Public Defender

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bartleby
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Re: Public Defender

Postby bartleby » Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:51 pm

So anyway, I interviewed and got an unpaid intern position for "Criminal Intern" whatever the fuck that means - should I give up my paid full time 40 hour R.A. (or ask to see if I can give it up) so I can pursue this? Can I just do something 2L summer? I don't really care what I do after law school, but I'm just finding criminal stuff more interesting...and recently someone I knew who was a dealer got busted and I was looking over the laws and literally have no idea how they'd apply...

so to recap before people start going crazy:

1. I understand P.D. is super hard to get
2. I probablywon't get any clerkship or anything like that
3. Is there anything else you can do if you load up on crim pro and other related classes?
4. Property and torts are so fucking boring to me that I do consider dropping out of law school
5. I have very little real debt but if this debt was on my credit card balance, I would be shitting bricks. But I guess it is different because it is subsidized for now.

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Borhas
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Re: Public Defender

Postby Borhas » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:31 pm

1. seriously consider dropping out as an alternative

if you don't want to drop out...

2. PD work is so competitive that you realistically probably want to do both summers at a PD office
3. take a criminal practice clinic during the school year
4. take all the trial advocacy classes you can, join the trial team if you can
5. volunteer doing community service type stuff in your spare time
6. learn Spanish

bartleby
Posts: 1315
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Re: Public Defender

Postby bartleby » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:33 pm

Borhas wrote:1. seriously consider dropping out as an alternative

if you don't want to drop out...

2. PD work is so competitive that you realistically probably want to do both summers at a PD office
3. take a criminal practice clinic during the school year
4. take all the trial advocacy classes you can, join the trial team if you can
5. volunteer doing community service type stuff in your spare time
6. learn Spanish


Gosh that sounds hard. I will just go study for finals. I would drop out...if I had an alternative. But then my subsidized loan would be like a credit card debt because it'd be due.

yeff
Posts: 333
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:32 pm

Re: Public Defender

Postby yeff » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:00 pm

I would take the PD internship and see if your prof will take you part-time (like 10 hours) a week. Or else just take the PD internship.

As folks have been saying, PD job market is really competitive. And where it is less so, the systems are likely more broken and/or underresourced. The better jobs will provide much better training and support, which will make the job itself better since you have at least some chance of helping your client.

TBH though attitude and passion are the top things, and it seems you're not quite dyed in the wool. So check it out and maybe you will be, and if not, going PD internship --> DA is possible whereas the reverse is not (in many many PD offices).

Void
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Re: Public Defender

Postby Void » Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:52 pm

molomloch wrote:Care to back your rudeness up with some ideas? It's interesting that so far the people who have claimed to "disagree with me" have all been from less than stellar law schools. Why is a forum called top law schools flooded with a bunch of TTToilet trolls? Northwestern kid agrees with what I'm saying - T3-Lebowski / Mr. Uconn don't. Interesting pattern!


Wow, I thought you were just an idiot who was talking out of his ass, but it turns out you're an asshole too.

I disagree with the notion that more "legit" public defender's offices pay more. Yeah, I know that San Francisco pays a lot, but are they really more legitimate than any other office? You have yet to respond to this with anything beyond your imaginative speculation. Have you ever set foot in a PD office? Ever interned in one?

Also, if you aspire to be a public defender, good luck equating school ranking with intelligence and waving your T1 diploma in everyone's face. I can tell you from experience that PDs really value elitism and the practice of making inferences about people based upon their backgrounds.

Anonymous User
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Re: Public Defender

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:05 pm

Void wrote:
molomloch wrote:Care to back your rudeness up with some ideas? It's interesting that so far the people who have claimed to "disagree with me" have all been from less than stellar law schools. Why is a forum called top law schools flooded with a bunch of TTToilet trolls? Northwestern kid agrees with what I'm saying - T3-Lebowski / Mr. Uconn don't. Interesting pattern!


Wow, I thought you were just an idiot who was talking out of his ass, but it turns out you're an asshole too.

I disagree with the notion that more "legit" public defender's offices pay more. Yeah, I know that San Francisco pays a lot, but are they really more legitimate than any other office? You have yet to respond to this with anything beyond your imaginative speculation. Have you ever set foot in a PD office? Ever interned in one?

Also, if you aspire to be a public defender, good luck equating school ranking with intelligence and waving your T1 diploma in everyone's face. I can tell you from experience that PDs really value elitism and the practice of making inferences about people based upon their backgrounds.


TITCR, especially the second sentence.

And good luck trying to hide this arrogance from your colleagues at the PDs office.

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Tanicius
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Re: Public Defender

Postby Tanicius » Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:43 pm

Void wrote:
molomloch wrote:Care to back your rudeness up with some ideas? It's interesting that so far the people who have claimed to "disagree with me" have all been from less than stellar law schools. Why is a forum called top law schools flooded with a bunch of TTToilet trolls? Northwestern kid agrees with what I'm saying - T3-Lebowski / Mr. Uconn don't. Interesting pattern!


Wow, I thought you were just an idiot who was talking out of his ass, but it turns out you're an asshole too.
...

Also, if you aspire to be a public defender, good luck equating school ranking with intelligence and waving your T1 diploma in everyone's face. I can tell you from experience that PDs really value elitism and the practice of making inferences about people based upon their backgrounds.


+1. Seriously, holy shit is the cognitive dissonance strong with that guy. Makes me wonder if he isn't a troll. As a "T-10 student" going into public defense... the very last thing I have ever dreamed of doing is waiving my school name at people as if it somehow qualifies me for anything to do with public defense. All of the PD's I know are the most humble people I've ever met. If they weren't humble before they started their work, their work made them humble very fast. If you're smart and privileged enough to get into a top law school, good for you. Most of my friends that are public defenders heard that I'm going to Berkeley and can't believe I'd want to be a PD after graduation. They see the money of a biglaw job opportunity and ask me why in the hell I wouldn't want to do that. Hell, the number one pressure I have to do the firm side of OCI this August is my dad, and he runs an office of public defenders.

It's awesome being able to interview with a PD office and have them not even ask for my transcript, but quite frankly I don't think it's fair to expect that someone will be a better PD applicant just because their JD comes from a brand name. In fact, based on the many PD's I know, the stereotype of the top schools as overly academic is true more often than not. My classmates - and God bless them for being awesome people I am proud to be friends with - are mostly terrified of public speaking. There is a pocket full of us who are into PD work, and we're all for it, but I have to imagine the number of people who can hold their own in court is larger at the less "elite" schools.

Take your T-10 degree and stuff it, Molomloch. You're not shit just because you got into a certain school. Learn how to talk to people without making yourself sound better than everyone in the room. You better know your evidence and be able to win in court, cause a school name doesn't mean dirt compared to proven trial advocacy skills at these "legit" offices.

I disagree with the notion that more "legit" public defender's offices pay more. Yeah, I know that San Francisco pays a lot, but are they really more legitimate than any other office? You have yet to respond to this with anything beyond your imaginative speculation. Have you ever set foot in a PD office? Ever interned in one?


SF is blessed with a progressive cultural pressure that does not exist on such an extreme level almost anywhere else in the country. They have damn good lawyers, but it's because they can afford to pay them highly and discriminate for those skills. They even have a city-wide elected head defender. I don't know of anywhere else in the country where such a thing happens. Fundamentally, Molomloch is right to say that "better" offices are more competitive, but it's because of factors that are largely outside the influence of the office itself. Your office is either lucky enough to be super well funded and in an area attractive to younger people (read: big cities and an unusually attractive suburban area), or it's not.

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Gettingstarted1928
Posts: 407
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Re: Public Defender

Postby Gettingstarted1928 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:56 pm

Tanicius wrote:
Void wrote:
molomloch wrote:Care to back your rudeness up with some ideas? It's interesting that so far the people who have claimed to "disagree with me" have all been from less than stellar law schools. Why is a forum called top law schools flooded with a bunch of TTToilet trolls? Northwestern kid agrees with what I'm saying - T3-Lebowski / Mr. Uconn don't. Interesting pattern!


Wow, I thought you were just an idiot who was talking out of his ass, but it turns out you're an asshole too.
...

Also, if you aspire to be a public defender, good luck equating school ranking with intelligence and waving your T1 diploma in everyone's face. I can tell you from experience that PDs really value elitism and the practice of making inferences about people based upon their backgrounds.


+1. Seriously, holy shit is the cognitive dissonance strong with that guy. Makes me wonder if he isn't a troll. As a "T-10 student" going into public defense... the very last thing I have ever dreamed of doing is waiving my school name at people as if it somehow qualifies me for anything to do with public defense. All of the PD's I know are the most humble people I've ever met. If they weren't humble before they started their work, their work made them humble very fast. If you're smart and privileged enough to get into a top law school, good for you. Most of my friends that are public defenders heard that I'm going to Berkeley and can't believe I'd want to be a PD after graduation. They see the money of a biglaw job opportunity and ask me why in the hell I wouldn't want to do that. Hell, the number one pressure I have to do the firm side of OCI this August is my dad, and he runs an office of public defenders.

It's awesome being able to interview with a PD office and have them not even ask for my transcript, but quite frankly I don't think it's fair to expect that someone will be a better PD applicant just because their JD comes from a brand name. In fact, based on the many PD's I know, the stereotype of the top schools as overly academic is true more often than not. My classmates - and God bless them for being awesome people I am proud to be friends with - are mostly terrified of public speaking. There is a pocket full of us who are into PD work, and we're all for it, but I have to imagine the number of people who can hold their own in court is larger at the less "elite" schools.

Take your T-10 degree and stuff it, Molomloch. You're not shit just because you got into a certain school. Learn how to talk to people without making yourself sound better than everyone in the room. You better know your evidence and be able to win in court, cause a school name doesn't mean dirt compared to proven trial advocacy skills at these "legit" offices.

I disagree with the notion that more "legit" public defender's offices pay more. Yeah, I know that San Francisco pays a lot, but are they really more legitimate than any other office? You have yet to respond to this with anything beyond your imaginative speculation. Have you ever set foot in a PD office? Ever interned in one?


SF is blessed with a progressive cultural pressure that does not exist on such an extreme level almost anywhere else in the country. They have damn good lawyers, but it's because they can afford to pay them highly and discriminate for those skills. They even have a city-wide elected head defender. I don't know of anywhere else in the country where such a thing happens. Fundamentally, Molomloch is right to say that "better" offices are more competitive, but it's because of factors that are largely outside the influence of the office itself. Your office is either lucky enough to be super well funded and in an area attractive to younger people (read: big cities and an unusually attractive suburban area), or it's not.


I agree with everything except the bolded.

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Tanicius
Posts: 2957
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:54 am

Re: Public Defender

Postby Tanicius » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:02 pm

Gettingstarted1928 wrote:
Tanicius wrote:SF is blessed with a progressive cultural pressure that does not exist on such an extreme level almost anywhere else in the country. They have damn good lawyers, but it's because they can afford to pay them highly and discriminate for those skills.


I agree with everything except the bolded.


Payment isn't all of it. The opportunity to live in SF and the encouragingly progressive culture, as well as the office's self-perpetuating reputation of success is huge, but a lot of that wouldn't be possible without funding and other pressures that are largely outside control of the office.

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FlanAl
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Re: Public Defender

Postby FlanAl » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:22 pm

don't most bay area pd's come from elite schools? Berkeley seems to have kind of a stranglehold on opportunities up there.

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Tanicius
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Re: Public Defender

Postby Tanicius » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:31 pm

FlanAl wrote:don't most bay area pd's come from elite schools? Berkeley seems to have kind of a stranglehold on opportunities up there.



Couldn't say. I would have a hard time believing it, though. We don't produce that many PD's - we're talking under a dozen graduates a year most likely. Obviously things are competitive, but there's no way 10 people lock up all the positions. I'll bet Hastings and USF are both very well-represented, and even Golden Gate probably has its fair share of graduates working PD jobs around here. As been said a million times, the folks who will have the best shot are those who can demonstrate dedication and trial ad skills. Connections and maybe to a lesser extent the school might get you the interview, but from then on it's the people you know and the merit of your work (and also luck) that will decide whether you stay.

purr se
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:23 am

Re: Public Defender

Postby purr se » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:15 pm

Tanicius wrote:
Hell, the number one pressure I have to do the firm side of OCI this August is my dad, and he runs an office of public defenders.


You want to give your dad my résumé?! :mrgreen:

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Tanicius
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Re: Public Defender

Postby Tanicius » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:19 pm

Sadly his office hasn't hired for a long, long time. Since 2003 or so.
Last edited by Tanicius on Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

purr se
Posts: 36
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Re: Public Defender

Postby purr se » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:39 pm

I was just joking. :mrgreen:




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