DA chances

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Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

DA chances

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:14 pm

Above median (but might be below after this semester) 3L at a T50 that is the top school in its market (think Houston/Washington/Maryland/Ohio State)

I'm thinking of interning at the local DA's office this next semester and maybe after the bar to try and get a job there. All my experience so far as been at small firms. I have nothing on my resume that shows an interest in criminal law and have only taken one crim law class aside from crim law itself. If I do well while interning there, do I have a realistic shot at getting a job at said DA's office or a smaller office elsewhere (not New Mexico)

andythefir
Posts: 528
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:56 am

Re: DA chances

Postby andythefir » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:30 pm

Looks like my schtick has gotten around.

The rural/urban DA office dynamic holds for most places I've been. If you're only willing to work in a desirable town, 1 the job will be harder to get, 2 you will get less substantive experience, and 3 you will be more subject to political office clearing. In some towns (Boston) you get paid way less, in some (Fort Worth) you get paid way more. On balance my advice is: be willing to go rural. You don't have to go to the mountain west, but in states that crank out more attorneys/population (Michigan, California, Indiana) the odds of the office requiring deep ties to the rural area increases.

As far as whether you will be competitive for a specific office, no one can tell you that unless you ask about a specific office. For some DAs offices, any experience outside a DAs office will be disqualifying. Others will prefer experience on BOTH SIDES of the process. Some offices will care deeply about classes taken/not taken, others won't care at all. Some will functionally require at least 1 summer in the office, others are indifferent. Desirable towns will generally be more difficult to catch on than undesirable towns.

Anonymous User
Posts: 301370
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: DA chances

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:56 pm

Thanks for the input

Do you think if I have the option of working at a small firm in the spring I should do that instead of interning at the DA's office? I don't really mind what I do, I just want to increase my chances of getting a job.

andythefir
Posts: 528
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:56 am

Re: DA chances

Postby andythefir » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for the input

Do you think if I have the option of working at a small firm in the spring I should do that instead of interning at the DA's office? I don't really mind what I do, I just want to increase my chances of getting a job.


If you want to work at a DAs office, then interning anywhere else will hurt your likelihood of getting a job at a DAs office. It may not be fatal, but it won't help.

Anonymous User
Posts: 301370
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: DA chances

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for the input

Do you think if I have the option of working at a small firm in the spring I should do that instead of interning at the DA's office? I don't really mind what I do, I just want to increase my chances of getting a job.


Ask and reaffirm yourself with these two simple questions: (1) Do you really want to be an ADA? (2) IF so, how have you demonstrated sincere interest that shows you want to be a prosecutor?

The experience itself has to be more than taking a mere criminal law class or seminar on your resume to speak of because many other candidates will have tons of previous work experience to elaborate on. While the experience interning at a DA's office would be best and most helpful to show your interest, getting a judicial internship/externship with a judge handling criminal cases or a heavy criminal docket could also be good substantive and practical experience to speak of. As an ADA reviewing your resume for a permanent job, you'd be at a severe disadvantage if your resume contained work experience at ONLY firms.

That's just my two cents speaking from both personal experience and knowing senior ADAs at prestigious offices who conduct individual and panel interviews.




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