What's it like in a public defender's world?

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LaBarrister
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What's it like in a public defender's world?

Postby LaBarrister » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:11 am

My friend told me he's clerking for the public defender, and I wanted to know what the lifestyle of a public defender was.

I didn't ask him, because he is just a law student, and I know many of you on here are law grads with real experience.

He told me only like five people applied for his position. Does this mean it's "shit law"?

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stillwater
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Re: What's it like in a public defender's world?

Postby stillwater » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:15 am

.
Last edited by stillwater on Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LaBarrister
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Re: What's it like in a public defender's world?

Postby LaBarrister » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:19 am

stillwater wrote:The Barrister:

Public Defenders are overworked and underpaid, servicing ungratefuls.

oh, and shitlaw always LOOMS.

HTH


Eh... sucks.

Thanks for your help.

Now that I think about it, I can imagine hating the people being ungrateful. Sounds like a nasty place. But, hey, someone's gotta do it.

skiingimpy
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Re: What's it like in a public defender's world?

Postby skiingimpy » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:36 am

I absolutely love my job. I work for a system that is statewide, and realistically one of the best in the country, so my views might be a little skewed. But it is truly a great way to go. The money isn't spectacular, but being in a statewide system, and being placed in an extremely low cost area, my girlfriend and I are definitely living in the top 5-10% of incomes in our area. She makes about the same as I do, and frankly we're killing it. It's a 45-50 hour a week job, and if you don't fuck around and stay on top of things, there's little stress and very few evenings or weekends.

I'm a greedy, materialistic motherfucker, but I wouldn't trade this lifestyle/pay/job security combination for anything. While there are clients that are ungrateful, I'd challenge someone to make the case for biglaw clients being grateful. I know I help people, and the vast majority of the time, the client is extremely grateful of the help that I've given them.

If your attitude is 'shitlaw lol!!1zomg' you're going to hate your life and probably end up getting tossed from biglawl after a few years anyway.

It helps if you believe, but at least it's a cause and a job that people can actually give a fuck about.

LaBarrister
Posts: 193
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:20 pm

Re: What's it like in a public defender's world?

Postby LaBarrister » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:29 am

skiingimpy wrote:I absolutely love my job. I work for a system that is statewide, and realistically one of the best in the country, so my views might be a little skewed. But it is truly a great way to go. The money isn't spectacular, but being in a statewide system, and being placed in an extremely low cost area, my girlfriend and I are definitely living in the top 5-10% of incomes in our area. She makes about the same as I do, and frankly we're killing it. It's a 45-50 hour a week job, and if you don't fuck around and stay on top of things, there's little stress and very few evenings or weekends.

I'm a greedy, materialistic motherfucker, but I wouldn't trade this lifestyle/pay/job security combination for anything. While there are clients that are ungrateful, I'd challenge someone to make the case for biglaw clients being grateful. I know I help people, and the vast majority of the time, the client is extremely grateful of the help that I've given them.

If your attitude is 'shitlaw lol!!1zomg' you're going to hate your life and probably end up getting tossed from biglawl after a few years anyway.

It helps if you believe, but at least it's a cause and a job that people can actually give a fuck about.


I can understand everything that you said. But what do you think about your clients? Is that the worst part of your job?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: What's it like in a public defender's world?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:10 am

I think if you go into criminal defense thinking that the clients are the worst part of the job, you're not going to last very long.

(Or, conversely, I think the clients are probably the worst part of a lot of private sector lawyers' jobs, too.)

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cinephile
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Re: What's it like in a public defender's world?

Postby cinephile » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:13 am

That's weird that only 5 people applied for that position, because it's actually really popular. Well, at least many people think they want to be public defenders. I'm not sure how long people actually stay in that position.

onionskin
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Re: What's it like in a public defender's world?

Postby onionskin » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:22 am

So how competitive is it and what are long-term prospects like? Reasonably good job stability compared to biglawl?

What are the routes for progression; how do you get promoted, do you get raises, or do you basically do the same thing for the same pay for ever and ever until a disgruntled client murders you or you kill yourself?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: What's it like in a public defender's world?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:25 am

There's a lot of info in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=155423

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: What's it like in a public defender's world?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:04 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I think if you go into criminal defense thinking that the clients are the worst part of the job, you're not going to last very long.

(Or, conversely, I think the clients are probably the worst part of a lot of private sector lawyers' jobs, too.)

Yeah, I actually can't even imagine why you'd ever want to do public defense unless you specifically wanted to help indigent clients.




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