How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

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

Postby FeelTheHeat » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:47 pm

Tanicius wrote:
FeelTheHeat wrote:Checking into this thread. With each passing day I feel more and more like this might be the job for me. Between my grades and connections I think I would have a pretty good shot, and if my next two interviews don't work out I think I might devote myself full time to gunning for the SAO.


Firm interviews didn't work out for me. Got the final CB result today in the mail, actually. In all honesty I'm kind of relieved the choice has been made for me. The whole OCI process inflated my ego and got me excited about the lavish lifestyle and the money, but taking classes like evidence has really sobered me up to the fact that public defense is where I belong. It's more doable than a lot of people on here seem to think. As long as you have the relevant experience on the resume and are good at public speaking, you will get a job doing this somewhere.


Preach, brother. I'm slowly starting to get away from that...money has always been everything to me, THE means of justifying myself. I've been infatuated with gigantic paychecks and beautiful condos, but there's been an emptiness to every person who isn't a new associate I can't get past.

I worked for the DCA this past summer, and I definitely still have time to start getting the requisite experience on my resume. I'm VERY connected to the Miami SAO, so I feel like I'd have a great chance. Behind on my bar application, but that could be fixed quick.

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

Postby Tanicius » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:47 pm

ilovesf wrote:
FeelTheHeat wrote:Checking into this thread. With each passing day I feel more and more like this might be the job for me. Between my grades and connections I think I would have a pretty good shot, and if my next two interviews don't work out I think I might devote myself full time to gunning for the SAO.

I think we are the same person? I had a PD interview today.


I've heard Alameda's interview is a tough one. How'd it go?

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

Postby ilovesf » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:48 pm

Tanicius wrote:
ilovesf wrote:
FeelTheHeat wrote:Checking into this thread. With each passing day I feel more and more like this might be the job for me. Between my grades and connections I think I would have a pretty good shot, and if my next two interviews don't work out I think I might devote myself full time to gunning for the SAO.

I think we are the same person? I had a PD interview today.


I've heard Alameda's interview is a tough one. How'd it go?

It was actually DC, they were on campus today. I think it went well but I'm not really sure. I don't think I did as well as I could on the hypo, and I know the interviewer liked other people since he had something like "really good" written next to someone else's name. lol

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

Postby FeelTheHeat » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:50 pm

For seasoned vets, is the thread worth reading through? It's obviously a bit late to gun as a 2L, but I'll comb through the pages if it'll be helpful.

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

Postby Tanicius » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:00 pm

ilovesf wrote:
Tanicius wrote:
ilovesf wrote:
FeelTheHeat wrote:Checking into this thread. With each passing day I feel more and more like this might be the job for me. Between my grades and connections I think I would have a pretty good shot, and if my next two interviews don't work out I think I might devote myself full time to gunning for the SAO.

I think we are the same person? I had a PD interview today.


I've heard Alameda's interview is a tough one. How'd it go?

It was actually DC, they were on campus today. I think it went well but I'm not really sure. I don't think I did as well as I could on the hypo, and I know the interviewer liked other people since he had something like "really good" written next to someone else's name. lol



I didn't even apply to PDS. It doesn't sound like they let interns do much more than write memos and maybe motions. I know it looks impressive on resumes to say you interned with PDS, but I want to appear in court as much as possible for my 2L summer. I'm really jealous of the Alameda DA office because they try to give their certified law clerks first-chair on a misdemeanor over the summer.

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

Postby Borhas » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:12 pm

FeelTheHeat wrote:
Tanicius wrote:
FeelTheHeat wrote:Checking into this thread. With each passing day I feel more and more like this might be the job for me. Between my grades and connections I think I would have a pretty good shot, and if my next two interviews don't work out I think I might devote myself full time to gunning for the SAO.


Firm interviews didn't work out for me. Got the final CB result today in the mail, actually. In all honesty I'm kind of relieved the choice has been made for me. The whole OCI process inflated my ego and got me excited about the lavish lifestyle and the money, but taking classes like evidence has really sobered me up to the fact that public defense is where I belong. It's more doable than a lot of people on here seem to think. As long as you have the relevant experience on the resume and are good at public speaking, you will get a job doing this somewhere.


Preach, brother. I'm slowly starting to get away from that...money has always been everything to me, THE means of justifying myself. I've been infatuated with gigantic paychecks and beautiful condos, but there's been an emptiness to every person who isn't a new associate I can't get past.

I worked for the DCA this past summer, and I definitely still have time to start getting the requisite experience on my resume. I'm VERY connected to the Miami SAO, so I feel like I'd have a great chance. Behind on my bar application, but that could be fixed quick.


at this point, making 48k/year is a freaking lavish lifestyle to me

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

Postby FlanAl » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:17 pm

FeelTheHeat wrote:
Tanicius wrote:
FeelTheHeat wrote:


.


Preach, brother. I'm slowly starting to get away from that...money has always been everything to me, THE means of justifying myself. I've been infatuated with gigantic paychecks and beautiful condos, but there's been an emptiness to every person who isn't a new associate I can't get past.



Secret is that PI folks get paid. I think that since they don't get paid well in NYC people just assume PDs/DA's make dirt everywhere. 100% not the case. Sure its not biglaw cash but when you factor in your paid vacation and not working 80 hour weeks you're probably making at least more than half of what Biglaw kids make on an hourly basis. Then factor in your school's lrap. Also at least from this site it seems like people who lateral from biglaw usually make low 6 figures which is what you'll be making after the same amount of time. Really I don't think the financial hit is as bad as people make it out to be.

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

Postby Rocío » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:29 pm

FeelTheHeat wrote:For seasoned vets, is the thread worth reading through? It's obviously a bit late to gun as a 2L, but I'll comb through the pages if it'll be helpful.


You are a 2L? Then no, it is not too late to gun for a prosecutor/PD job after graduation, or for an internship next summer. I will be a PD next month in a major metropolitan PD office, and here is my distilled advice:

1. During your 2L year, take crim pro and evidence. At some point, take trial ad.

2. If your school has a criminal law clinic, participate in it.

3. Spend the summer between your 2L and 3L year at a PD or prosecutor office, preferably the office you want to work at. But it is by no means necessary to intern at the office you want to work at after graduation (I speak from experience). It is not necessary to spend the summer between your 1L and 2L year at a PD/prosecutor office, but this obviously will help.

4. Generally, public defender offices don't like seeing prosecutor experience. But the general consensus is that PD experience won't hurt you with prosecutor interviews.

5. If you can't participate in a criminal clinic or do a summer internship, do an externship during the school year in a PD or prosecutor office.

6. Grades matter for federal and honors programs, but they do not matter for state or local offices. Commitment to the cause matters.

7. Likewise, law review or journal membership doesn't matter for local or state offices. I was never once asked about my journal participation, nor was anyone I know. Moot court helps more than journal participation, but is not as important as internship, externship, or clinic experience.

8. Your career services offices likely won't be much help. Seek the help of your professors in the criminal law clinic, or externship professors, and definitely from attorneys where you intern. If they have contacts in offices, those contacts can be crucial. I credit a lot of my success to one professor in my school's criminal clinic.

9. Any other public interest law experience will help to fill in gaps - especially in areas like immigration law, or dealing with the homeless, people with mental illness, addicts/alcoholics, and obviously indigent or low-income clients.

10. If you speak a foreign language, make sure to highlight that as much as possible.

11. Check out the guides on psjd.org to get an idea of common questions and hypos asked in interviews. Make sure you nail your answer to the question of "why do you want to be a prosecutor/public defender?", because this will be one of the first questions asked in every interview. This piece of advice might seem obvious, but your answer to this question is critical: they are looking for "true believers."

I am more than happy to field questions via PM if anyone has more specific questions about the process.

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

Postby ilovesf » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:32 pm

I actually didn't get asked why I wanted to be a PD in my interview today. I had prepped a super answer and was kind of disappointed I didn't get to give my spiel.

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

Postby Tanicius » Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:12 am

I think it's a good sign if you don't even get asked the question.

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gobucks101
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby gobucks101 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:22 am

Tanicius wrote:
gobucks101 wrote:First trial as first chair today. Life sentence.


Good luck. Whatever happens, do your best, and be sure to remember that your best is all you can put forward in any situation, so don't beat yourself up too much if your guy has to go away.


Sorry should have been more clear. I was the prosecutor. Just got back verdict on my armed robbery/agg assault/false imprisonment/battery. Guilty. Since he had a prior burglary conviction, automatic life.

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

Postby akili » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:11 am

Just finished all my EJW fair apps. That was exhausting.

Also, I have a 2nd interview with the local DA (this time with the division I'm most interested in) next week. It sounds pretty positive that I'll get the summer gig, but does anyone have recommendations for prosecutor interview prep?

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

Postby FeelTheHeat » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:14 am

So...what's an EJW?

And Rocio, that was incredible. I'll be PMing you soon with a few questions, but thank you so much for that poast.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:14 am

Would participation in a Wrongful Convictions/Innocence Project kind of clinic be viewed unfavorably in a prosecutor's office, or is any criminal law related clinic a positive? I obviously can't take it off of my transcript, but would it be a topic worth avoiding discussing all together? Thanks for any input.

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

Postby Cinderella » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:28 am

ilovesf wrote:
FeelTheHeat wrote:Checking into this thread. With each passing day I feel more and more like this might be the job for me. Between my grades and connections I think I would have a pretty good shot, and if my next two interviews don't work out I think I might devote myself full time to gunning for the SAO.

I think we are the same person? I had a PD interview today.


ilovesf wrote:
kapital98 wrote:
ilovesf wrote:Congrats :) Yeah, almost exclusively SF. I'll bid on a couple of firms in SV, but mostly SF. Depending on how my list ends up, I might bid DA too because they have a ton of interview spots.


DA as in District Attorney? OMG, that's terrible :cry:

I always saw you as more of a "save the world" person rather than "tough on crime." You can put away the good people while I keep the bad ones on the street.

:lol: I had to volunteer for the PD office in Baltimore in college in my criminal justice class and I didn't really like it. A lot of the people really needed help and got off because police officers never came to court and the people would just be off the hook. It really didn't sit well with me.


So you didn't like public defense, you struck out at OCI, and now you want to be a public defender? Wonderful. Just what the world needs, public defenders who are doing it because they can't get anything else.

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

Postby ilovesf » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:35 am

Cinderella wrote:
ilovesf wrote:
FeelTheHeat wrote:Checking into this thread. With each passing day I feel more and more like this might be the job for me. Between my grades and connections I think I would have a pretty good shot, and if my next two interviews don't work out I think I might devote myself full time to gunning for the SAO.

I think we are the same person? I had a PD interview today.


ilovesf wrote:
kapital98 wrote:
ilovesf wrote:Congrats :) Yeah, almost exclusively SF. I'll bid on a couple of firms in SV, but mostly SF. Depending on how my list ends up, I might bid DA too because they have a ton of interview spots.


DA as in District Attorney? OMG, that's terrible :cry:

I always saw you as more of a "save the world" person rather than "tough on crime." You can put away the good people while I keep the bad ones on the street.

:lol: I had to volunteer for the PD office in Baltimore in college in my criminal justice class and I didn't really like it. A lot of the people really needed help and got off because police officers never came to court and the people would just be off the hook. It really didn't sit well with me.


So you didn't like public defense, you struck out at OCI, and now you want to be a public defender? Wonderful. Just what the world needs, public defenders who are doing it because they can't get anything else.

I've actually been thinking about that a lot lately and that experience. I don't really need to tell you what changed my mind but it was a recent personal experience. I went into school wanting to do gov/PI work, tried OCI because everyone told me it was impossible to get a job with the gov, and I am trying it again. If I had no interest in doing something, I wouldn't go out of my way to interview for it.

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

Postby Borhas » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:50 am

FeelTheHeat wrote:So...what's an EJW?

And Rocio, that was incredible. I'll be PMing you soon with a few questions, but thank you so much for that poast.


Equal Justice Works career fair

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

Postby eandy » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Would participation in a Wrongful Convictions/Innocence Project kind of clinic be viewed unfavorably in a prosecutor's office, or is any criminal law related clinic a positive? I obviously can't take it off of my transcript, but would it be a topic worth avoiding discussing all together? Thanks for any input.

I interviewed with one, which decided not to hire me as soon as I mentioned my prosecution related clinic, and they said that prosecutors were usually pretty skeptical. They mentioned Manhattan DA specifically as being extremely skeptical of people who had worked there.
It's going to depend on a lot of factors, though, and how you spin it, as always.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:37 pm

eandy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Would participation in a Wrongful Convictions/Innocence Project kind of clinic be viewed unfavorably in a prosecutor's office, or is any criminal law related clinic a positive? I obviously can't take it off of my transcript, but would it be a topic worth avoiding discussing all together? Thanks for any input.

I interviewed with one, which decided not to hire me as soon as I mentioned my prosecution related clinic, and they said that prosecutors were usually pretty skeptical. They mentioned Manhattan DA specifically as being extremely skeptical of people who had worked there.
It's going to depend on a lot of factors, though, and how you spin it, as always.


Thank you. Very relevant and helpful response!

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby spleenworship » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:45 pm

Tanicius wrote:
FeelTheHeat wrote:Checking into this thread. With each passing day I feel more and more like this might be the job for me. Between my grades and connections I think I would have a pretty good shot, and if my next two interviews don't work out I think I might devote myself full time to gunning for the SAO.


Firm interviews didn't work out for me. Got the final CB result in the mail today, actually. In all honesty I'm kind of relieved the choice has been made for me. The whole OCI process inflated my ego and got me excited about the lavish lifestyle and the money, but taking classes like evidence has really sobered me up to the fact that public defense is where I belong. It's more doable than a lot of people on here seem to think. As long as you have the relevant experience on the resume and are good at public speaking, you will get a job doing this somewhere.



And the trial experience you get is amazing, from everything I've heard.

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

Postby JCFindley » Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:41 pm

FlanAl wrote:
FeelTheHeat wrote:
Tanicius wrote:
FeelTheHeat wrote:


.


Preach, brother. I'm slowly starting to get away from that...money has always been everything to me, THE means of justifying myself. I've been infatuated with gigantic paychecks and beautiful condos, but there's been an emptiness to every person who isn't a new associate I can't get past.



Secret is that PI folks get paid. I think that since they don't get paid well in NYC people just assume PDs/DA's make dirt everywhere. 100% not the case. Sure its not biglaw cash but when you factor in your paid vacation and not working 80 hour weeks you're probably making at least more than half of what Biglaw kids make on an hourly basis. Then factor in your school's lrap. Also at least from this site it seems like people who lateral from biglaw usually make low 6 figures which is what you'll be making after the same amount of time. Really I don't think the financial hit is as bad as people make it out to be.


This!

Asside from NYC, there are some PDs that pay quite well and the money I will save in surgury not having gouged my eyes out with a spork after spending a week in biglaw will save some as well.....

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

Postby JCFindley » Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:50 pm

Without stretching myself too thin I am volunteering in the battered spouse program where we help abuse victims get divorced and also a kid's advocacy thing where we represent HS kids on their suspension hearing.

General good things to do looking ahead to doing the PD route?

(Oh, and I'm a 1L)

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

Postby darkarmour » Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:11 pm

Yes, this is definitely true. One of my close friends from college ended up working for the public defender of a large metropolitan city, and he was doing trials (granted, small cases) by the beginning of his second year.

spleenworship wrote:
Tanicius wrote:
FeelTheHeat wrote:Checking into this thread. With each passing day I feel more and more like this might be the job for me. Between my grades and connections I think I would have a pretty good shot, and if my next two interviews don't work out I think I might devote myself full time to gunning for the SAO.


Firm interviews didn't work out for me. Got the final CB result in the mail today, actually. In all honesty I'm kind of relieved the choice has been made for me. The whole OCI process inflated my ego and got me excited about the lavish lifestyle and the money, but taking classes like evidence has really sobered me up to the fact that public defense is where I belong. It's more doable than a lot of people on here seem to think. As long as you have the relevant experience on the resume and are good at public speaking, you will get a job doing this somewhere.



And the trial experience you get is amazing, from everything I've heard.

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

Postby Borhas » Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:28 pm

JCFindley wrote:Without stretching myself too thin I am volunteering in the battered spouse program where we help abuse victims get divorced and also a kid's advocacy thing where we represent HS kids on their suspension hearing.

General good things to do looking ahead to doing the PD route?

(Oh, and I'm a 1L)



You'll get some questions regarding domestic violence clients

Some hard core pd offices may think youre too victim centric

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

Postby Rocío » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:53 pm

akili wrote:Just finished all my EJW fair apps. That was exhausting.

Also, I have a 2nd interview with the local DA (this time with the division I'm most interested in) next week. It sounds pretty positive that I'll get the summer gig, but does anyone have recommendations for prosecutor interview prep?


Set up a mock interview with career services, or better yet email your school's criminal clinic and see if one of the professors can sit down and mock interview you for 15 minutes. Also read through some of these guides:

http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/care ... ewing.html

http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/care ... on2010.pdf

http://www.law.yale.edu/documents/pdf/C ... o_2012.pdf

You'll probably get more softball questions though, if you are just interviewing for a summer position.




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