Career advice ADA or PD ?

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maspablo

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Career advice ADA or PD ?

Postby maspablo » Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:16 pm

Have job offer in Northeast suburban county as ADA and another in Florida as a PD ( FL area has double the population) leaning towards Florida PD , (basically cause preference to live) All things being equal , the ADA job is more attractive to me , but Id rather live in FLA +(cost of living)
I feel the ADA job is slighty more attractive and more valuable for my career . specifically training .

question is

am I undervalueing ADA job? The doors that an ADA job will open on my resume vs job as a PD ? have a years experience at a small firm .

again, think ADA is marginallly better than PD , do others agree? ( is it tremendously better ?) trial experience interests me . ( both give trial ex)

future employment opportunities
Last edited by maspablo on Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:46 am, edited 16 times in total.

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jchiles

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Re: job offer DA or PD ??

Postby jchiles » Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:23 pm

I think you'll get trial experience at both and would be better off going to Florida if that's where you'd rather live.

Civilservant

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Re: Career advice ADA or PD ?

Postby Civilservant » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:24 pm

Indigent defense and prosecution attract distinct personalities, choosing one side over the other is a rather important choice. Having lived in both states, the culture is entirely different. If you prefer Florida, then that might make you happier.

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Re: Career advice ADA or PD ?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:27 pm

If you are even remotely considering becoming an ADA - stick with being an ADA.

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Re: Career advice ADA or PD ?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:If you are even remotely considering becoming an ADA - stick with being an ADA.


This is shit advice. Lots of people waffle and go back and forth between offices.

cavalier1138

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Re: Career advice ADA or PD ?

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If you are even remotely considering becoming an ADA - stick with being an ADA.


This is shit advice. Lots of people waffle and go back and forth between offices.


That is not remotely true for PD offices, which generally won't take any applicants with prosecution experience. The zeal required for public defense is way beyond what is asked of prosecutors, and the burnout rate is insanely high. The people who make careers out of public defense are dedicated to a cause, not a career path.

So yeah, if the OP is considering being an ADA, that's the right choice for them.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Career advice ADA or PD ?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:14 am

It is very common, however, for prosecutors to go into criminal defense at some point. So it's not like choosing a prosecutor's job means you have a mindset/personality that makes you unsuited for defense - there are lots of people who want to be part of the criminal justice system, period, and can do BOTH SIDES depending on the circumstances.

It is true that PD offices specifically tend to have a particular attitude and many are unlikely to hire someone who has worked as a prosecutor, which isn't so true the other way around. But I'd say that's a reason *for* someone in this situation to pick PD, to see if that's what they want, because that still leaves the option of going to the ADA later if they so choose, and it will probably be harder to go ADA --> PD.

There is a possibility that the PD office would end up suspicious of someone who had an ADA offer (but I think there are ways to handle this). Actually having applied for a prosecution job, though, and having considered it, doesn't mean you're fundamentally unfit for criminal defense. Most people are probably going to find that one suits them better than the other, but you're not going to be a bad PD just because you also considered the other side of the courtroom.

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elendinel

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Re: Career advice ADA or PD ?

Postby elendinel » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:21 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If you are even remotely considering becoming an ADA - stick with being an ADA.


This is shit advice. Lots of people waffle and go back and forth between offices.


That is not remotely true for PD offices, which generally won't take any applicants with prosecution experience. The zeal required for public defense is way beyond what is asked of prosecutors, and the burnout rate is insanely high. The people who make careers out of public defense are dedicated to a cause, not a career path.

So yeah, if the OP is considering being an ADA, that's the right choice for them.


If anything that sounds like a reason to do the PD job and just try it out, rather than the opposite; if PD doesn't work, the DA's office may still take him/her, but if ADA doesn't work, the PD office sounds like it won't take him/her.

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Re: Career advice ADA or PD ?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:57 am

If you have the offer for both and philosophically indifferent, I would take the PD job. WRT to skills young PDs spend get a lot of time to cross examine, which young ADAs generally do not because every witness is a police witness. PDs also have to deal with clients which is a more tangible skill. Depending on the jurisdiction you might have less cases then an ADA as well, which can allow you to prepare. After three years I would try to switch to prosecution. Prosecutor offices will look favorably on your experience and you will as a mid-level prosecutor focus more on putting cases together, and you can handle more complex cases.

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Re: Career advice ADA or PD ?

Postby Civilservant » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:01 am

I agree that it is easier to go pd>da>pd than the other way around. Being a former prosecutor is typically more attractive to private crim defense firms as well. A lot depends on the culture of the office. Some pd offices are rather austere and can be confused with a da, and others have attorneys who wear their contempt of court stories like a badge of honor.

andythefir

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Re: Career advice ADA or PD ?

Postby andythefir » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:23 am

cavalier1138 wrote:That is not remotely true for PD offices, which generally won't take any applicants with prosecution experience. The zeal required for public defense is way beyond what is asked of prosecutors, and the burnout rate is insanely high. The people who make careers out of public defense are dedicated to a cause, not a career path.

So yeah, if the OP is considering being an ADA, that's the right choice for them.


I have been hired by 2 different DAs offices and interned with a PD office. There are few to no blanket rules that will apply to every DA and PD office. Every DA's office I've worked in has had former PDs in it. One PD in particular got fired from the DAs office, hired on almost immediately by the PD, and is now leaving for the USAO. I don't doubt that some PD offices will screen out all former DAs, but I really doubt most will. The jobs are very similar, and knowing some of the shortcuts each side takes is handy.

As to the OP themselves, DA work is much more legally and practically challenging, while PD work is much more emotionally challenging. DA work means herding police, victims, and jury instructions through clerks who don't care, judges that don't belong on the bench, and supervisors that mostly care about not getting on the news. PD work means going to the jail on a Sunday and having your client insist that he's innocent, then on Monday getting proof he has been lying to you the whole time.

As an employer I would be more likely to hire a former ADA for most legal jobs. If the bottom falls out of an ADA they get fired because their cases fall apart. If the bottom falls out of a PD they can linger for awhile. Being unprepared and ineffective is much harder to measure than getting directed out because you forgot to subpoena the crucial witness.

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Re: Career advice ADA or PD ?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:25 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If you are even remotely considering becoming an ADA - stick with being an ADA.


This is shit advice. Lots of people waffle and go back and forth between offices.


That is not remotely true for PD offices, which generally won't take any applicants with prosecution experience. The zeal required for public defense is way beyond what is asked of prosecutors, and the burnout rate is insanely high. The people who make careers out of public defense are dedicated to a cause, not a career path.

So yeah, if the OP is considering being an ADA, that's the right choice for them.


Again this is shit advice. I've been a prosecutor for 3+ years and know several PDs who interned at both PD offices and DAs offices. You don't have to be a true believer to be a PD.

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Re: Career advice ADA or PD ?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:33 pm

Lol. The above could not be more inaccurate. Unless of course you are a shitty PD.

Sincerely,

A true believing, non-shitty PD

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Career advice ADA or PD ?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Lol. The above could not be more inaccurate. Unless of course you are a shitty PD.

Sincerely,

A true believing, non-shitty PD

I get that there are PDs out there who believe this, but that doesn't make it so. There are absolutely people who do BOTH SIDES and extremely well. If you can't see conceive of being a prosecutor that's great, but it doesn't mean someone who can would be a shitty PD.

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zot1

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Re: Career advice ADA or PD ?

Postby zot1 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:59 am

In SoCal, DAs and PDs go to each other offices all the time. I was told it was rather common practice in OCDA and LADA.

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Re: Career advice ADA or PD ?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Lol. The above could not be more inaccurate. Unless of course you are a shitty PD.

Sincerely,

A true believing, non-shitty PD


I'm not going to get into a pissing contest with you about how my ancedotal evidence is better than yours. That's your opinion and your entitled too it. It's just a very general blanket statement that runs counter to my experience as a prosecutor in 3 different state offices and 2 federal ones (counting internships and clerking interactions).
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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zot1

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Re: Career advice ADA or PD ?

Postby zot1 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:17 pm

Attorneys rarely like opposing counsel.

maspablo

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Career advice

Postby maspablo » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:25 pm

appreciate all the replies . some points , that I didnt think of .

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Re: Career advice ADA or PD ?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:58 pm

I'm sure there are jurisdictions where PDs and prosecutors are more or less two sides of the same coin and there isn't that belief in a cause, hate prosecutors, true believer feeling among PDs.

But where I practice (NYC), that's not the case. The PDs are true believers and someone who could see themselves doing either PD or ADA work would stick out like a sore thumb in the office.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Career advice ADA or PD ?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:32 am

That's fair. I get that there are PD organizations/jurisdictions where a person who could consider being an ADA would stick out/not be welcome. I think that's different from saying they're objectively unfit to be a PD, period.



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