1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

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Hyder
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby Hyder » Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:55 pm

9:30-5:30 on a good day? or generally speaking its 930-530 with a few hours extra here and there. I didn't know working hours like that exist these days

kritiosboy
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby kritiosboy » Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:58 pm

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Last edited by kritiosboy on Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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underdawg
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby underdawg » Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:59 pm

hey OP do you mind sending me a PM or e-mail or something so i could ask you stuff about your particular office? greatly appreciated

articulably suspect
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby articulably suspect » Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:14 pm

Hyder wrote:9:30-5:30 on a good day? or generally speaking its 930-530 with a few hours extra here and there. I didn't know working hours like that exist these days


I can't speak for OP and I don't intend to get in his/her way here, but I can speak to my experiences working in a DA's office. The prosecutor's worked 8ish-5ish(standard at this office), the office is open from 8-5. Attorney's worked longer hours when they had big trials or if they were just swamped. In general the hours were 8-5 where I worked and under one of the DA's, people had a lot of flexibility (ie needing to take off time to pickup kids, go to sporting events, etc.). I can tell you that there were countless times when a few of the attorney's and I would leave at 4 to hit happy hour downtown.

lsb
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby lsb » Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:49 pm

ejjones wrote:
Hyder wrote:9:30-5:30 on a good day? or generally speaking its 930-530 with a few hours extra here and there. I didn't know working hours like that exist these days


I can't speak for OP and I don't intend to get in his/her way here, but I can speak to my experiences working in a DA's office. The prosecutor's worked 8ish-5ish(standard at this office), the office is open from 8-5. Attorney's worked longer hours when they had big trials or if they were just swamped. In general the hours were 8-5 where I worked and under one of the DA's, people had a lot of flexibility (ie needing to take off time to pickup kids, go to sporting events, etc.). I can tell you that there were countless times when a few of the attorney's and I would leave at 4 to hit happy hour downtown.


So the ADAs are actually friends and hang out with each other outside of the office?

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jaen78
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby jaen78 » Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:00 am

OP, thanks for taking the time to share your insights with us. Is it at all common for students to go straight to a private sector firm for a few years out of law school, then move to a prosecution position? Or is it hard to get a prosecution job coming from the private world?

Anonymous User
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:02 am

What would you say are the most important things to bring up in a coverletter/interview for a DA's office? What personal qualities do you think the interviewers look for? What do you think got you the job?

articulably suspect
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby articulably suspect » Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:41 am

lsb wrote:
ejjones wrote:
Hyder wrote:9:30-5:30 on a good day? or generally speaking its 930-530 with a few hours extra here and there. I didn't know working hours like that exist these days


I can't speak for OP and I don't intend to get in his/her way here, but I can speak to my experiences working in a DA's office. The prosecutor's worked 8ish-5ish(standard at this office), the office is open from 8-5. Attorney's worked longer hours when they had big trials or if they were just swamped. In general the hours were 8-5 where I worked and under one of the DA's, people had a lot of flexibility (ie needing to take off time to pickup kids, go to sporting events, etc.). I can tell you that there were countless times when a few of the attorney's and I would leave at 4 to hit happy hour downtown.


So the ADAs are actually friends and hang out with each other outside of the office?


Sure, some do. Especially younger ones. People from the office would have parties and a lot of people would show up. Is that surprising. Not that it matters, but they're called Deputy District Attorneys(DDA) here.

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leobowski
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby leobowski » Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:09 am

edit: thanks for not answering my questions
Last edited by leobowski on Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:28 pm

Hyder wrote:9:30-5:30 on a good day? or generally speaking its 930-530 with a few hours extra here and there. I didn't know working hours like that exist these days


Pretty much 9:30-5:30 every day. Obviously if I've got a trial or something else pressing I might get in earlier. I rarely stay later than 5:30 or 6. Once or twice a month I am assigned to night court, where I work 5pm-midnight or 1. I don't come in during the day, however.

Anonymous User
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:32 pm

kritiosboy wrote:I know you said that you just started but could you give us an anecdote of a situation where you felt like you were responsible for some great justice? Whether it's locking a real scumbag up forever or cutting someone you think will reform a deal.


It's very early, but I've already declined several arrests I believed lacked probable cause. I also declined a case this week that was so petty it lacked any merit whatsoever. I've had a couple of really bad guys get held in lieu of bail on misdemeanors, which is a rarity in my jurisdiction. Both were DV cases. Not a real list of achievments, but small things that make a big difference to the people involved.

Anonymous User
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What would you say are the most important things to bring up in a coverletter/interview for a DA's office? What personal qualities do you think the interviewers look for? What do you think got you the job?


It varies by office, but here I think the hiring board looks for people who really understand that the job of an prosecutor is to do justice in each case, and not merely to rack up convictions or pursue certain kinds of crimes or people. Additionally, they look to see if you've done things that suggest you can relate well with different people. A summer busing tables in high school came up in one of my interviews. Fairness, an ability to inspire confidence in people from all walks of life, integrity and passion seem to be things they look for. A lot of it is just luck, too.

Anonymous User
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:29 pm

So the ADAs are actually friends and hang out with each other outside of the office?


Definitely. I usually go out after work 2 or 3 times a week. There's the weekly softball game, happy hours, etc.

Anonymous User
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
So the ADAs are actually friends and hang out with each other outside of the office?


Definitely. I usually go out after work 2 or 3 times a week. There's the weekly softball game, happy hours, etc.


I hope you're still taking questions.

Unfortunately, I was arrested once towards the end of highschool for DUI and possession of marijuana. The ONLY reason I want to go to law school is to become an ADA, and I'm prepared to do anything it takes. Did I completely screw myself or do you think the DA (or whoever does the hiring) will be able to look past this incident? Thank you for the help.

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KaraThrace
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby KaraThrace » Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:18 pm

Are these 9-5 type hours actually common for ADAs? Because the literature I'm finding says district attorneys can expect a crapload of hours?

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casper13
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby casper13 » Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:31 pm

I took a criminology class at my school for UG that was taught by one of the DA chiefs in the local office here and he said one thing he looks for when interviewing applicants is what type of competitive activities they did and what kind of hobbies they have because they look for competitive people to be in court. Just a little bit from what I have heard from local DA. Thanks OP for posting.

articulably suspect
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby articulably suspect » Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:31 pm

KaraThrace wrote:Are these 9-5 type hours actually common for ADAs? Because the literature I'm finding says district attorneys can expect a crapload of hours?


where i worked they usually didn't work past 5ish and arrived at 8, seems pretty common in the region i'm from.

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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:44 pm

Hey OP,

I'm guessing you're working from the Manhattan, Queens, or Brooklyn DA. I'd put money on Manhattan. Do you know anything about the appellate unit you have there? That's what I'm interested in pursuing, particularly with the Manhattan DA.

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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:32 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
So the ADAs are actually friends and hang out with each other outside of the office?


Definitely. I usually go out after work 2 or 3 times a week. There's the weekly softball game, happy hours, etc.


I hope you're still taking questions.

Unfortunately, I was arrested once towards the end of highschool for DUI and possession of marijuana. The ONLY reason I want to go to law school is to become an ADA, and I'm prepared to do anything it takes. Did I completely screw myself or do you think the DA (or whoever does the hiring) will be able to look past this incident? Thank you for the help.


I can't give you a definitive answer one way or the other. I'd imagine they look at these things on a case by case basis, focusing on the level of the infraction, how long ago it happened, and your record since then. I know people who have had small things like minor in posession of alcohol from when they were in college, but haven't met anyone working here who's had a previous DUI (or at least no one who would cop to it).

Anonymous User
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:34 am

KaraThrace wrote:Are these 9-5 type hours actually common for ADAs? Because the literature I'm finding says district attorneys can expect a crapload of hours?


It's like a ghost town by 5:15, 5:30 almost every day. If you have to prep for trial you might stay late, but you can also take it home with you. It's a no face time job.

PublicInterest
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby PublicInterest » Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:15 pm

I can also take some questions. By and large I agree with everything that has been said.

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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:41 pm

What schools position you best to work as an ADA in a big city (NY, Chicago, etc)? For a job like that, does a T14 hold a significant advantage over a top regional school? What would you suggest doing during law school to position yourself for getting hired to a top DA?

If you happen to know, what are some of your colleagues long term goals? Work their way up as a prosecutor, get experience and open up a solo defense practice, etc.

Thank you for taking questions.

PublicInterest
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby PublicInterest » Sat Nov 07, 2009 4:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What schools position you best to work as an ADA in a big city (NY, Chicago, etc)? For a job like that, does a T14 hold a significant advantage over a top regional school? What would you suggest doing during law school to position yourself for getting hired to a top DA?

If you happen to know, what are some of your colleagues long term goals? Work their way up as a prosecutor, get experience and open up a solo defense practice, etc.

Thank you for taking questions.


I think school matters, at least a little bit. They tend to look for smart, motivated people who are committed to public service and are going to be able to persuasively argue in tough circumstances. If you go to Harvard, you can check off the "smart" box, but you've still got to show them everything else. Most urban DAs offices have strong ties to schools in the city, but they will hire from all over the country. If you do well there, particularly in crim/evidence classes, I think any advantage a T14 would give you is minimized.

As for getting hired: Intern, intern, intern. It's the best way to get experience and see if prosecution is really where your heart is set. It also exposes you to different offices and office structures. Some offices have "vertical prosecution" (one ADA per case), and others do "horizontal prosecution" (different ADAs at each level, like arraignment, grand jury, pre-trial, trial). Some break everyone into specialized units (narcotics, domestic vioence), while others have a more generalist approach. This really helps you explain why you want to be an ADA in a certain office, which is critical in getting a job.

Most of my friends also just started here, so no future plans for the moment. People leave for all kinds of places, like USAOs, DOJ, big firms, medium firms, and solo practice. Others go on to be judges, professors, politicians. I think it's a good place to start your career no matter what you want to do because it gives you immediate responsibility and actual trial experience, which is rare outside of criminal practice these days.
Last edited by PublicInterest on Sun Nov 08, 2009 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cla
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby cla » Sun Nov 08, 2009 3:41 pm

What is the hardest part of your job?

What kind of positions can one transition into after working for a few years as a prosecutor? Do you have a plan or are you just seeing where this takes you?

Do you feel that your law school adequately prepared you to work in this area of law?

If you don't mind me asking, how well did you do in school and did your ranking/extras like law review/etc play a big role in landing your job?

Thanks for your time!

colemf
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby colemf » Sun Nov 08, 2009 3:57 pm

Did everyone you knew in law school that went after a ADA job manage to find one?




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