How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

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

Postby JCFindley » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:41 pm

Borhas wrote:
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


Thanks Borhas.... I will do it anyway as it means something to me way beyond networking and building resume stuff.

It will either be counterbalanced by the crim defense stuff I will do or since my resume needs massive trimming as it is maybe it just won't make it on there........

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:02 pm

JCFinley: Don't worry about the DV experience. At most you'll get a raised eyebrow, and your perfect response is: "As a 1L there are very few opportunities to get courtroom [albeit, probably administrative] experience in criminal law, so I took advantage of one that was offered; as a result, I now feel more comfortable in my role as an advocate." I was in your position last year and that answer worked.

Hope this helps!

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:15 pm

Yea definitely want to second not to worry about DV. I have DV stuff on my resume and secured interviews with some true believer offices. Just be prepared to discuss it in an interview, because you probably will have to. Also be sure to clarify if you did civil DV work- e.g. the family court side of it. If you were working with prosecutors you'll have a far more uphill battle than if you helped battered women get divorces and restraining orders from a civil judge. You might also get some ethical hypos to push you to make sure you can defend a DV criminal defendant, e.g,, You're at a bail hearing. It's a DV case. Your client told you that if he's out, he'll "convince" complainant not to go forward with the case. What do you do?

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

Postby JCFindley » Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:48 am

Thanks to both the Anons above. As I understand it, we work with DV victims in securing uncontested divorces.

I will see how it plays out but it is the one thing that 1Ls can do to get actual courtroom experience. Defending kids facing suspension is close but it is in administrative hearings and not actual court so there is obviously a distinct difference.

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

Postby Borhas » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:03 pm

JCFindley wrote:
Borhas wrote:
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


Thanks Borhas.... I will do it anyway as it means something to me way beyond networking and building resume stuff.

It will either be counterbalanced by the crim defense stuff I will do or since my resume needs massive trimming as it is maybe it just won't make it on there........


As long as you have a good answer and you do a pd over 1L summer I don't think it would be an issue. Most just letting you know that it is something that PD offices notice. Good court experience + having your own clients are both big positives.

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

Postby JCFindley » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:06 pm

Borhas wrote:
JCFindley wrote:
Borhas wrote:
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


Thanks Borhas.... I will do it anyway as it means something to me way beyond networking and building resume stuff.

It will either be counterbalanced by the crim defense stuff I will do or since my resume needs massive trimming as it is maybe it just won't make it on there........


As long as you have a good answer (and it seems like you do) and you do a pd over 1L summer it won't be an issue.


Well, when I showed up for training today they failed to have me on the list and were short on space so I may end up not doing it anyway unless I can get it at another area school.

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Mroberts3
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Mroberts3 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:27 pm

This thread has been very useful, so thanks for all the good posts.

I realize in retrospect that I kind of screwed the pooch a bit my quest to be a prosecutor. I did well during 1L and got onto law review and did a firm job for 2L summer thinking that this was the best way to build a resume. I guess it is for some things, but I realized I wouldn't be able to stand biglaw for the 5 years it would take to be even minimally competitive for the USAO. Now I realize this resume isn't all that great to become an ADA.

I did extremely well in evidence, but have no moot court experience (we can't do LR and moot court), and haven't taken trial ad or crim pro yet (will in spring). I guess the question is do I have a realistic shot at getting an ADA job after graduation? Should I just apply everywhere in the state (CA)? Should I look for other government jobs like the AG and then try and lateral in later?

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

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:17 pm

Mroberts3 wrote:This thread has been very useful, so thanks for all the good posts.

I realize in retrospect that I kind of screwed the pooch a bit my quest to be a prosecutor. I did well during 1L and got onto law review and did a firm job for 2L summer thinking that this was the best way to build a resume. I guess it is for some things, but I realized I wouldn't be able to stand biglaw for the 5 years it would take to be even minimally competitive for the USAO. Now I realize this resume isn't all that great to become an ADA.

I did extremely well in evidence, but have no moot court experience (we can't do LR and moot court), and haven't taken trial ad or crim pro yet (will in spring). I guess the question is do I have a realistic shot at getting an ADA job after graduation? Should I just apply everywhere in the state (CA)? Should I look for other government jobs like the AG and then try and lateral in later?


I would still go for prosecution out the gate. If I were you, here's how I would do it. Focus on your cover letter. THis will be the most important thing you hand in (not true of everyone, but since you lack criminal credentials, you gotta make it happen on the cover letter).

I would start the cover letter with Something about how you are a hard worker and you can succeed at whatever you put your mind too. When you first started law school, you thought you wanted to work for a big firm. So you put your mind to that and worked hard and: law review, good grades, summer job witha big firm. But then talk about how you have had a revelation that now you want to work as a prosecutor. I think it will need to be better than: big law hours suck and big law seems boring.

I don't think prosecutors are interested in "skills." Lawyers went to law school. They know you hardly learn shit. I bet a DA gets more trial experience in 1 month then someone who did moot court for 3 years. What they are looking for is people who are committed to the cause and people who they think will be good at it.

That's why in the first part you show that you are a hardworker, that you can do what you want. Get them thinking- if he turns his mind to prosecution, he'll rip it up. But then you have to show why you really want to work prosecution. Don't let them think: he got rejected by his 2l firm (I have no idea if this happened or not) and now this is his backup. If that is conveyed in teh cover letter, I have to imagine it would be an instant ding.

Just convey two things: (1) Your hard-work, dedicated workstyle and your (2) passion for prosecution

OH- another route. You could go PD. A lot of people do PD for 2-4 years than switch to prosecution.


Of course, this stuff is my opinion. my credentials (or lack thereof): Worked for the attorney general in my state, applied to and got accepted to several DA's offices for my 2l summer, worked at a DA's office for my 2L summer, and right now I'm starting to get some interviews for permanent positions at big DA offices. I definitely don't have a job yet though, so don't take my word as gospel. That's just how I would play it. Hope this helps!

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

Postby Rocío » Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:30 pm

Mroberts3 wrote:This thread has been very useful, so thanks for all the good posts.

I realize in retrospect that I kind of screwed the pooch a bit my quest to be a prosecutor. I did well during 1L and got onto law review and did a firm job for 2L summer thinking that this was the best way to build a resume. I guess it is for some things, but I realized I wouldn't be able to stand biglaw for the 5 years it would take to be even minimally competitive for the USAO. Now I realize this resume isn't all that great to become an ADA.

I did extremely well in evidence, but have no moot court experience (we can't do LR and moot court), and haven't taken trial ad or crim pro yet (will in spring). I guess the question is do I have a realistic shot at getting an ADA job after graduation? Should I just apply everywhere in the state (CA)? Should I look for other government jobs like the AG and then try and lateral in later?


You will be at a disadvantage if you don't have any clinic, internship, or externship criminal law experience under your belt. It's also a problem that you haven't taken crim pro yet, but you can note that you are taking it next semester. If it's not too late to enroll in your school's criminal law clinic, do that. Otherwise, do an externship with a prosecutor's office in the spring. If you can't do either of these things, do a civil litigation clinic, like an immigration clinic. And yes, definitely take trial ad.

I had a friend with a very similar resume to yours - she was law review and graduated magna cum laude. She didn't realize until she was a 3L that she wanted to be a PD, so she took crim pro, evidence, and trial ad all as a 3L. She did end up getting a job as a PD, but not until 6 months after graduation. In the meantime, she worked with a bar advocate group (court-appointed attorneys) for experience. So it can be done.
Last edited by Rocío on Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:32 pm

Borhas wrote:I'm really glad I checked EJW again, cause last time I logged in only Miami, CO, and NH were up there. Good to see so many offices hiring PD's. Hell, I'd love to work in NC at this point.



whoa.. hey... calm it down on the NC insulting :(

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

Postby Borhas » Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:41 pm

It's all good man, I would never insult the great state of North Carolina

kind of flat though, that's my main beef

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

Postby JCFindley » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:40 pm

Borhas wrote:It's all good man, I would never insult the great state of North Carolina

kind of flat though, that's my main beef
ever been out in Western NC?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:58 pm

Where to spend your 2L Summer

Part of me thinks that this may need its own thread, maybe not. Anyways, here goes nothing:

I want to work as a PD in the NYC area after I graduate. This is because my SO needs to be in NYC for the next few years. I would rather be in California (worked for a PD in Cal 1L summer) and would like to work in NYC for no more than 5 years and then try to work for a PD out west.

I know that PD's don't give offers at the end of your summer like firms, but where you spend 2L summer seems to have some bearing on where you end up post-graduation.

With all that in mind, does anyone have any idea what NYC offices would be a good resume boost compared to others (ie I'd imagine having PDS in DC on your resume would be helpful in the job hunt out west).

I don't have any offers as of yet but have begun to schedule interviews and am just curious as to what you all think.

Thanks

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

Postby Rocío » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:12 pm

.
Last edited by Rocío on Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Borhas » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:31 pm

JCFindley wrote:
Borhas wrote:It's all good man, I would never insult the great state of North Carolina

kind of flat though, that's my main beef
ever been out in Western NC?


Yeah I have been to Boone/App State a few times. But still, that's a pretty small % of the state

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

Postby seatown12 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:35 pm

Rocío wrote:Also: CA PD offices are not hiring, or least haven't been for the last couple of years, so you are lucky that you are looking to be a PD elsewhere.

Not true.

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

Postby Rocío » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:41 pm

seatown12 wrote:
Rocío wrote:Also: CA PD offices are not hiring, or least haven't been for the last couple of years, so you are lucky that you are looking to be a PD elsewhere.

Not true.


I know five 2011-2012 grads who did not get offers from various CA offices because of hiring freezes. Google that shit. Maybe they claim to be hiring for 2013, but the local CA offices weren't hiring for 2011-2012 classes (except for maybe hiring solely from their 2L interns, depending on the office).

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Mroberts3
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Mroberts3 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:23 am

Rocío wrote:
Mroberts3 wrote:This thread has been very useful, so thanks for all the good posts.

I realize in retrospect that I kind of screwed the pooch a bit my quest to be a prosecutor. I did well during 1L and got onto law review and did a firm job for 2L summer thinking that this was the best way to build a resume. I guess it is for some things, but I realized I wouldn't be able to stand biglaw for the 5 years it would take to be even minimally competitive for the USAO. Now I realize this resume isn't all that great to become an ADA.

I did extremely well in evidence, but have no moot court experience (we can't do LR and moot court), and haven't taken trial ad or crim pro yet (will in spring). I guess the question is do I have a realistic shot at getting an ADA job after graduation? Should I just apply everywhere in the state (CA)? Should I look for other government jobs like the AG and then try and lateral in later?


You will be at a disadvantage if you don't have any clinic, internship, or externship criminal law experience under your belt. It's also a problem that you haven't taken crim pro yet, but you can note that you are taking it next semester. If it's not too late to enroll in your school's criminal law clinic, do that. Otherwise, do an externship with a prosecutor's office in the spring. If you can't do either of these things, do a civil litigation clinic, like an immigration clinic. And yes, definitely take trial ad.

I had a friend with a very similar resume to yours - she was law review and graduated magna cum laude. She didn't realize until she was a 3L that she wanted to be a PD, so she took crim pro, evidence, and trial ad all as a 3L. She did end up getting a job as a PD, but not until 6 months after graduation. In the meantime, she worked with a bar advocate group (court-appointed attorneys) for experience. So it can be done.


I think this is all correct, its just annoying cause I always had an interest in prosecution but was gunning for USAO after biglaw after doing well 1L and didn't realize DA offices wanted to see different things. I guess I just need to start making up for lost time like doing Trial ad/crim pro and interning at a DA office if I can.

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

Postby seatown12 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:56 am

Rocío wrote:
seatown12 wrote:
Rocío wrote:Also: CA PD offices are not hiring, or least haven't been for the last couple of years, so you are lucky that you are looking to be a PD elsewhere.

Not true.


I know five 2011-2012 grads who did not get offers from various CA offices because of hiring freezes. Google that shit. Maybe they claim to be hiring for 2013, but the local CA offices weren't hiring for 2011-2012 classes (except for maybe hiring solely from their 2L interns, depending on the office).

Ok some probably still are not hiring, but others are. Whether any individual can get one of those jobs when there is a ridiculous backlog of people who want them is another story. People who are interested should not give up though and should continue to check into the situation at specific offices.

tarheel87
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby tarheel87 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:48 am

Career Services claims that DA's offices do not even considering hiring you until you have passed the bar. For a 3L interested in prosecution, should I begin contacting offices soon or wait until I take the bar? If not then, when? Clueless about the process of finding a real job versus internships.

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

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:16 am

tarheel87 wrote:Career Services claims that DA's offices do not even considering hiring you until you have passed the bar. For a 3L interested in prosecution, should I begin contacting offices soon or wait until I take the bar? If not then, when? Clueless about the process of finding a real job versus internships.



Tell your careers services office to go f*ck themselves.

Big offices- Baltimore, Philly, the nyc offices, etc --> They start interviewing now.
Smaller offices- yes, they only hire on as-needed basis- they wait till they have an opening then ask for people who have passed the bar. But if you go to unc thats pretty shitty that they arent telling you about the big offices. Perhaps they don't think you can make it? Or perhaps they are like most CSO's and just suck.

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

Postby akili » Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:25 pm

Where to spend 2L Summer question...

I want to do prosecution at a DA's office. I don't much care where. I have ties in Texas, Tennessee and Washington. Where should I target for this summer?

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

Postby Borhas » Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:34 pm

akili wrote:Where to spend 2L Summer question...

I want to do prosecution at a DA's office. I don't much care where. I have ties in Texas, Tennessee and Washington. Where should I target for this summer?



1. the place that lets you do hearings/trials
2. the place in the state you'd prefer to work. I think a Texas office that let's you do misdo trials, prelims, and suppression motions. Texas, just because it's a big state would open up more offices. Look up the offices and target the ones that also have paid post bar clerkships.

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

Postby akili » Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:48 pm

Borhas wrote:
akili wrote:Where to spend 2L Summer question...

I want to do prosecution at a DA's office. I don't much care where. I have ties in Texas, Tennessee and Washington. Where should I target for this summer?



1. the place that lets you do hearings/trials
2. the place in the state you'd prefer to work. I think a Texas office that let's you do misdo trials, prelims, and suppression motions. Texas, just because it's a big state would open up more offices. Look up the offices and target the ones that also have paid post bar clerkships.


That's kind of what I'm thinking. It looks like I've got a pretty good chance to work in Nashville next summer and would get to do some trials. It sounds like an incredible program, but I'm just worried I won't be hired anywhere after graduation.

lovelaw27
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby lovelaw27 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:41 pm

Can people share how they are preparing for their interviews? Are people going in having their evidence, crim law, and criminal procedure outlines down cold?




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