How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:56 am

dreakol wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I received offer for permanent employment with the Miami SAO sometime in the last month. So fucking happy right now.


it seems like miami has been the talk of this thread. are they doing relatively well compared to other city/state budgets or is everyone here just applying there?

congrats btw


To my knowledge very few offices hire before the bar and Miami is the 4th biggest in the country.

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

Postby dreakol » Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:54 pm

if i snail mailed some resumes about a month ago to a few places and haven't heard back from them, should i call and ask to see if they received the resume or should i just assume it was a ding?

forty-two
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby forty-two » Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:37 am

dreakol wrote:if i snail mailed some resumes about a month ago to a few places and haven't heard back from them, should i call and ask to see if they received the resume or should i just assume it was a ding?

I'd definitely call. It could be a ding a ding, but they could have also been really busy when they got your resume a month ago or they could have just started recruiting at the beginning of January. If you just assume it's a ding, you might miss out on a great opportunity. Good luck!!

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Gettingstarted1928
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Gettingstarted1928 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:26 pm

Does anyone have any advice for those of us interning this summer at a prosecutor's office? Any preparation suggestions?

jml8756
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby jml8756 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:37 pm

Gettingstarted1928 wrote:Does anyone have any advice for those of us interning this summer at a prosecutor's office? Any preparation suggestions?


There's nothing really that you can prep for. Buy appropriate clothes. Know how to do legal research. That's about it.

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

Postby NoleinNY » Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:04 pm

Gettingstarted1928 wrote:Does anyone have any advice for those of us interning this summer at a prosecutor's office? Any preparation suggestions?

Just curious, what state are you in?

Geist13
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Geist13 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:11 pm

Any 2Ls (or 1Ls I suppose) heard from Suffolk County (Boston) DA yet? I sent my stuff in two months ago . . .

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:39 pm

Geist13 wrote:Any 2Ls (or 1Ls I suppose) heard from Suffolk County (Boston) DA yet? I sent my stuff in two months ago . . .


or 3L's for permanent hire? I sent my stuff also right after the Oct. 31st date and also have heard nothing back.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:41 pm

How important is school prestige?

Am I screwed if I accept an offer at a TT that gives me a good chunk of scholarship money or am I better off attending a T-20 at sticker?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby seatown12 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How important is school prestige?

Am I screwed if I accept an offer at a TT that gives me a good chunk of scholarship money or am I better off attending a T-20 at sticker?

Not at all, and it stops at #14 anyway. Take the $$ for sure, as much as you can get.

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

Postby Borhas » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:00 pm

seatown12 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How important is school prestige?

Am I screwed if I accept an offer at a TT that gives me a good chunk of scholarship money or am I better off attending a T-20 at sticker?

Not at all, and it stops at #14 anyway. Take the $$ for sure, as much as you can get.


I'll disagree, but not strongly

Going to the most well known school in the area you want to work is ok because of 10 year IBR, especially one with a good LRAP. But that strategy is best if you are 99% certain you want to do PD/DA work.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:00 pm

Borhas wrote:
seatown12 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How important is school prestige?

Am I screwed if I accept an offer at a TT that gives me a good chunk of scholarship money or am I better off attending a T-20 at sticker?

Not at all, and it stops at #14 anyway. Take the $$ for sure, as much as you can get.


I'll disagree, but not strongly

Going to the most well known school in the area you want to work is ok because of 10 year IBR, especially one with a good LRAP. But that strategy is best if you are 99% certain you want to do PD/DA work.


I'll also disagree with seatown12, but a bit more strongly than Borhas :)

Believe it or not, these days prosecuting jobs are getting extremely competitive. Going to a TT and planning on getting a job at your city's prosecutor's office is probably not the best plan. You're just not guaranteed a job by any means.

That said, prosecution is one of those jobs where school ranking is not particularly important. They're really just looking for good trial attorneys. However, a higher-ranked school will allow you flexibility to apply to other offices outside of your immediate region. Plus, like Borhas said, IBR + 10 year loan forgiveness + LRAP is a pretty sweet deal if you're sure about public interest.

I will say that I go to a T-14 and am interning at a big-city prosecutor's office. It's an interesting position to be in. Most of the attorneys and other interns come from the local TTs and TTTs. A couple of them have a bit of an attitude about T-14s. They think that students at T-14s are all "brainiacs" and can't be good trial attorneys - in fact I had a public defender tell me that to my face once.

But you can overcome that attitude by interning at the office, doing some trials, and kicking ass at it. In fact, that's the most important thing you can do to get hired at any given office, regardless of what school you go to.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby seatown12 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:That said, prosecution is one of those jobs where school ranking is not particularly important. They're really just looking for good trial attorneys.

So can you really justify spending tens of thousands of dollars extra to attend a top school?

Also, I'd rather not borrow money in the first place than rely on a promise that I won't have to pay all of it back.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:24 pm

seatown12 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:That said, prosecution is one of those jobs where school ranking is not particularly important. They're really just looking for good trial attorneys.

So can you really justify spending tens of thousands of dollars extra to attend a top school?


I should have clarified that rank is less important if you are at a local school. It becomes more important as you look outside your region. And since some of the major prosecutor's offices are hiring about 5% of applicants these days, you want to expand your reach as much as possible.

seatown12 wrote:Also, I'd rather not borrow money in the first place than rely on a promise that I won't have to pay all of it back.


I would agree. Sometimes when I think about the amount of debt I have it almost triggers a panic attack. But it's better than getting through 3 years of law school only to realize that I can't get a job because I went to the school that gave me the most money.

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

Postby Campagnolo » Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:30 pm

Howdy! I'm looking over various schools and their respective LRAP programs. Is there a good way of checking out salaries (and promotion schedules) for different prosecuting offices? It's tough putting together estimates when you don't know how soon you will exceed the salary cap for LRAP.

Thanks!

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

Postby Tanicius » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:39 pm

Campagnolo wrote:Howdy! I'm looking over various schools and their respective LRAP programs. Is there a good way of checking out salaries (and promotion schedules) for different prosecuting offices? It's tough putting together estimates when you don't know how soon you will exceed the salary cap for LRAP.

Thanks!



You most likely will not have to worry about exceeding the salary cap for a LRAP.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby seatown12 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:02 pm

Tanicius wrote:
Campagnolo wrote:Howdy! I'm looking over various schools and their respective LRAP programs. Is there a good way of checking out salaries (and promotion schedules) for different prosecuting offices? It's tough putting together estimates when you don't know how soon you will exceed the salary cap for LRAP.

Thanks!



You most likely will not have to worry about exceeding the salary cap for a LRAP.

That's not true. Income for the Wash U LRAP cannot exceed $70k. PDS starting salary is in the 60s, so it wouldn't be long before a successful PDS attorney would be ineligible for Wash U's LRAP.

To answer the question, I don't really know how to find this info other than scouring the office website, or maybe a Google search.

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Gecko of Doom
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Gecko of Doom » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:07 pm

Campagnolo wrote:Howdy! I'm looking over various schools and their respective LRAP programs. Is there a good way of checking out salaries (and promotion schedules) for different prosecuting offices? It's tough putting together estimates when you don't know how soon you will exceed the salary cap for LRAP.

Thanks!

Best method I've found (for offices that don't post starting salaries on their websites) is to Google something like "X county public employee salaries." Often, a local newspaper's website will have a database you can search. That will at least give you an idea of the pay range in the office.

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

Postby Tanicius » Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:22 am

seatown12 wrote:
Tanicius wrote:
Campagnolo wrote:Howdy! I'm looking over various schools and their respective LRAP programs. Is there a good way of checking out salaries (and promotion schedules) for different prosecuting offices? It's tough putting together estimates when you don't know how soon you will exceed the salary cap for LRAP.

Thanks!



You most likely will not have to worry about exceeding the salary cap for a LRAP.

That's not true. Income for the Wash U LRAP cannot exceed $70k. PDS starting salary is in the 60s, so it wouldn't be long before a successful PDS attorney would be ineligible for Wash U's LRAP.

To answer the question, I don't really know how to find this info other than scouring the office website, or maybe a Google search.


You know, I honestly don't see this kind of thing as much of a problem. If you're intending to make a career about public sector crim law, then the IBR takes care of your problem 10 years out. You can easily pay off loans for 10 years on a salary of 70k, but the problem has always been that you can scarcely do anything but pay off the interest, that you're staring down the barrel of having to pay loans for the rest of your career. IBR takes care of that problem.

My point is, beggars can't be choosers. If you get a PD job, take it. A 70k salary is nothing to cry over for a job in the public sector, and the sheer competitiveness of these jobs makes the idea of shopping around a miracle more than a practical dilemma. The LRAP, all things considered, is one of the last things most of us can afford to consider.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby seatown12 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:50 am

Tanicius wrote:My point is, beggars can't be choosers. If you get a PD job, take it. A 70k salary is nothing to cry over for a job in the public sector, and the sheer competitiveness of these jobs makes the idea of shopping around a miracle more than a practical dilemma. The LRAP, all things considered, is one of the last things most of us can afford to consider.

This guy is not contemplating turning down a job, he is comparing LRAPs in order to choose a school. I think this is really smart.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Campagnolo » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:13 am

seatown12 wrote:This guy is not contemplating turning down a job, he is comparing LRAPs in order to choose a school. I think this is really smart.


Hooray for reading!

I'm married, and my spouse is a nurse, so phasing out of LRAP could be a real concern when her salary is taken into consideration. I'm looking at the lower T14 schools (got the wait list at Chicago), so if there is anyone who is actually using their school's LRAP, I would love to chat with them about what it looks like practically.

I want to work for the public, but I'm not sure it's possible to stay under the LRAP and be a prosecutor in a city. I'm not opposed to a rural area, but I'm trying to cover all my bases here.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Cornelius » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:39 am

Campagnolo wrote:
seatown12 wrote:This guy is not contemplating turning down a job, he is comparing LRAPs in order to choose a school. I think this is really smart.


Hooray for reading!

I'm married, and my spouse is a nurse, so phasing out of LRAP could be a real concern when her salary is taken into consideration. I'm looking at the lower T14 schools (got the wait list at Chicago), so if there is anyone who is actually using their school's LRAP, I would love to chat with them about what it looks like practically.

I want to work for the public, but I'm not sure it's possible to stay under the LRAP and be a prosecutor in a city. I'm not opposed to a rural area, but I'm trying to cover all my bases here.

Two points for a few of the posts:
1. Most LRAPs (I say most to allow for an unknown, but all the ones I've read are this way) take either the graduate's salary or half the joint salary, whichever is higher.
2. Most make an allowance (deduction) for children.
3. Some (especially in the T14) have the max amount (like the $70k mentioned above) increase to take into account yearly raises.

Since it was used as an example, from WUSTL's LRAP:
Income Limitation. They have gross annual income, as defined below, of less than $70,000.

Income is defined as gross (pre-tax) annualized income (GAI) as reported on the LRAP II application.
For married graduates or graduates with a domestic partner, GAI is defined as the higher of (1) the graduate’s GAI, or (2) one-half the combined GAI’s of the graduate and the spouse/domestic partner.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Campagnolo » Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:07 pm

Am I wrong to think that you can file Married Filing Separately on your fed taxes and then have only your salary count for IBR? I know that filing MFS increasing your tax liability quite a bit, but it might be beneficial in the long haul if you get $150,000 forgiven after 10 years of paying down the interest. My original question is still how to figure out whether you will go past the LRAP cap after 10 years of public service. Was the credited response Google?

I say the above with GULC's LRAP in mind. I know Cornell expressly considers 50% of joint married income, regardless of tax status. I'm also looking into Michigan's LRAP.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Cornelius » Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:13 pm

Campagnolo wrote:Am I wrong to think that you can file Married Filing Separately on your fed taxes and then have only your salary count for IBR? I know that filing MFS increasing your tax liability quite a bit, but it might be beneficial in the long haul if you get $150,000 forgiven after 10 years of paying down the interest. My original question is still how to figure out whether you will go past the LRAP cap after 10 years of public service. Was the credited response Google?

I say the above with GULC's LRAP in mind. I know Cornell expressly considers 50% of joint married income, regardless of tax status. I'm also looking into Michigan's LRAP.

You can file married file separately and have only your salary count for IBR, which would reduce your payment a decent amount. However, you also lose the ability to take certain deductions:
  • All education credits and deductions (including student loan interest).
  • Earned Income Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Child and dependent care credit
  • Both spouses have to use deductions in the same way (i.e. both standard or both itemized).

The student loan interest deduction is $2,500 off your AGI, so probably worth about $700/year or so if you and your spouse are both working.

The child tax credit is worth $1,000 off your tax bill per child.

Just to see, I used the IBR calculator with some scenarios (figuring $150k in law school loans):
$50k income each for you and spouse:
spouse no loans:
File Joint: $975/month
File Separate: $350/month (or possibly $420. the calculator doesn't give guidance regarding whether family size should be 1 or 2 if you're married filing separate)
Difference for the year: About $7,500 (or $6,600)

Spouse $50,000 loans:
File Joint: $731/month for your loans
File Separate: Still $350/month (or $420)
Difference for the year: About $4,600 (or $3,600)

That's with a family size of 2 and also with the old, 15% calculator rather than the new 10% one, so the difference between filing joint or separate would diminish with the 10% calculation. Seems like the more loans your spouse has, the less filing separate would be worth it. Also, the more kids you have, the less it seems to be worth it (because of the $1,000 child tax credit).

All that to say: the tax/IBR situation is complicated. May be worth visiting a CPA for tax advice concerning this once you're close to repayment. Either that or prepare your returns both ways each year and see which way is better.

My advice for 10 year salary would be just research and guesswork. You can get salaries of public employees online for many jurisdictions. Also, if you go over the cap your last year, who cares? You're probably better off with the additional income for that year.

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

Postby Campagnolo » Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:12 pm

Cornelius wrote:
Campagnolo wrote:Am I wrong to think that you can file Married Filing Separately on your fed taxes and then have only your salary count for IBR? I know that filing MFS increasing your tax liability quite a bit, but it might be beneficial in the long haul if you get $150,000 forgiven after 10 years of paying down the interest. My original question is still how to figure out whether you will go past the LRAP cap after 10 years of public service. Was the credited response Google?

I say the above with GULC's LRAP in mind. I know Cornell expressly considers 50% of joint married income, regardless of tax status. I'm also looking into Michigan's LRAP.

You can file married file separately and have only your salary count for IBR, which would reduce your payment a decent amount. However, you also lose the ability to take certain deductions:
  • All education credits and deductions (including student loan interest).
  • Earned Income Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Child and dependent care credit
  • Both spouses have to use deductions in the same way (i.e. both standard or both itemized).

The student loan interest deduction is $2,500 off your AGI, so probably worth about $700/year or so if you and your spouse are both working.

The child tax credit is worth $1,000 off your tax bill per child.

Just to see, I used the IBR calculator with some scenarios (figuring $150k in law school loans):
$50k income each for you and spouse:
spouse no loans:
File Joint: $975/month
File Separate: $350/month (or possibly $420. the calculator doesn't give guidance regarding whether family size should be 1 or 2 if you're married filing separate)
Difference for the year: About $7,500 (or $6,600)

Spouse $50,000 loans:
File Joint: $731/month for your loans
File Separate: Still $350/month (or $420)
Difference for the year: About $4,600 (or $3,600)

That's with a family size of 2 and also with the old, 15% calculator rather than the new 10% one, so the difference between filing joint or separate would diminish with the 10% calculation. Seems like the more loans your spouse has, the less filing separate would be worth it. Also, the more kids you have, the less it seems to be worth it (because of the $1,000 child tax credit).

All that to say: the tax/IBR situation is complicated. May be worth visiting a CPA for tax advice concerning this once you're close to repayment. Either that or prepare your returns both ways each year and see which way is better.

My advice for 10 year salary would be just research and guesswork. You can get salaries of public employees online for many jurisdictions. Also, if you go over the cap your last year, who cares? You're probably better off with the additional income for that year.


This is outrageously helpful: thank you.

The tax issue is where things break down for me, because I just don't know that much about it. The SO has no debt and there won't be any chilluns for quite a while, so scenario 1 makes more sense. I'm going to call the schools now and figure this out with them. You've given me a great primer here from which to ask questions. It's wild to think the SO could work part time as a nurse and have us come out ahead with regards to take home pay.

All right, back to the regularly scheduled job hunt. Sorry to barge in here, but I figured if anyone could help, it would be you lot. Maybe I'll be joining you soon.

Thanks again!




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