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3L Public Defender Applications

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:24 pm
by Anonymous User
I know we have the prosecution/DA gunner thread, but it currently seems swamped with 1Ls and 2Ls looking for summer work. It would be nice if we could keep track of what PD offices have sent out interview notifications/rejections/offers for 3Ls looking for permanent positions. I applied to approximately 20 PD offices and have heard almost nothing from the offices. I have gotten a rejection notification from Bronx Defenders, and I had an initial interview with the Public Defender Service of D.C., but I haven't heard back from them since. Has anyone gotten any rejections or interviews?

Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:42 am
by Anonymous User
Applied to CPCS, the equivalent of the public defenders officer for Boston and the rest of Massachusetts. Had a screener interview, and then got "invited to apply." You can't even access their application until you get through a screener. The application is intense, its a 9 page application, 6 essays, 3 letters of recs, etc. They will be reviewing those applications over the next few weeks with panel interviews in December so I have heard.

Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:27 am
by 005618502
Are public defender position difficult to obtain? I was under the impression (not to be offensive at all) that they were for bottom of the class, TTT type applicants. Am I completly off base here?

Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:19 pm
by conn09
AssumptionRequired wrote:Are public defender position difficult to obtain? I was under the impression (not to be offensive at all) that they were for bottom of the class, TTT type applicants. Am I completly off base here?


Completely off base. It's to the point where you can't fall backwards into any of these jobs. You need dedication to the cause.

Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:32 pm
by 005618502
conn09 wrote:
AssumptionRequired wrote:Are public defender position difficult to obtain? I was under the impression (not to be offensive at all) that they were for bottom of the class, TTT type applicants. Am I completly off base here?


Completely off base. It's to the point where you can't fall backwards into any of these jobs. You need dedication to the cause.


O good to know. Are they as competitive as an assistant DA position?

Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:12 pm
by Interested Observer
conn09 wrote:
AssumptionRequired wrote:Are public defender position difficult to obtain? I was under the impression (not to be offensive at all) that they were for bottom of the class, TTT type applicants. Am I completly off base here?


Completely off base. It's to the point where you can't fall backwards into any of these jobs. You need dedication to the cause.



Absolutely off. I think there may have been a time years ago where this might have been the case, but now-a-days, PD positions tend to be very competitive. However, "competitive" for other legal jobs usually tends to mean coming from a good school/high rank. With PD positions, the most relevant factors that make you competitive are dedication, practical experience, impressions (meaning, how those who interview you feel about you as a person, and, in their minds, as a trial lawyer), rank/school.

Not to underestimate rank/school, but a lot of PDs don't really value them as highly as other factors. I think there are many reasons but, I suspect, a lot of it has to do with the fact that older public defenders often didn't come from the highest ranked schools (or weren't even the highest ranked students). They probably figure if they're good public defenders and they didn't have the school/rank than it's not as important as the "intangibles."

Additionally, you have to analyze the competitiveness of landing a PD position with the office that you may be looking to get. I can tell you about PD positions in California since that's where I have my experience. If you're looking at counties like San Francisco, Santa Clara, Los Angeles, San Diego, then you're going to be up against some stiff competition. Even if you're looking at some of the smaller/less desirable counties like Fresno or Monterey, it's still competitive, but not as much as the bigger counties.

The real "trick" to landing a PD position is being able to hold-out for as long as possible. If you can volunteer your time and can do that for awhile, you'll significantly increase of chances of landing a position. A lot of counties are now hiring "volunteer attorneys," where you basically do all the work of a public defender but for no pay. (The offices will pay your insurance.) It's actually a great way to build that experience needed and a great way to get some trials in. But, unfortunately, not a lot of people are in a position where they can spend four months not earning money.

Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:15 pm
by 005618502
Interested Observer wrote:
conn09 wrote:
AssumptionRequired wrote:Are public defender position difficult to obtain? I was under the impression (not to be offensive at all) that they were for bottom of the class, TTT type applicants. Am I completly off base here?


Completely off base. It's to the point where you can't fall backwards into any of these jobs. You need dedication to the cause.



Absolutely off. I think there may have been a time years ago where this might have been the case, but now-a-days, PD positions tend to be very competitive. However, "competitive" for other legal jobs usually tends to mean coming from a good school/high rank. With PD positions, the most relevant factors that make you competitive are dedication, practical experience, impressions (meaning, how those who interview you feel about you as a person, and, in their minds, as a trial lawyer), rank/school.

Not to underestimate rank/school, but a lot of PDs don't really value them as highly as other factors. I think there are many reasons but, I suspect, a lot of it has to do with the fact that older public defenders often didn't come from the highest ranked schools (or weren't even the highest ranked students). They probably figure if they're good public defenders and they didn't have the school/rank than it's not as important as the "intangibles."

Additionally, you have to analyze the competitiveness of landing a PD position with the office that you may be looking to get. I can tell you about PD positions in California since that's where I have my experience. If you're looking at counties like San Francisco, Santa Clara, Los Angeles, San Diego, then you're going to be up against some stiff competition. Even if you're looking at some of the smaller/less desirable counties like Fresno or Monterey, it's still competitive, but not as much as the bigger counties.

The real "trick" to landing a PD position is being able to hold-out for as long as possible. If you can volunteer your time and can do that for awhile, you'll significantly increase of chances of landing a position. A lot of counties are now hiring "volunteer attorneys," where you basically do all the work of a public defender but for no pay. (The offices will pay your insurance.) It's actually a great way to build that experience needed and a great way to get some trials in. But, unfortunately, not a lot of people are in a position where they can spend four months not earning money.


Wow, how would one work for months with no pay after law school?

Arent Pubic defenders incredibly underpaid anyways? People do it for the cause and trial experience i guess?

Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:19 pm
by seatown12
Let's keep this on topic, especially since there is another thread about PD/DA careers generally

Had 2nd round with PDS, 2nd round with Miami-Dade upcoming.

Anyone heard from Brooklyn Defender Services?

Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Posted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:53 pm
by robin600
AssumptionRequired wrote:
Interested Observer wrote:
conn09 wrote:
AssumptionRequired wrote:Are public defender position difficult to obtain? I was under the impression (not to be offensive at all) that they were for bottom of the class, TTT type applicants. Am I completly off base here?


Completely off base. It's to the point where you can't fall backwards into any of these jobs. You need dedication to the cause.



Absolutely off. I think there may have been a time years ago where this might have been the case, but now-a-days, PD positions tend to be very competitive. However, "competitive" for other legal jobs usually tends to mean coming from a good school/high rank. With PD positions, the most relevant factors that make you competitive are dedication, practical experience, impressions (meaning, how those who interview you feel about you as a person, and, in their minds, as a trial lawyer), rank/school.

Not to underestimate rank/school, but a lot of PDs don't really value them as highly as other factors. I think there are many reasons but, I suspect, a lot of it has to do with the fact that older public defenders often didn't come from the highest ranked schools (or weren't even the highest ranked students). They probably figure if they're good public defenders and they didn't have the school/rank than it's not as important as the "intangibles."

Additionally, you have to analyze the competitiveness of landing a PD position with the office that you may be looking to get. I can tell you about PD positions in California since that's where I have my experience. If you're looking at counties like San Francisco, Santa Clara, Los Angeles, San Diego, then you're going to be up against some stiff competition. Even if you're looking at some of the smaller/less desirable counties like Fresno or Monterey, it's still competitive, but not as much as the bigger counties.

The real "trick" to landing a PD position is being able to hold-out for as long as possible. If you can volunteer your time and can do that for awhile, you'll significantly increase of chances of landing a position. A lot of counties are now hiring "volunteer attorneys," where you basically do all the work of a public defender but for no pay. (The offices will pay your insurance.) It's actually a great way to build that experience needed and a great way to get some trials in. But, unfortunately, not a lot of people are in a position where they can spend four months not earning money.


Wow, how would one work for months with no pay after law school?

Arent Pubic defenders incredibly underpaid anyways? People do it for the cause and trial experience i guess?


Anyone heard back from EJW PD interviews? I didn't apply this year (dual degree program) but have friends that have and are eagerly waiting.

Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:03 am
by impressivekowalski
Had the "screening interview" with D.C. PDS about two weeks ago and haven't heard a word since. Got the email rejection from Bronx Defenders about a week ago. No contact from EJW Public Defender Corps, Brooklyn Defender Services, or NYC Legal Aid. Meanwhile, the ship has sailed on my fantasy that there might be PD offers out in January.

Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:33 am
by Anonymous User
I had the screening PDS interview about 4 weeks ago and still haven't heard a thing. In terms of EJW, a few weeks ago I received notification of getting the panel interview with Miami. I haven't heard from any of the others, although I didn't get interviews with all of the PD offices. I know someone who interviewed with the CPCS at EJW and he received an "offer to apply" a week later, which I guess is the next step in their process.

Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Posted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 12:35 pm
by Anonymous User
Out of curiosity, what percentage of people here have been interning under a 3rd year practice act? What states have 3rd year practice acts? I know that some of the best offices, like PDS, don't let students argue in court. Does anyone have any idea how employers value someone working in a less prestigious office but working under a 3rd year practice act, compared to people that work at prestigious offices but don't get the same practical experience?

Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:10 am
by seatown12
Anonymous User wrote:Out of curiosity, what percentage of people here have been interning under a 3rd year practice act? What states have 3rd year practice acts? I know that some of the best offices, like PDS, don't let students argue in court. Does anyone have any idea how employers value someone working in a less prestigious office but working under a 3rd year practice act, compared to people that work at prestigious offices but don't get the same practical experience?

I've done student practice; I think most if not all states have it.

I think that if you want to work for a prestigious office post-grad it's probably best to intern with them, otherwise I think it's better to get experience. PDs want to hire the candidate that they think is going to make the best trial attorney. If you have had experience in court you are going to have a better argument that you are the most qualified candidate. Most PDs don't care a whole lot about prestige for its own sake, in my experience.

I guess I'll know better in a few months whether my opinion on this subject is correct.

Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:34 pm
by Anonymous User
seatown12 wrote:Let's keep this on topic, especially since there is another thread about PD/DA careers generally

Had 2nd round with PDS, 2nd round with Miami-Dade upcoming.

Anyone heard from Brooklyn Defender Services?


I had an interview with BDS two weeks ago... They said interviews for second round are around January or so.

Applied a bit late to Miami, but I got the snail mail for panel and it's tough getting in touch with 'em...Do you know how quick the turnaround is for a final decision after you had your Miami panel interview?

Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:08 pm
by impressivekowalski
Did you apply to BDS directly or through an OCI/Job Fair?

Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:10 pm
by seatown12
Anonymous User wrote:
seatown12 wrote:Let's keep this on topic, especially since there is another thread about PD/DA careers generally

Had 2nd round with PDS, 2nd round with Miami-Dade upcoming.

Anyone heard from Brooklyn Defender Services?


I had an interview with BDS two weeks ago... They said interviews for second round are around January or so.

Applied a bit late to Miami, but I got the snail mail for panel and it's tough getting in touch with 'em...Do you know how quick the turnaround is for a final decision after you had your Miami panel interview?


Thanks for the word on BDS.

My understanding is that Miami are making decisions on the 12th, but they might be doing another round of panels after that.

PDS are doing final rounds right now also.

Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:21 pm
by Anonymous User
impressivekowalski wrote:Did you apply to BDS directly or through an OCI/Job Fair?

I applied to BDS straight through their website. But I also attended EJW and visited their table while I was there.

seatown12 wrote:My understanding is that Miami are making decisions on the 12th, but they might be doing another round of panels after that.


Wow, there's an actual designated date where everyone who got the job is going to get a call? Reminds me of law school apps. Gl to you sir. Well, I guess I can hope that there will be second rounds after the holidays. T.T

Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:29 pm
by Anonymous User
Has anyone heard from Colorado or NYC Legal Aid? What have people thought about the Miami panel interview? It seemed like they wanted to tell me why every answer I gave could have been better...I definitely am not counting on getting an offer there. An attorney working there told me that they give less than 10 offers from the panel interview in December, and the majority of the offers for each year are given during a different panel interview for the interns in the office.

Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:58 am
by seatown12
Anonymous User wrote:Wow, there's an actual designated date where everyone who got the job is going to get a call? Reminds me of law school apps. Gl to you sir. Well, I guess I can hope that there will be second rounds after the holidays. T.T

They were only scheduling panels from Nov 30 to Dec 9, so I think they were just gonna finalize decisions over this weekend and let everyone know. Thanks, and good luck to you too.

Anonymous User wrote:Has anyone heard from Colorado or NYC Legal Aid? What have people thought about the Miami panel interview?

Felt the same as you about Miami. I know one person who got a Legal Aid interview.

Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:43 pm
by Anonymous User
seatown12 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Wow, there's an actual designated date where everyone who got the job is going to get a call? Reminds me of law school apps. Gl to you sir. Well, I guess I can hope that there will be second rounds after the holidays. T.T

They were only scheduling panels from Nov 30 to Dec 9, so I think they were just gonna finalize decisions over this weekend and let everyone know. Thanks, and good luck to you too.

Anonymous User wrote:Has anyone heard from Colorado or NYC Legal Aid? What have people thought about the Miami panel interview?

Felt the same as you about Miami. I know one person who got a Legal Aid interview.


Glad to hear that I'm not the only one who felt reamed during the panel interview. I am not sure what sort of response they expected from their comments. Half the time I tried to defend my actions, while the other half, when I thought they had good points, I sort of conceded to the fact that their approach would have been more effective.

Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:41 pm
by Anonymous User
No offer for me at Miami. Anyone get one?

Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:29 am
by Anonymous User
Has anyone gotten any offers or interviews in the last few weeks?

Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:55 pm
by robin600
Curious to updates as well.

Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:10 am
by Anonymous User
DC, Brooklyn and Miami PDs are doing screening interviews at my school at the end of the month for 3L hiring. New Orleans is doing a resume collect for 3Ls.

Re: 3L Public Defender Applications

Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:46 pm
by seatown12
Anonymous User wrote:DC, Brooklyn and Miami PDs are doing screening interviews at my school at the end of the month for 3L hiring. New Orleans is doing a resume collect for 3Ls.

Any updates? From anyone?