District Attorney Offices 2017

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Sprout

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Re: District Attorney Offices 2017

Postby Sprout » Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:10 am

Anonymous User wrote:How are the California appliers doing? I just finished Santa Barbara's case examination question, and have an interview with Stanislaus this week.

What type of questions should I expect during the interview?

be ready for the obvious, why DA office, why here, etc. They will also likely give you a hypo with a fact pattern and tell you what the norm is and ask you what to ask the judge, or something similar. My go-to's are protecting the community, parole violation (if applicable) etc. Find some circumstance if given such a hypo that makes this different or stand out and use all the advocacy (confidence imo) you've got. Gl!
Last edited by Sprout on Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: District Attorney Offices 2017

Postby Sprout » Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:12 am

stealthgunner wrote:
fauxpsych wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hey, I'm really interested in becoming an assistant district attorney. It would be my dream first job. I am wondering if you could offer some window as to what I'd need (grade wise, experience wise, etc) to get hired.

FYI I'm a 2L at a T20 regional with a B average. I worked at the AG's office for like 6 months. Could you give some advice on what I should do from now on?

Since my school is regional, I was wondering if I should only apply to DA offices in state or should I feel comfortable branching out to other states I'm interested in?

Thanks!


I can only really speak to the NYC offices. They hire from all over the country, at all "tiers".

The most important piece of advice I can give to those looking to become prosecutors is to spend every semester interning somewhere. I interned at places straight through from 1L summer until I got a job offer at the end of 3L fall. It was my primary concern in registering for classes/scheduling. It can be at PD offices, DA offices, or for judges. Just anything where you work with criminal law is sufficient for prosecutor offices. They really want to see commitment to working in Crim. Law.

GPA does not really matter after you get your first screener. Some offices will have a cut-off, but it will be pretty low (like 3.0 or top half) and not strictly enforced.

In what I have seen among my classmates, worthwhile experience that demonstrates commitment to criminal practice and gov't service trumps GPA every single time. Personally my GPA was a dumpster fire when I started applying, but I had great internships, references, and tangible work products (e.g. a winning motion) that I could talk about in interviews. I know for a fact I had a lower GPA than other applicants from my law school (Ranked >100) class that struck out at these offices. I've heard similar stories from other ADAs about their GPAs.

However, there are still classes where it looks good if you do well. Offices look at Evidence primarily, then Crim Pro, then Crim Law. Do moot court or trial team if you can. If your school has a trial advocacy seminar, you better register for it.



What office are you at?
I think it would be very helpful to know whether its Queens, Bronx, Manhattan, or Brooklyn. Isn't Manhattan pretty prestigious?

bolded. can we know this pls?

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Re: District Attorney Offices 2017

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:26 am

Has anyone heard from Manhattan? I submitted an app in early August, but no word yet. Based on last year's thread it would appear they start organizing first round interviews this week.

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Re: District Attorney Offices 2017

Postby encore1101 » Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:Also as an unrelated question, do people ever move between offices (e.g., move from Bronx DA to Manhattan DA, etc.)?



NYC offices ask you to commit to for 3 years, and each is aware that the other boroughs have the same policy. Unless you can show some really, really, really, really good reason why you'd want to transfer from one borough to another, one office won't poach another office's ADA before the 3 year commitment expires.

After that, people definitely move from one office to another.

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Re: District Attorney Offices 2017

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:[
Anonymous User wrote:What do you do if you're one of those unfortunate saps who realizes halfway through 2L summer that they might want to go an ADA route after all?


It depends on where you are at, if you are PD, it's not as big of a deal. You have a demonstrated commitment to crim law.

If you are at a civil firm or other govt agency, you are in for an uphill battle because you are directly competing against people who have had a sustained and demonstrated interest in the field. Considering screeners for the big offices start now, a clinic (or 3L fall internship) might be too late to get your foot in the door. EDIT BECAUSE I SUBMITTED INSTEAD OF PREVIEWING: You should still apply, but know that you have to spin a great pitch for yourself.


I mean, I get it'll be an uphill battle; my question is more about concrete things I can do to demonstrate an interest in the field, or things I can say on top of just explaining why I want to make the switch and why it took a bit longer than it should have to realize that.

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Re: District Attorney Offices 2017

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2016 11:07 am

If you are at a firm now, do your best to still get an offer (I have no idea what the timing of these things are). If they see the firm on your resume, they will ask about it. Walking away from nearly triple an ADA's salary (in NYC) sends a strong message.

See if you can reach out to alumni from your school who can tell you about the office/hiring process. They'll want to see that you're going into this with eyes wide open, not based on some idealized idea of what it's like to be an ADA

(That's good universal advice actually; if you haven't worked at an office, see if you can talk to someone who does. Bonus points if it's someone who has left recently - I got some great candid advice that really helped when I was deciding)

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Re: District Attorney Offices 2017

Postby fauxpsych » Wed Aug 24, 2016 11:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:I mean, I get it'll be an uphill battle; my question is more about concrete things I can do to demonstrate an interest in the field, or things I can say on top of just explaining why I want to make the switch and why it took a bit longer than it should have to realize that.


Once again just talking about NYC here.

There really isn't a magic bullet in that regard so you wont really get too much help without more info that may be too personalized to share.

Knowing a few classmates who were in similar positions as you last year, their biggest hurdle was getting a screener for some offices. That being said, NYC offices do still hire people like yourself who have changed their minds from private civil to crim. You have to craft a really good "theory of the case" for yourself and advocate the hell out of it in a cover letter. It sucks because they are accepting applications now so you if you haven't taken classes like trial ad or evidence, you can only talk about how your registration shows commitment. If you get the interview you're just going hammer home that story (and will likely get shelled for it, but that's a different story, everyone does).


Anonymous User wrote:Walking away from nearly triple an ADA's salary (in NYC) sends a strong message.


This I disagree with. Without context, it just looks like another pull factor for the applicant, i.e. this applicant is just going to jump ship to a better paying job as soon as it gets difficult. This is why you really need to get a good "story" to tell.

Anonymous User wrote:See if you can reach out to alumni from your school who can tell you about the office/hiring process. They'll want to see that you're going into this with eyes wide open, not based on some idealized idea of what it's like to be an ADA

(That's good universal advice actually; if you haven't worked at an office, see if you can talk to someone who does. Bonus points if it's someone who has left recently - I got some great candid advice that really helped when I was deciding)


This I agree with. Your career office and professors likely won't have a clue. I found that having a network of people already in the offices (that I could get along with, grab a beer with or whatever) was invaluable.

I would also try to to get an internship 3L fall as some NYC offices don't finish their hiring until the end of Spring and it can only help you.

Sprout wrote:
stealthgunner wrote:

What office are you at?
I think it would be very helpful to know whether its Queens, Bronx, Manhattan, or Brooklyn. Isn't Manhattan pretty prestigious?

bolded. can we know this pls?


I guess really no point in hiding it as some TLS snooping will tell you that it's the boogie down.

IMHO if you are serious about criminal work (either side), prestige shouldn't matter, especially within the NYC offices (OK, Staten Island doesn't count). You shouldn't want the specific office so bad, you should want the opportunity any of these offices can give you.

So I was talking about a "story" or "theory of the case" for applicants above, here was (a part of) mine:

I went through law school, internships, and into every interview (even my final) with the expectation (and overtly stating) that if i didn't get an offer pre-bar I would be mass mailing every other NYS County until I received an offer. I had actually already reached out to the larger post-bar offices (think Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany) by 2L summer expressing my interest and (speculative) upstate ties. It's clearly anecdotal, but I think that level of demonstrated commitment helped me just as much as my ability to articulate it in an interview and cover letter (it also helped that my resume by this time screamed prosecution). Compared to my classmates, my personal hiring cycle was really quick and I had an offer in hand by December (it still felt like it took forever).

Clearly your "story" will be different, but it's definitely something you should already be thinking about.

stealthgunner wrote:Isn't Manhattan pretty prestigious?


Lol, aren't you working there this fall? Looking at your post hx, it looked like the only office you cared about. You tell me.

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Re: District Attorney Offices 2017

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:44 pm

fauxpsych wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Walking away from nearly triple an ADA's salary (in NYC) sends a strong message.


This I disagree with. Without context, it just looks like another pull factor for the applicant, i.e. this applicant is just going to jump ship to a better paying job as soon as it gets difficult. This is why you really need to get a good "story" to tell.



OP here - I know people who were hired at NYC offices after 2L firm summers, so that was coming from them.

Purely anecdotal, but it makes sense. The firm is already on your resume (and if it's not there, they'll ask what you did 2L summer), you already look flakey/uncommitted to prosecution. Walking away from the money helps to demonstrate that you actually are serious about this.

If anything - it shows you already had the opportunity to jump ship for a higher paying job and you didn't. Don't be stupid about it if you need a back-up option. I have no idea how firm offers work, but keep in mind NYC offices are hiring at least through March (if not longer last year?), so if you're not going to be able to keep it open that long anyway...

But yes, you need a good why you want to be a prosecutor story. Everyone does - it was the first question of every single NYC interview (Including fourth rounds) It's really going to be the most important thing if you're applying with a lack of experience.

Obviously that answer can't be "I walked away from my firm offer, so here I am." OP asked what he can do besides having a good answer.

Edited because typos. I also do want to second that you should want to be an ADA, period. Offices will ask you where else you're applying and will give some major side eye if it's only like DANY/Brooklyn.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: District Attorney Offices 2017

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Has anyone heard from Manhattan? I submitted an app in early August, but no word yet. Based on last year's thread it would appear they start organizing first round interviews this week.


How f**ked am I, in terms of getting into at least one of the classes, if my school's OCI program is a second-round interview program and it looks like most of the offices haven't started scheduling interviews for my school yet? Should I send in my app to the offices directly as well?

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Re: District Attorney Offices 2017

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Has anyone heard from Manhattan? I submitted an app in early August, but no word yet. Based on last year's thread it would appear they start organizing first round interviews this week.


How f**ked am I, in terms of getting into at least one of the classes, if my school's OCI program is a second-round interview program and it looks like most of the offices haven't started scheduling interviews for my school yet? Should I send in my app to the offices directly as well?


The common wisdom is to apply as soon as reasonably possible given your situation - and if your school does OCI, you apply through there too. Career counselors will tell you it shows interest. Idk if I buy it, but I do it anyway.

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Re: District Attorney Offices 2017

Postby fauxpsych » Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Has anyone heard from Manhattan? I submitted an app in early August, but no word yet. Based on last year's thread it would appear they start organizing first round interviews this week.


How f**ked am I, in terms of getting into at least one of the classes, if my school's OCI program is a second-round interview program and it looks like most of the offices haven't started scheduling interviews for my school yet? Should I send in my app to the offices directly as well?


Don't just rely on oci. Apply directly too.

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Re: District Attorney Offices 2017

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:51 pm

Does anybody know whether DA offices are required to keep offers open for a certain amount of time? I know that NALP requires that firms keep offers open for 28 days. Was wondering if there is something similar for a DA office?

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Re: District Attorney Offices 2017

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2016 6:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Has anyone heard from Manhattan? I submitted an app in early August, but no word yet. Based on last year's thread it would appear they start organizing first round interviews this week.


How f**ked am I, in terms of getting into at least one of the classes, if my school's OCI program is a second-round interview program and it looks like most of the offices haven't started scheduling interviews for my school yet? Should I send in my app to the offices directly as well?


The common wisdom is to apply as soon as reasonably possible given your situation - and if your school does OCI, you apply through there too. Career counselors will tell you it shows interest. Idk if I buy it, but I do it anyway.


Cool, thanks! My counselors have been completely unhelpful; I don't know what I'd do if this forum didn't exist (seriously).

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Re: District Attorney Offices 2017

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2016 7:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Does anybody know whether DA offices are required to keep offers open for a certain amount of time? I know that NALP requires that firms keep offers open for 28 days. Was wondering if there is something similar for a DA office?


I asked my school's career services last year and was told that there is no requirement.

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Re: District Attorney Offices 2017

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:40 am

I can provide some additional answers to questions here based on personal anecdotal evidence. I attended a tier 2 school in the NYC area and went through the application process last year. I applied to all NYC offices (including PD offices) in early fall. By February I had received 2 offers from NYC DA offices and another offer from an NYC PD office. I start at one of the NYC DA offices next month.

They truly don't care about grades. Some of my classmates with great grades struck out at NYC DA offices. Personally, I had shit grades (like, reallllly shitty). However, I had a lot of criminal defense/civil rights experience. I participated in two of my school's criminal law clinics and spent one summer and a semester at a PD office. I also did mock trial/moot court competitions, took trial ad, and advanced evidence/crim law classes. I did OCI and spent my 2L summer in private practice but turned down the offer to apply for DA/PD jobs. I didn't get an offer from Manhattan, but one of my classmates did. Their grades were not as abysmal as mine, but still bad. Another of my classmates received an offer from an NYC office with average grades and great experience. I also had another classmate with bad grades who got an offer from the Philly DA, but they're from Philly and spent both summers there.

The DA offices mainly want to see: 1) litigation experience and 2) a demonstrated commitment to helping the community. After all, some offices will give you early courtroom experience and ADAs/PDs are notoriously overburdened and underpaid. As such, DA offices want somebody with good litigation skills and a genuine desire for the work. I'd give two general pieces of advice for TLSers seeking to work at a DA's office: 1) Get as much litigation experience as possible. Take trial ad, do mock trial/moot court, etc. Some offices specifically require that you had taken a trial advocacy course before they will even interview you; and 2) Get experience at a DA/PD office during the summer or during the semester. Law school clinics are also great, of course.

Keep in mind that the NYC offices each get thousands of applications. Everybody will have worked at DA/PD offices, done clinics, taken trial ad classes, etc. Therefore, as others in this thread have said, offices also look for genuine interest. Do a lot of research on individual offices. Be ready to talk about specific bureaus in the office that you'd like to work for. I also personally found it helpful to cite specific diversion programs/drug courts/community outreach and specific prosecutorial strategies of the different offices in interviews. If your resume doesn't ooze crim law then your cover letter has to. Do as much research as possible about specific things in the different offices to show them that you have a genuine interest.

Also for each of my 3 offers (1 from the PD office and 2 from DA offices) I was given a week to accept.

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Re: District Attorney Offices 2017

Postby encore1101 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:59 am

^ great post and his/her experiences are very similar to mine (I was hired Fall 2014).

One thing I didn't see emphasized too much in the 2016 thread is that they'll ask you what other offices you've applied to. It seems like the expected answer is that you've applied to at least all five boroughs+Nassau. If there's any missing, they might ask you why you didn't apply. Of course, some interviewers were impressed if you answered that you've applied to many more offices other than NYC+N (i.e. Westchester, Suffolk NY, Suffolk MA, as well).

eta: there's an article in today's NYLJ about how DA Clark (Bronx) is looking to hire more DAs to support her new vertical prosecution practice. This will probably be a mix of laterals and larger incoming class, so people may have a slightly better chance at Bronx.

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Re: District Attorney Offices 2017

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:55 am

And keep in mind that if you do have connections to another area, they may ask you why you're not applying there. I had strong negative feelings about my hometown DA's office and had to absolutely scramble for a diplomatic answer.

Just on the topic of surprising questions - Queens asked me what was something that made me a unique, qualified applicant that wasn't in my application materials.

I had two weeks for NYC, I was early in the cycle though.

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Re: District Attorney Offices 2017

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:51 pm

What do you do if you think you'd have an interest in being an ADA in city A, but it's in a different non-adjacent state for which you probably wouldn't be able to take the bar until the Feb. after graduation, at the earliest? E.g., if I'm in Seattle, and I want to work in a NYDA office, but I plan to take WA bar in July, can I still apply to the NYDA offices, or will they tell me to come back when I've taken the NY bar?

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Re: District Attorney Offices 2017

Postby fauxpsych » Thu Aug 25, 2016 3:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:But yes, you need a good why you want to be a prosecutor story. Everyone does - it was the first question of every single NYC interview (Including fourth rounds) It's really going to be the most important thing if you're applying with a lack of experience.

Obviously that answer can't be "I walked away from my firm offer, so here I am." OP asked what he can do besides having a good answer.

Edited because typos. I also do want to second that you should want to be an ADA, period. Offices will ask you where else you're applying and will give some major side eye if it's only like DANY/Brooklyn.


Yea, I think we are agreeing to agree here.

Anonymous User wrote:Does anybody know whether DA offices are required to keep offers open for a certain amount of time? I know that NALP requires that firms keep offers open for 28 days. Was wondering if there is something similar for a DA office?


Nope, I was offered beginning of December and they wanted me to decide over the weekend. I pushed back and got a extra week. Really seems like they want to try to screw the other offices out of hiring you if you are comparatively behind in the rounds.

Anonymous User wrote:What do you do if you think you'd have an interest in being an ADA in city A, but it's in a different non-adjacent state for which you probably wouldn't be able to take the bar until the Feb. after graduation, at the earliest? E.g., if I'm in Seattle, and I want to work in a NYDA office, but I plan to take WA bar in July, can I still apply to the NYDA offices, or will they tell me to come back when I've taken the NY bar?


It was a condition for my employment that I sit for the July NY State Bar.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: District Attorney Offices 2017

Postby fauxpsych » Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:03 pm

accidental anon above ^

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Re: District Attorney Offices 2017

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:09 pm

How would you guys answer this hypo:

130 lb. Teacher uses minimal force and forces a child's head to the student's table during a "head's down" session when dealing with an unruly class and the student. Student tells 230 lb father, father shoves teacher to the ground. Who do you charge and why?

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Re: District Attorney Offices 2017

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What do you do if you think you'd have an interest in being an ADA in city A, but it's in a different non-adjacent state for which you probably wouldn't be able to take the bar until the Feb. after graduation, at the earliest? E.g., if I'm in Seattle, and I want to work in a NYDA office, but I plan to take WA bar in July, can I still apply to the NYDA offices, or will they tell me to come back when I've taken the NY bar?



If you get hired in a NYC office between Fall 2016-Spring 2017, you will be required to take the July 2017 bar exam.

Unsure how hypothetical you're being, but for whatever it's worth, NY and WA are both universal bar exam states.

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Re: District Attorney Offices 2017

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:44 pm

Does anyone know if any of the NYC DA's Offices give another chance to take the bar exam? (Ex. if you did not pass the July 2017 exam)
Especially for Queens, Manhattan, Nassau or Suffolk?

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Re: District Attorney Offices 2017

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone know if any of the NYC DA's Offices give another chance to take the bar exam? (Ex. if you did not pass the July 2017 exam)
Especially for Queens, Manhattan, Nassau or Suffolk?


Can't speak to Queens or LI, but I know that Manhattan, Bronx, and Brooklyn give you at least one fail.

In the Bronx you have to resign if you fail twice.

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Re: District Attorney Offices 2017

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 25, 2016 11:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:In the Bronx you have to resign if you fail twice.


This was the policy but was not enforced under RTJ. It is unclear what Judge Clark will do if/when ADAs fail the bar.



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