3L Public Defender Applications

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Anonymous User
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Got the wait list e-mail as well from LAS, congrats to those who got offers!

Does anyone know of anyone who got an eventual offer while wait listed at LAS?


This was me who posted, and I wanted to update that, yes, you can get an offer after being wait listed with NY LAS!

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:53 pm

Rising 3L here. I have an interview with a large-ish urban county (not LA) PD's office on the West Coast and unfortunately I'm mushing along on the East Coast. OCI --> selected to interview in a few weeks/months --> 'generic: we will see you here!'

1.) Should I expect this to be the only interview, or should I expect this to be one of many interviews? Is there any resource I could consult that breaks down county-by-county?

2.) Related, should I mention that I probably can't fly out there for all the interviews if there are multiple?

3.) California law has some rather explicit requirements for job postings w/public positions. Should I expect this to be a legitimate interview (and, not to preen, accept that my strong grades, law school's reputation, commitment to criminal law and results in the courtroom are making a difference) or should I expect the opposite? By that I mean 'I have these things, which are nice, but ultimately this is pro forma.' Perhaps the position is being targeted at someone in particular, who has externed, or is being targeted by such attorneys with enough experience to make any soon-to-be freshly minted JD look like nonsense? I have connections to the city, it's where I grew up, but none to the office in particular. So I suppose: is the interview even worth twenty minutes of my time?

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anon sequitur
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby anon sequitur » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:30 am

I'm also east coaster who did my summers on the east coast but longed for a job in California. It's tough, the initial round of interviews is pretty big, and even if you do well your chances of an offer are pretty low. I ended up turning down an interview with Oakland even though I would have killed for a job there because I was convinced that a non former intern had too low a chance to get an offer, and I couldn't justify spending $600 or whatever dollars to fly out there for two days and eat In-n-Out and hang out in the best part of the world and then feel like shit flying home knowing I had maybe a 5-10% chance of even hearing from them again.

Personally, I wouldn't tell them in the interview that you can't fly out for a second interview, I'd wait until you got an offer for a second interview and then figure out if it's worthwhile then. Worst case, they're not willing, and you can decide at that point if a second round interview is worth going to (I'd imagine if the first round is the second round would have to be though).

anotherempty69
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby anotherempty69 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:45 am

anon sequitur wrote:I'm also east coaster who did my summers on the east coast but longed for a job in California. It's tough, the initial round of interviews is pretty big, and even if you do well your chances of an offer are pretty low. I ended up turning down an interview with Oakland even though I would have killed for a job there because I was convinced that a non former intern had too low a chance to get an offer, and I couldn't justify spending $600 or whatever dollars to fly out there for two days and eat In-n-Out and hang out in the best part of the world and then feel like shit flying home knowing I had maybe a 5-10% chance of even hearing from them again.

Personally, I wouldn't tell them in the interview that you can't fly out for a second interview, I'd wait until you got an offer for a second interview and then figure out if it's worthwhile then. Worst case, they're not willing, and you can decide at that point if a second round interview is worth going to (I'd imagine if the first round is the second round would have to be though).


Same guy, here, and if anyone has other thoughts feel free to jump in.

This all seems a little wild because you seem to be saying that I have to do more work for a PD job than a LA BigLaw. I interviewed a bit around LA this summer (got an offer from somewhere i didn't want to work, some other offers from midsized yada yada yada) and essentially it was phone --> in person interview and then offer. Sometimes interview --> phone --> come in and accept offer. But you're saying that to be 'hired' as a post-graduate/pre-bar volunteer that segues sort of into an actual position I have to do multiple interviews? That's just so wild to me. There's wanting a job but I don't know, I still have work and school that I can't put on hold for this process to grind itself out.

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anon sequitur
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby anon sequitur » Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:20 am

This all seems a little wild because you seem to be saying that I have to do more work for a PD job than a LA BigLaw.

Well, I know probably a dozen or so people just from my east coast law school that got california Biglaw (3 in my 1L small section of 30 students), and I know zero people who got hired at California PD/DA jobs, so... yeah. I know a couple people doing school-funded fellowships in California PD/DA offices, but that's it. It's not like they don't hire people, the offices are big and they have turnover, but there's just a lot of applicants.

edit: just to add a note of positivity, at least some offices will let you do Skype interviews if you ask. Worth asking about.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:50 pm

Rising 3L here. I have an interview with a large-ish urban county (not LA) PD's office on the West Coast and unfortunately I'm mushing along on the East Coast. OCI --> selected to interview in a few weeks/months --> 'generic: we will see you here!'

1.) Should I expect this to be the only interview, or should I expect this to be one of many interviews? Is there any resource I could consult that breaks down county-by-county?

2.) Related, should I mention that I probably can't fly out there for all the interviews if there are multiple?

3.) California law has some rather explicit requirements for job postings w/public positions. Should I expect this to be a legitimate interview (and, not to preen, accept that my strong grades, law school's reputation, commitment to criminal law and results in the courtroom are making a difference) or should I expect the opposite? By that I mean 'I have these things, which are nice, but ultimately this is pro forma.' Perhaps the position is being targeted at someone in particular, who has externed, or is being targeted by such attorneys with enough experience to make any soon-to-be freshly minted JD look like nonsense? I have connections to the city, it's where I grew up, but none to the office in particular. So I suppose: is the interview even worth twenty minutes of my time?


San Diego county's hiring practices were discussed on this thread on an earlier page. It will be old info, but if you're talking about SD County you will find it useful.

Also, CA PD's offices generally give out clerk/intern/extern positions like crazy. It's not a guaranteed atty job by any means, but it's definitely a foot in the door. Especially OC and LA Counties. My impression is that San Diego County favors their interns when hiring deputy pd's more than other offices.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby kentucky » Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:30 am

Rising 3L here, does anybody have any information on how the Chicago Public Defender hires? Timeline? Typical class size?

Much appreciated!

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:51 pm

I thought CA only hired post bar? Did you hear about these opportunities through your school or are there postings somewhere? Your ability to easily get jobs in CA this summer make me assume you have significantly better stats than me.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby anotherempty69 » Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:I thought CA only hired post bar? Did you hear about these opportunities through your school or are there postings somewhere? Your ability to easily get jobs in CA this summer make me assume you have significantly better stats than me.


Yeah it's through our school's OCI. We have this tempest in a teapot of Southern California (and Northern California, and Central California--it's fun to see how they break down what is what) targeted OCI. One of the firms/organizations was SDCPD's office. As far as only hiring post-bar, I couldn't tell you. I can tell you that the OCI listing/description is essentially identical to firms and organizations that hire before the bar--with a start date, compensation, expectations and so on.

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Tanicius
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Tanicius » Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:I thought CA only hired post bar? Did you hear about these opportunities through your school or are there postings somewhere? Your ability to easily get jobs in CA this summer make me assume you have significantly better stats than me.


I posted this in the PD/DA Gunner thread about a year and a half ago. Some of it might be outdated, but it's mostly correct to my knowledge:

California PD offices could have their own thread. The ones that hire 3Ls tend to follow the same scheme of interviewing Fall/Winter of 3L year and hiring you for a < $20/hour & no benefits law clerk position for the following 6-12 months after graduation. Hopefully you get selected for those law clerk positions; otherwise, you volunteer at an office and hopefully secure some kind of funding so you don't starve. And at the end of your 6-12 months, hopefully a position opens up, either at that office or other places you've been interviewing, and hopefully you're in the minority of law clerk candidates at the office who actually gets hired as a real misdemeanor attorney with a caseload.

The only counties that hire 3Ls before graduation:

- Contra Costa County
- Alameda County
- Santa Clara County
- (sometimes) San Diego County


The offices that never hire pre-graduates and tend not to hire recent graduates, though they do have volunteer programs:

- LA County (in fact, all the surrounding counties as well)
- San Francisco County
- Solano County


It's a very frustrating process all around. Alameda, Santa Clara and Contra Costa tend to take most of their law clerk hires from their pool of intern/extern alums, so if you haven't interned at at least one of these offices, you're pretty much already dead in the water. Furthermore, they get back to you at different times. Alameda and CoCo interview and do callbacks in the Fall of your 3L year, and they get back to you on the hiring outcome before Santa Clara even starts looking at applications (late March).

Often times, the game is far from over once you get hired as a law clerk, and it is rage-inducingly random. Here are three big reasons why:

    1.) I've had some friends that got hired off a law clerk position and into a full-time misdemeanor deputy position within 3 months of their clerkship, just because there were enough openings at that time. I've had other friends that got let go from their law clerk position at the end of their 6 or 12 months and had to take another law clerk position at one of the other three counties and wait another 6-12 months before they even got to do the work of a real attorney (representing people in court and managing cases, not just doing research and writing motions with a supervisor's name on the front page).

    2.) This has the other frustrating effect of making it more difficult to impress interviewing employers from other offices. "How many trials have you done in the year since graduation?" "Well, uh, none, cause they won't let me." "Oh, okay. How many second chairs you get to do?" "None." "... Okay, how many prelims or motions in limine you do?" "Well, none. I've done a lot of boiler plate suppression hearings and speedy trial hearings though!"

    3.) Finally, law clerks also suffer from their location at the very bottom of the totem pole. I have one friend who worked his ass off on a group of motions for a case over the span of several months, and right when it was time to argue the material in front of the judge, his supervising attorney came in and yanked the entire file up the ladder to a misdemeanor deputy. The justification was, "We need our misdemeanor attorneys to have this experience; you're not the priority." Never mind that it basically robbed him of 3-4 months of work and a line on his resume.

The few offices that hire 3Ls here in CA are so ridiculously competitive that it has often been easier for the law clerks who don't get hired here to get federal defender or even prestigious public defense teaching fellowships than it is to get the coveted misdemeanor position out here.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:25 pm

Most counties hire recent graduates, Los Angeles included. There are good number of people who are hired within 6 months of being licensed, though I guess "recent" can be a relative term. Also, they call for applications and do interviews over a relatively extended period of time. They then make a couple hires on a trickling basis. So some people will be hired shortly after going through the interview rounds (even while they are still interviewing other people), and some people will be hired months after their final interview. It's a very opaque process that is frustrating to go through.

Another thing is that clerking/volunteering for another county will help you with other counties. I know multiple people who clerked/volunteered for one county and got hired at the next county over.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications (2015-2016)

Postby raekaya » Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:33 pm

BlueLotus wrote:Any point in throwing an app to the crim division of PDs offices when your experience is largely civil (SS disability, public benefits, family, immigration, etc.)

I did volunteer for the Innocence Project, so there's that.


I don't see what you have to lose. Most PDs will probably value the immigration and innocence project experience.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications (2015-2016)

Postby spleenworship » Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:33 pm

My department will probably be hiring in September - January. If you would be interested in living in a flyover BFE in order to be a PD, private message me and I'll make a list of people to send links to when they come up. This is for post bar people.

ETA: obviously, this will be a late thing for y'all, so if you get a pre-results offer, take it. Just tell me to take you off the list.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications (2015-2016)

Postby raekaya » Thu Jul 30, 2015 1:39 pm

Hi all,
Out of the entire PD application process, the thing that stresses me out the most are references.
I have no idea who to ask, what to tell them to expect, and how much I should keep in touch with them through the application process.

Also, are references just called to confirm you are relatively competent and aren't crazy, or will they be asked pointed questions to actually evaluate you, such as "what exactly did they work on with you? What are their strengths and weaknesses?" Etc.

I am in a position where my most recent internship has involved doing one or two assignments for many different attorneys. So not only do I feel weird asking them to be my reference based on seeing a small sample of my work, but I also am worried how this would come across to hiring committees.

TL;DR I would really appreciate any advice on getting references for my apps

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raekaya
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby raekaya » Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:15 am

Tanicius wrote: Finally, law clerks also suffer from their location at the very bottom of the totem pole. I have one friend who worked his ass off on a group of motions for a case over the span of several months, and right when it was time to argue the material in front of the judge, his supervising attorney came in and yanked the entire file up the ladder to a misdemeanor deputy. The justification was, "We need our misdemeanor attorneys to have this experience; you're not the priority." Never mind that it basically robbed him of 3-4 months of work and a line on his resume.
[/quote]

This is shocking. Every office I have worked at has been very focused on making sure its interns are happy and are getting as much experience as possible (as allowed by clear-cut office policies). Any advice for figuring out offices' policies on this kind of stuff? Wait until you get offer and ask? Ask during interview? And what's a delicate way of putting it?

Thanks for all the info btw!

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Tanicius
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Tanicius » Fri Aug 14, 2015 1:25 pm

raekaya wrote:
Tanicius wrote: Finally, law clerks also suffer from their location at the very bottom of the totem pole. I have one friend who worked his ass off on a group of motions for a case over the span of several months, and right when it was time to argue the material in front of the judge, his supervising attorney came in and yanked the entire file up the ladder to a misdemeanor deputy. The justification was, "We need our misdemeanor attorneys to have this experience; you're not the priority." Never mind that it basically robbed him of 3-4 months of work and a line on his resume.


This is shocking. Every office I have worked at has been very focused on making sure its interns are happy and are getting as much experience as possible (as allowed by clear-cut office policies). Any advice for figuring out offices' policies on this kind of stuff? Wait until you get offer and ask? Ask during interview? And what's a delicate way of putting it?

Thanks for all the info btw!


Talking avout post-grad law clerks, not interns.

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raekaya
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby raekaya » Fri Aug 14, 2015 2:42 pm

Tanicius wrote:
raekaya wrote:
Tanicius wrote: Finally, law clerks also suffer from their location at the very bottom of the totem pole. I have one friend who worked his ass off on a group of motions for a case over the span of several months, and right when it was time to argue the material in front of the judge, his supervising attorney came in and yanked the entire file up the ladder to a misdemeanor deputy. The justification was, "We need our misdemeanor attorneys to have this experience; you're not the priority." Never mind that it basically robbed him of 3-4 months of work and a line on his resume.


This is shocking. Every office I have worked at has been very focused on making sure its interns are happy and are getting as much experience as possible (as allowed by clear-cut office policies). Any advice for figuring out offices' policies on this kind of stuff? Wait until you get offer and ask? Ask during interview? And what's a delicate way of putting it?

Thanks for all the info btw!


Talking avout post-grad law clerks, not interns.


Sorry, when I used the term "interns" I was including clerks. I should have stated that every office I have been at has had an interest in ensuring both their interns and their post-bar clerks get enough experience. That's why this was surprising/scary to me.
To clarify, I was asking this question as a 3L currently applying to PD jobs and post-bar clerkships.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications (2015-2016)

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:04 am



TL;DR I would really appreciate any advice on getting references for my apps


I can speak from my own experience:

Obviously the basic knowledge is get references that can speak to your strengths in whatever capacity they observed you in.

On the other hand, I had one reference agree to be a reference. Unfortunately, after a couple weeks and a few sent out apps, I learned that this reference did not like me but never told me to my face while I worked with them. It definitely hurt a few of my apps.

On a positive note, I've had several references agree to write letters of rec to various employers. In my experience, employers who can at least fill a paragraph of substantial knowledge about you and your capabilities are the best references to have. It's an even bigger bonus when they actively advocate different employers on your behalf.

HTH

Edit: grammar

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:10 am

Anyone familiar with the exact PDS interview process? I had a screener recently and got a call about coming in to meet with the hiring committee. I was hoping this was a callback for the first panel interview. I was told, however, that after this meeting, there would be two more interviews to get through. So I'm guessing this first interview is a second screening interview? Or am I miss understanding? Anyone else in a similar position?

moreprejthanprob
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications (2015-2016)

Postby moreprejthanprob » Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:02 am

Checking in. Not a 3L but applying this cycle.

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Borhas
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Borhas » Thu Sep 17, 2015 6:33 pm

Just wanted to tell people to apply for Colorado PD. About half (probably more) of our new hires are from out of state. And we're definitely going to hire a good number of people.

Note: I'm not a spokesman or any supervisory position and my views are purely my own blah blah blah

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 26, 2015 5:47 pm

Anyone familiar with the exact PDS interview process? I had a screener recently and got a call about coming in to meet with the hiring committee. I was hoping this was a callback for the first panel interview. I was told, however, that after this meeting, there would be two more interviews to get through. So I'm guessing this first interview is a second screening interview? Or am I miss understanding? Anyone else in a similar position?


The second interview is somewhere between a screener and a panel interview. It's with members of the hiring committee, but it's relatively short and to the point. The third interview, from what I understand, has historically been similar to the second, I don't know how many people are in that one but it's another substantive interview with hypos and the like. The fourth interview is with the "executive staff." The logic of this process has never been entirely clear to me, as the second and third interviews seem very similar, but this is how they've done it in the past and I assume they have their reasons.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 26, 2015 8:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anyone familiar with the exact PDS interview process? I had a screener recently and got a call about coming in to meet with the hiring committee. I was hoping this was a callback for the first panel interview. I was told, however, that after this meeting, there would be two more interviews to get through. So I'm guessing this first interview is a second screening interview? Or am I miss understanding? Anyone else in a similar position?


The second interview is somewhere between a screener and a panel interview. It's with members of the hiring committee, but it's relatively short and to the point. The third interview, from what I understand, has historically been similar to the second, I don't know how many people are in that one but it's another substantive interview with hypos and the like. The fourth interview is with the "executive staff." The logic of this process has never been entirely clear to me, as the second and third interviews seem very similar, but this is how they've done it in the past and I assume they have their reasons.


Thank you so much for the info!

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:38 pm

Anyone heard back from PDS for third round interviews yet?

Anonymous User
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 29, 2015 2:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone heard back from PDS for third round interviews yet?

No, but it's possible they are waiting until they have completed all second round interviews before making third round decisions. I was told they wanted to get all the second rounds done by the end of the month so hopefully we'll hear soon. . . and hopefully good news.




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