Real Life Prosecutor - Taking Q's

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encore1101
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Re: Real Life Prosecutor - Taking Q's

Postby encore1101 » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:16 pm

MarkinKansasCity wrote:
Kivan wrote:
MarkinKansasCity wrote:Do you ever feel bad prosecuting non-violent drug offenders? I don't think I could handle putting a stoner in jail for being a stoner.


Hell no! I'll tell you why.

#1. Stoners don't go to jail. Despite what you read on the Huffington Post, nobody is sitting in PRISON for simple possession. If you are in prison for weed, then you are a SERIOUS DEALER or you have a HORRIBLE record that has earned you a bed in the DOC.

#2. "Non-violent" is a catch-word that people don't understand. Burglary and Arson are "non-violent" crimes. If you have a criminal history, I really don't care what your motivation/addiction was, you are going to prison for breaking into someone's house.


Dude, I've known quite a few non-violent drug offenders. Weed dealers, stoners, etc. When they get caught, it can make their life hell and cost them tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees and probation shit. Not to mention that having to leave work to go see your PO for a random drug test is not the kind of reliable attendance most employers are looking for.



Obviously, every office, and even every prosecutor within an office, is different in terms of policy, triage, and handling of dispositions. I'm a prosecutor in one of the NYC boroughs, and we generally ACD lower level drug offenses for the first offense, probably the second, and maybe even the third. They're simply not worth the time and attention, especially if the person has a clean record otherwise.

That being said, I don't doubt that there are times when a defendant was doled out a harsher punishment than he deserves, perhaps the result of a overzealous prosecutor, inattentive defense attorney, shitty life circumstances, etc., but I don't believe it's a foregone conclusion that someone who gets caught with a joint is going to get maxed out on punishment every time.

Keep in mind that the trial ADA has limited discretion as to what cases to bring, what plea to offer, etc. In most cases, he can recommend something to his supervisor, but the supervisor has to approve. The supervisor, in turn, has to make sure that what he's doing is consistent with the District Attorney's policy. The District Attorney is an elected official, who needs to walk that fine line of public perception between enforcing the law and not being overzealous.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: Real Life Prosecutor - Taking Q's

Postby TheSpanishMain » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:18 pm

When you say the pay is shitty, how shitty?

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sublime
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Re: Real Life Prosecutor - Taking Q's

Postby sublime » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:22 pm

..

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encore1101
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Re: Real Life Prosecutor - Taking Q's

Postby encore1101 » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:22 pm

BlueLotus wrote:When it comes to hiring, does your office look askance at someone with PD/Innocence Project type experience on their resume?



Bureau Chief at my office's Homicide Trials Bureau is former PD.
One of my fellow co-hires formally interned doing The Innocent Project stuff.

It's all about how you sell yourself. If you were to interview at one of the more 'progressive' offices (i.e. not the stereotypical deep south racist ones), you can talk about how the goals of TIP are actually consistent with the goals of a prosecutor (to convict the guilty and to acquit the innocent).

Anonymous User
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Re: Real Life Prosecutor - Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:26 pm

Thanks for this. How are your exit options? And were you big law competitive pre law school?

You know anyone who prosecutes out of the AGs office? How is their job/pay different?

Jaymore
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Re: Real Life Prosecutor - Taking Q's

Postby Jaymore » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:28 pm

encore1101 wrote:
MarkinKansasCity wrote:
Kivan wrote:
MarkinKansasCity wrote:Do you ever feel bad prosecuting non-violent drug offenders? I don't think I could handle putting a stoner in jail for being a stoner.


Keep in mind that the trial ADA has limited discretion as to what cases to bring, what plea to offer, etc. In most cases, he can recommend something to his supervisor, but the supervisor has to approve. The supervisor, in turn, has to make sure that what he's doing is consistent with the District Attorney's policy. The District Attorney is an elected official, who needs to walk that fine line of public perception between enforcing the law and not being overzealous.


Its a bit different in my experience. I'm a first year prosecutor, and I have free reign over pleas. Charging wise sometimes I ask my supervisor to review the charging document and makes recommendations (only because I'm new - more experienced attorneys skip this step), but ultimately it is up to me.

Not sure if that is the norm or not. I am in a smaller jurisdiction (medium sized city in the PNW).

Jaymore
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Re: Real Life Prosecutor - Taking Q's

Postby Jaymore » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:29 pm

sublime wrote:
TheSpanishMain wrote:When you say the pay is shitty, how shitty?



In Missouri, where I live, starting is $38k with no CoL differential.


67k here.

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seespotrun
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Re: Real Life Prosecutor - Taking Q's

Postby seespotrun » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:43 pm

Are all prosecutors as dense as you? Just wondering whether I should breathe easy getting my second DUI. TYIAPig

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wert3813
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Re: Real Life Prosecutor - Taking Q's

Postby wert3813 » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:44 pm

seespotrun wrote:Are all prosecutors as dense as you? Just wondering whether I should breathe easy getting my second DUI. TYIAPig

This is a joke right? Dude stops by to answer a few questions and just gets destroyed for giving an opinion that would be shared by a majority of people in this country.

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seespotrun
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Re: Real Life Prosecutor - Taking Q's

Postby seespotrun » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:56 pm

wert3813 wrote:
seespotrun wrote:Are all prosecutors as dense as you? Just wondering whether I should breathe easy getting my second DUI. TYIAPig

This is a joke right? Dude stops by to answer a few questions and just gets destroyed for giving an opinion that would be shared by a majority of people in this country.

Ignoring for a moment the fact that, yes, of course my post was meant in jest, I have to ask exactly what opinion OP gave that would be shared by a majority of people in this country?

Jaymore
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Re: Real Life Prosecutor - Taking Q's

Postby Jaymore » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:01 am

seespotrun wrote:
wert3813 wrote:
seespotrun wrote:Are all prosecutors as dense as you? Just wondering whether I should breathe easy getting my second DUI. TYIAPig

This is a joke right? Dude stops by to answer a few questions and just gets destroyed for giving an opinion that would be shared by a majority of people in this country.

Ignoring for a moment the fact that, yes, of course my post was meant in jest, I have to ask exactly what opinion OP gave that would be shared by a majority of people in this country?


There is no need to be a dick and attack other people. This is on the legal employment board. It is a resource for people who want to be employed as prosecutors. So they can know what the job is like. Instead, a bunch of yahoos start bringing in political bullshit and ruin it for everyone.

Marijuana is illegal. Prosecutors prosecute crimes. One of which is possession of marijuana. If you have a problem with that, you probably shouldn't be a prosecutor. So you should kindly fuck off and leave this thread. Pursue other employment opportunities. Go on the sanctimonious douche thread. They always seem to be hiring.

PS: This was "obviously in jest", too. Who the fuck still uses the word "jest" in the twenty-first century? A jester, that's who. i.e. a clown. An ass-clown.

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Re: Real Life Prosecutor - Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:09 am

seespotrun wrote:
wert3813 wrote:
seespotrun wrote:Are all prosecutors as dense as you? Just wondering whether I should breathe easy getting my second DUI. TYIAPig

This is a joke right? Dude stops by to answer a few questions and just gets destroyed for giving an opinion that would be shared by a majority of people in this country.

Ignoring for a moment the fact that, yes, of course my post was meant in jest, I have to ask exactly what opinion OP gave that would be shared by a majority of people in this country?

That non-violent drug offenders should, in many (though he even implied not all) instances, be prosecuted.

Kivan
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Re: Real Life Prosecutor - Taking Q's

Postby Kivan » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:11 am

sublime wrote:For your cases, what is the role of the victim, especially in regard to settlement offers?


The extent that their "input" matters depends on how severe the case is.

If it is a violent case, I really don't care if they come and ask to "drop the charges". I usually tell them (politely) no and then I serve them with a subpoena and tell them that they HAVE to be in court or else the Judge will put them in jail for contempt.

If it is a non-violent/minor case, I'll ask them if they are "OK" with probation or some type of non-trial resolution. Most time they just want restitution (of some sort).

I really don't like allowing victims to dictate how I settle my cases b/c most times victims are dumb and don't understand how they can really screw up a simple case with ridiculous demands.

Kivan
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Re: Real Life Prosecutor - Taking Q's

Postby Kivan » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:15 am

TheSpanishMain wrote:When you say the pay is shitty, how shitty?


Shitty as in there are only 2 types of lifers in my office:

1. Those that were here before the economy crashed and raises STOPPED

2. Those who are married and their spouses make a significant income so our paychecks really don't matter.

My ass falls into neither category.

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seespotrun
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Re: Real Life Prosecutor - Taking Q's

Postby seespotrun » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:15 am

Deep burn.

I'm not a prosecutor, nor would I like to be one. But thanks for unintentionally answering my question.

Pig

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nachosrgood
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Re: Real Life Prosecutor - Taking Q's

Postby nachosrgood » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:17 am

Jaymore wrote: There is no need to be a dick and attack other people. This is on the legal employment board. It is a resource for people who want to be employed as prosecutors. So they can know what the job is like. Instead, a bunch of yahoos start bringing in political bullshit and ruin it for everyone.


+1
OP: Thanks for sticking around through some of the non-sense and helping people who have questions about the careers we're pursuing.

How are your exit options? And were you big law competitive pre law school?

You know anyone who prosecutes out of the AGs office? How is their job/pay different?

+1

Kivan
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Re: Real Life Prosecutor - Taking Q's

Postby Kivan » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for this. How are your exit options? And were you big law competitive pre law school?

You know anyone who prosecutes out of the AGs office? How is their job/pay different?


I got a few classmates who are at the AGs office and our former Appellate lawyer used to work there.

AGs pay is equally shitty.

AGs is actually WORSE because they are in the BIG CITY of our jurisdiction. So imagine SAME PAY - HIGHER COL.

Exit options really depend on you as an individual.

- 1 Co-worker left for AUSA within the jurisdiction.
- Another one left for a firm, hated it, came back, and then left for private practice again. He's doing pretty well for himself.
- Several went to open their own shops.
- Two just recently announced they were leaving for small firms within the city.
- Then you got the ones who either retire or just say, "Fuck it!" and quit just to be stay at home moms.

EDIT: In This Economy, is anybody that ISN'T on Law Review or related to a BIG LAWYER "competitive" for BIGLAW?

Kivan
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Re: Real Life Prosecutor - Taking Q's

Postby Kivan » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:22 am

sublime wrote:
TheSpanishMain wrote:When you say the pay is shitty, how shitty?



In Missouri, where I live, starting is $38k with no CoL differential.



We got a few offices in my State that are similar.

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sublime
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Re: Real Life Prosecutor - Taking Q's

Postby sublime » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:23 am

..

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seespotrun
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Re: Real Life Prosecutor - Taking Q's

Postby seespotrun » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:27 am

sublime wrote:
Kivan wrote:EDIT: In This Economy, is anybody that ISN'T on Law Review or related to a BIG LAWYER "competitive" for BIGLAW?



Yea, like several thousand people each class.

Bro, this thread is for prosecutors. FOH with your facts.

Kivan
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Re: Real Life Prosecutor - Taking Q's

Postby Kivan » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:31 am

sublime wrote:
Kivan wrote:EDIT: In This Economy, is anybody that ISN'T on Law Review or related to a BIG LAWYER "competitive" for BIGLAW?



Yea, like several thousand people each class.


You spelled "several hundred people out of the nearly 40,000 that graduate each year" wrong.

I fixed that for ya.

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Re: Real Life Prosecutor - Taking Q's

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:34 am

Kivan wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for this. How are your exit options? And were you big law competitive pre law school?

You know anyone who prosecutes out of the AGs office? How is their job/pay different?


I got a few classmates who are at the AGs office and our former Appellate lawyer used to work there.

AGs pay is equally shitty.

AGs is actually WORSE because they are in the BIG CITY of our jurisdiction. So imagine SAME PAY - HIGHER COL.

Exit options really depend on you as an individual.

- 1 Co-worker left for AUSA within the jurisdiction.
- Another one left for a firm, hated it, came back, and then left for private practice again. He's doing pretty well for himself.
- Several went to open their own shops.
- Two just recently announced they were leaving for small firms within the city.
- Then you got the ones who either retire or just say, "Fuck it!" and quit just to be stay at home moms.

EDIT: In This Economy, is anybody that ISN'T on Law Review or related to a BIG LAWYER "competitive" for BIGLAW?

In the least dueshey way possible...I'm above median at HYS and really think I'd love being a prosecutor for the long haul (and have knowledge of what that entails) but I'm just trying to figure out if I wake up 5 years in and decide I've had enough of being poor if I've basically closed off the biglaw door. (I know if you make it to the US Atty level making the jump to (or at least back to?) biglaw seems more feasible. If others have experience with this I'd love to hear it. Thanks.

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seespotrun
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Re: Real Life Prosecutor - Taking Q's

Postby seespotrun » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:35 am

Kivan wrote:
sublime wrote:
Kivan wrote:EDIT: In This Economy, is anybody that ISN'T on Law Review or related to a BIG LAWYER "competitive" for BIGLAW?



Yea, like several thousand people each class.


You spelled "several hundred people out of the nearly 40,000 that graduate each year" wrong.

I fixed that for ya
.

Nah

Kivan
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Re: Real Life Prosecutor - Taking Q's

Postby Kivan » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:44 am

Anonymous User wrote:

In the least dueshey way possible...I'm above median at HYS and really think I'd love being a prosecutor for the long haul (and have knowledge of what that entails) but I'm just trying to figure out if I wake up 5 years in and decide I've had enough of being poor if I've basically closed off the biglaw door. (I know if you make it to the US Atty level making the jump to (or at least back to?) biglaw seems more feasible. If others have experience with this I'd love to hear it. Thanks.


We're talking about BIGLAW and not just "law firms" in general.

After 5 years, why would you want to go to BIGLAW to become somebody's highly paid bitch? Nobody in BIGLAW will care about your trial experience b/c the client is paying for the Partner or Senior Associate to go and argue the MSJ. Not the new guy who's spent the past 5 years trying drug and gun cases in Middle City Superior Court.

You've spent 5 yrs controlling your own cases, talking to Judges, negotiating with lawyers, and dealing directly with victims. You won't have any of that experience in BIGLAW.

Then there is the VERY REAL QUESTION of why BIGLAW would want a trial lawyer? You will have to be trained from the start as if you were a First Year. In 3 years when your classmates are up for partnership you'll only be a 3rd year.

Don't sound like a good life plan to me.

Jaymore
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Re: Real Life Prosecutor - Taking Q's

Postby Jaymore » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:48 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Kivan wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for this. How are your exit options? And were you big law competitive pre law school?

You know anyone who prosecutes out of the AGs office? How is their job/pay different?


I got a few classmates who are at the AGs office and our former Appellate lawyer used to work there.

AGs pay is equally shitty.

AGs is actually WORSE because they are in the BIG CITY of our jurisdiction. So imagine SAME PAY - HIGHER COL.

Exit options really depend on you as an individual.

- 1 Co-worker left for AUSA within the jurisdiction.
- Another one left for a firm, hated it, came back, and then left for private practice again. He's doing pretty well for himself.
- Several went to open their own shops.
- Two just recently announced they were leaving for small firms within the city.
- Then you got the ones who either retire or just say, "Fuck it!" and quit just to be stay at home moms.

EDIT: In This Economy, is anybody that ISN'T on Law Review or related to a BIG LAWYER "competitive" for BIGLAW?

In the least dueshey way possible...I'm above median at HYS and really think I'd love being a prosecutor for the long haul (and have knowledge of what that entails) but I'm just trying to figure out if I wake up 5 years in and decide I've had enough of being poor if I've basically closed off the biglaw door. (I know if you make it to the US Atty level making the jump to (or at least back to?) biglaw seems more feasible. If others have experience with this I'd love to hear it. Thanks.


I'm a prosecutor and don't think of myself as poor. I feel rich. I have beer in the fridge, my rent is paid, my bills are paid, I drive a decent car (Toyota Camry) and I have discretionary money left over for vacations, big screen TVs, etc. I grew up poor, so maybe its different for me.

Not trying to get on a high horse or be sanctimonious here, but chasing money won't get you anywhere. I think that is where we lawyers get our rep for being depressed and hating our jobs - we chase money and prestige over happiness. Keep it simple, pick work you like to do, and do it.
Last edited by Jaymore on Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:08 am, edited 1 time in total.




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