Mock-Trial Champ... Portable DA Opportunities??

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Rocío
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Re: Mock-Trial Champ... Portable DA Opportunities??

Postby Rocío » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:51 pm

iShotFirst wrote:At the minimum, these accomplishments can put you ahead of other applicants, so I dont think they are anything to scoff at. Actual internship/externship in a DA's office will likely trump it, however.

I think this question really depends on the office. I have had several DA interviews, and I had two that specifically asked me about mock trial, why didnt you do it etc. Other offices didnt care when they saw my other experiences, including working in a DA's office.

But the ones that were really interested discounted my work experience because I hadn't done any trials at that point in time, and saw Mock Trial as legitimate, honest-to-goodness trial experience.

Of course, the attitude towards this and interview experiences in offices can vary wildly. I never had any question like that Miami crossexam question in the Miami interview, it was all hypos.


That cross question came up in interviews with the Miami PD, not DA office. But prosecutor interviews can often also be "hostile" interviews which put you on the spot to simulate a cross, opening, or closing on the spot.

jml8756
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Re: Mock-Trial Champ... Portable DA Opportunities??

Postby jml8756 » Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:When I graduate, I'll have 1 year at a local DA's office with several trials under my belt, 1 1/2 years of law school trial team experience, with two external mock trial competition wins, and six months at the US Attorneys Office doing legal research and writing... Grades are average. School is T1. 3L.


The thing is, you've pretty much just described the resume of almost everyone applying for these jobs. For a lot of DA's offices what sets applicants apart is if they interned for that particular office and have their supervisors going to bat for them. It's one thing to tell your interviewer that you're great at trials. It's another thing to have that interviewer's friends and colleagues tell them for you. Perhaps you spent too much time practicing for mock trial and not enough time strategically connecting yourself with the places you want to work.

That said, if you've won two national championships that's nothing to sneeze at. (Two regional competitions, not as much). That combined with the DA internship at the other office might get you a glance depending on where you want to go. Average grades and T1 aren't doing you any favors though, especially if your T1 is out of state.

Anonymous User wrote:Anonymous cuz I post here and I'm an awkward and shitty braggart.


Just to throw this out there, being likeable in front of a jury is huge, and it's something that mock trials don't really measure. So if your interviewers don't get a likeable vibe from you, none of your credentials will matter. Something to keep in mind.

Anonymous User
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Re: Mock-Trial Champ... Portable DA Opportunities??

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:35 am

jml8756 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:When I graduate, I'll have 1 year at a local DA's office with several trials under my belt, 1 1/2 years of law school trial team experience, with two external mock trial competition wins, and six months at the US Attorneys Office doing legal research and writing... Grades are average. School is T1. 3L.


The thing is, you've pretty much just described the resume of almost everyone applying for these jobs. For a lot of DA's offices what sets applicants apart is if they interned for that particular office and have their supervisors going to bat for them. It's one thing to tell your interviewer that you're great at trials. It's another thing to have that interviewer's friends and colleagues tell them for you. Perhaps you spent too much time practicing for mock trial and not enough time strategically connecting yourself with the places you want to work.

That said, if you've won two national championships that's nothing to sneeze at. (Two regional competitions, not as much). That combined with the DA internship at the other office might get you a glance depending on where you want to go. Average grades and T1 aren't doing you any favors though, especially if your T1 is out of state.

Anonymous User wrote:Anonymous cuz I post here and I'm an awkward and shitty braggart.


Just to throw this out there, being likeable in front of a jury is huge, and it's something that mock trials don't really measure. So if your interviewers don't get a likeable vibe from you, none of your credentials will matter. Something to keep in mind.


This is my third post in this thread, but to further build on what the other anon just said. I cannot even being to describe to you how fucking difficult voir dire is and how mock trial means dick when it comes to this particular phase of a trial. It might be the most important part of a trial, and if my memory from my mock trial days are correct, you have no experience doing it. If you come off like a braggart dick in voir dire, you've lost the jury and most likely your jury unless you have beat you over the head guilty facts.

jddt19
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Re: Mock-Trial Champ... Portable DA Opportunities??

Postby jddt19 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:55 pm

I was an Assistant State's Attorney for three years- did 17 juries and well over 150 bench trials. Cut my teeth in traffic/ DUI. I also coached a mock trial team and helped judge competitions. Mock trial and actually being line prosecutor have very little in common, at least in my experience. With mock trial, you have a limited universe and time to prepare.

In real life, you spend all morning doing pre-trial hearings and moving cases. Over lunch, you review the 7 bench trials you have set for the afternoon while trying to respond to emails/ messages. Then, you go down and three benches are nolled b/c the complaining witness failed to show (and you're going to have to re-file and file a rule on one witness b/c the def needs to stop beating women), three others plead at the last second (two of which are solid pleas, the other a fire sale for time served b/c you just want the thing off the docket) and then you sit down and actually try the last one as you re-read the police report and try to remember if this is the guy who shoplifted at Wal-Mart or spit on his sister.

If you are my intern/ interviewee, and you tell me you're better then the 'run of the mill' PD/ prosecutor because you did/ won mock trial, then I know I'm not going to want you as a co-worker.

jitsrenzo
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Re: Mock-Trial Champ... Portable DA Opportunities??

Postby jitsrenzo » Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:50 pm

but he is a CHAMPION. 2X NATIONAL CHAMP! Y'ALL just jelly you're not portably talented
<- guy who's done mock trial since middle school and doesn't think it means that much

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stillwater
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Re: Mock-Trial Champ... Portable DA Opportunities??

Postby stillwater » Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:56 pm

yea, OP sounds like a loser. i liked the 2nd post. mock trial=batting cage.

kenji
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Re: Mock-Trial Champ... Portable DA Opportunities??

Postby kenji » Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:17 pm

Everyone just trying to bring this guy down. I don't get people sometimes, everyone's just jealous or something.

He has both real trial experience and mock trial experience. Frankly, he's doing everything right. He's just telling you his qualifications and you don't like it or something. These responses have been fucking pathetic.

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Rocío
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Re: Mock-Trial Champ... Portable DA Opportunities??

Postby Rocío » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:43 pm

kenji wrote:Everyone just trying to bring this guy down. I don't get people sometimes, everyone's just jealous or something.

He has both real trial experience and mock trial experience. Frankly, he's doing everything right. He's just telling you his qualifications and you don't like it or something. These responses have been fucking pathetic.


I think both OP and some people responding have been antagonistic and defensive at times. That being said, I think there is some good advice. OP has some good experience, but if he says "I'm better than the run-of-the-mill public defender or prosecutor" during his interviews, that is going to backfire, hard. It's better that he hears some harsh feedback first from those of us who are actually public defenders and prosecutors before he interviews, so that he sees how his pitch will play.

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Re: Mock-Trial Champ... Portable DA Opportunities??

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:51 pm

kenji wrote:Everyone just trying to bring this guy down. I don't get people sometimes, everyone's just jealous or something.

He has both real trial experience and mock trial experience. Frankly, he's doing everything right. He's just telling you his qualifications and you don't like it or something. These responses have been fucking pathetic.


I'm currently working as a prosecutor. I had mock trial experience and real trial experience. The point that I along with several other working professionals have made is that his mock trial experience means little to nothing when it comes to the stuff we do on a daily basis, and that while it's impressive it doesn't mean anywhere near as much as he thinks.

When I was trying cases as an intern I had a super small case load, and had plenty of time to do research, plan, and write everything out. I could call witnesses and go over everything with them. I didn't have to file work requests or do any of the day to day shit that takes up most of my day.

Let me tell you about my day as a current prosecutor.
Right now I have about 300 open cases to deal with.
7:00 AM- 8:30:Get to work and try and work on that giant stack of cases.
8:30-?? Go to court and go through the docket. While in court I'm dismissing cases left and right because my damn witnesses don't show up.
And then if something goes to trial (lol at that happening) I spend the rest of my day in trial putting off the rest of my work
12:00- 1:00 Attempt to eat lunch, while fielding phone calls from defense lawyers and and
1:00-?? Work on those 300 cases I have sitting in my office, prepare for the arraignment/motion calendar that will suck up all my time tomorrow, attempt to get a hold of witnesses and explain to them that they need to come to court, spend an hour on the phone with a victim who wants to know why I can't put someone in prison for 10 years for a second degree misdemeanor, spend another hour on the phone talking to a defense attorney about how his client who has 100 prior convictions is really a good guy but has fallen on hard times, spend another hour calling defense lawyers trying to get them to take pleas so, I can lessen the clusterfuck in court when these cases go to trial.

If I'm lucky I get to leave the office around 7-8 PM. It's Sunday and I was at my office for about 10 hours today just playing catch up on all that damn paperwork I couldn't do during the week.

Now while the OP is right to be proud of his achievements. You can see from my day, and I think every actual lawyer in this thread would agree the shit you do in mock trial has precisely dick to do with the day to day grind of being a prosecutor. That's why a lot of us are coming off as irked at his comments, and why interviewers and co-workers would likely dislike him almost immediately if there is any hint of the personality that was displayed in the OP. I'm not saying mock trial is easy or that his accomplishments are worthless, but there is a huge difference between getting a Packet full of witness statements, having a law student as your witness, and a ton of time to prepare as opposed to maybe 5 minutes to review an arrest form and ask the officer if they bought the evidence.

beardown_tho
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Re: Mock-Trial Champ... Portable DA Opportunities??

Postby beardown_tho » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:01 am

anon168 wrote:Second, misdemeanor DUI trials aren't really trials. I've seen enough of them and have had several friends who were city prosecutors handle DUI "trials" to know basically they're glorified detention hearings, if that. Facts aren't really in dispute, you have one witness, usu. the cop, and the breathalyzer sample.


Weird. I would disagree with basically everything in here, but I'm in a state where all DUI trials are jury trials.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Mock-Trial Champ... Portable DA Opportunities??

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:09 pm

stillwater wrote:yea, OP sounds like a loser. i liked the 2nd post. mock trial=batting cage.


A loser who has the people skills to work at DA offices and win mock-trial tourneys. This isn't exactly legal research in the basement of a law firm. The irony of this thread is someone with people skills asked for advice on whether his/her people skills would translate into portability, and a bunch of people with no people skills shat on him/her. If OP had indicated he/she would be an obnoxious, braggart in an interview/networking setting, then of course this would be different.

Jeremyl
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Re: Mock-Trial Champ... Portable DA Opportunities??

Postby Jeremyl » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
stillwater wrote:yea, OP sounds like a loser. i liked the 2nd post. mock trial=batting cage.


A loser who has the people skills to work at DA offices and win mock-trial tourneys. This isn't exactly legal research in the basement of a law firm. The irony of this thread is someone with people skills asked for advice on whether his/her people skills would translate into portability, and a bunch of people with no people skills shat on him/her. If OP had indicated he/she would be an obnoxious, braggart in an interview/networking setting, then of course this would be different.


This is obviously the OP

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stillwater
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Re: Mock-Trial Champ... Portable DA Opportunities??

Postby stillwater » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:38 pm

Jeremyl wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
stillwater wrote:yea, OP sounds like a loser. i liked the 2nd post. mock trial=batting cage.


A loser who has the people skills to work at DA offices and win mock-trial tourneys. This isn't exactly legal research in the basement of a law firm. The irony of this thread is someone with people skills asked for advice on whether his/her people skills would translate into portability, and a bunch of people with no people skills shat on him/her. If OP had indicated he/she would be an obnoxious, braggart in an interview/networking setting, then of course this would be different.


This is obviously the OP


A person with people skills wouldn't come onto TLS looking for advice.

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Re: Mock-Trial Champ... Portable DA Opportunities??

Postby dailygrind » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
stillwater wrote:yea, OP sounds like a loser. i liked the 2nd post. mock trial=batting cage.


A loser who has the people skills to work at DA offices and win mock-trial tourneys. This isn't exactly legal research in the basement of a law firm. The irony of this thread is someone with people skills asked for advice on whether his/her people skills would translate into portability, and a bunch of people with no people skills shat on him/her. If OP had indicated he/she would be an obnoxious, braggart in an interview/networking setting, then of course this would be different.


viewtopic.php?f=23&t=170603

dreakol
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Re: Mock-Trial Champ... Portable DA Opportunities??

Postby dreakol » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:30 pm

quick question: i have done/currently doing criminal trial ad/mock trial, 1L DA internship, core criminal law/litigation classes and all that good stuff. during interviews, i try to bring this all up and mention that i'm doing this to become as prepared as possible come day 1 on the job.

is that off-putting? this thread got me thinking that it sort of comes off like im saying ill be a better attorney because of this stuff.

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Rocío
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Re: Mock-Trial Champ... Portable DA Opportunities??

Postby Rocío » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:26 pm

dreakol wrote:quick question: i have done/currently doing criminal trial ad/mock trial, 1L DA internship, core criminal law/litigation classes and all that good stuff. during interviews, i try to bring this all up and mention that i'm doing this to become as prepared as possible come day 1 on the job.

is that off-putting? this thread got me thinking that it sort of comes off like im saying ill be a better attorney because of this stuff.



It is not off-putting to discuss your relevant experience, including internships, classes, criminal clinic, etc. The only thing some of us were criticizing/cautioning OP about was where OP was comparing his skills to practicing DAs/PDs, and claiming that he was superior to run-of-the-mill DAs/PDs. Interviews of course involve a lot of bragging, but the key is that you don't want to piss off the people interviewing you, or oversell your experience.

jddt19
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Re: Mock-Trial Champ... Portable DA Opportunities??

Postby jddt19 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:13 am

Would completely agree with that. Whether it's interns or interviewees, I want to know about their experience. I want to know what you've done so that I can give you appropriate work and to see how interested you are in being a prosecutor. And, I'm probably going to ask you about trials you watch- what arguments made sense, did you believe a witness, did that visual aid help describe the situation? I'm still a young attorney and your feedback helps me get better.

If, in that context, you tell me that you thought I missed a point on my cross or defense counsel's direct was disorganized and directionless- then that's a good thing. I'd certainly rather hear it from you then my boss. But, if you tell me the PD is a terrible lawyer b/c she lost a case with bad facts and an unreasonable client (which did happen), then I'm going to tell the boss we don't need you. The PD and I have done hundreds of cases together, and I know she's competent. Acting like your mock trial/ intern experience gives you the ability to judge the folks who actually do this for real is arrogant and self-defeating.

And, if you just shut up and we do become colleagues, then I'll be happy to tell you how much of an idiot I think a certain defense counsel is- you can't complain like that until you join the fraternity :).

beardown_tho
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Re: Mock-Trial Champ... Portable DA Opportunities??

Postby beardown_tho » Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:51 am

dreakol wrote:quick question: i have done/currently doing criminal trial ad/mock trial, 1L DA internship, core criminal law/litigation classes and all that good stuff. during interviews, i try to bring this all up and mention that i'm doing this to become as prepared as possible come day 1 on the job.

is that off-putting? this thread got me thinking that it sort of comes off like im saying ill be a better attorney because of this stuff.


no way

In fact, the way you worded it is really good: "you're doing this to become as prepared as possible come day 1 on the job." You're not saying that you're 100% prepared, and you're not saying you put current DAs to shame, but you're saying that you're trying your best to prepare yourself.

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Scotusnerd
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Re: Mock-Trial Champ... Portable DA Opportunities??

Postby Scotusnerd » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:57 pm

Just wanted to tag this thread. There's some great, real-world experience comments in amongst the flames.

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iShotFirst
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Re: Mock-Trial Champ... Portable DA Opportunities??

Postby iShotFirst » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:29 pm

beardown_tho wrote:
dreakol wrote:quick question: i have done/currently doing criminal trial ad/mock trial, 1L DA internship, core criminal law/litigation classes and all that good stuff. during interviews, i try to bring this all up and mention that i'm doing this to become as prepared as possible come day 1 on the job.

is that off-putting? this thread got me thinking that it sort of comes off like im saying ill be a better attorney because of this stuff.


no way

In fact, the way you worded it is really good: "you're doing this to become as prepared as possible come day 1 on the job." You're not saying that you're 100% prepared, and you're not saying you put current DAs to shame, but you're saying that you're trying your best to prepare yourself.


+1

My clinic professor/former DA always says that as a DA, what he looked for in hires was "what have they done in law school to prepare themselves for this job"




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