1L PD internship if I want to be a prosecutor?

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ahem
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1L PD internship if I want to be a prosecutor?

Postby ahem » Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:26 pm

Does anyone have any idea whether or not it would look bad to a prosecutor's office if I took a 1L summer position with a public defender's office? I am just interested in getting exposed to both sides. Thanks.

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AreJay711
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Re: 1L PD internship if I want to be a prosecutor?

Postby AreJay711 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:31 pm

Check out this thread: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=155423

From what I gather it is better than the other way around (prosecutor experience when you want to be a pd)

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leobowski
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Re: 1L PD internship if I want to be a prosecutor?

Postby leobowski » Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:02 pm

AreJay711 wrote:Check out this thread: http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... 3&t=155423

From what I gather it is better than the other way around (prosecutor experience when you want to be a pd)



This. Prosecutors would of course prefer experience in that field, but some kind of criminal work (PD, clinic, etc.) is vastly better than none.

Anonymous User
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Re: 1L PD internship if I want to be a prosecutor?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:02 pm

If you are sure you want to be a prosecutor, I am going to strongly discourage you from doing the PD internship. I too want to be a prosecutor, took a PD internship my 1L summer, and in every subsequent interview this year I have had to fight off the notion that I want to eventually be a defense attorney.

Not saying it will be a deal breaker, but from personal experience, it makes things much harder for you. Definitely get extracurricular experience doing defense-ish things, to show that you're not just someone who wants to lock people up (e.g. helping people get unemployment benefits in admin court,or something like that), but I would hold out for the prosecutor's office offer.

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Re: 1L PD internship if I want to be a prosecutor?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If you are sure you want to be a prosecutor, I am going to strongly discourage you from doing the PD internship. I too want to be a prosecutor, took a PD internship my 1L summer, and in every subsequent interview this year I have had to fight off the notion that I want to eventually be a defense attorney.

Not saying it will be a deal breaker, but from personal experience, it makes things much harder for you. Definitely get extracurricular experience doing defense-ish things, to show that you're not just someone who wants to lock people up (e.g. helping people get unemployment benefits in admin court,or something like that), but I would hold out for the prosecutor's office offer.


I was just hired to be a prosecutor in a very big city. I have lots of defense related experience (intern, clinic, etc..) and lots of DA experience as well. Having both is an enormous asset on an interview, as long as you spin in correctly.

Also, it really is good to see "both sides."

tmgarvey
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Re: 1L PD internship if I want to be a prosecutor?

Postby tmgarvey » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:46 pm

PD experience is excellent if you want to be a prosecutor. You might be asked some questions to be sure you would be comfortable in the role of prosecuting, but every prosecutor's office I know has several people who started off with a PD or a private criminal defense firm.

Any kind of internship or summer employment that gets you involved in the nuts and bolts of the criminal justice system is going to be viewed as an asset.

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Gecko of Doom
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Re: 1L PD internship if I want to be a prosecutor?

Postby Gecko of Doom » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:59 pm

I have heard from a prosecutor who went from a PD's to DA's office with no problem. I have also talked to a prosecutor who said he would auto-ding an applicant with PD-like work experience. So be aware that it will help you at some offices and hurt you at others. Personally, I would go for a 1L position at a prosecutor's office. It's not too late to find one.

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los blancos
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Re: 1L PD internship if I want to be a prosecutor?

Postby los blancos » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:30 pm

I think these guys have it right so far.

I'm currently externing at a DA's office. One of my supervisors told me to make sure to get some experience on the defense side if I intend on being an ADA after graduation. But my resume is very prosecutorial.

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Re: 1L PD internship if I want to be a prosecutor?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If you are sure you want to be a prosecutor, I am going to strongly discourage you from doing the PD internship. I too want to be a prosecutor, took a PD internship my 1L summer, and in every subsequent interview this year I have had to fight off the notion that I want to eventually be a defense attorney.

Not saying it will be a deal breaker, but from personal experience, it makes things much harder for you. Definitely get extracurricular experience doing defense-ish things, to show that you're not just someone who wants to lock people up (e.g. helping people get unemployment benefits in admin court,or something like that), but I would hold out for the prosecutor's office offer.



This has been my experience too. Some places I have not gotten interviews because they don't want anyone defense-affiliated. Other interviews I have had to spend significant time explaining WHY I worked for defense if I want to prosecute, how do I know I want to prosecute not defend, am I *really* interested in prosecution?

And I wasn't even working for a defense office in an attorney type capacity, I was a freaking legal secretary there. I STILL have this issue.

Since some people seem to have much more positive experiences with it, I would say this might be a market-based answer, and perhaps you should see if you can't talk with some people from the prosecutor's office you're interested in working with about whether it would be a negative on your resume.

seatown12
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Re: 1L PD internship if I want to be a prosecutor?

Postby seatown12 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:13 pm

Gecko of Doom wrote:I have heard from a prosecutor who went from a PD's to DA's office with no problem. I have also talked to a prosecutor who said he would auto-ding an applicant with PD-like work experience. So be aware that it will help you at some offices and hurt you at others. Personally, I would go for a 1L position at a prosecutor's office. It's not too late to find one.

This is 100% the answer, and all the conflicting personal anecdotes in this discussion prove it.

I would recommend interning in prosecution if you want to work in prosecution. If you really can't get that work, then just be aware that if you do defense it will sabotage your chances at some offices. Make sure your top choice isn't one of them.

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Re: 1L PD internship if I want to be a prosecutor?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:04 pm

Do you guys know if working for a prosecutor's office (USAO) as a file clerk/student helps to get a job post graduation?

I've been here for 5 years (4 years in undergrad as a student and 1 year out as a file clerk) and was wondering if this type of experience helps, more than marginally, in getting a job afterwards. I mean, aside from the obvious personal connections. Would this experience help in other USAO offices as well?

Thanks!

Edit: I understand there is no hard evidence on this, so I'm just looking for some anecdotes.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Geetar Man
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Re: 1L PD internship if I want to be a prosecutor?

Postby Geetar Man » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:04 pm

seatown12 wrote:
Gecko of Doom wrote:I have heard from a prosecutor who went from a PD's to DA's office with no problem. I have also talked to a prosecutor who said he would auto-ding an applicant with PD-like work experience. So be aware that it will help you at some offices and hurt you at others. Personally, I would go for a 1L position at a prosecutor's office. It's not too late to find one.

This is 100% the answer, and all the conflicting personal anecdotes in this discussion prove it.

I would recommend interning in prosecution if you want to work in prosecution. If you really can't get that work, then just be aware that if you do defense it will sabotage your chances at some offices. Make sure your top choice isn't one of them.


+1

Anonymous User
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Re: 1L PD internship if I want to be a prosecutor?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:Do you guys know if working for a prosecutor's office (USAO) as a file clerk/student helps to get a job post graduation?

I've been here for 5 years (4 years in undergrad as a student and 1 year out as a file clerk) and was wondering if this type of experience helps, more than marginally, in getting a job afterwards. I mean, aside from the obvious personal connections. Would this experience help in other USAO offices as well?

Thanks!

Edit: I understand there is no hard evidence on this, so I'm just looking for some anecdotes.



Bump!

Geist13
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Re: 1L PD internship if I want to be a prosecutor?

Postby Geist13 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:36 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Do you guys know if working for a prosecutor's office (USAO) as a file clerk/student helps to get a job post graduation?

I've been here for 5 years (4 years in undergrad as a student and 1 year out as a file clerk) and was wondering if this type of experience helps, more than marginally, in getting a job afterwards. I mean, aside from the obvious personal connections. Would this experience help in other USAO offices as well?

Thanks!

Edit: I understand there is no hard evidence on this, so I'm just looking for some anecdotes.



Bump!


If by post graduation, you mean getting a job as a AUSA immediately out of law school, then no. They won't hire you. And on the exceptionally small chance that they did, it would be one of their newly created no-salary AUSA positions. Earlier this year, symplicity had postings for what seemed like every district in the country looking for full time unpaid attorney positions. However, they won't hire you right out of school; it just won't happen.

If you mean hiring you down the road, sure knowing some people might help; it's probably not a game changer though. You're gonna need some experience before they hire you, good experience. That first job should be your focus. To that end, you should be looking to get some courtroom experience while you're in law school. For example, a prosecution clinic. Alternatively, working at a local prosecutor's office under a student practice certification where you get to appear in court (some states do this others don't). Those kind of things will show a) that you're interested in prosecution (which is really all that working at the USAO office gets you) and b) practical experience that you can use to make yourself stand out. If working at the USAO office takes up enough time that you can't get these types of experiences, I would suggest dropping that job and looking for something else. Just my opinion though; it doesn't count for much.

Anonymous User
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Re: 1L PD internship if I want to be a prosecutor?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:18 am

Geist13 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Do you guys know if working for a prosecutor's office (USAO) as a file clerk/student helps to get a job post graduation?

I've been here for 5 years (4 years in undergrad as a student and 1 year out as a file clerk) and was wondering if this type of experience helps, more than marginally, in getting a job afterwards. I mean, aside from the obvious personal connections. Would this experience help in other USAO offices as well?

Thanks!

Edit: I understand there is no hard evidence on this, so I'm just looking for some anecdotes.



Bump!


If by post graduation, you mean getting a job as a AUSA immediately out of law school, then no. They won't hire you. And on the exceptionally small chance that they did, it would be one of their newly created no-salary AUSA positions. Earlier this year, symplicity had postings for what seemed like every district in the country looking for full time unpaid attorney positions. However, they won't hire you right out of school; it just won't happen.

If you mean hiring you down the road, sure knowing some people might help; it's probably not a game changer though. You're gonna need some experience before they hire you, good experience. That first job should be your focus. To that end, you should be looking to get some courtroom experience while you're in law school. For example, a prosecution clinic. Alternatively, working at a local prosecutor's office under a student practice certification where you get to appear in court (some states do this others don't). Those kind of things will show a) that you're interested in prosecution (which is really all that working at the USAO office gets you) and b) practical experience that you can use to make yourself stand out. If working at the USAO office takes up enough time that you can't get these types of experiences, I would suggest dropping that job and looking for something else. Just my opinion though; it doesn't count for much.



Okay, well that's what I was expecting. I actually was thinking the same thing. However, I did notice that they hired someone straight out of LS as a paid (term) AUSA. He is now 24 years old. I wonder what he did that made him stand out. I should ask him lol




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