Should I Switch TEAMS? From USAO to FPD?!?

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marcusmodo
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Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:19 pm

Should I Switch TEAMS? From USAO to FPD?!?

Postby marcusmodo » Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:48 am

Right now i clerk at the USAO, been there since sept. however, my heart seems to be in criminal justice reform and defense, i believe our current system is unfair and racist. The federal public defenders in my city are offering internships, should i stay at USAO this summer or join the Fed Public Def. I feel like this could potentially be a big slap in the face of all the attorneys i work with now. i know we will see each other in court and I'll be on the other side. I doubt I will be a prosecutor so a large part of me doesn't care, however i do care about the guy who got me in at USAO i'd hate for him to get slack for bringing in a guy who switched teams on him for everyone to see. WHAT TO DO??!?

LordBeric
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:40 am

Re: Should I Switch TEAMS? From USAO to FPD?!?

Postby LordBeric » Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:59 am

They'll probably be glad that their internship sparked such an interest in criminal law that you are pursuing it further. The purpose of law school is to develop your interests and it sounds like this USAO experience has helped do just that.

marcusmodo
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:19 pm

Re: Should I Switch TEAMS? From USAO to FPD?!?

Postby marcusmodo » Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:02 am

LordBeric wrote:They'll probably be glad that their internship sparked such an interest in criminal law that you are pursuing it further. The purpose of law school is to develop your interests and it sounds like this USAO experience has helped do just that.


Thanks. Yep, law school is about exploration and finding out what you like. I can't wed myself to one area without trying other things.

BeenDidThat
Posts: 704
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Re: Should I Switch TEAMS? From USAO to FPD?!?

Postby BeenDidThat » Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:11 am

They aren't teams. They are advocates for different interests. Unless it's a highly unprofessional office, they won't give a person who pushed for you as a hire any shit for your decision to move to the FPD.

84weeks
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:41 pm

Re: Should I Switch TEAMS? From USAO to FPD?!?

Postby 84weeks » Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:44 pm

OP, do it! I interned with the FPD in my secondary market last summer. The attorneys (and support staff) were brilliant and dedicated. In your cover letter stress the inadequacies you have seen in the system, stress criminal justice reform and defense.

But I know how you feel. I considered interning with the USAO, just to see the other side of the process - I have my heart set on criminal defense and penal reform - but I felt that some of the attorneys would be ... disappointed in me. However, the defender community is a lot more tightly knit in someways than the prosecutorial one and I think it's easier to make the switch (early) from USAO to FPD without burning many bridges, as opposed to the reverse.
BeenDidThat wrote:They aren't teams

There most certainly are "teams" - it's just nobody likes to admit it outside his/her own team.

PM me if you have any questions about interning with the FPD.

seatown12
Posts: 614
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:16 pm

Re: Should I Switch TEAMS? From USAO to FPD?!?

Postby seatown12 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:39 am

intern with an office that might possibly hire you when you graduate

but ya based on your posts, go for defense

mockingJD
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:40 pm

Re: Should I Switch TEAMS? From USAO to FPD?!?

Postby mockingJD » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:19 am

You should do what makes you happy. I don't think the USAO would hold it against you. The USAO I interned for had great respect for the defense bar and even organized a lunch time session with a few attorneys from the Federal Defenders Office for us so we could see if that was something we'd be interested in doing at some point.

Anonymous User
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Re: Should I Switch TEAMS? From USAO to FPD?!?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:11 am

Be careful though. For a lot of public defender offices, any prosecution experience on your resume will be viewed negatively. I know its different from FPD, but the head of the Bronx Defenders once straight up said at a PI talk we probably won't hire you if you have prosecution experience.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Should I Switch TEAMS? From USAO to FPD?!?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:46 am

Anonymous User wrote:Be careful though. For a lot of public defender offices, any prosecution experience on your resume will be viewed negatively. I know its different from FPD, but the head of the Bronx Defenders once straight up said at a PI talk we probably won't hire you if you have prosecution experience.



From the other side, with Public Defender stuff on my resume, I can't even get an interview with any prosecutor's offices, even addressing in my cover letter how working there sparked the interest in prosecution, etc.

I think it's underestimated how negatively this can be viewed. There are "sides" as far as a lot of these offices are concerned. I can't (and am not) say all such offices, because I'm sure there are some that don't care.

But it can absolutely be a negative, be careful not to burn *both* bridges accidentally.




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