3L Public Defender Applications

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 08, 2016 3:47 pm

Anyone know the starting salary for fdsd?

Also where are the highest salaries for pd work? I know SF is around 98k, Santa Clara above 70, and OC around 70. Florida pds pay between 45 to 50k. Colorado about 60k. Alaska ive heard pays well but cant confirm. Also my understanding for California is that those offices only hire post bar.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:50 pm

eaternation wrote:How late did people interview for fdsd in recent years?

Anonymous User wrote:
ThisMan wrote:Anons who had interviews at FDSD, mind posting/pm'ing your stats? How competitive is the process? What were the interviews like?


FDSD is very, very competitive. They tend to look for top school grads - look through their bios and that will become apparent.

With that said, I did NOT go to a top 25 school, and was given the chance to interview.

It is a pretty rigorous process. The first interview was at a career fair, and was with about 4-5 attorneys. Just a normal convo about my interest in indigent defense, etc. Then, a few weeks later, I got an email asking me to go to their SD office for a call back. This meant:

Going on in the morning for an interview with the executive board; going around the floor talking to attorneys (junior, senior, etc.); then they gave us some time to read through cases and prepare a closing argument AND a cross examination on your own (they lock you in a room and you work on that nonstop until time is up), then you present the closing argument AND the cross in front of, I would say, every attorney in the office. It's like having 20+ judges watching you. Unlike other PD offices, they do not give you any materials to study/prep before hand. It's like the real deal, on the go. That's why I said earlier that thinking about it still makes me nervous. haha.

This was last year. Not sure if they do the same every year, or if they change it.

Hope that helps.
[/quote]

I know they had several rounds of callbacks starting in January. Mine was late March. Did not get my rejection until early May. It's a long wait, folks!

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:49 pm

Scheduled an interview for the Office of the Appellate Defender in NYC. I have no idea what to expect, except that the person I spoke with told me to plan to be there for 3 hours.

Does anybody have insight into the OAD interview process? Thanks.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Also where are the highest salaries for pd work? I know SF is around 98k, Santa Clara above 70, and OC around 70. Florida pds pay between 45 to 50k. Colorado about 60k. Alaska ive heard pays well but cant confirm. Also my understanding for California is that those offices only hire post bar.

PDS in DC and Clark County NV (Las Vegas) both start around 65k, which in Vegas dollars is probably more than 98k in SF, but they also only hire post-bar I believe

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:just got a call to schedule a first round interview with BDS. i'm a recent grad (graduated 2015). anyone know what you're generally asked to do?

typical discussion about your resume etc with two senior attorneys and an ethical hypo

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:59 am

Does anybody know anyone who works for PD offices in North Carolina? I never hear anything about them.... is it pre-bar/post-bar, hiring cycles or year round? What's the deal with them?

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:46 am

Anonymous User wrote:Does anybody know anyone who works for PD offices in North Carolina? I never hear anything about them.... is it pre-bar/post-bar, hiring cycles or year round? What's the deal with them?


I currently attend a NC law school and have interned at several NC public defender's offices. Unfortunately, NC is not the best place to look for a PD job right now. Very few offices have openings, and when they do, it's almost always based on attrition--not hiring cycles. And there's virtually no pre-bar hiring. The one office that is most likely to hire at least one person a year is the Mecklenburg County office (Charlotte). Although I've heard from several sources that that office routinely hires new attorneys without actually having positions available, and that in some cases, the new attorneys don't start working for upwards of a year after they were hired.

In addition to the low probability of actually finding a job, the pay isn't great either. For the past several years, NC has instituted a salary freeze for state employees. Most state employees I know have seen their salaries either not increase, or increase very marginally (~1%). Moreover, because of lack of funding, the public defender's offices, in my opinion, don't provide proper training for new attorneys (basically none).

I love NC. It's a great state to live in. Just not a great place at the moment to get a job as a public defender.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 11, 2016 4:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Does anybody know anyone who works for PD offices in North Carolina? I never hear anything about them.... is it pre-bar/post-bar, hiring cycles or year round? What's the deal with them?


I currently attend a NC law school and have interned at several NC public defender's offices. Unfortunately, NC is not the best place to look for a PD job right now. Very few offices have openings, and when they do, it's almost always based on attrition--not hiring cycles. And there's virtually no pre-bar hiring. The one office that is most likely to hire at least one person a year is the Mecklenburg County office (Charlotte). Although I've heard from several sources that that office routinely hires new attorneys without actually having positions available, and that in some cases, the new attorneys don't start working for upwards of a year after they were hired.

In addition to the low probability of actually finding a job, the pay isn't great either. For the past several years, NC has instituted a salary freeze for state employees. Most state employees I know have seen their salaries either not increase, or increase very marginally (~1%). Moreover, because of lack of funding, the public defender's offices, in my opinion, don't provide proper training for new attorneys (basically none).

I love NC. It's a great state to live in. Just not a great place at the moment to get a job as a public defender.


Wow. Extremely helpful and thorough response! Thanks so much for your insight! It makes sense though because information seems to be so readily available regarding most of the other offices and for NC I couldn't find anything... Thanks again for the info!

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone know the starting salary for fdsd?

Also where are the highest salaries for pd work? I know SF is around 98k, Santa Clara above 70, and OC around 70. Florida pds pay between 45 to 50k. Colorado about 60k. Alaska ive heard pays well but cant confirm. Also my understanding for California is that those offices only hire post bar.


FWIW, starting at Santa Clara is 102-104k. Highest starting salary in the country for a PD office. They pay their post-bars well too (about $25/hr), but there's no guarantee that their post-bars get that DPD I gig.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:51 pm

Would it be useful to create a spreadsheet with starting salaries, postbar or prebar hiring, and general info on different counties organized by state? Is there a way we could get a link to that on the first page of the thread? We would have to self patrol the info and hope that people wouldn't post incorrect info. Thoughts?

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby raekaya » Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Would it be useful to create a spreadsheet with starting salaries, postbar or prebar hiring, and general info on different counties organized by state? Is there a way we could get a link to that on the first page of the thread? We would have to self patrol the info and hope that people wouldn't post incorrect info. Thoughts?


Relevant: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=244864

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:18 am

Any movement for anybody? Updates?

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:33 am

Asked this in another thread, but maybe I'll have better luck here:

I applied this year for a public defender position for LAS, and I'm waiting to see if I get selected.

My question for anyone who has interned, worked, or otherwise has knowledge about LAS is this: What are the cultures like at the various offices (e.g., does the Manhattan office have a different culture than the Brooklyn office, etc.) Another question I have, is which office would a NEW attorney get the most experience trying cases. When I did my panel interview, one of my interviewers, who works in the Manhattan office, told me that first year attorneys would be very unlikely to get even one jury trial during their first year because the docket is just so full. Is this also the case in the other offices, like Bronx or Queens?

Thanks, and good luck to those of you who applied to LAS.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 13, 2016 2:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:Any movement for anybody? Updates?

Snail mail ding from NHPD after a (truly) comically bad interview. I hated them, they hated me, just a disaster all around...so zero suspense there. Other than that, just slogging through interviews and waiting for the next round of shit which seems like it will move early february maybe?

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:40 am

I applied at Maryland OPD, Fall Class. Panel interview was last Friday. Parts of the interview were good, parts of the interview (i.e. simulation did not go well). Has anyone heard back about the FALL hires? I know some people have heard back (Congratulations~), but I don't know whether that was for the Spring class for Fall class.

If you had a fairly good substantive interview but bad simulation, how might that affect one's chances? Thoughts appreciated on this.

It has been a roller coaster of emotions since Friday, and this thread-- in a semi-morbid way-- has been a support group. Thank you for sharing your experiences and knowledge, and best of luck to all~

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I applied at Maryland OPD, Fall Class. Panel interview was last Friday. Parts of the interview were good, parts of the interview (i.e. simulation did not go well). Has anyone heard back about the FALL hires? I know some people have heard back (Congratulations~), but I don't know whether that was for the Spring class for Fall class.

If you had a fairly good substantive interview but bad simulation, how might that affect one's chances? Thoughts appreciated on this.

It has been a roller coaster of emotions since Friday, and this thread-- in a semi-morbid way-- has been a support group. Thank you for sharing your experiences and knowledge, and best of luck to all~


Hey there, I also applied to Maryland OPD and had my panel interview last Friday. Maybe I saw you there! Not really sure how it went--I feel like it's impossible to tell; you think it went well and you don't get a callback, you think it went horribly and somehow you do. But I am applying for the fall class and have not heard anything since then. From the beginning of the process with Maryland I've heard something generally 2-3 weeks after interviews, so I'm imagining the timeline might be something similar this time. I'll post here if I get an acceptance or rejection. Best of luck--now in my 5th month of this process with no end in sight and I honestly feel bipolar at this point--days of extreme optimism and then terrible pessimism. Stay strong.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Any movement for anybody? Updates?

Snail mail ding from NHPD after a (truly) comically bad interview. I hated them, they hated me, just a disaster all around...so zero suspense there. Other than that, just slogging through interviews and waiting for the next round of shit which seems like it will move early february maybe?


Same poster as above. It's so funny you mention a comically-bad interview with NHPD because I had a very similar experience. I could tell immediately that it wasn't going well and the entire interview felt, as you so aptly put it, like a disaster.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I applied at Maryland OPD, Fall Class. Panel interview was last Friday. Parts of the interview were good, parts of the interview (i.e. simulation did not go well). Has anyone heard back about the FALL hires? I know some people have heard back (Congratulations~), but I don't know whether that was for the Spring class for Fall class.

If you had a fairly good substantive interview but bad simulation, how might that affect one's chances? Thoughts appreciated on this.

It has been a roller coaster of emotions since Friday, and this thread-- in a semi-morbid way-- has been a support group. Thank you for sharing your experiences and knowledge, and best of luck to all~


Hey there, I also applied to Maryland OPD and had my panel interview last Friday. Maybe I saw you there! Not really sure how it went--I feel like it's impossible to tell; you think it went well and you don't get a callback, you think it went horribly and somehow you do. But I am applying for the fall class and have not heard anything since then. From the beginning of the process with Maryland I've heard something generally 2-3 weeks after interviews, so I'm imagining the timeline might be something similar this time. I'll post here if I get an acceptance or rejection. Best of luck--now in my 5th month of this process with no end in sight and I honestly feel bipolar at this point--days of extreme optimism and then terrible pessimism. Stay strong.


Thank you for your insight! I did my interview over SKYPE, but here's to hoping we both meet because we both got the job! :D

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:08 am

Good luck to everyone. Just accepted a Colorado offer. It's been crazy but it has been nice to have tls as a resource/support group. Had Orlando, palm beach, and fdsd call back interviews. If anyone wants info on the interviews feel free to say so and I'll pm them.

I heard from Philadelphia after accepting Colorado, anyone received an offer there this cycle?

Anyone heard from new Orleans?

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:55 am

To the posters who got Maryland panel interviews -- what are your stats/prior experience, if you don't mind divulging that info, generally of course.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:57 am

Anonymous User wrote:To the posters who got Maryland panel interviews -- what are your stats/prior experience, if you don't mind divulging that info, generally of course.


recent grad, top 10 law school, ls scholarship recipient, 2 public defenders internships + federal externship

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:To the posters who got Maryland panel interviews -- what are your stats/prior experience, if you don't mind divulging that info, generally of course.



Graduated this fall;
Tier 3/4 law school/scholarships;
Two innocence/post-conviction and 1 public defender internship.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:51 pm

To the person who mentioned feeling polar thoughts about this who process I can definitely relate. It has been a nightmarish few months. I haven't really applied to most of the places mentioned ITT so I haven't had much to add. I am waiting to hear back from a PD place not mentioned ITT. I recently had my interview and they told me I should hear by tomorrow. Naturally I feel anxious as hell, some days I am optimistic, others I am working on convincing myself how okay I will be if I don't get the position. Also simultaneously figuring out a contingency plan if I don't get this gig because it's basically my last hope at pre bar. What are some of y'alls plans if you don't get a PD job pre bar? Take any other job? Volunteer? I recently decided that I am pretty much PD or bust so looks like I might be doing a lot of volunteer work this year :?

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:To the person who mentioned feeling polar thoughts about this who process I can definitely relate. It has been a nightmarish few months. I haven't really applied to most of the places mentioned ITT so I haven't had much to add. I am waiting to hear back from a PD place not mentioned ITT. I recently had my interview and they told me I should hear by tomorrow. Naturally I feel anxious as hell, some days I am optimistic, others I am working on convincing myself how okay I will be if I don't get the position. Also simultaneously figuring out a contingency plan if I don't get this gig because it's basically my last hope at pre bar. What are some of y'alls plans if you don't get a PD job pre bar? Take any other job? Volunteer? I recently decided that I am pretty much PD or bust so looks like I might be doing a lot of volunteer work this year :?

bridge to practice/volunteer.

Pretty great ins with the hospitality industry in my city of choice where I would quite literally make more money bartending/waiting tables than I would in PD offices, so there's always that, worst case scenario.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Good luck to everyone. Just accepted a Colorado offer. It's been crazy but it has been nice to have tls as a resource/support group. Had Orlando, palm beach, and fdsd call back interviews. If anyone wants info on the interviews feel free to say so and I'll pm them.

I heard from Philadelphia after accepting Colorado, anyone received an offer there this cycle?

Anyone heard from new Orleans?


Congrats on CO. You got a philly offer or callback?




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