How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

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

Postby FlanAl » Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:07 pm

If I wanna PD after school, should i probably work in a PD office my 1L summer OR would working for a legal aid type non-profit that does family and immigration law suffice? The non-profit could be much more convenient for me but I won't even bother applying for it if the PD would be way better. I already have a PD offer.

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

Postby Jeremyl » Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:22 pm

FlanAl wrote:If I wanna PD after school, should i probably work in a PD office my 1L summer OR would working for a legal aid type non-profit that does family and immigration law suffice? The non-profit could be much more convenient for me but I won't even bother applying for it if the PD would be way better. I already have a PD offer.


PD is better of course, but I don't think by much. The non-profit would definitely show dedication to service and public interest (a quality PD offices will like), and I don't think you would really gain too much actual experience as a 1L at a PD office anyway, other than research and possibly some interviewing. I think the real resume boost comes during 2L summer, where some offices will actually let you handle your own caseload. Conversely, by taking the PD gig this summer, you will be able to see if you like that particular office and line of work. Just my two cents.

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

Postby FlanAl » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:08 pm

Jeremyl wrote:
FlanAl wrote:If I wanna PD after school, should i probably work in a PD office my 1L summer OR would working for a legal aid type non-profit that does family and immigration law suffice? The non-profit could be much more convenient for me but I won't even bother applying for it if the PD would be way better. I already have a PD offer.


PD is better of course, but I don't think by much. The non-profit would definitely show dedication to service and public interest (a quality PD offices will like), and I don't think you would really gain too much actual experience as a 1L at a PD office anyway, other than research and possibly some interviewing. I think the real resume boost comes during 2L summer, where some offices will actually let you handle your own caseload. Conversely, by taking the PD gig this summer, you will be able to see if you like that particular office and line of work. Just my two cents.


Thanks for the advice! I should also probably clarify that neither gig is in a place that I want to be after school (that could always obviously change) but I'd be able to pay next to no rent if I get the non-profit gig. I'll get a stipend from my school for either one but would rather save that to put towards living expenses at school etc.

thanks again for any advice!

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

Postby bilbobaggins » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:22 pm

FlanAl wrote:
Jeremyl wrote:
FlanAl wrote:If I wanna PD after school, should i probably work in a PD office my 1L summer OR would working for a legal aid type non-profit that does family and immigration law suffice? The non-profit could be much more convenient for me but I won't even bother applying for it if the PD would be way better. I already have a PD offer.


PD is better of course, but I don't think by much. The non-profit would definitely show dedication to service and public interest (a quality PD offices will like), and I don't think you would really gain too much actual experience as a 1L at a PD office anyway, other than research and possibly some interviewing. I think the real resume boost comes during 2L summer, where some offices will actually let you handle your own caseload. Conversely, by taking the PD gig this summer, you will be able to see if you like that particular office and line of work. Just my two cents.


Thanks for the advice! I should also probably clarify that neither gig is in a place that I want to be after school (that could always obviously change) but I'd be able to pay next to no rent if I get the non-profit gig. I'll get a stipend from my school for either one but would rather save that to put towards living expenses at school etc.

thanks again for any advice!


It shouldn't hurt you given that it's good work for indigent individuals and is client focused. I'd try to do an internship/externship during your 2L year as well as 2L summer for maximum exposure.

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

Postby FlanAl » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:37 pm

I was hoping to extern with a PD in spring and then hopefully summer at the same office. guess it is time to do a little tweaking on my PD cover letter (should work for most bleeding heart positions haha) and get this app in! Thanks again for all the advice!

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

Postby Veyron » Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:53 pm

I'm guessing you have no experience with the criminal justice system whatsoever and have no idea what you're talking about


But you would, unfortunately, be wrong.

Sure private attorneys can and often do do a crap job. Even the most dedicated and intelligent PDs, however, usually have too heavy a caseload and too limited a budget to do a good job. Its a structural flaw.

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

Postby leobowski » Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:47 am

Veyron wrote:
I'm guessing you have no experience with the criminal justice system whatsoever and have no idea what you're talking about


But you would, unfortunately, be wrong.

Sure private attorneys can and often do do a crap job. Even the most dedicated and intelligent PDs, however, usually have too heavy a caseload and too limited a budget to do a good job. Its a structural flaw.



So what's your experience then tough guy? 1L internship w/ a DA or something, and now you're the textbook authority on criminal defense? Because statistically speaking, PDs win more trials than their private counterparts. You're full of shit and/or trolling, which your post history certainly confirms. Good luck with your brilliant idea to have paralegals draft legal documents.

Congratu-fucking-lations, you've officially gone full retard.

Image

Now let this thread revert to its former, helpful state.

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

Postby Veyron » Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:57 am

Because statistically speaking, PDs win more trials than their private counterparts.


Jebus. Let me count the ways in which you are an idiot.

(1) 90-95% of criminal cases are plead out. Therefore this figure tells us almost nothing about relative performance.

(2) I wasn't even talking about comparing average performance. The "average" quality of representation that most defendants get from the average private or public attorney ought to be labeled malpractice. I'm simply saying that its often impossible for a good PD to do the best possible job because of the constraints they work under. You just can't give a client what they deserve when you have 100 cases on your plate. A private attorney of similarly high quality would not have these problems since private attorneys can limit their caseload.

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

Postby leobowski » Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:13 am

Veyron wrote:
Because statistically speaking, PDs win more trials than their private counterparts.


Jebus. Let me count the ways in which you are an idiot.

(1) 90-95% of criminal cases are plead out. Therefore this figure tells us almost nothing about relative performance.




Actually, that is a fairly common benchmark of performance in the law reviews concerning Gideon/RTC/etc. It's also a fairly accurate proxy of leverage w/ plea deals. Offices like the SF PD that win 70%+ of trials obviously have a lot of leverage with the DA's office. The close working relationship often helps too.

Veyron wrote:(2) I wasn't even talking about comparing average performance. The "average" quality of representation that most defendants get from the average private or public attorney ought to be labeled malpractice. I'm simply saying that its often impossible for a good PD to do the best possible job because of the constraints they work under. You just can't give a client what they deserve when you have 100 cases on your plate. A private attorney of similarly high quality would not have these problems since private attorneys can limit their caseload.


Sure private attorneys can limit their caseload, but that has very little to do with the results. Again, you are confusing what you have dreamed up with actual reality. If you have ever worked in post-conviction relief, you would know that private attorneys (often flat-rate) are nothing to write home about. Appellate PDs are the best and brightest in their field. Period.

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

Postby Veyron » Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:34 am

you would know that private attorneys (often flat-rate) are nothing to write home about. Appellate PDs are the best and brightest in their field. Period.


I agree with this statement although I would say that top quality PDs and top quality private attorneys are comparable in skill. And these attorneys, I'd still rather have the one with less cases.

If you were to ask me whether I would choose the average PD or the average private attorney that might be a different story.

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

Postby eandy » Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:02 am

Cool argument, guys. Take it to PMs instead of clogging up a thread intended to be useful? kthx

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

Postby leobowski » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:12 pm

eandy wrote:Cool argument, guys. Take it to PMs instead of clogging up a thread intended to be useful? kthx


As one of the regular/helpful posters in this thread, I'm pretty sure I can argue occasionally if I want. Why don't YOU gtfo, kthx

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

Postby Geist13 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:22 pm

So lets get back on track, shall we?

What sort of timelines am I looking for in the fall for DAs (I'll be a 3L)? Obviously its going to depend on the offices etc. But generally, is it a late summer/early fall application process? I'll basically be doing a nationwide resume drop.

Also, by the time I apply I'll have taken the 4 major cirm classes, crim, crim pro, evidence, trial advocacy. Are they going to care that I'm not registered for any further criminal classes? I really don't want to take shit like sentencing policy and comparative criminal law or all the other nonsense seminars they offer. I feel like my 2 summers and one full year working in various DA offices should be sufficient to demonstrate commitment.

How are current 3Ls faring with DA/PD offers? I only know of one offer at my school (although I try my damndest not to speak to but a handful of law students).

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

Postby leobowski » Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:08 pm

Geist13 wrote:So lets get back on track, shall we?

What sort of timelines am I looking for in the fall for DAs (I'll be a 3L)? Obviously its going to depend on the offices etc. But generally, is it a late summer/early fall application process? I'll basically be doing a nationwide resume drop.

Also, by the time I apply I'll have taken the 4 major cirm classes, crim, crim pro, evidence, trial advocacy. Are they going to care that I'm not registered for any further criminal classes? I really don't want to take shit like sentencing policy and comparative criminal law or all the other nonsense seminars they offer. I feel like my 2 summers and one full year working in various DA offices should be sufficient to demonstrate commitment.

How are current 3Ls faring with DA/PD offers? I only know of one offer at my school (although I try my damndest not to speak to but a handful of law students).



Those classes are the big ones; I wouldn't really worry about other stuff. If you have a crim pro II course (bail to jail) try and take that though.

Application timelines are office-specific. Some of the more prestigious offices close the application process to 3Ls in the early fall (e.g. Manhattan DA). Other offices might take applications in the fall, or just ask you to re-send an application later.

You might also end up with an offer from your summer DA gig. It does happen. Good luck!

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

Postby seatown12 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:09 pm

Geist13 wrote:What sort of timelines am I looking for in the fall for DAs (I'll be a 3L)? Obviously its going to depend on the offices etc. But generally, is it a late summer/early fall application process? I'll basically be doing a nationwide resume drop.
...
How are current 3Ls faring with DA/PD offers? I only know of one offer at my school (although I try my damndest not to speak to but a handful of law students).

I know a decent number of people have been getting offers over the past month or so. Basically the way the timing seems to work is you send in applications late summer/early fall, you start interviewing in the fall or early spring, you continue the interview process potentially throughout the spring (depending on the office), and offers come out starting around January and continuing through graduation (again depending on the office).


Geist13 wrote:Also, by the time I apply I'll have taken the 4 major cirm classes, crim, crim pro, evidence, trial advocacy. Are they going to care that I'm not registered for any further criminal classes?

I usually mention that I've taken every criminal law-related course, and no one ever seems to care even a little bit. You should try to take all the trial advocacy-related courses you can though.

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

Postby llachans » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:23 am

I'm an 0L that has been communicating with the career services at my top choice. They said that students couldn't work at a prosecutor's office until after they've completed their 2L.

Is this standard for other schools? I know advice is to take criminal law classes as early on as you can but also show your interest in criminal law internships/jobs throughout law school. It seems as if waiting 2/3 through law school to work at a prosecutor's office might edge me out after graduation. True or not?

Thanks guys!

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

Postby eandy » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:46 am

llachans wrote:I'm an 0L that has been communicating with the career services at my top choice. They said that students couldn't work at a prosecutor's office until after they've completed their 2L.

Is this standard for other schools? I know advice is to take criminal law classes as early on as you can but also show your interest in criminal law internships/jobs throughout law school. It seems as if waiting 2/3 through law school to work at a prosecutor's office might edge me out after graduation. True or not?

Thanks guys!

That's not really true, but what they may be saying is that offices in their state only hire rising 3Ls who qualify under third year practice rules. You could find work in another state.
Also not working in a DA's office 1L summer isn't a big deal, especially if that's how it works in that state.

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

Postby llachans » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:51 am

eandy wrote:That's not really true, but what they may be saying is that offices in their state only hire rising 3Ls who qualify under third year practice rules. You could find work in another state.


If I'm at a school that has heavy placement in the capitol of the state I want to work in (and to be honest, pretty much only places there). The school is in the state capitol. That would leave me with 2 options:

1) Go out of state during 2L in order to get experience with a DA.
2) Find a non-DA related 2L job that will build connections in the market I will target after graduation. Use 2L summer to work for the DA.

Which one would be more valuable? There is a 1% chance of me ever leaving the city/state of the school I will be going to (and I'm fine with that).

Edit: If I followed option 2, what would be a good job option that would be attractive to a hiring DA even if the job doesn't provide direct DA experience? I hope that makes sense.

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

Postby eandy » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:00 am

llachans wrote:
eandy wrote:That's not really true, but what they may be saying is that offices in their state only hire rising 3Ls who qualify under third year practice rules. You could find work in another state.


If I'm at a school that has heavy placement in the capitol of the state I want to work in (and to be honest, pretty much only places there). The school is in the state capitol. That would leave me with 2 options:

1) Go out of state during 2L in order to get experience with a DA.
2) Find a non-DA related 2L job that will build connections in the market I will target after graduation. Use 2L summer to work for the DA.

Which one would be more valuable? There is a 1% chance of me ever leaving the city/state of the school I will be going to (and I'm fine with that).

Edit: If I followed option 2, what would be a good job option that would be attractive to a hiring DA even if the job doesn't provide direct DA experience? I hope that makes sense.

I'd go with option two. Prosecutors care a lot about you not bailing on them a year after hiring you, so having roots down is helpful. I worked in my home state in a small firm (real estate/ business lit) rather than my law school state and prosecutors were more concerned about not having worked in their state 1L summer than that I worked for a firm.
Personally, I'd avoid personal injury firms because that really makes it look like you'll bail, but if you have a good answer why it's not for you and otherwise demonstrate commitment to prosecution, you'll be fine.

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

Postby llachans » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:18 pm

eandy wrote:I'd go with option two. Prosecutors care a lot about you not bailing on them a year after hiring you, so having roots down is helpful. I worked in my home state in a small firm (real estate/ business lit) rather than my law school state and prosecutors were more concerned about not having worked in their state 1L summer than that I worked for a firm.
Personally, I'd avoid personal injury firms because that really makes it look like you'll bail, but if you have a good answer why it's not for you and otherwise demonstrate commitment to prosecution, you'll be fine.


Thank you so much for the response! That's what my gut was telling me, so I'm glad I was thinking on the right track.

Anonymous User
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:28 am

Is 78k in debt bad if you want to go into criminal litigation? 33k/tuition & 45k/COL.

I know I'd probably be making about 50-60k/year. I am planning on attending a TT. Is this manageable or just a bad idea from the start? It's hard to figure in interest rates on the loans so I'm unsure how typical this is for most law school grads.

Anonymous User
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is 78k in debt bad if you want to go into criminal litigation? 33k/tuition & 45k/COL.

I know I'd probably be making about 50-60k/year. I am planning on attending a TT. Is this manageable or just a bad idea from the start? It's hard to figure in interest rates on the loans so I'm unsure how typical this is for most law school grads.


Should be manageable. Work and do whatever you can to bring that number into the 60's if possible.

Anonymous User
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:03 pm

Anyone had to deal with a background check for the summer?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone had to deal with a background check for the summer?

I did, but all I had to do was give them my drivers license number and my social. I don't even have any traffic tickets, though, so it was nbd. They did tell me though that I was probably the only person in the office who hadn't been arrested before.

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

Postby Jeremyl » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:10 pm

Oops. Edit




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