Interview coming up at a major DA's office

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
User avatar
Garinold
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 6:07 pm

Interview coming up at a major DA's office

Postby Garinold » Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:11 pm

I have an interview coming up at a large DA's office. At this particular DA's office they required me to submit almost every conceivable material one would submit to a job (cover letter, resume, references, transcript, class rank, statement of interest, writing sample, & letters of rec). After "reviewing" my file, they have thankfully decided to grant me two interviews on the same day (I'm sure some of you can use your powers of deduction and figure out what office this is).

There are certain aspects of my materials that I am not particularly confident in, namely certain grades like contracts. One of my questions is that in these situations where the office you're applying to has all relevant information and decides in the face of certain bad information to grant you an interview anyways, presumably because some good factors outweigh the bad, is the interview essentially yours to lose? I am expecting to have to explain why I received certain bad grades, but I suspect that there are some things that the reviewing parties do like and that I essentially have the advantage.

The other question I had is what should I expect in terms of questions/hypoes, outside of the questions they'll ask me about my resume?

adonai
Posts: 1033
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:09 pm

Re: Interview coming up at a major DA's office

Postby adonai » Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:28 pm

You might find this useful...
http://www.law.virginia.edu/pdf/prosecutorhowto.pdf

Also
http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/l ... _attorney/

Don't know how reliable the reddit one is but seems legit.

User avatar
daesonesb
Posts: 499
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 2:18 pm

Re: Interview coming up at a major DA's office

Postby daesonesb » Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:54 pm

This might seem generic, but make sure to study up on the particular office.

For the most part, criminal law summer internships are very similar. You will be getting research and memo assignments from attorneys, you will be helping to organize and review case files, watching court proceedings, and generally acting as a runner/helper for attorneys as they go through their day (ie. filing motions in different court rooms, relaying messages to people, maybe even grabbing your lawyer a coffee while they are stuck in trial or prelims).

That said, some DA's offices have special programs for their interns. I can think of one that has an internal mock trial competition, and another that has a highly structured intern mentorship program (complete with half hour weekly feedback sessions). If the office you are interviewing for has this, you would do well to know and bring it up as a point of interest to you.

In general, criminal internships require you to be a good listener, and to stay on the ball organizationally. Research and writing skills obviously are a big plus too. Most of all, they want to see that you have passion for prosecuting. You might get a question asking whether you identify more with criminal defense or prosecution. If you really want the job, the obvious answer is prosecution. That said, you need a reason to back that up. Did you see the adverse effects of crime growing up? Do you have family in law enforcement? If you don't have either of these two behind you, you can go the time honored route of: "I love the study of criminal law. It's my dream to be a trial attorney. I really want to get experience with the courtroom.I think the role of a prosecutor in our society is vital for public safety (prosecutors provide a tangible and valuable service to their community, yada yada), etc. etc." The point is, you are demonstrating your prosecutorial zeal. They want to know that you are fired up about the job.

Finally, prosecutors are really proud of the fact that they can (to some degree) control their own caseload. Using their office's policies as a guide, they get to make the choice of whether to offer a defendant a deal or take a case to trial. They decide which arguments to use while in trial, and they are totally responsible for writing their own motions and strategizing about cases. If this is something that appeals to you, say so. It will show that you are a good fit for their line of work (which is really what they are going to be looking for).

User avatar
Garinold
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 6:07 pm

Re: Interview coming up at a major DA's office

Postby Garinold » Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:10 pm

Thanks for the feedback guys, I really appreciate it.

User avatar
A'nold
Posts: 3622
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:07 pm

Re: Interview coming up at a major DA's office

Postby A'nold » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:38 am

daesonesb wrote:This might seem generic, but make sure to study up on the particular office.

For the most part, criminal law summer internships are very similar. You will be getting research and memo assignments from attorneys, you will be helping to organize and review case files, watching court proceedings, and generally acting as a runner/helper for attorneys as they go through their day (ie. filing motions in different court rooms, relaying messages to people, maybe even grabbing your lawyer a coffee while they are stuck in trial or prelims).

That said, some DA's offices have special programs for their interns. I can think of one that has an internal mock trial competition, and another that has a highly structured intern mentorship program (complete with half hour weekly feedback sessions). If the office you are interviewing for has this, you would do well to know and bring it up as a point of interest to you.

In general, criminal internships require you to be a good listener, and to stay on the ball organizationally. Research and writing skills obviously are a big plus too. Most of all, they want to see that you have passion for prosecuting. You might get a question asking whether you identify more with criminal defense or prosecution. If you really want the job, the obvious answer is prosecution. That said, you need a reason to back that up. Did you see the adverse effects of crime growing up? Do you have family in law enforcement? If you don't have either of these two behind you, you can go the time honored route of: "I love the study of criminal law. It's my dream to be a trial attorney. I really want to get experience with the courtroom.I think the role of a prosecutor in our society is vital for public safety (prosecutors provide a tangible and valuable service to their community, yada yada), etc. etc." The point is, you are demonstrating your prosecutorial zeal. They want to know that you are fired up about the job.

Finally, prosecutors are really proud of the fact that they can (to some degree) control their own caseload. Using their office's policies as a guide, they get to make the choice of whether to offer a defendant a deal or take a case to trial. They decide which arguments to use while in trial, and they are totally responsible for writing their own motions and strategizing about cases. If this is something that appeals to you, say so. It will show that you are a good fit for their line of work (which is really what they are going to be looking for).


Ah, I love seeing my reasons for loving the job spelled out from time to time. It reminds me of why I want this so much. :)




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.