3L Public Defender Applications

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Anonymous User
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I just absolutely TANKED the BDS second round. So much so that one of them told me in so many words that this is not the career for me.

Sigh.


Don't take it personally. It's just one office/one person. I had a public defender I greatly respected tell me that s/he thought I was a terrible public speaker and I would never be a good public defender. Fortunately, s/he changed his/her mind after seeing me engaged in public speaking in other contexts. The point of this story: one person's quick assumption/judgment about your skills is not always accurate. Don't give up. :)



Exactly correct. The only reason someone would even say something that hurtful on a whim, after knowing you for under an hour, is because they're an arrogant douche. They can couch it in terms of "I'm just being antagonistic to put the pressure on" all they want -- it's still a dumb thing to say at the close of the interview.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:27 pm

Soooo... this PDS application closing date of the 10th.... do y'all think that the 10th means that the last day to apply is the 9th, or that it'll be open until 5 or midnight on the 10th?

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:35 pm

I found BDS and Miami's interviewing tactics to be foul. I [slightly] understand the weeding out aspect of trying to rattle the interviewee. However, being disrespectful, and downright demeaning, is not effective. Even if the interviewee receives the position, why on earth would they want to work with an asshole like you?! I ultimately chose an office where the interviewers didn't pull that...and weren't on a power trip.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I found BDS and Miami's interviewing tactics to be foul. I [slightly] understand the weeding out aspect of trying to rattle the interviewee. However, being disrespectful, and downright demeaning, is not effective. Even if the interviewee receives the position, why on earth would they want to work with an asshole like you?! I ultimately chose an office where the interviewers didn't pull that...and weren't on a power trip.


I'm torn on this. I get the importance of hiring people who can stay calm under all conditions. I also think that putting someone in a position in which they are explicitly trying to please the interviewers, as opposed to court in which one gets very little benefit for pleasing opposing counsel, and only limited benefit for pleasing the judge, is asking a lot of someone. They effectively aren't testing for what they want.... if they want someone who will stand up to a judge and opposing counsel, but they are the people who will give you the job that allows you to do that, and are Public Defenders who are explicitly experts at this.... well, it can be confusing to the candidate.

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spleenworship
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby spleenworship » Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:46 pm

Terry stop. Cop feels baggie, suspects drugs. Can he take it out, or does it have to seem like a weapon?

lmr
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby lmr » Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:14 pm

spleenworship wrote:Terry stop. Cop feels baggie, suspects drugs. Can he take it out, or does it have to seem like a weapon?


it needs to be immediately apparent that it's contraband...not sure what "suspects" means. MN v. Dickerson

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby spleenworship » Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:32 pm

lmr wrote:
spleenworship wrote:Terry stop. Cop feels baggie, suspects drugs. Can he take it out, or does it have to seem like a weapon?


it needs to be immediately apparent that it's contraband...not sure what "suspects" means. MN v. Dickerson


Thanks

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I found BDS and Miami's interviewing tactics to be foul. I [slightly] understand the weeding out aspect of trying to rattle the interviewee. However, being disrespectful, and downright demeaning, is not effective. Even if the interviewee receives the position, why on earth would they want to work with an asshole like you?! I ultimately chose an office where the interviewers didn't pull that...and weren't on a power trip.


I'm torn on this. I get the importance of hiring people who can stay calm under all conditions. I also think that putting someone in a position in which they are explicitly trying to please the interviewers, as opposed to court in which one gets very little benefit for pleasing opposing counsel, and only limited benefit for pleasing the judge, is asking a lot of someone. They effectively aren't testing for what they want.... if they want someone who will stand up to a judge and opposing counsel, but they are the people who will give you the job that allows you to do that, and are Public Defenders who are explicitly experts at this.... well, it can be confusing to the candidate.


Thing is, is that they want you to see you stand up to them. In my BDS interview, they said that I should have asked the client about something in particular. I had actually done this and got into a full argument with them. I made it past the second round but ended up taking a different job.

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Tanicius
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Tanicius » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:51 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I found BDS and Miami's interviewing tactics to be foul. I [slightly] understand the weeding out aspect of trying to rattle the interviewee. However, being disrespectful, and downright demeaning, is not effective. Even if the interviewee receives the position, why on earth would they want to work with an asshole like you?! I ultimately chose an office where the interviewers didn't pull that...and weren't on a power trip.


I'm torn on this. I get the importance of hiring people who can stay calm under all conditions. I also think that putting someone in a position in which they are explicitly trying to please the interviewers, as opposed to court in which one gets very little benefit for pleasing opposing counsel, and only limited benefit for pleasing the judge, is asking a lot of someone. They effectively aren't testing for what they want.... if they want someone who will stand up to a judge and opposing counsel, but they are the people who will give you the job that allows you to do that, and are Public Defenders who are explicitly experts at this.... well, it can be confusing to the candidate.


Thing is, is that they want you to see you stand up to them. In my BDS interview, they said that I should have asked the client about something in particular. I had actually done this and got into a full argument with them. I made it past the second round but ended up taking a different job.


We get why they do it. It's the meaninglessness that we take issue with. If an office wants to try to get a sense for how well you stand up in court and if you don't back down, the more sensible interview tactic is to give us a fact pattern, some case law, and make us argue something hard.

Instead they ask questions that don't give any insight at all, like "What would you do if you're in trial and your client adamantly wants to take the stand but says he's guilty of every element to you in private?" And every time, every candidates except for a few out of their interview will reply "Herp derp, I'd ask him that goofy narrative about 'What's your side of the story?' and hope for the best." They're looking for the idiots who say "Ooh, man, I don't honestly know if I could do that," or the people who just haven't considered this ethics question before because maybe they haven't been around a PD office very long? I don't know, but I doubt they get many people who say "Oh yeah man, I'd just put him on the stand and proceed as normal" either. It's an interview question that 80+% of their pool gets right without even blinking. They have no way of differentiating from that question, and it just ate up 3 minutes for the interview.

And then they follow it up with some other random hypo about a case type that pretty much nobody has ever done before because it involves advanced knowledge of their state's criminal law regarding some type of charge with an option for a plea deal, and they try to close the interview by pushing on you with a "You did this [trivial thing that we would train you on] wrong! I don't think you're cut out for this." Daffuq is that? Give me some actual substance to work with you guys, and stop pretending that you can actually get a feel for someone's overall effectiveness as an attorney based on responses to abstract questions that give an OKCupid question about your Zodiac a run for its money in level of disconnect from the real world.

They're like the oldschool coaches in Moneyball who refuse to run by anything but their gut, whereas the office down the street corner is getting the closest thing it can to hard data on their applicants by presenting them with factual scenarios that are complex and asking them the real questions. Questions like: "What happens when you find out you've made a huge mistake and that your client is going to prison for a long time for it?" and "Do you like losing? Because as a public defender, you will lose a lot. How are you going to cope with that?" Or God forbid, this one: "How long are you going to stay here? Do you sincerely think you'll last five years or will you pick up and run to a firm if you get that chance?"

Those are hard questions, with lots of room for push back when the applicant doesn't express certainty in the answers. The difference between that and "I think you suck" is that the former one is actually meant to gather useful information, not just test the applicant's random stubbornness and ability to pick up on thickly veiled sarcasm.

I swear to God, the PD hiring process has made me so bitter at the way these interviews are handled. If my supervisor ever offers me the chance to help with interviewing or hiring, I'm going to jump on that wagon so damn fast. PDs get spat on by everybody -- the judges, juries, prosecutors, and their own clients. It's the wrong call to spit the people who are trying to get into this line of work. We should all be in it together. If someone isn't meant for an office, that's too bad but ultimately okay. Instead of telling someone they are a loser after they flunk some arbitrary Rorschach test of a hypo by not stressing their syllables right when they got the substance right just like everybody else, the better call is to just ask them straight questions, look for straight answers, and offer constructive criticism and advice if they just aren't making it out of your slush pile. I think the problem is that many of these offices aren't recognizing that their hiring pools are so much larger and more qualified these days. Either that or they just take it for granted. 15 years ago, you could get away with calling out half your applicant pool as posers, but not anymore. I just got the sense that many of the interviewers were not aware of that, and that needs to change for the sake of both employer and applicant.

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Lawst
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Lawst » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:49 am

Tanicius wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I found BDS and Miami's interviewing tactics to be foul. I [slightly] understand the weeding out aspect of trying to rattle the interviewee. However, being disrespectful, and downright demeaning, is not effective. Even if the interviewee receives the position, why on earth would they want to work with an asshole like you?! I ultimately chose an office where the interviewers didn't pull that...and weren't on a power trip.


I'm torn on this. I get the importance of hiring people who can stay calm under all conditions. I also think that putting someone in a position in which they are explicitly trying to please the interviewers, as opposed to court in which one gets very little benefit for pleasing opposing counsel, and only limited benefit for pleasing the judge, is asking a lot of someone. They effectively aren't testing for what they want.... if they want someone who will stand up to a judge and opposing counsel, but they are the people who will give you the job that allows you to do that, and are Public Defenders who are explicitly experts at this.... well, it can be confusing to the candidate.


Thing is, is that they want you to see you stand up to them. In my BDS interview, they said that I should have asked the client about something in particular. I had actually done this and got into a full argument with them. I made it past the second round but ended up taking a different job.


We get why they do it. It's the meaninglessness that we take issue with. If an office wants to try to get a sense for how well you stand up in court and if you don't back down, the more sensible interview tactic is to give us a fact pattern, some case law, and make us argue something hard.

Instead they ask questions that don't give any insight at all, like "What would you do if you're in trial and your client adamantly wants to take the stand but says he's guilty of every element to you in private?" And every time, every candidates except for a few out of their interview will reply "Herp derp, I'd ask him that goofy narrative about 'What's your side of the story?' and hope for the best." They're looking for the idiots who say "Ooh, man, I don't honestly know if I could do that," or the people who just haven't considered this ethics question before because maybe they haven't been around a PD office very long? I don't know, but I doubt they get many people who say "Oh yeah man, I'd just put him on the stand and proceed as normal" either. It's an interview question that 80+% of their pool gets right without even blinking. They have no way of differentiating from that question, and it just ate up 3 minutes for the interview.

And then they follow it up with some other random hypo about a case type that pretty much nobody has ever done before because it involves advanced knowledge of their state's criminal law regarding some type of charge with an option for a plea deal, and they try to close the interview by pushing on you with a "You did this [trivial thing that we would train you on] wrong! I don't think you're cut out for this." Daffuq is that? Give me some actual substance to work with you guys, and stop pretending that you can actually get a feel for someone's overall effectiveness as an attorney based on responses to abstract questions that give an OKCupid question about your Zodiac a run for its money in level of disconnect from the real world.

They're like the oldschool coaches in Moneyball who refuse to run by anything but their gut, whereas the office down the street corner is getting the closest thing it can to hard data on their applicants by presenting them with factual scenarios that are complex and asking them the real questions. Questions like: "What happens when you find out you've made a huge mistake and that your client is going to prison for a long time for it?" and "Do you like losing? Because as a public defender, you will lose a lot. How are you going to cope with that?" Or God forbid, this one: "How long are you going to stay here? Do you sincerely think you'll last five years or will you pick up and run to a firm if you get that chance?"

Those are hard questions, with lots of room for push back when the applicant doesn't express certainty in the answers. The difference between that and "I think you suck" is that the former one is actually meant to gather useful information, not just test the applicant's random stubbornness and ability to pick up on thickly veiled sarcasm.

I swear to God, the PD hiring process has made me so bitter at the way these interviews are handled. If my supervisor ever offers me the chance to help with interviewing or hiring, I'm going to jump on that wagon so damn fast. PDs get spat on by everybody -- the judges, juries, prosecutors, and their own clients. It's the wrong call to spit the people who are trying to get into this line of work. We should all be in it together. If someone isn't meant for an office, that's too bad but ultimately okay. Instead of telling someone they are a loser after they flunk some arbitrary Rorschach test of a hypo by not stressing their syllables right when they got the substance right just like everybody else, the better call is to just ask them straight questions, look for straight answers, and offer constructive criticism and advice if they just aren't making it out of your slush pile. I think the problem is that many of these offices aren't recognizing that their hiring pools are so much larger and more qualified these days. Either that or they just take it for granted. 15 years ago, you could get away with calling out half your applicant pool as posers, but not anymore. I just got the sense that many of the interviewers were not aware of that, and that needs to change for the sake of both employer and applicant.


Oh my god. I so, so love this comment. All of it.

Even the non-substantial questions are ridiculous, as if they just want to insult you for fun.

Interviewer: "Oh, you lived in ( ) city? My husband is from there. How did you like it?"
Me: "It was great."
Interviewer" "Ugh, I hated it when I visited."
Me; "Oh."

Another interviewer asked me if I was "too nice for this job." I have only PD experience and lived and worked in a major city before law school. Uh, why, was I supposed to scowl and menace you during a job interview to express dominance? The funny part is that is was for an office in a fairly rural area.

Anonymous User
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:56 am

I'm the original poster re. the BDS interview. Thank you for all of the encouragement and perspective. It's refreshing to know that I am not the only one.

The office left a horrible taste in my mouth and even if I were offered a third round, I wouldn't take it. Even though it's not a great job market my parents always tell me, you're not the only one being interviewed, you're also interviewing the office, so make sure it's for you.

BDS is definitely not for me. I understand you need to stand up for clients in court and give it your best go, but straight up insulting people after the fact is just kind of spiteful. That's not the kind of place I want to work and I'm glad I found out now instead of later.

Thanks again for the support!

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:56 pm

Thank you to all of you about the BDS comments, I had a very similar experience, finding them to be somewhat cliquish and very much not what i expected. I am also not sure this is the right office for me, and will be very torn if they offer 3rd round.

To the couple of posters about interview tactics in general: PREACH! the whole process is twisted and demoralizing is so many needless ways. thank you for posting about what I'm sure most of us are thinking/dealing with.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:47 pm

Has anyone heard back from SD after their 2d interview (the performance interview)? I'm a former intern and I jumped straight to the 2d interview. Still no word yet; just wondering if anyone else has heard anything.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:57 pm

I'm thinking about applying for LA's post-bar position. Does anyone have an inside scope about whether it's worth it. I hear they don't pay post-bars, which is kind of absurd. It seems like it would only be worthwhile if it's very likely to land you a PD position right after bar results come out. I would appreciate any commentary or insider-scoops re: LA's post-bar clerkship.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:36 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm thinking about applying for LA's post-bar position. Does anyone have an inside scope about whether it's worth it. I hear they don't pay post-bars, which is kind of absurd. It seems like it would only be worthwhile if it's very likely to land you a PD position right after bar results come out. I would appreciate any commentary or insider-scoops re: LA's post-bar clerkship.

I had 2 friends in last year's LA PD post-bar. They told me you are only given an offer if someone basically quits. Considering there are several post-bars, I wouldn't say the chances are great because how many people would possibly quit within a 3 month period in this economy. When December hits, the program ends and you have to leave. I talked to a current LA PD and he told me that they used to hire all post-bars when they passed the bar. He kind of looked at me funny when I told him what my friends told me, but I don't have reason to believe my friends would lie to me (I'm not a PD gunner). I'm guessing if there's funding this year they will get to hire more, but I don't know anything about that. You might want to check LA County proposed budgets if they are out.

IMO, I really think PD/DA offices should really stop with the formal, structured Post-Bar program nonsense unless there is a greater than average chance you will get hired after passing the bar. It just results in broken hearts.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:21 am

Interviewed with sd too 2nd roud a week ago and thought it went really well but haven't heard. Does anyone have any idea abt the timeline?

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:56 am

Let's talk about super shitty interview tactics, with one agency in particular who will remain nameless at this point in time. I applied for a normal PD position but received a call that asked me to interview for a policy fellowship with the opportunity to switch into law, if I wanted, after the fellowship. I have lots of policy experience prior to LS. The interviewers praised my resume, we love your qualifications, you'd be perfect for this position, we were waiting for someone like you to come around before we filled the position, if you are a hard worker you will be perfect and it seems by your past experience that you are, Blah blah blah. So I decided to interview with them, and it went well. So it was kind of shocking to find a rejection email after a few days from them. My guess is they were too fucking scared I would jump ship for a law job. Who knows, either way I call foul play. This agency will not have fun recruiting people from my school again.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:04 am

If anyone hears from Philly, either way, please post. I'm dying to know what they decided after my second round and I want to know when they start making decisions. I have a bar deadline coming up, unfortunately.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:53 am

Anonymous User wrote:If anyone hears from Philly, either way, please post. I'm dying to know what they decided after my second round and I want to know when they start making decisions. I have a bar deadline coming up, unfortunately.


Same here. My heart dropped when I saw a new post on this thread, but then I realized it was probably too early in the day for them to be calling people with offers. They're my first choice and I'm dying to work for them.
My understanding was they hoped to decide by the third week of March. I'm wondering if they're at least done interviewing people now for both rounds.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:01 am

I interviewed with philly last Tuesday and they said two weeks. Hopefully early next week then.

To the guy above who interviewed for the policy position: what were the shady interview tactics? It sounds like you interviewed and didn't get the job. It's happened to everyone.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:Has anyone heard from Palm Beach after the second batch of interviews in Jan/Feb?


bump

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:I interviewed with philly last Tuesday and they said two weeks. Hopefully early next week then.

To the guy above who interviewed for the policy position: what were the shady interview tactics? It sounds like you interviewed and didn't get the job. It's happened to everyone.

They led me to believe that they wanted me for the position, specifically sought me out for the job I didn't apply for, basically told me the interview was just a formality, told me they were excited for me to join the team and bam. To me that's shady. If you aren't 100% in my boat don't tell me you are and lead me to believe I've got it in the bag. It wasn't cool.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If anyone hears from Philly, either way, please post. I'm dying to know what they decided after my second round and I want to know when they start making decisions. I have a bar deadline coming up, unfortunately.


Same here. My heart dropped when I saw a new post on this thread, but then I realized it was probably too early in the day for them to be calling people with offers. They're my first choice and I'm dying to work for them.
My understanding was they hoped to decide by the third week of March. I'm wondering if they're at least done interviewing people now for both rounds.


I have my second round interview next week, so it sounds like they are a bit delayed (unsurprisingly). Who knows how soon after that they'll get back to all of us.

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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If anyone hears from Philly, either way, please post. I'm dying to know what they decided after my second round and I want to know when they start making decisions. I have a bar deadline coming up, unfortunately.


Same here. My heart dropped when I saw a new post on this thread, but then I realized it was probably too early in the day for them to be calling people with offers. They're my first choice and I'm dying to work for them.
My understanding was they hoped to decide by the third week of March. I'm wondering if they're at least done interviewing people now for both rounds.


I have my second round interview next week, so it sounds like they are a bit delayed (unsurprisingly). Who knows how soon after that they'll get back to all of us.


First anon in this chain again: I feel like I messed up an important question in my second round, so I'm anxiously awaiting the outcome for that reason as well. Id really like this job, that association is amazing. I really hope I didn't blow it.

pbpd2014
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Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Postby pbpd2014 » Sat Mar 15, 2014 8:07 pm

pbpd2014 wrote:Also, anyone else who has accepted an offer from Palm Beach send me a pm so we can all get in touch. There's a small group of us forming.


Bumping this. Anybody who has accepted an offer at WPB feel free to send me a PM and I can add you to the facebook group.




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