DA Appeals Bureau

(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.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273590
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

DA Appeals Bureau

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:21 am

I've heard various things from different DA's offices as to whether or not Appeals is a good place to be. Some places make it seem prestigious, while others imply it's not.

Thoughts?

User avatar
Jimbola
Posts: 156
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:03 pm

Re: DA Appeals Bureau

Postby Jimbola » Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:24 am

My grandfather was a judge on the NYS Appellate Division and it seemed to be very prestigious. But I wouldn't really know.

User avatar
Glock
Posts: 395
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:48 pm

Re: DA Appeals Bureau

Postby Glock » Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:37 pm

Generally prestigious, but some agencies stick their aspies in there to prevent them from seeing a jury. Generally filled with intelligent but awkward people.


Appellate Squawk
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:29 pm

Re: DA Appeals Bureau

Postby Appellate Squawk » Sat Nov 05, 2011 6:54 pm

Appellate Squawk has been reading the products of DA appeals bureaus in New York for the last 15 years. Our advice is that if you're prosecutorially inclined, then go work for a trial bureau. If you want to grow and develop as a legal thinker, writer and advocate, don't do DA appeals. Their hiring committees undoubtedly demand good grades and writing skills, but working there is the royal road to stagnation. The job isn't really writing appeals but cranking out responses to defense appeals.

Because the criminal justice system is so openly hostile to correcting its own errors - "finality" being its highest value - appellate "review" is more or less a rubber stamp. Appellate courts consider the most egregious errors to be "harmless" because the defendant was guilty anyway, as if only innocent people are entitled to a fair trial. Therefore, the prosecution can spit on a piece of paper and win, and in fact, their briefs usually aren't much more than that. They consist of canned formulas salted with self-righteous abuse of the defendant and obsequious praise of the trial judge. Worst of all, DA briefwriters in the safety of their cubicles get away with misrepresentations and outright lies that not even a trial prosecutor would dare attempt.

Of course no job is all bad. Winning all the time can be very satisfying in a shooting-fish-in-a-pail sort of way. You and your colleagues can assure one another of what great legal minds you are, and nobody but your adversary will point out that your briefs are garbage. The job can be a stepping stone to the judiciary or other political position. It's a safe haven for people who just want a paycheck and a 9-5 job requiring no thinking.

Check out our satirical legal blog.
SPAM BLOG
Spam with attitude.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273590
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: DA Appeals Bureau

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 06, 2011 12:04 pm

I worked in the Appeals Bureau in a large secondary market and had a very different experience. OP you should try to get an internship. You will have a chance to write a few briefs and some states allow law students to participate in oral argument.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273590
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: DA Appeals Bureau

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:26 pm

Appellate Squawk wrote:Appellate Squawk has been reading the products of DA appeals bureaus in New York for the last 15 years. Our advice is that if you're prosecutorially inclined, then go work for a trial bureau. If you want to grow and develop as a legal thinker, writer and advocate, don't do DA appeals. Their hiring committees undoubtedly demand good grades and writing skills, but working there is the royal road to stagnation. The job isn't really writing appeals but cranking out responses to defense appeals.

Because the criminal justice system is so openly hostile to correcting its own errors - "finality" being its highest value - appellate "review" is more or less a rubber stamp. Appellate courts consider the most egregious errors to be "harmless" because the defendant was guilty anyway, as if only innocent people are entitled to a fair trial. Therefore, the prosecution can spit on a piece of paper and win, and in fact, their briefs usually aren't much more than that. They consist of canned formulas salted with self-righteous abuse of the defendant and obsequious praise of the trial judge. Worst of all, DA briefwriters in the safety of their cubicles get away with misrepresentations and outright lies that not even a trial prosecutor would dare attempt.

Of course no job is all bad. Winning all the time can be very satisfying in a shooting-fish-in-a-pail sort of way. You and your colleagues can assure one another of what great legal minds you are, and nobody but your adversary will point out that your briefs are garbage. The job can be a stepping stone to the judiciary or other political position. It's a safe haven for people who just want a paycheck and a 9-5 job requiring no thinking.



This is utter nonsense. You clearly have never been an ADA and have limited yourself to defense appellate work. I have written and argued briefs for both the DA and defendants. To be sure, they require different skill sets, but appellate prosecutors are some of the best lawyers out there. Just as defense and prosecution at the trial level are very different, appeals is no different. By the way, I have read many a defense brief . . . I have yet to be impressed by their "legal minds." Many D lawyers are simply extracting a fee for a hopeless appeal...

One more thing: there are many judges in your state that are alumni of DA Appeals bureaus. Many young ADAs choose to go into Appeals to become an expert in criminal law, and then move into trial work later on. Appellate experience is a huge asset; I have heard bureaus described as the "best and brightest" of the DA's staff... in fact the offices I have worked for, the bureau counsels the DA himself and other trial assistants on strategy, etc.

Appellate Squawk
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:29 pm

Re: DA Appeals Bureau

Postby Appellate Squawk » Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:26 pm

The above is a hilarious parody of the pompous fuming style of the typical prosecution brief. Notice the indignation over undisputed matters ("You clearly have never been an ADA." Well, duh!) and the clever reversal of values. Yes indeed, we "limit" ourselves to criminal defense appeals, just like we limit ourselves to not throwing old ladies under buses.

We also love the deadpan humor of calling the difference between defense and prosecution a matter of "skill sets," a term we haven't heard since 4th grade. There's no comparison between upholding the constitutional rights of the criminal accused and being a cog in the punitive machinery of the State. Working both sides of the street is nothing to be proud of.

What makes the post a particularly dead-on parody of prosecution brief-writing is that it never addresses the thesis that it purports to rebut. Our purpose in joining this discussion was precisely to warn law students that, for all the empty bragging about being "some of the best lawyers out there," the nature of prosecutor brief-writing is inherently reactive and mechanical. Caveat emptor!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273590
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: DA Appeals Bureau

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:30 pm

Appellate Squawk wrote:The above is a hilarious parody of the pompous fuming style of the typical prosecution brief. Notice the indignation over undisputed matters ("You clearly have never been an ADA." Well, duh!) and the clever reversal of values. Yes indeed, we "limit" ourselves to criminal defense appeals, just like we limit ourselves to not throwing old ladies under buses.

We also love the deadpan humor of calling the difference between defense and prosecution a matter of "skill sets," a term we haven't heard since 4th grade. There's no comparison between upholding the constitutional rights of the criminal accused and being a cog in the punitive machinery of the State. Working both sides of the street is nothing to be proud of.

What makes the post a particularly dead-on parody of prosecution brief-writing is that it never addresses the thesis that it purports to rebut. Our purpose in joining this discussion was precisely to warn law students that, for all the empty bragging about being "some of the best lawyers out there," the nature of prosecutor brief-writing is inherently reactive and mechanical. Caveat emptor!



You seem to be a "true-believer" and have taken the adversarial process a bit too far. Let us not mix your personal biases with the value of a certain job as a lawyer.

Appellate prosecutors perform a different function in the system than appellate counsel. You can pick and choose clients...ADAs have to take whatever is thrown at them. Most of which is total garbage from the defense bar, so they give garbage back. Whenever I had a good D brief in front of me, I made sure I responded with clever arguments and was prepared for oral arguments as well. This strategy is called *time management.* You should have been able to figure that out on your own. ADAs need to separate the wheat from the chaff.

RE: "Working both sides of the street is nothing to be proud of." In your opinion, perhaps. In thousands of other prosecutor-turned-DC and DC-turned-P, not so much (not to mention judges, partners, etc.). This is very common, and greatly improves your ability to advocate for a client. Try it, you just may be a better lawyer because of it.

Finally, of course appellate prosecution is reactive. We have to react to DC's points. Please excuse my 4th grade lexicon, but it is a different "skill set." It is like a prosecutor criticizing defense counsel at trial for not building a case; the roles are different, so different skills are required of each adversary. So, to all the law students out there, learn to separate polemic from reasoned argument.
Caveat Lector!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273590
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: DA Appeals Bureau

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:56 pm

Familiar with the PD side more than the DA side. I interned with the appeals bureau of the Legal Aid Society in NY. Due to tight budgets and the lack of constitutional right to representation on appeal, their office hadn't hired anyone new in eight years. When firms started making deferrals and sponsoring short-term PI placements, they got a flood of volunteers hoping to work there, and got to pick and choose. They had people working there while waiting for a start date at their V10s.

Also applied for an internship with the DC Public Defender Service appeals bureau. Felt fortunate to even get an interview with them. It felt like everyone there was from Harvard and was doing it hoping to jump to academia.

Point is, there are very few openings for these kinds of jobs, and they're highly competitive to get.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273590
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: DA Appeals Bureau

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Point is, there are very few openings for these kinds of jobs, and they're highly competitive to get.



this.

Appellate Squawk
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:29 pm

Re: DA Appeals Bureau

Postby Appellate Squawk » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:34 pm

Hon. Skill Sets:
We've made our points - get back to work.
To lighten up, visit: OBNOXIOUS SPAM DELETED BY MODS

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: DA Appeals Bureau

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:45 pm

Appellate Squawk wrote:To lighten up, visit:

You said the magic words! Here's your prize:

--ImageRemoved--

Besides, giving fake legal advice wouldn't have lasted long anyway.

LjakW
Posts: 257
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2007 9:48 pm

Re: DA Appeals Bureau

Postby LjakW » Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:02 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
Appellate Squawk wrote:To lighten up, visit:

You said the magic words! Here's your prize:

--ImageRemoved--

Besides, giving fake legal advice wouldn't have lasted long anyway.

To be fair, I did link to this legitimate blog and the poster probably noticed from the blog's Google stats and contributed some posts. Is it completely against TLS policy to link to one's outside website (I'm thinking about LawSchoolPredictor, for example)?
And no, I have zero relation to the poster or blog AppellateSquawk.

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: DA Appeals Bureau

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:03 pm

LjakW wrote:To be fair, I did link to this legitimate blog and the poster probably noticed from the blog's Google stats and contributed some posts. Is it completely against TLS policy to link to one's outside website (I'm thinking about LawSchoolPredictor, for example)?

Users are welcome to post helpful links that come up in the course of discussion. People who show up to post their own links either 1) need to start paying for advertising, which is what they're doing, or 2) get banned for spamming.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.