How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

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

Postby target » Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:45 pm

akili wrote:I really really want to be a DA, but the only job offer I have right now is to work at a PD for 1L summer. I have no problem doing PD work, but will this hurt my chances for 2L summer?


From my interviews, I feel like the reverse would hurt you more. But as long as you can explain why you accept your PD position, why you have a change of heart, etc., you should be ok.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:48 pm

Geist13 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Assuming I can maintain top 10% and graduate summa cum laude, I was thinking it might be beneficial to try and clerk for my state's court of criminal appeals; however I'm not on a journal, which will hurt my chances.


It will hurt your chances just because other applicants will have journal experience, but won't make you ineligible. Also, why limit this to appellate courts? At my 1L DA internship, all the ADAs I spoke to said that the law clerks for the local trial level crim. judges were usually considered very strong job candidates. That doesn't mean they were necessarily hired, but I got the sense that it was considered one of the stepping stones to working as an ADA in the office. A number of the ADAs in my division had taken this route. I guess this doesn't apply if the city you're targeting doesn't have traditional clerks at the trial courts. I know it varies from city to city/ state to state.


Original anon poster here

I was mainly looking at the court of criminal appeals just because of the prestige. I figure the prestige may help if I decide to leave crim law and try for a litigation boutique. But I definitely agree that state crim courts would be a great resume boost for getting that DA job, and I will most likely try to get one as my fall back if I can't land a DA job after graduation. But if I could choose, I would pick going straight into a DA job rather than spending a year clerking in a lower trial court. The tougher scenario would be choosing between being a post bar intern or clerk in a lower court. Any thoughts? How much do such clerks get paid? Do post bar interns get any pay?

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

Postby Geist13 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Original anon poster here

I was mainly looking at the court of criminal appeals just because of the prestige. I figure the prestige may help if I decide to leave crim law and try for a litigation boutique. But I definitely agree that state crim courts would be a great resume boost for getting that DA job, and I will most likely try to get one as my fall back if I can't land a DA job after graduation. But if I could choose, I would pick going straight into a DA job rather than spending a year clerking in a lower trial court. The tougher scenario would be choosing between being a post bar intern or clerk in a lower court. Any thoughts? How much do such clerks get paid? Do post bar interns get any pay?


I would guess they get paid the same as regular interns, unless there is a pay bump for passing the bar (of course of the office in question doesn't pay its regular interns, then I have no idea what they pay post-bar interns). Honestly, between continuing as an intern and clerking, I think you'd be insane to intern. Presumably you are currently or at least have in the past worked as an intern at the office in question, which means they know you, you've got the intern experience (which is minimal at best) on your resume. They didn't hire you after graduation, why in the world would you be a stronger candidate a year later after doing menial work the entire time? The alternative, if its available, is clerking at the trial level which would give you a new job experience to put on your resume which, most importantly, is viewed as a very positive type of experience by DA offices. That means that instead of being the same applicant with a year of doing basically nothing (which is what interns do), you are a more qualified and desirable candidate. Moreover if you just intern for a year, you're going to be that guy who couldn't land a real job and is now just re-applying. As a clerk, you'll be that guy who got a job and is still interested in working for the office.

I really can't imagine how continuing as an intern after you have passed the bar could ever be more advantageous than clerking, even at the trial level.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:53 pm

I was under the impression that many offices give post-bar interns their own caseload. Granted, most interns really don't do much, but after graduation, a post-bar intern will have their 3L bar card and can actually do trial work. Plus, you wouldnt intern for a full year, from what I understand. You would be a post-bar intern after graduation until you get your bar results. The whole point is to work for cheap while you wait, so that you can be put on top of the app list

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

Postby Geist13 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I was under the impression that many offices give post-bar interns their own caseload. Granted, most interns really don't do much, but after graduation, a post-bar intern will have their 3L bar card and can actually do trial work. Plus, you wouldnt intern for a full year, from what I understand. You would be a post-bar intern after graduation until you get your bar results. The whole point is to work for cheap while you wait, so that you can be put on top of the app list


Not the office I worked at during 1L summer. Post-bar interns were identical to pre-bar interns in every respect, except they'd been working there longer. My guess is that whether they give you your own cases or not will depend more on whether the office generally gives its interns cases regardless of whether they have passed the bar or not (this is a huge guess, based only from what I've observed in two offices). If an office has a well-developed, organized student/intern practice system then all of its interns are going to be getting at least some cases just as a matter of course. On the other hand, if its an office that doesn't have a student-practice system, it is hard to imagine how they would all the sudden have the organization and infrastructure (or whatever you want to call it) to give interns court-room experience simply because those individuals have passed the bar.

My sense is that passing the bar usually isn't what prevents interns from appearing in court. I'll be appearing in court all summer long, but will still have a year of law school left. It's more about whether the particular office and or local court rules allow interns to do that type of work.

EDIT: I guess I kind of misunderstood the situation you werre talking about. When you mentioned the choice between clerking and interning, I assumed you meant interning for a whole year. If you're just talking about working until you've passed the bar, then there won't be a choice between that and clerking. Clerking is a year long appointment and generally won't start until the fall after graduation, around when the post-bar mini-internship would end anyway.

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

Postby seancris » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:59 pm

Are regional ties as important to SA's offices as they are for private firms? For example if I'm not originally from the state that I go to law school in, and my only family in that state is my wife, will that be a problem for SA's offices?

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

Postby FlanAl » Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:14 pm

quick rant: why is it that PD offices who complain about needing more man power etc. are super picky about who they let work for them for free? is it really just a physical space thing or what?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Jeremyl » Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:08 pm

when does one start applying for post-bar internships? Do you apply during 3L or after you take the bar?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby target » Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:40 pm

seancris wrote:Are regional ties as important to SBA's offices as they are for private firms? For example if I'm not originally from the state that I go to law school in, and my only family in that state is my wife, will that be a problem for SBA's offices?


Generally, regional ties are not as important for SA as permanent job. But, it can vary widely depend on where you are looking at. Having a wife in wherever state you want to get an intern is a pretty good tie to me, unless your wife is also an out of state student there.

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

Postby target » Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:43 pm

FlanAl wrote:quick rant: why is it that PD offices who complain about needing more man power etc. are super picky about who they let work for them for free? is it really just a physical space thing or what?


It is the space. Is it also that once they hire you, they have to "mentor" you and be distracted from working on their cases.

seatown12
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby seatown12 » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:50 pm

target wrote:
FlanAl wrote:quick rant: why is it that PD offices who complain about needing more man power etc. are super picky about who they let work for them for free? is it really just a physical space thing or what?


It is the space. Is it also that once they hire you, they have to "mentor" you and be distracted from working on their cases.

can't have some geek off the street protecting a person's Constitutional rights

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

Postby akili » Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:12 pm

Am I correct in that Trial judge >>> Public Defender?

(if I want to be a DA)

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

Postby Tanicius » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:30 pm

akili wrote:Am I correct in that Trial judge >>> Public Defender?

(if I want to be a DA)


That can depend. Interning with a trial judge means you've seen a lot of the day-to-day stuff, and it doesn't have the downside of demonstrating interest in "the other side." But it demonstrates absolutely no public speaking ability, and that's a big hit IMO.

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

Postby seancris » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:43 pm

Tanicius wrote:
akili wrote:Am I correct in that Trial judge >>> Public Defender?

(if I want to be a DA)


That can depend. Interning with a trial judge means you've seen a lot of the day-to-day stuff, and it doesn't have the downside of demonstrating interest in "the other side." But it demonstrates absolutely no public speaking ability, and that's a big hit IMO.


I wouldn't think that interning with a PD or DA would provide much in the way of public speaking experience. They let you speak in front of a judge/jury? The interns that I've seen just seem to observe and help with research.

If you want to demonstrate public speaking ability, maybe join toastmasters or something?

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

Postby target » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:49 pm

seancris wrote:
Tanicius wrote:
akili wrote:Am I correct in that Trial judge >>> Public Defender?

(if I want to be a DA)


That can depend. Interning with a trial judge means you've seen a lot of the day-to-day stuff, and it doesn't have the downside of demonstrating interest in "the other side." But it demonstrates absolutely no public speaking ability, and that's a big hit IMO.


I wouldn't think that interning with a PD or DA would provide much in the way of public speaking experience. They let you speak in front of a judge/jury? The interns that I've seen just seem to observe and help with research.

If you want to demonstrate public speaking ability, maybe join toastmasters or something?


I know some CA offices let you try your own cases if you are certified. But since akili is a 1L, it's doubtful that s/he falls within this category. But again, it's widely different between offices.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby purr se » Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:19 pm

target wrote:
seancris wrote:
I wouldn't think that interning with a PD or DA would provide much in the way of public speaking experience. They let you speak in front of a judge/jury? The interns that I've seen just seem to observe and help with research.

If you want to demonstrate public speaking ability, maybe join toastmasters or something?


I know some CA offices let you try your own cases if you are certified. But since akili is a 1L, it's doubtful that s/he falls within this category. But again, it's widely different between offices.


The MI student practice rules allow 1Ls in PD offices (and I believe DA offices) to speak in court. Last summer I appeared under supervision on behalf of clients for arraignments, prelim exam pleas, sentencings, probation violation hearings etc ... So check around. If you really want public speaking experience there are some places where you'll be able to get it summer after 1L.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:36 pm

3l here at a school in NY. In our crim defense clinic we get to handle everything from arraignment to trial. Gone to trial twice (1 bench, 1 jury). Great experience... can't say enough about it

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Always Credited
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Always Credited » Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:40 pm

How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner:

Get an 'A' in Crim law
Get an 'A' in Crim Pro I and II
Get an 'A' in Evidence
Get in 'A' in Trial Ad (look, its those "public speaking" skills everyone keeps talking about!)
Intern at DA/PD offices both summers.
Don't be weird in interviews.

/thread.

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sundance95
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby sundance95 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:44 am

seatown12 wrote:can't have some geek off the street protecting a person's Constitutional rights

QF regulators reference

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

Postby akili » Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:17 am

purr se wrote:
target wrote:
seancris wrote:
I wouldn't think that interning with a PD or DA would provide much in the way of public speaking experience. They let you speak in front of a judge/jury? The interns that I've seen just seem to observe and help with research.

If you want to demonstrate public speaking ability, maybe join toastmasters or something?


I know some CA offices let you try your own cases if you are certified. But since akili is a 1L, it's doubtful that s/he falls within this category. But again, it's widely different between offices.


The MI student practice rules allow 1Ls in PD offices (and I believe DA offices) to speak in court. Last summer I appeared under supervision on behalf of clients for arraignments, prelim exam pleas, sentencings, probation violation hearings etc ... So check around. If you really want public speaking experience there are some places where you'll be able to get it summer after 1L.


Hmm, this is good to know. I'm def gunning hard for a DA's office next summer, but I think most of those doors have closed for this summer. The judge and PD are in Washington (state) and I'm not sure what the student practice rules are there. I'll definitely check in to it. The judge is trial level, criminal court. I have a tentative offer but they want to talk to me, so I'll use that opportunity to see exactly what the clerkship would involve.

I was thinking that the judge would just be a more broad experience that wouldn't shut any doors. I'm pretty sure I don't want to do PD's office and don't want to get pigeon-holed anywhere.

seatown12
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby seatown12 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:41 pm

In WA you can appear in court after 2L, but not 1L. What is the judge's background? It's pretty likely he used to be a DA, which would make him a great reference. I think you should do the clerkship for sure.

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

Postby Geist13 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:53 pm

akili wrote:Hmm, this is good to know. I'm def gunning hard for a DA's office next summer, but I think most of those doors have closed for this summer. The judge and PD are in Washington (state) and I'm not sure what the student practice rules are there. I'll definitely check in to it. The judge is trial level, criminal court. I have a tentative offer but they want to talk to me, so I'll use that opportunity to see exactly what the clerkship would involve.


You should look into more than just whether or not there is a student practice rule. The office also needs an actual structured system for getting intern/clerks courtroom experience. The state I worked in last summer as 1L had a student practice rule, but they office just didn't use it. So while I was technically allowed to appear in court, there was no way for it to happen because it just wasn't part of the office's internship/clerk system. Basically the rule exists but it is never used.

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

Postby Tanicius » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:22 pm

seancris wrote:
Tanicius wrote:
akili wrote:Am I correct in that Trial judge >>> Public Defender?

(if I want to be a DA)


That can depend. Interning with a trial judge means you've seen a lot of the day-to-day stuff, and it doesn't have the downside of demonstrating interest in "the other side." But it demonstrates absolutely no public speaking ability, and that's a big hit IMO.


I wouldn't think that interning with a PD or DA would provide much in the way of public speaking experience. They let you speak in front of a judge/jury? The interns that I've seen just seem to observe and help with research.

If you want to demonstrate public speaking ability, maybe join toastmasters or something?


Oh, I didn't realize he was talking about his 1L summer. But if you aren't representing clients in court ever during a 2L or 3L PD/DA externship/summer internship, you're doing it wrong.

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Ded Precedent
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Ded Precedent » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:31 am

Tanicius wrote: Interning with a trial judge means you've seen a lot of the day-to-day stuff, and it doesn't have the downside of demonstrating interest in "the other side."

It seems like there are some mixed opinions about this, I've heard from several students gunning for prosecution say that that interning or working at a PDs office can be beneficial come time for interviews. I've also heard several people claim the opposite, that demonstrating interest in the "other side" can be detrimental. How are we supposed to know which offices see value in working with the other side and which offices might ding you because of it?

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

Postby Tanicius » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:58 am

Ded Precedent wrote:
Tanicius wrote: Interning with a trial judge means you've seen a lot of the day-to-day stuff, and it doesn't have the downside of demonstrating interest in "the other side."

It seems like there are some mixed opinions about this, I've heard from several students gunning for prosecution say that that interning or working at a PDs office can be beneficial come time for interviews. I've also heard several people claim the opposite, that demonstrating interest in the "other side" can be detrimental. How are we supposed to know which offices see value in working with the other side and which offices might ding you because of it?


Go to lunch panels where PD/DA offices from around your area are talking and ask this them question. Ask 3L's who are going into these offices.




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