How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:As a sexual assault victim myself, with some experience working in prosecution, I personally choose not to bring it up for two reasons.
First, I don't want to be perceived as being unable to stay objective. As a prosecutor, you're not punishing the bad guys. You are looking for the truth. Prosecutors have a lot of experience working with victims and whether fair or not, you're going to be put in that category, which will reflect negatively on your ability to properly exercise prosecutorial discretion in all areas of your work
Second, I don't know how much experience you've had with working those cases yourself, but I do legitimately find it quite difficult. I've had some issues with anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares, etc. It's really graphic work, and when either the victim or worse, the defendant, is describing what happened it can be pretty upsetting for the average person and much more so for a victim.

Tl;dr: I see how you think it gives you a leg up but it will only make the interviewer feel awkward at best. At worst, it will be perceived as a weakness or possibly even be one. I really caution you to think extremely carefully about bringing it up.


Oh ok, that makes sense. How about mentioning loved ones who have been impacted by dv/sexual assault as a motivator for going into prosecution, while leaving out the personal experience? Or would that also be perceived as potentially compromising objectivity too?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:05 pm

I am a 2L at an upper T2 with a 2.76 GPA. As it turns out, I have been suffering from narcolepsy the past few years. I was officially diagnosed this past summer and am now taking medication to control it. I know it affected my grades because I was falling in sleep in class and during exams even with caffeine. When I wasn't sleeping, I was constantly drowsy. I had believed all this time that my problem was just stress and lack of sleep. I feel so much better than I have in years on medication.

I received great reviews of my performance as an intern this past summer. I also got a lot of practical experience because I was in court every day as a legal advocate. My resume and experience show dedication to public interest work. My question is whether I should address the narcolepsy in my applications/interviews with DA offices. I know I am capable of better grades. I excelled in my writing courses despite the narcolepsy because they didn't involve a timed test early in the morning.

Any advice on how to handle this situation would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. I apologize if I have misused the anonymous posting feature.

RW65
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby RW65 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am a 2L at an upper T2 with a 2.76 GPA. As it turns out, I have been suffering from narcolepsy the past few years. I was officially diagnosed this past summer and am now taking medication to control it. I know it affected my grades because I was falling in sleep in class and during exams even with caffeine. When I wasn't sleeping, I was constantly drowsy. I had believed all this time that my problem was just stress and lack of sleep. I feel so much better than I have in years on medication.

I received great reviews of my performance as an intern this past summer. I also got a lot of practical experience because I was in court every day as a legal advocate. My resume and experience show dedication to public interest work. My question is whether I should address the narcolepsy in my applications/interviews with DA offices. I know I am capable of better grades. I excelled in my writing courses despite the narcolepsy because they didn't involve a timed test early in the morning.

Any advice on how to handle this situation would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. I apologize if I have misused the anonymous posting feature.


I wouldn't bring it up. You have a great resume despite your lackluster grades so don't make excuses for them. You don't know how you would have performed if you were being treated, maybe you would have done better, but maybe not. Saying "I would have better grades except . . ." just sounds like an excuse IMO, regardless of whether it is true. That said, I'm glad you are being treated for your condition. If you get great grades next semester, I would be more inclined to mention it, but I would still be hesitant.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:20 pm

RW65 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am a 2L at an upper T2 with a 2.76 GPA. As it turns out, I have been suffering from narcolepsy the past few years. I was officially diagnosed this past summer and am now taking medication to control it. I know it affected my grades because I was falling in sleep in class and during exams even with caffeine. When I wasn't sleeping, I was constantly drowsy. I had believed all this time that my problem was just stress and lack of sleep. I feel so much better than I have in years on medication.

I received great reviews of my performance as an intern this past summer. I also got a lot of practical experience because I was in court every day as a legal advocate. My resume and experience show dedication to public interest work. My question is whether I should address the narcolepsy in my applications/interviews with DA offices. I know I am capable of better grades. I excelled in my writing courses despite the narcolepsy because they didn't involve a timed test early in the morning.

Any advice on how to handle this situation would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. I apologize if I have misused the anonymous posting feature.


I wouldn't bring it up. You have a great resume despite your lackluster grades so don't make excuses for them. You don't know how you would have performed if you were being treated, maybe you would have done better, but maybe not. Saying "I would have better grades except . . ." just sounds like an excuse IMO, regardless of whether it is true. That said, I'm glad you are being treated for your condition. If you get great grades next semester, I would be more inclined to mention it, but I would still be hesitant.


(Different anon.) Definitely agree with RW65. I had a very similar situation, too. Had a disease that pretty much sapped my energy and sent my grades through the floor 1L year. I still managed to get competitive internships/clerk positions based on an ever growing resume. If you're able to get to an interview stage, that means that your resume spoke louder than your GPA. Best of luck!

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

Postby seatown12 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:49 am

Anonymous User wrote:I am a 2L at an upper T2 with a 2.76 GPA. As it turns out, I have been suffering from narcolepsy the past few years ... My question is whether I should address the narcolepsy in my applications/interviews with DA offices.
...

Poor grades won't hurt you in DA hiring as against a person with average or even above-average grades, whereas revealing that you had a narcolepsy issue might make them question (fairly or unfairly) whether you will be able to hold up in trial.

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

Postby Tanicius » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:58 pm

seatown12 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am a 2L at an upper T2 with a 2.76 GPA. As it turns out, I have been suffering from narcolepsy the past few years ... My question is whether I should address the narcolepsy in my applications/interviews with DA offices.
...

Poor grades won't hurt you in DA hiring as against a person with average or even above-average grades, whereas revealing that you had a narcolepsy issue might make them question (fairly or unfairly) whether you will be able to hold up in trial.



Agreed.

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

Postby Rocío » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:53 pm

seatown12 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am a 2L at an upper T2 with a 2.76 GPA. As it turns out, I have been suffering from narcolepsy the past few years ... My question is whether I should address the narcolepsy in my applications/interviews with DA offices.
...

Poor grades won't hurt you in DA hiring as against a person with average or even above-average grades, whereas revealing that you had a narcolepsy issue might make them question (fairly or unfairly) whether you will be able to hold up in trial.


Agreed. Grades matter for federal prosecutor programs, but grades are not very important to local DA offices. Far more important considerations include any internship/externship experience in prosecutor offices (or PD offices), and participation in your school's criminal clinic.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:41 am

Deleted by Anon

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

Postby Borhas » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:39 pm

Didnt get 2nd round interview from PDS (found out through email)

Oh well

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

Postby Raima » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:48 pm

Hi all! What a great thread. I just had a question, if anyone can help - SAO's application for my area asks whether I've tried a drug, and I tried pot in high school. Is this something I should just put on there for honesty and thoroughness?

Edit: Most importantly, I guess, is whether saying yes, and what and when, is a way to get disqualified as an applicant? Or is it more important that someone be honest, even if it was trying out marijuana over ten years ago?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby anon168 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:04 pm

Raima wrote:Hi all! What a great thread. I just had a question, if anyone can help - SAO's application for my area asks whether I've tried a drug, and I tried pot in high school. Is this something I should just put on there for honesty and thoroughness?

Edit: Most importantly, I guess, is whether saying yes, and what and when, is a way to get disqualified as an applicant? Or is it more important that someone be honest, even if it was trying out marijuana over ten years ago?


I can only speak for the federal government, but one time use a long time ago, will not ding you. They are more concerned with habitual use or even recreational use, as opposed to a single experimental use.

Heck, our former president admitted to trying weed (athough not inhaling).

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

Postby Tanicius » Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:23 pm

Borhas wrote:Didnt get 2nd round interview from PDS (found out through email)

Oh well


Sorry dude. If it's any consolation, it doesn't sound like they let newcomers even so that much arguing.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:26 pm

also feel free to apply to pd/da offices in neighboring states (for 1L/2L internships, no way you are getting hired post grad without connections). while a small firm wouldn't take you with no ties to a state because they have to actually invest and train you, a pd/da office more "throws you to the wolves," and will be more likely to to hire the best interns no matter what school they went to. if you leave after two years, who friggin cares-- getting someone else to do traffic court arraignments is not impossible. I had (unpaid) 1L da offers in three states. just an fyi.

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

Postby Borhas » Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:06 pm

Tanicius wrote:
Borhas wrote:Didnt get 2nd round interview from PDS (found out through email)

Oh well


Sorry dude. If it's any consolation, it doesn't sound like they let newcomers even so that much arguing.


Not for summer job but for permenant job

RW65
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby RW65 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:37 pm

Raima wrote:Hi all! What a great thread. I just had a question, if anyone can help - SAO's application for my area asks whether I've tried a drug, and I tried pot in high school. Is this something I should just put on there for honesty and thoroughness?

Edit: Most importantly, I guess, is whether saying yes, and what and when, is a way to get disqualified as an applicant? Or is it more important that someone be honest, even if it was trying out marijuana over ten years ago?


Yes you should disclose this. Whether it disqualifies you or not is up to them, but you have to be honest and transparent throughout this process and as a prosecutor. Good luck!

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

Postby seatown12 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:33 pm

Borhas wrote:
Tanicius wrote:
Borhas wrote:Didnt get 2nd round interview from PDS (found out through email)
Oh well

Sorry dude. If it's any consolation, it doesn't sound like they let newcomers even so that much arguing.

Not for summer job but for permenant job

Sorry to hear it but don't let it get you down, everyone I know who applied for PDs (myself included) got rejected by some and invited back by others with no apparent rhyme or reason. I'm confident that there is a PD job out there for you.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Rocío » Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:00 pm

seatown12 wrote:
Borhas wrote:
Tanicius wrote:
Borhas wrote:Didnt get 2nd round interview from PDS (found out through email)
Oh well

Sorry dude. If it's any consolation, it doesn't sound like they let newcomers even so that much arguing.

Not for summer job but for permenant job

Sorry to hear it but don't let it get you down, everyone I know who applied for PDs (myself included) got rejected by some and invited back by others with no apparent rhyme or reason. I'm confident that there is a PD job out there for you.


Yeah I got tons of rejections, despite making it to the final round at lots of offices (at some offices, this meant three different rounds of interviews). And then the last two offices that were still in the running both extended me offers - including my first choice. Hang in there guys, and just try to stay as positive as possible.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Borhas » Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:53 pm

Thanks for the kind words. So, who's going to EJW?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby spleenworship » Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:17 pm

Worked USAO this summer. Hated it. So much hate, in fact, that I want to go into defense. I felt like an asshat helping put most of the defendants in jail (I didn't feel bad about helping put all of them in the slammer, there were a few really bad guys.... maybe 10%). I didn't like most of the attorneys (all pro death penalty, almost all uncompromising dicks). I did like the work, in general, however.

Right now I'm taking trial advocacy classes, trying out for mock trial, taking crim pro, will be taking crim clinics.

Will my internship for the prosecution hurt my chances at getting an externship (and hopefully eventual job) at a PD's office? Whaddya'll think?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby eandy » Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:22 pm

spleenworship wrote:Worked USAO this summer. Hated it. So much hate, in fact, that I want to go into defense. I felt like an asshat helping put most of the defendants in jail (I didn't feel bad about helping put all of them in the slammer, there were a few really bad guys.... maybe 10%). I didn't like most of the attorneys (all pro death penalty, almost all uncompromising dicks). I did like the work, in general, however.

Right now I'm taking trial advocacy classes, trying out for mock trial, taking crim pro, will be taking crim clinics.

Will my internship for the prosecution hurt my chances at getting an externship (and hopefully eventual job) at a PD's office? Whaddya'll think?

Most of what you described, minus the death penalty part, might be more office specific. If you otherwise prefer prosecution, your local DA's office may be better. I think if you can reasonably explain how working there, without badmouthing, changed your perspective, you should be fine for most defense work if that is what you want.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby spleenworship » Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:27 pm

eandy wrote:
spleenworship wrote:Worked USAO this summer. Hated it. So much hate, in fact, that I want to go into defense. I felt like an asshat helping put most of the defendants in jail (I didn't feel bad about helping put all of them in the slammer, there were a few really bad guys.... maybe 10%). I didn't like most of the attorneys (all pro death penalty, almost all uncompromising dicks). I did like the work, in general, however.

Right now I'm taking trial advocacy classes, trying out for mock trial, taking crim pro, will be taking crim clinics.

Will my internship for the prosecution hurt my chances at getting an externship (and hopefully eventual job) at a PD's office? Whaddya'll think?

Most of what you described, minus the death penalty part, might be more office specific. If you otherwise prefer prosecution, your local DA's office may be better. I think if you can reasonably explain how working there, without badmouthing, changed your perspective, you should be fine for most defense work if that is what you want.


I don't think feeling like a dick for putting people in jail is gonna go away. I think PD is the way to go for me.

Thanks for the support though. I think I can, in a much nicer way, explain how working there helped me change my perspective.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby JCFindley » Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:40 pm

spleenworship wrote:Worked USAO this summer. Hated it. So much hate, in fact, that I want to go into defense. I felt like an asshat helping put most of the defendants in jail (I didn't feel bad about helping put all of them in the slammer, there were a few really bad guys.... maybe 10%). I didn't like most of the attorneys (all pro death penalty, almost all uncompromising dicks). I did like the work, in general, however.

Right now I'm taking trial advocacy classes, trying out for mock trial, taking crim pro, will be taking crim clinics.

Will my internship for the prosecution hurt my chances at getting an externship (and hopefully eventual job) at a PD's office? Whaddya'll think?


Spleen my brotha.....


I happened to ask this VERY question Wed night of various PD recruiter types (most were in fact PDs) at an NYC public interest meet and greet. The answer was an unequivocal YES!

But do not despair, as the one thing they said could rub the DA stink off you was having a response/statement in your cover letter along the lines of what I bolded above.

TBH, I am about 70%PD/30%DA on which side of that equation I want to play for but wanted to ask the question early since the PD side did not seem to exclude the DA whereas it seems the opposite is true the other way around.

(Note: The PDs/Defense teams I talked to were ALL NYC area plus the DC PD. The woman from DC was the most adamant about it.)

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:52 pm

JCFindley wrote:
spleenworship wrote:Worked USAO this summer. Hated it. So much hate, in fact, that I want to go into defense. I felt like an asshat helping put most of the defendants in jail (I didn't feel bad about helping put all of them in the slammer, there were a few really bad guys.... maybe 10%). I didn't like most of the attorneys (all pro death penalty, almost all uncompromising dicks). I did like the work, in general, however.

Right now I'm taking trial advocacy classes, trying out for mock trial, taking crim pro, will be taking crim clinics.

Will my internship for the prosecution hurt my chances at getting an externship (and hopefully eventual job) at a PD's office? Whaddya'll think?


Spleen my brotha.....


I happened to ask this VERY question Wed night of various PD recruiter types (most were in fact PDs) at an NYC public interest meet and greet. The answer was an unequivocal YES!

But do not despair, as the one thing they said could rub the DA stink off you was having a response/statement in your cover letter along the lines of what I bolded above.

TBH, I am about 70%PD/30%DA on which side of that equation I want to play for but wanted to ask the question early since the PD side did not seem to exclude the DA whereas it seems the opposite is true the other way around.

(Note: The PDs/Defense teams I talked to were ALL NYC area plus the DC PD. The woman from DC was the most adamant about it.)


I know that a few offices in California are really anti-prosecution experience. I was interested in doing a USAO externship my 1L summer and was told by a PD in a Bay Area office that it would be way better not to go near prosecution at all at any point. I doubt you're out of the running, especially if you are going for east coast stuff, but it would be good to come up with a really compelling narrative for why you hate prosecution. Talk to an alum in an office you're interested in about how they'd approach it, I'm sure they'll give you some great advice.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:24 pm

Having interned at an East Coast PD, I will tell you know we happen to have a lot of true believer/highly competitive offices out here that will take issue with prosecutorial experience.

That being said a USAO experience is something you can address away in a cover letter. In fact, I was told by the person who did hiring in my office that you definitely need to explain any remotely prosecutorial work in a cover letter. So definitely do that.

Also, remember that you worked at the federal level. It's not the same as state court. What kind offenses did you prosecute in your USAO office? If you were hitting a lot of top-level dealers and doing child porn cases, that's nothing like what the local state DA does so you're at least less likely to be jaded against defendants committing street crimes in the eyes of a PD office. Also remember that the federal system gives you a lot of things to hate that state systems might not, e.g., you might want to rail on the semi-determinate sentencing, the availability of the death penalty as you said, life-tenured judges being out of touch with low-income defendants, etc., etc.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby spleenworship » Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:48 pm

Thank you to everyone. It's true that the only case I felt good about working on was the child porn case, and the ones I felt bad about were the Indian country cases where defendant committing "typical" crimes were either being railroaded or serving disproportionately long sentences because the Feds don't eff around with little sentences. Thanks anon especially for giving me some ideas for my cover letter.




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