How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:37 pm

gdane wrote: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.



I disagree with this for the most part in regards to PD jobs- if you are willing to go ANYWHERE, you usually can get a job and keep trying for the locations you want to be. This is especially true if you have any clinical experience and are willing to look into other types of indigent work that may not be strictly PD (other types of legal services ro prison reform, etc.)

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

Postby Displeased » Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
gdane wrote: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.



I disagree with this for the most part in regards to PD jobs- if you are willing to go ANYWHERE, you usually can get a job and keep trying for the locations you want to be. This is especially true if you have any clinical experience and are willing to look into other types of indigent work that may not be strictly PD (other types of legal services ro prison reform, etc.)


"Willing to go anywhere" doesn't really help you with PD jobs, since you almost certainly won't get hired until after you pass the bar, and you need to apply to a state bar around halfway through 3L year, end of 3L at the latest. Once you've committed to a state, you narrow your options considerably. You'd be shocked how rare PD openings can be. In Virginia when I was job hunting, there were maybe 4 new PD openings a month. As I'm typing this message, there's only one assistant public defender position open in the entire state of VA. There's absolutely no way that everyone who wants to be a PD can become a PD.

I agree with gdane. Suck it up, do a journal, you look weird to non-PD employers if you don't.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 21, 2014 3:24 am

Offer for a "top" PD office (BDS, PDS, New Orleans, etc). I am also considering a big law firm (not market paying 120-130k range starting). I have my heart set on public defending but the lack of openings/unpredictability in hiring/not getting hired until after the bar has me a bit nervous.

Would working at a big firm make it harder or more like impossible to be competitive for Fulltime PD positions? Id be able to pay off most of my debt if I did the SA. I would intern at the PD every remaining semester to show my interest. I am leaning heavily toward accepting the PD offer but it's defintely tempting to go the firm route for the summer.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby BlueLotus » Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:49 am

Dinged from LAS Juvenile Rights Practice. Fluent in Spanish, have a shitton of children's rights experience, and thought I wrote a cogent cover letter. *sigh* :(
Last edited by BlueLotus on Sun Sep 21, 2014 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 21, 2014 2:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Offer for a "top" PD office (BDS, PDS, New Orleans, etc). I am also considering a big law firm (not market paying 120-130k range starting). I have my heart set on public defending but the lack of openings/unpredictability in hiring/not getting hired until after the bar has me a bit nervous.

Would working at a big firm make it harder or more like impossible to be competitive for Fulltime PD positions? Id be able to pay off most of my debt if I did the SA. I would intern at the PD every remaining semester to show my interest. I am leaning heavily toward accepting the PD offer but it's defintely tempting to go the firm route for the summer.


Looking at linkedin, I saw someone from LAS who worked at biglaw before becoming a public defender. But, that's anecdotal and I can't attest to how a top PD office would look at the big law experience. I'm sure you could find at a job at a PD office though with biglaw experience!

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 21, 2014 2:53 pm

BlueLotus wrote:Dinged from LAS Juvenile Rights Practice. Fluent and Spanish, have a shitton of children's rights experience, and thought a wrote a cogent cover letter. *sigh* :(


No worries! They're not representative of all employers - they get a ton of applications per year.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby BlueLotus » Sun Sep 21, 2014 3:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Offer for a "top" PD office (BDS, PDS, New Orleans, etc). I am also considering a big law firm (not market paying 120-130k range starting). I have my heart set on public defending but the lack of openings/unpredictability in hiring/not getting hired until after the bar has me a bit nervous.

Would working at a big firm make it harder or more like impossible to be competitive for Fulltime PD positions? Id be able to pay off most of my debt if I did the SA. I would intern at the PD every remaining semester to show my interest. I am leaning heavily toward accepting the PD offer but it's defintely tempting to go the firm route for the summer.


PD/Legal Aid will judge you if you have an SA on your resume, but I understand the temptation.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Displeased » Sun Sep 21, 2014 7:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Offer for a "top" PD office (BDS, PDS, New Orleans, etc). I am also considering a big law firm (not market paying 120-130k range starting). I have my heart set on public defending but the lack of openings/unpredictability in hiring/not getting hired until after the bar has me a bit nervous.

Would working at a big firm make it harder or more like impossible to be competitive for Fulltime PD positions? Id be able to pay off most of my debt if I did the SA. I would intern at the PD every remaining semester to show my interest. I am leaning heavily toward accepting the PD offer but it's defintely tempting to go the firm route for the summer.


I would seriously consider the biglaw gig.

The financial benefits are obvious. When I was in law school, I was sure I could live just fine on a 50k PD salary. And I do fine. But as a PD, you won't make a dent in your loans (assuming you don't put in the ten years for forgiveness), and you won't have any money in savings.

Have you ever interned at a PD's office before? Even if you have, you really don't know what being a PD is like. Its a TOUGH job, for no money and no respect. I know you and just about every other person in this thread "has their heart set on it", but believe me, you'd be shocked how many people can't take the pressure of being a PD. You'd be shocked how many people "who had their hearts set on it" quit in the first few months. You'd be shocked how mentally damaging the job can be. As I've said before, the first time a client you like gets convicted and sent away for years and years and years, all because you failed to investigate something, or you were too slow to object, or just because you thought a trial was winnable and you advised your client to pass on a favorable plea....You'll reconsider what exactly you thought you had your heart set on.

Just saying, you have the opportunity to secure your financial future. Don't pass on it just because you think you'll love PD work.

If you do somehow have a sense of what being a PD is like, then I apologize.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby BlueLotus » Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:11 pm

Are private criminal defense firms as wary of people with victim experience as PDs?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:12 pm

BlueLotus wrote:Are private criminal defense firms as wary of people with victim experience as PDs?

Not at all, in my (limited) experience. But private criminal defense firms mostly want people with trial experience. They don't tend to take on people straight out of school. (Generalizing madly, of course.)

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby BlueLotus » Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:53 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:Are private criminal defense firms as wary of people with victim experience as PDs?

Not at all, in my (limited) experience. But private criminal defense firms mostly want people with trial experience. They don't tend to take on people straight out of school. (Generalizing madly, of course.)


I know having a BigLaw experience on your resume is a red flag, but what if someone did white-collar criminal defense? Will that person transition well into PD work?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Tanicius » Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:19 pm

BlueLotus wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:Are private criminal defense firms as wary of people with victim experience as PDs?

Not at all, in my (limited) experience. But private criminal defense firms mostly want people with trial experience. They don't tend to take on people straight out of school. (Generalizing madly, of course.)


I know having a BigLaw experience on your resume is a red flag, but what if someone did white-collar criminal defense? Will that person transition well into PD work?



Probably not, unless they're a seasoned attorney applying for a position at a PD office where their focus would be handling felony law & motion or financial crimes.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:38 pm

I also have the impression that most people doing white-collar criminal defense in biglaw are former AUSAs.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:36 pm

Anyone know how Prosecution/PD view state level clerkships (with criminal judges)?

I also would love any information about how to find those?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Tanicius » Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone know how Prosecution/PD view state level clerkships (with criminal judges)?

I also would love any information about how to find those?


These are fairly valuable I would say. You learn a lot about the system, meet most of the players in the judging pool and a lot of the prosecutors and defenders, and they know you can do legal assignments. I've never heard of it hurting.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:41 pm

gdane wrote: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.


This. It's also not that hard to do both. I was on law review and "worked" 16-20 hours a week at both the local DAs office and the State AGs office.

Also, don't you PDs do appeals too? or do the major (nyc, philly, etc) offices have a different division that handles the appeal? in my jurisdiction (a county of a couple million people), all of the PDs file appeals on behalf of their clients.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:12 pm

Displeased wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
gdane wrote: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.



I disagree with this for the most part in regards to PD jobs- if you are willing to go ANYWHERE, you usually can get a job and keep trying for the locations you want to be. This is especially true if you have any clinical experience and are willing to look into other types of indigent work that may not be strictly PD (other types of legal services ro prison reform, etc.)


"Willing to go anywhere" doesn't really help you with PD jobs, since you almost certainly won't get hired until after you pass the bar, and you need to apply to a state bar around halfway through 3L year, end of 3L at the latest. Once you've committed to a state, you narrow your options considerably. You'd be shocked how rare PD openings can be. In Virginia when I was job hunting, there were maybe 4 new PD openings a month. As I'm typing this message, there's only one assistant public defender position open in the entire state of VA. There's absolutely no way that everyone who wants to be a PD can become a PD.

I agree with gdane. Suck it up, do a journal, you look weird to non-PD employers if you don't.


This wasn't my experience at all. (same anon.) I applied to about 15 places total I would say, all of which were fine with hiring pre-bar. Ultimately the place I am going isn't even where I too the bar- I'll be admitted pro hac and take feb while working. Trust me, I know how few openings there are. If you're willing to go outside major cities, it is possible. A lot of people have tunnel vision for ny, dc, boston, la, or sf. There is way more out there. Everyone I know who wanted a PD job from my school got one. Granted, that's only about 25 people, but if you're willing to put in the work its not impossible.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
gdane wrote: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.


This. It's also not that hard to do both. I was on law review and "worked" 16-20 hours a week at both the local DAs office and the State AGs office.

Also, don't you PDs do appeals too? or do the major (nyc, philly, etc) offices have a different division that handles the appeal? in my jurisdiction (a county of a couple million people), all of the PDs file appeals on behalf of their clients.


In larger offices it is usually a separate division. The trial attorney may play a roll in the initial direct appeal but then it is often passed off. Philly is different bc its horizontal representation so every level of the process is a different attorney.

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

Postby Displeased » Tue Sep 23, 2014 7:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
gdane wrote: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.


This. It's also not that hard to do both. I was on law review and "worked" 16-20 hours a week at both the local DAs office and the State AGs office.

Also, don't you PDs do appeals too? or do the major (nyc, philly, etc) offices have a different division that handles the appeal? in my jurisdiction (a county of a couple million people), all of the PDs file appeals on behalf of their clients.


In larger offices it is usually a separate division. The trial attorney may play a roll in the initial direct appeal but then it is often passed off. Philly is different bc its horizontal representation so every level of the process is a different attorney.


In Virginia, the trial PD usually handles the appeal. I say "usually", because that's been the case at every office in VA I've worked at, but I've never worked at one of the larger offices (Virginia Beach, Richmond, etc). So, might be different there.

We used to have an appellate division, but that was lost to budget cuts around 5 years ago.

However, I wouldn't compare working on a journal with working on appeals. Maybe in the sense that they are both time consuming, but its a totally different kind of writing. And, by the way, the hard part of an appeal isn't spotting issues or researching cases. Its preserving the issue in the first place. You'd be shocked how articulately and specifically you have to object to even have an appellate court consider your issue preserved.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby BlueLotus » Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:34 am

Anyone here familiar with Defender Association of Philadelphia's Child Advocacy Unit? What is their interview process like?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:36 am

BlueLotus wrote:Anyone here familiar with Defender Association of Philadelphia's Child Advocacy Unit? What is their interview process like?


The number of times you've asked whether a thread full of public defense or district attorney-oriented gunners is familiar with a family-oriented office... Come on man. We simply don't know. The website for that office's breakdown of practice units shows that the Child Advocacy Unit is not involved in juvenile defense: http://www.philadefender.org/practice-units.php.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby BlueLotus » Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:Anyone here familiar with Defender Association of Philadelphia's Child Advocacy Unit? What is their interview process like?


The number of times you've asked whether a thread full of public defense or district attorney-oriented gunners is familiar with a family-oriented office... Come on man. We simply don't know. The website for that office's breakdown of practice units shows that the Child Advocacy Unit is not involved in juvenile defense: http://www.philadefender.org/practice-units.php.


sorry, lol. should i make my own thread for civil units of PDs offices? (i.e. BDS immigration practice, CPCS CAFL, etc.)

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby samcro_op » Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:40 am

Does anyone have any information on the Santa Clara PD office for 2L summers?

The paid positions don't hire until March/April but I assume they have a lot more unpaid summers right? Do they interview for volunteers earlier than March/April. If you can and do get a volunteer position can you still apply for the paid position later?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby xChiTowNx » Tue Sep 23, 2014 12:18 pm

BlueLotus wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:Anyone here familiar with Defender Association of Philadelphia's Child Advocacy Unit? What is their interview process like?


The number of times you've asked whether a thread full of public defense or district attorney-oriented gunners is familiar with a family-oriented office... Come on man. We simply don't know. The website for that office's breakdown of practice units shows that the Child Advocacy Unit is not involved in juvenile defense: http://www.philadefender.org/practice-units.php.


sorry, lol. should i make my own thread for civil units of PDs offices? (i.e. BDS immigration practice, CPCS CAFL, etc.)


"BlueLotus' Neurotic Waiting Thread."

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby CaptainLeela » Tue Sep 23, 2014 12:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
BlueLotus wrote:Anyone here familiar with Defender Association of Philadelphia's Child Advocacy Unit? What is their interview process like?


The number of times you've asked whether a thread full of public defense or district attorney-oriented gunners is familiar with a family-oriented office... Come on man. We simply don't know. The website for that office's breakdown of practice units shows that the Child Advocacy Unit is not involved in juvenile defense: http://www.philadefender.org/practice-units.php.


sorry, lol. should i make my own thread for civil units of PDs offices? (i.e. BDS immigration practice, CPCS CAFL, etc.)


"BlueLotus' Neurotic Waiting Thread."

Brave use of anon.




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