2L Dilemma: FedPD or wait it out?

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2L Dilemma: FedPD or wait it out?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:25 pm

I have found myself in somewhat of a predicament. I recently received an offer for a summer internship with a local federal public defender's office. However, it's not something that I really want to do. The job I really want is with a mid-size firm with whom I have already had a callback interview last month. I have e-mailed the hiring partner letting them know of my situation, but they have yet to respond to me, and it has been 5 days. So do I take the PD internship? Or wait it out?

The problem is that I also worked at a PD's office last summer, but I have absolutely no desire to do criminal defense when I graduate. The only reason I applied for this internship in the first place is because, at the time, I figured that I would be okay with it if I had absolutely no other offers. Little did I know that they would get back to me so soon. And I'm apprehensive about pigeonholing myself into a career of public defense when it's not something I want to spend my life doing.

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Re: 2L Dilemma: FedPD or wait it out?

Postby 20130312 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have found myself in somewhat of a predicament. I recently received an offer for a summer internship with a local federal public defender's office. However, it's not something that I really want to do. The job I really want is with a mid-size firm with whom I have already had a callback interview last month. I have e-mailed the hiring partner letting them know of my situation, but they have yet to respond to me, and it has been 5 days. So do I take the PD internship? Or wait it out?

The problem is that I also worked at a PD's office last summer, but I have absolutely no desire to do criminal defense when I graduate. The only reason I applied for this internship in the first place is because, at the time, I figured that I would be okay with it if I had absolutely no other offers. Little did I know that they would get back to me so soon. And I'm apprehensive about pigeonholing myself into a career of public defense when it's not something I want to spend my life doing.


Did they give you a deadline for the offer?

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Re: 2L Dilemma: FedPD or wait it out?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:30 pm

OP here --

They want to know by the end of this week.

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Re: 2L Dilemma: FedPD or wait it out?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:26 pm

If I take the FedPD job, would it almost entirely preclude me from working in the private sector upon graduation? Public defense is not what I ultimately want to do, but I think this offer would give me great experience.

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Re: 2L Dilemma: FedPD or wait it out?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:35 pm

If you have a good shot at getting a job with the PD office after you graduate, you might want to take it, even if you don't want to do that type of work for the rest of your life. Trial experience is trial experience. It's hard to get these days and it probably wouldn't be too hard to lateral somewhere private after a few years...

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Re: 2L Dilemma: FedPD or wait it out?

Postby Geist13 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:19 am

call the firm tomorrow. If you can't get them to call you back, it's likely because they don't want you (though it would be pretty dickish for them to just ignore you). The small/mid-size firms I've left voice mails at have all gotten back to me within a day. Emails are too easy to disregard or mistakenly forget to respond to.

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Re: 2L Dilemma: FedPD or wait it out?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:36 am

I know this won't go over well, but at a certain point you have to think self preservation. Especially if you don't plan on being a public defender, maybe you accept the job now. If you get the firm job within a week...maybe you rethink your decision. However if you get the firm job in a month, I'd say you are stuck.

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Re: 2L Dilemma: FedPD or wait it out?

Postby Geetar Man » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:48 am

To answer this:

Anonymous User wrote:If I take the FedPD job, would it almost entirely preclude me from working in the private sector upon graduation? Public defense is not what I ultimately want to do, but I think this offer would give me great experience.




Anonymous User wrote:If you have a good shot at getting a job with the PD office after you graduate, you might want to take it, even if you don't want to do that type of work for the rest of your life. Trial experience is trial experience. It's hard to get these days and it probably wouldn't be too hard to lateral somewhere private after a few years...


THIS ^^^ .

The more trial experience you can get (assuming the PDs will give you trial experience) , the better for the long haul. I actually think this type of experience will benefit you if you want to work in the private sector ITE. I don't know the hiring trends for the private sector, but one of the AUSAs told me that when hiring, they don't see working for the PDs as a bad thing what so ever, when looking for new prosecutors. Again, this may just be office specific, but I think that it would be the same across the board. I know this is not the private sector, but I'm just saying that by taking the PDs offer again, you won't be limited to the PDs office. They (the prosecutorial sector) want and value trial experience.

Further, I think that working for the PDs will look good for the private sector, but that's just my opinion.

I think that you should take the PDs offer at the latest time possible, hoping that the PS calls/emails you tomorrow.

You're in a tough spot bro. If you think that calling the firm won't screw up your chances, then go for it. If the firm doesn't respond by tomorrow, I say take the PDs. HTH

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Re: 2L Dilemma: FedPD or wait it out?

Postby crit_racer » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:57 am

Some people seem to think that working for the FPD as a 2L will lead to a job. This probably isn't true...

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Re: 2L Dilemma: FedPD or wait it out?

Postby Geetar Man » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:59 am

crit_racer wrote:Some people seem to think that working for the FPD as a 2L will lead to a job. This probably isn't true...


Credited. But the trial experience, assuming OP would get it, is worth it if theres no other job offer.

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Re: 2L Dilemma: FedPD or wait it out?

Postby Cinderella » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:04 am

1) You will not get trial experience at a FPD. You will be writing and researching.

2) Unless this is the San Diego Federal Public Defender, this will not lead to a job at graduation.

3) Some DA's like to see defense work, some don't. Since you aren't interested in criminal law, this isn't relevant.

4) Since you already have public defense on your resume, I would be very, very careful about accepting the FPD offer. Make no mistake, you will pigeonhole yourself into public defense. Think about it from the perspective of a hiring partner at a firm - they see that much pd work, and they'll assume it's something you'll pursue in the not-too-distant future.

This is a tough situation, but given your interests, I would turn down the offer. For anything besides public defense/criminal law, it would be a different story. But criminal law is a different beast - its basically all or nothing.

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Re: 2L Dilemma: FedPD or wait it out?

Postby seatown12 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:49 pm

Cinderella wrote:1) You will not get trial experience at a FPD. You will be writing and researching.

2) Unless this is the San Diego Federal Public Defender, this will not lead to a job at graduation.

3) Some DA's like to see defense work, some don't. Since you aren't interested in criminal law, this isn't relevant.

4) Since you already have public defense on your resume, I would be very, very careful about accepting the FPD offer. Make no mistake, you will pigeonhole yourself into public defense. Think about it from the perspective of a hiring partner at a firm - they see that much pd work, and they'll assume it's something you'll pursue in the not-too-distant future.

This is a tough situation, but given your interests, I would turn down the offer. For anything besides public defense/criminal law, it would be a different story. But criminal law is a different beast - its basically all or nothing.

Everything he said is true, but I'd take the FPD job and keep looking for a firm job. The FPD job, although not a good option, is much better than doing nothing. And if you end up backing out on them later and burning a bridge it doesn't matter because you don't want to do criminal law anyway.

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Re: 2L Dilemma: FedPD or wait it out?

Postby Geetar Man » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:26 pm

seatown12 wrote:
Cinderella wrote:1) You will not get trial experience at a FPD. You will be writing and researching.

2) Unless this is the San Diego Federal Public Defender, this will not lead to a job at graduation.

3) Some DA's like to see defense work, some don't. Since you aren't interested in criminal law, this isn't relevant.

4) Since you already have public defense on your resume, I would be very, very careful about accepting the FPD offer. Make no mistake, you will pigeonhole yourself into public defense. Think about it from the perspective of a hiring partner at a firm - they see that much pd work, and they'll assume it's something you'll pursue in the not-too-distant future.

This is a tough situation, but given your interests, I would turn down the offer. For anything besides public defense/criminal law, it would be a different story. But criminal law is a different beast - its basically all or nothing.

Everything he said is true, but I'd take the FPD job and keep looking for a firm job. The FPD job, although not a good option, is much better than doing nothing. And if you end up backing out on them later and burning a bridge it doesn't matter because you don't want to do criminal law anyway.


Yeah, this ^. Can't you just leave it out of your resume if it begins to hinder you from other jobs? Idk, I think its better than nothing but its a fucked up situation. I wish the firm would just call you back.

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Re: 2L Dilemma: FedPD or wait it out?

Postby 20130312 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:30 pm

seatown12 wrote:Everything he said is true, but I'd take the FPD job and keep looking for a firm job. The FPD job, although not a good option, is much better than doing nothing. And if you end up backing out on them later and burning a bridge it doesn't matter because you don't want to do criminal law anyway.


This is not good advice. You never want to burn a bridge ITE, even if you believe you will never need them again.

I agree that you should take the FPD job, though.

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Re: 2L Dilemma: FedPD or wait it out?

Postby seatown12 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:43 pm

InGoodFaith wrote:
seatown12 wrote:Everything he said is true, but I'd take the FPD job and keep looking for a firm job. The FPD job, although not a good option, is much better than doing nothing. And if you end up backing out on them later and burning a bridge it doesn't matter because you don't want to do criminal law anyway.


This is not good advice. You never want to burn a bridge ITE, even if you believe you will never need them again.

I agree that you should take the FPD job, though.

FPDs don't hire new grads so in order for this bridge to be relevant OP would have to work in criminal defense for 3-5 years and then want to lateral to another criminal defense job, but the only way this bridge would be burned is if OP gets a firm job which would all but ensure he will not be working in criminal defense ever.

Your advice is true for basically any other possible scenario though.

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Re: 2L Dilemma: FedPD or wait it out?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:09 pm

OP here --

The firm finally got back to me and said they couldn't offer me a position. Upon further inquiry with an associate there, I found out that they basically didn't offer anything to anyone because they weren't in need of an associate as much as they originally thought. However, I am still on the fence as to whether I should take the FPD job. I have a few other pending interviews, but I am terrified of ending up jobless. The plus side to this is that I am planning on doing externships both semesters next year, and I am only applying to places where I can get civil litigation experience.

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Re: 2L Dilemma: FedPD or wait it out?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:49 pm

There's no dilemna here, accept the PD job and keep looking for a firm job. If you get a firm job, tell the PD you unfortunately are not in a financial position to turn down a salary. Most likely they will not care I've had a few friends renege on PD summer gigs for paying work. If they for some reason complain, ask them to match the salary, the point is they are not in a position to tell someone in a precarious financial position to commit to a vow of poverty even if people have options elsewhere.




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