3L Public Defender Applications

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Anonymous User
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 10, 2014 10:48 pm

Thank you so much for directing me towards those helpful resources! I appreciate it!

ThinkNegative
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby ThinkNegative » Sun Aug 10, 2014 11:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Checking in. I am a 3L applying to become a public defender. I am interviewing with PDS (!!!!!!) and another public defender's office through my Fall OCI. I don't know where to start besides the Equal Justice Fair! Best of luck for everyone, and hopefully next year, I'll be a PD!


Curious to know where PDS does OCI. I know they do at Virginia, what other schools?


They are at Stanford this year. Not sure wtf they're interviewing for though ... Just a summer internship? Or something with a better than an intern's chance in leading to an actual job?

cooperlaserpup
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby cooperlaserpup » Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone happen to have a list of pd's offices that will be interviewing 3Ls? A lot of offices appear to only be taking experienced attorneys or not hiring. Just curious if there was a comprehensive list out there!


Here is a list of offices that 3Ls in my clinic applied (myself and others) * denotes they made offers to at least one of us:
Miami*
West Palm Beach*
Colorado*
Bronx
Brooklyn Defender Services*
The Defender Association (Seattle, no longer its own thing)
San Diego PD (state not federal)*
New Hampshire*
CPCS (Massachusetts)*
Portland, Oregon (not sure the orgs name)*
Legal Aid
New Jersey
Alaska*
Hennepin County (MN)
PDS
Defender Association of Philadelphia
Mecklenberg County (NC)
Neighborhood Defenders of Harlem
Orleans PD

That's all I can think of off the top of my head. I can let you know the basic interview procedure for many of these places if interested.

Anonymous User
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:00 pm

Thank you so much! Y'all are so helpful, I really appreciate it. I would love to know more about the basic interview procedures if you have the time!

cooperlaserpup
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby cooperlaserpup » Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thank you so much! Y'all are so helpful, I really appreciate it. I would love to know more about the basic interview procedures if you have the time!


For which office?

Anonymous User
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:45 pm

Hey, I like how helpful this forum is! I have started interviewing with PD offices, but, since this is August, I'm trying to get through the first round. I was wondering if we can get some stats and advice on how to impress the PDs. I understand that each office interviews differently, but I'm sure that there are common threads and themes.

Anonymous User
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 16, 2014 4:24 pm

I'll be applying to several places, but I'm interested in hearing more about Philly Defenders, Legal Aid Society of NY, and PDS. Thanks so much!

Anonymous User
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 16, 2014 4:33 pm

And it was my understanding that Neighborhood Defenders of Harlem did not hire 3Ls.... but I see it on your listing of places you applied too. Is it just this year that they are not hiring rising 3Ls?

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FlanAl
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby FlanAl » Sat Aug 16, 2014 4:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:And it was my understanding that Neighborhood Defenders of Harlem did not hire 3Ls.... but I see it on your listing of places you applied too. Is it just this year that they are not hiring rising 3Ls?


I've heard that they don't usually hire 3L's but I'm pretty sure they show up and PILC and EJW and interview people.

Anonymous User
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 16, 2014 4:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'll be applying to several places, but I'm interested in hearing more about Philly Defenders, Legal Aid Society of NY, and PDS. Thanks so much!


I interviewed with the Legal Aid Society. They give you a hypo case, and you are suppose to prepare a 10-15 minute closing argument and also answer hypos and maybe ethical questions.

Anonymous User
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 16, 2014 5:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'll be applying to several places, but I'm interested in hearing more about Philly Defenders, Legal Aid Society of NY, and PDS. Thanks so much!


I interviewed with the Legal Aid Society. They give you a hypo case, and you are suppose to prepare a 10-15 minute closing argument and also answer hypos and maybe ethical questions.


For a first round interview?

Anonymous User
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 16, 2014 5:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'll be applying to several places, but I'm interested in hearing more about Philly Defenders, Legal Aid Society of NY, and PDS. Thanks so much!


I interviewed with the Legal Aid Society. They give you a hypo case, and you are suppose to prepare a 10-15 minute closing argument and also answer hypos and maybe ethical questions.


For a first round interview?


Yes, that was my experience.

Anonymous User
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:24 pm

Philly- They don't hire until late. They take applications in late february and his year they made offers in April. I have a very solid connection in Philly and made it to the final round along with two other clinicmates. One of my clinic colleague we thought was a shoe-in because in addition to being extremely qualified her parent spent their career at the office and wrote a rec. No dice, we were all rejected. I heard they did about 50 final rounds for 10 spots and turned out to hire almost exclusively former interns and T-5 law schools. I know one person who got hired who was from Philly originally, had interned there, and graduated from Harvard. I love the city, and there are definitely some good things about the office but you need to be SURE you are totally okay with horizontal representation because that is all my final round interview was about. The first round is two hours of panel hypos. Some people found it too intense but I love that kind of thing.
Legal Aid- REAPPLY IF THEY DON'T SELECT YOU FROM EJW. They didn't get it totally together to preselect many people for EJW, and I stupidly thought that meant I shouldn't reapply. The people I know who DID reapply got pretty far in the interview process and I know a couple people who got offers. The downside is that you don't learn your borough until about a month before you start, which can be a hassle. If you're thinking about LAS, there's no reason to not also apply to Bronx, BDS, and Harlem in my opinion.
PDS- Please no one take offense to this, and by ALL MEANS apply, but PDS is not going to hire you. They are so prestigious at this point that they almost exclusively hire out of the prettyman program or from federal judicial clerkships or other similarly unique backgrounds. I met a 3L they had hired directly last year- both his parents had been incarcerated his entire life and he basically got himself into ivy league undergrad and law school. You get the picture, very extraordinary candidates. It is a wonderful place to work and pays really well. I made it through two rounds of interviewing (this year was different and there were only three total rounds instead of their usual four.) Having spent a summer in one of their divisions where you do student practice I was a fairly qualified candidate but really didn't stand a chance. Interviews aren't too bad, why you want to be a PD, hypos, and you will get challenged about anything non-PD on your resume. In the third round you need to prepare and memorize an opening statement. By the end of your 3L year you should be able to do that easily, the only obstacle to overcome is nerves.

Note about Harlem- They do a two year "fellowship" for 3Ls. It is the only 3L hiring they do. I personally interviewed for it this past year. It was a crappy interview and they were all clearly bored out of their minds after a long day of many interviews. As far as I know it is a cool organization though.

I by no means intend to sound like an ass but I think it can be helpful for getting a perspective on hiring- I clerked in 3 different PD offices and went to a T-14 school. My 2L summer I did student practice in the form of parole revocation hearings- basically arguing charges under a preponderance standard and then doing sentencing- for 12 clients. My 3L year I was in a year long clinic with my own misdemeanor caseload in addition to parole cases with a director who is a really great reference to have. I got a lot of second round interviews, a handful of final rounds, and offers from Colorado, West Palm Beach, and a NY office. I'm going to the NY office and am thrilled about it. I am by no means the MOST qualified candidate, but I had a lot going for me and it was still a rough process but I am really really happy and grateful for how it worked out for me. My advice is to be willing to broaden your expectations- apply to offices that you wouldn't have thought of initially. The office I'm going to had over 2000 applications and hired very few people in the class. I GOT REALLY LUCKY. There's no other way to put it.

Disclaimer: this stuff can change every year!

Hope that helps!

Anonymous User
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:58 pm

Wow, that's crazy... I interviewed with the Legal Aid Society, and I have an upcoming interview with PDS and another office. I really want to work for a good public defender's office next year. I didn't know how hard it was to get into these programs, and I am really nervous that I won't get into any programs next year. Do you have any tips on how to get pass the first round (the screener)?

Anonymous User
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Wow, that's crazy... I interviewed with the Legal Aid Society, and I have an upcoming interview with PDS and another office. I really want to work for a good public defender's office next year. I didn't know how hard it was to get into these programs, and I am really nervous that I won't get into any programs next year. Do you have any tips on how to get pass the first round (the screener)?


My first piece of advice is to apply to more offices!!!! There are way more than three "good" offices out there! If you want to do this work then do not put all your eggs in one very competitive basket!!

Have a good narrative about why you want to do this work and why you want to do it at PDS. Be confident and outgoing and relaxed. The screener is very low key. I don't know anything about LAS screener so I can't help you there unfortunately. Good luck!

Anonymous User
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Wow, that's crazy... I interviewed with the Legal Aid Society, and I have an upcoming interview with PDS and another office. I really want to work for a good public defender's office next year. I didn't know how hard it was to get into these programs, and I am really nervous that I won't get into any programs next year. Do you have any tips on how to get pass the first round (the screener)?


My first piece of advice is to apply to more offices!!!! There are way more than three "good" offices out there! If you want to do this work then do not put all your eggs in one very competitive basket!!

Have a good narrative about why you want to do this work and why you want to do it at PDS. Be confident and outgoing and relaxed. The screener is very low key. I don't know anything about LAS screener so I can't help you there unfortunately. Good luck!


Thank you! I will definitely prepare for my interview with PDS, and I will definitely start applying for more places!

ash0117
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby ash0117 » Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:22 pm

Did a screener at PDS after working there for the summer. Questions included "why PD work?" and "why PDS?" There was also a hypo. Mine was with two trial attorneys. One asked all the questions, the other just kind of sat there. It was really chill. According to everyone at PATH, the 2nd interview at PDS is when they make it difficult and make their most drastic cuts. Good luck!

I'm doing cover letters for EJW and trying to get that organized before school starts. I have a question, though. On the Bronx Defenders website, they say to apply directly via email or through EJW, but not both. Do you guys think one gives you a better shot over the other?

Anonymous User
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:53 pm

ash0117 wrote:Did a screener at PDS after working there for the summer. Questions included "why PD work?" and "why PDS?" There was also a hypo. Mine was with two trial attorneys. One asked all the questions, the other just kind of sat there. It was really chill. According to everyone at PATH, the 2nd interview at PDS is when they make it difficult and make their most drastic cuts. Good luck!

I'm doing cover letters for EJW and trying to get that organized before school starts. I have a question, though. On the Bronx Defenders website, they say to apply directly via email or through EJW, but not both. Do you guys think one gives you a better shot over the other?


I don't think one has an advantage, but FWIW everyone I know applied through EJW because those rounds happen first, so it gets the process started sooner. I knew one person who got an offer (not a 3L, but a fellow) that she accepted and later backed out to accept at PDS. One of my friends was on their "unofficial waitlist," whatever that means. He went to a FL office.

My professor, who is on their board, advised people who did not get preselected through EJW to "Just reapply!!" BUT....she's not actively involved in their hiring so that might not be the best advice. But then again, if you've already been rejected a little through EJW, can't hurt! Worst they can do is reject you again! :)

Anonymous User
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:28 pm

As long as we're crushing dreams, anyone know how selective San Diego Fed PD is? If I am below median at MVP, speak sub-fluent but serviceable Spanish, have lots of PD/indegent services on my resume, would I have as good a chance as any other non-former intern? Or are they looking for federal clerkship type person?

Anonymous User
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:09 am

Does anyone know anything about appellate hiring at PD offices? I know there are way fewer jobs than for trial attorney positions, but I have top grades and will be coming off a federal clerkship. Do I have any chance?

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Tanicius
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Tanicius » Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:As long as we're crushing dreams, anyone know how selective San Diego Fed PD is? If I am below median at MVP, speak sub-fluent but serviceable Spanish, have lots of PD/indegent services on my resume, would I have as good a chance as any other non-former intern? Or are they looking for federal clerkship type person?


You could have a shot. Immigration is their deal -- you gotta be bringing something related to it to the table. Spanish will help.

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Borhas
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Borhas » Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:28 am

Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone know anything about appellate hiring at PD offices? I know there are way fewer jobs than for trial attorney positions, but I have top grades and will be coming off a federal clerkship. Do I have any chance?


Some want a few years of trial experience but I think a fed clerkship might help a lot. I'd apply to pd offices and mention a special interest in appellate. It's definitely tough to go straight to appeals without being a regular trial pd/ defense attorney first

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Borhas
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Borhas » Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:31 am

Anonymous User wrote:As long as we're crushing dreams, anyone know how selective San Diego Fed PD is? If I am below median at MVP, speak sub-fluent but serviceable Spanish, have lots of PD/indegent services on my resume, would I have as good a chance as any other non-former intern? Or are they looking for federal clerkship type person?


I know one guy that is interviewing with them but he has been a pd in a good system for about 5 years and knows someone on the hiring committee

I'd say probably no shot without any prior attorney experience but that's true for their former interns too

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anon sequitur
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby anon sequitur » Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:00 am

Borhas wrote:
I know one guy that is interviewing with them but he has been a pd in a good system for about 5 years and knows someone on the hiring committee

I'd say probably no shot without any prior attorney experience but that's true for their former interns too


I don't know how selective SD FPD is, but they do hire 3L's most years. They're apparently the only FPD office that does. They're at EJW this year, says they're hiring for 4 positions.

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FlanAl
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby FlanAl » Sun Aug 17, 2014 3:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone know anything about appellate hiring at PD offices? I know there are way fewer jobs than for trial attorney positions, but I have top grades and will be coming off a federal clerkship. Do I have any chance?


You have a number of offices in NYC that exclusively do appeals. I think a few other states might have separate appeals offices as well. I met a person from one of the NY appeals offices that was trying to get a straight ahead PD job but was only able to get the job at the appeals office post law school. Almost all of them hire 3Ls for 2 year fellowship type things.

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