

Would the fact your school has taken a nosedive in the rankings effect how employers look at you? My schools LSAT median has gone from 166 to 162 since 2010, and we've dropped 9 spots! :oops:

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

Postby samcro_op » Wed Sep 17, 2014 4:51 pm

BlueLotus wrote:Would the fact your school has taken a nosedive in the rankings effect how employers look at you? My schools LSAT median has gone from 166 to 162 since 2010, and we've dropped 9 spots! :oops:


I hope you're not serious...

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

Postby gdane » Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Would working at 2 different NYC DA offices hurt with chances of hiring? Say I work Brooklyn 1L and manhattan 2L or vice versa..

No. Get experience and be active while there. You want to be able to talk about things that you actually did.

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

Postby gdane » Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:02 pm

BlueLotus wrote:Would the fact your school has taken a nosedive in the rankings effect how employers look at you? My schools LSAT median has gone from 166 to 162 since 2010, and we've dropped 9 spots! :oops:

Public interest employers in all likelihood aren't keeping track of this stuff.

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

Postby iShotFirst » Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:24 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Most people I know who've worked with DV victims really would have a hard time defending DV defendants, though. It's a pretty polarizing issue. I'm not saying it should be an auto-ding but I really do get why PDs would be leery.

(And I also don't know how PD offices handle it, so not saying people shouldn't apply to PDs - I think working directly with indigent clients would transfer effectively to being a PD. Just that people would have to know how to spin their experience.)


DV victims are generally also very difficult "clients", so I would think that that experience could transfer over well to dealing with difficult PD clients.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:51 pm

whereskyle wrote:Hey all I'm a 1L at NU (chose it for scholly considerations), and Im looking to prime myself for a largely independent and unsupported job search. I've heard talk of a few PI/PD job fairs outside of the midwest region. Could someone give me a rundown of some of these fairs (name/when/where)? I expect that I will be responsible for organizing my own arrangements and calendar for events such as these. Thank you all for your help! I and the other PI/PD inclined NUers (like the 2 other ones) could really use your support!


I'd try to talk to the people at Gideon's promise since y'all are partnered up with them! http://deansblog.law.northwestern.edu/2 ... portunity/

edit: but also remember that 1Ls aren't allowed to talk to employers until after a certain date.

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

Postby samcro_op » Thu Sep 18, 2014 12:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:
whereskyle wrote:Hey all I'm a 1L at NU (chose it for scholly considerations), and Im looking to prime myself for a largely independent and unsupported job search. I've heard talk of a few PI/PD job fairs outside of the midwest region. Could someone give me a rundown of some of these fairs (name/when/where)? I expect that I will be responsible for organizing my own arrangements and calendar for events such as these. Thank you all for your help! I and the other PI/PD inclined NUers (like the 2 other ones) could really use your support!


I'd try to talk to the people at Gideon's promise since y'all are partnered up with them! http://deansblog.law.northwestern.edu/2 ... portunity/

edit: but also remember that 1Ls aren't allowed to talk to employers until after a certain date.


1Ls can talk to employers before Dec 1st they just can't seek jobs with them until then.

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

Postby BlueLotus » Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:42 am

samcro_op wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:Would the fact your school has taken a nosedive in the rankings effect how employers look at you? My schools LSAT median has gone from 166 to 162 since 2010, and we've dropped 9 spots! :oops:


I hope you're not serious...


no i am serious! we belong to a prestige-obsessed profession. maybe less so in public interest, but good rank/grades/journal etc. certainly can only help, which is why i am concerned.

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encore1101
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby encore1101 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:48 am

BlueLotus wrote:
samcro_op wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:Would the fact your school has taken a nosedive in the rankings effect how employers look at you? My schools LSAT median has gone from 166 to 162 since 2010, and we've dropped 9 spots! :oops:


I hope you're not serious...


no i am serious! we belong to a prestige-obsessed profession. maybe less so in public interest, but good rank/grades/journal etc. certainly can only help, which is why i am concerned.


My school dropped substantially while I was enrolled (more than 15-20 spots). I had offers from 3 different DA offices.

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

Postby BlueLotus » Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:52 am

encore1101 wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:
samcro_op wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:Would the fact your school has taken a nosedive in the rankings effect how employers look at you? My schools LSAT median has gone from 166 to 162 since 2010, and we've dropped 9 spots! :oops:


I hope you're not serious...


no i am serious! we belong to a prestige-obsessed profession. maybe less so in public interest, but good rank/grades/journal etc. certainly can only help, which is why i am concerned.


My school dropped substantially while I was enrolled (more than 15-20 spots). I had offers from 3 different DA offices.


Congrats! Which ones? PM me.

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

Postby Displeased » Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:53 am

samcro_op wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:Would the fact your school has taken a nosedive in the rankings effect how employers look at you? My schools LSAT median has gone from 166 to 162 since 2010, and we've dropped 9 spots! :oops:


I hope you're not serious...


PDs and DAs rarely give a thought to the rankings, and I can guarantee they aren't watching the rankings on a yearly basis. No one will notice or care that your school dropped 9 spots. First off, they just don't have the time to notice something like that. Your application isn't getting the kind of scrutiny you seem to think it does. Second-of-ly, many PDs can't play the prestige game without being hypocritical. You'll notice that a substantial number of older PD's come from very low ranking schools. Third, every PD in the world recognizes that you learn very little in the classroom that carries over to the job. Experience and internships counts a thousand times more than a spot in the rankings.

To put it another way, I think any experience with indigent defendants is worth about 30 points on the rankings. All other things being equal, a person from a tier 2 who does an additional fall externship at a PD's office is way ahead of a person from a mid level tier 1 who didn't do that externship.

As for the domestic violence victims thing....

Any work with indigent people is a good thing. Work with indigent defendants is best, but I don't think victims work is at all disqualifying. In practice, the line between victim and defendant is really blurry. Today's defendant is tomorrow's victim. Cross-warrants in domestic violence cases are extremely common. Indigent people tend to be victims of crime just as often as they are perpetrators. Just last week I watched a case where a prosecution witness in a DUI case on the 9:00 A.M. docket turned out to be the defendant in an unrelated case on the 10:00 A.M. docket. Point is, don't frame it as "victim's work", frame it as work with poor people.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:38 am

If you're going PD and you have a plain vanilla victim rights org on your resume, that's not going to be good.

But if you worked at an immigration org that helps noncitizen DV victims apply for petitions, and you're applying to a PD office, I would describe that as generally as possible on the resume-- 'helped people apply for immigration benefits'-- and leave out the types of visas. I did this for my PD apps and instead emphasized the crim-imm research I did, and it def helped.

The Dark Shepard
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby The Dark Shepard » Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:56 pm

Displeased wrote:
samcro_op wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:Would the fact your school has taken a nosedive in the rankings effect how employers look at you? My schools LSAT median has gone from 166 to 162 since 2010, and we've dropped 9 spots! :oops:


I hope you're not serious...


Any work with indigent people is a good thing. Work with indigent defendants is best, but I don't think victims work is at all disqualifying. In practice, the line between victim and defendant is really blurry. Today's defendant is tomorrow's victim. Cross-warrants in domestic violence cases are extremely common. Indigent people tend to be victims of crime just as often as they are perpetrators. Just last week I watched a case where a prosecution witness in a DUI case on the 9:00 A.M. docket turned out to be the defendant in an unrelated case on the 10:00 A.M. docket. Point is, don't frame it as "victim's work", frame it as work with poor people.


Thanks for this. That was how I've always viewed it. This made me feel better :)

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fratstar1
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby fratstar1 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:04 pm

I reached out to a staff attorney at Brooklyn Defenders that graduated from my law school for an informational phone call, what are some good questions to ask? I've been developing a list mainly based off a Yale guide to informational interviews, but am not sure if the questions are poignant enough. Also advice that would help leave a good impression would be appreciated.

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

Postby samcro_op » Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:24 pm

Anyone have any information about summer internships at the Cook County office for 2Ls?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:32 pm

BlueLotus wrote: but good rank/grades/journal etc. certainly can only help, which is why i am concerned.


Yeah, this is just false. In fact, many of the top offices actively dislike journal, especially when you spend a lot of time on it rather than on actual work helping actual poor people. I've been in interviews where people were asked to justify why they wasted their time on fake law school activities rather than working.

You have a limited amount of free time. If you spend it worried about prestige and grades and bluebooking professors' articles, you're not spending it getting actual experience that will give you the skills to do this work. Use your time wisely.

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

Postby Displeased » Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:
BlueLotus wrote: but good rank/grades/journal etc. certainly can only help, which is why i am concerned.


Yeah, this is just false. In fact, many of the top offices actively dislike journal, especially when you spend a lot of time on it rather than on actual work helping actual poor people. I've been in interviews where people were asked to justify why they wasted their time on fake law school activities rather than working.

You have a limited amount of free time. If you spend it worried about prestige and grades and bluebooking professors' articles, you're not spending it getting actual experience that will give you the skills to do this work. Use your time wisely.


My personal experience is that, in dozens of PD interviews, both during and after law school, me being on journal simply never came up. As long as you don't go into an interview thinking that your academic work or journal work is remotely relevant, you should be fine. If you were editor in chief or a high ranking position, that certainly might be harmful, but only in the sense that it probably means you aren't doing externships or accumulating other experience.

When you interview, keep in mind that PD's and prosecutors have a general distaste for anything that isn't trial work. We're convinced that we're the only real lawyers, that corporate and academic work is laughable. There's a very special disdain for professors, who write extensive articles about criminal law without ever having tried a case in their lives. Being footnote wench for a career academic who just writes about the 4th Amendment is NOT criminal law experience, so don't talk about it in your cover letter or in the interview.

Practically, I do think you should be on a journal, if only because every other lawyer job in the world seems to expect you to be on a journal.

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encore1101
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby encore1101 » Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:39 am

You can't approach PD/DA the same way you'd approach biglaw (i.e. grades and rankings). If you say "I've always wanted to be a prosecutor!" but only have torts or civil litigation experience? "I believe in helping people!" but have no community service? PD/DAs make their living off finding inconsistencies in people's stories. So if you really want to do PD/DA, don't worry if you're not on a journal. Get trial experience. Do mock trials and/or moot court.

Journals aren't entirely useless, but they're not worth the time investment. If your school offers clinical programs, participate in those. Intern at whatever offices you're interested in and always ask questions and more work. An office will get hundreds of interns per year, so you need to really make yourself stand out.

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

Postby gdane » Sat Sep 20, 2014 2:20 pm

I'm gonna have to get this stickied on ever page until you all get it: do a journal and or moot court if you can because not all of you will get to be public defenders or prosecutors.

This whole "oh don't do journal because it won't help you get a PD/prosecutor job" mindset is very shortsighted and retarded.

A lot of you aren't going to get PD/prosecutor jobs and then you're going to be sitting around unemployed with nothing except criminal law experience on your resume. At least moot court and journal give you a bit more marketability to other public interest organizations and to civil law firms.

Just do moot court and journal if you can.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:35 pm

fratstar1 wrote:I reached out to a staff attorney at Brooklyn Defenders that graduated from my law school for an informational phone call, what are some good questions to ask? I've been developing a list mainly based off a Yale guide to informational interviews, but am not sure if the questions are poignant enough. Also advice that would help leave a good impression would be appreciated.



I did something similar with an attorney at BDS before my final round with them. To be perfectly honest I didn't take it super seriously or anything, I just treated it as a conversation about the office. It was very friendly and low key. He is a nice guy and wanted to help out someone in my position. He gave me some tips about the interview, explained how the whole process went for him, and was generally encouraging. In that vein, ask things you want to know. Depending on the experience of this alumni, its highly unlikely they will be in a position to give any input on hiring, so ask what you want to know! (I got an offer from BDS, btw.)




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