Public Defender West Coast Options

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Public Defender West Coast Options

Postby sidfinch » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:04 pm

I am looking to try and get into a public defender's office somewhere on the west side of the country (CA, AZ, NV, UT, NM, CO, WA or OR) and was wondering if any other user's have worked at an office in the summer which ultimately lead to a permanent position. If I was looking to interview for 2L summer in a public defender's office, what would be the easiest way to contact an office that is not coming to campus for interviews?


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Re: Public Defender West Coast Options

Postby seatown12 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:41 pm

In order to get a 2L spot you should direct send resume and cover letter. Look on the websites they will tell you where to send. Do it soon because many offices are starting to make decisions already or in the near future.

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Mick Haller

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Re: Public Defender West Coast Options

Postby Mick Haller » Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:05 pm

I'd go for minor/secondary job markets rather than populated coastal areas. It's not unheard of (at least in coastal Calif.) to see 30+ interviewees for each unpaid summer position at DA/PD offices.

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Re: Public Defender West Coast Options

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:12 pm

San Francisco Public Defender's Office is one of the best PD offices in the country. Their 2L summer clerk programs provide you with exceptional training, and all the attorneys at the office are the best of the best.

However, the 2L summer law clerk program doesn't necessarily lead to a permanent full-time offer. You need to apply and get a volunteer attorney position before getting a permanent full-time offer. Even the volunteer attorney positions are extremely competitive -- the SF PD's gets thousands of applications per year for those volunteer positions.


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Re: Public Defender West Coast Options

Postby cesmoc » Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:03 am

this thread is very relevant to my interests,
OP you should take a look at

Maybe we can begin using all of our anecdotal evidence to create a list of PD/DA offices that are actually hiring 3Ls for FT post-grad positions

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Re: Public Defender West Coast Options

Postby PurplePirate » Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:08 am

0L disclosure. I worked at a Public Defender's office during college. My boss and the DA both used to throw out applications that had no prior DA or PD experience. Moral of the story: get experience as soon as you can so it doesn't look like the DA or PD office is your last resort (this is assuming you have no experience).

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Re: Public Defender West Coast Options

Postby WrappedUpInBooks » Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:11 am

TDA in Seattle is known for being really good, but they lost their misdemeanor contract and probably won't be hiring when for fall 2013.

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