What can a 0L do to end up as a Federal Public Defender?

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
User avatar
Stylnator

Silver
Posts: 503
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:26 pm

What can a 0L do to end up as a Federal Public Defender?

Postby Stylnator » Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:17 pm

That's literally all I've ever wanted, and I am currently applying to law schools right now. My preference is New England area. I've heard that FPD offices don't hire right out of law school. What specifically can I do in law school to make myself more marketable to FPD offices?

Any advice at all would be appreciated!

Anonymous User
Posts: 313563
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What can a 0L do to end up as a Federal Public Defender?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:27 pm

Intern with a fed defender office and then work for a local state PD out of law school. Wait a couple years and hope there's an opening. That's the path the only people I've known who've gotten hired took.

grades??

Silver
Posts: 984
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:55 pm

Re: What can a 0L do to end up as a Federal Public Defender?

Postby grades?? » Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:38 pm

Also know that some PD offices will not hire you if you have ANY prosecutorial experience-like AUSA, etc. I can think of 2 significant PD offices where this is the case. Your best bet in school is just try to do as much PD type work as possible, intern/extern at your local PD, etc.

User avatar
sublime

Diamond
Posts: 17386
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:21 pm

Re: What can a 0L do to end up as a Federal Public Defender?

Postby sublime » Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:47 pm

Legal Employment forum isn't for 0L's. Moved to the Ask a student/grad forum.

User avatar
Stylnator

Silver
Posts: 503
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:26 pm

Re: What can a 0L do to end up as a Federal Public Defender?

Postby Stylnator » Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:52 pm

sublime wrote:Legal Employment forum isn't for 0L's. Moved to the Ask a student/grad forum.



Didn't realize! Thank you!

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse

Diamond
Posts: 29317
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: What can a 0L do to end up as a Federal Public Defender?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:14 pm

grades?? wrote:Also know that some PD offices will not hire you if you have ANY prosecutorial experience-like AUSA, etc. I can think of 2 significant PD offices where this is the case. Your best bet in school is just try to do as much PD type work as possible, intern/extern at your local PD, etc.

Agreed with the above. Innocence Project type of stuff is good, too. Legal Aid can be really good in that you're working with indigent clients, but some of the domestic stuff might raise some red flags to some offices (some places look askance at people who've worked with DV victims, since you'd be on the other side as a PD).

And learn Spanish, if you don't know it already. (Don't know if it's absolutely required in New England, but it is in other places and it's always going to be helpful.)

User avatar
Stylnator

Silver
Posts: 503
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:26 pm

Re: What can a 0L do to end up as a Federal Public Defender?

Postby Stylnator » Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:18 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
grades?? wrote:Also know that some PD offices will not hire you if you have ANY prosecutorial experience-like AUSA, etc. I can think of 2 significant PD offices where this is the case. Your best bet in school is just try to do as much PD type work as possible, intern/extern at your local PD, etc.

Agreed with the above. Innocence Project type of stuff is good, too. Legal Aid can be really good in that you're working with indigent clients, but some of the domestic stuff might raise some red flags to some offices (some places look askance at people who've worked with DV victims, since you'd be on the other side as a PD).

And learn Spanish, if you don't know it already. (Don't know if it's absolutely required in New England, but it is in other places and it's always going to be helpful.)


Already starting spanish right now actually! It would be nice if I could take a class or two in law school but I don't know I'm not sure if schools offer it

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse

Diamond
Posts: 29317
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: What can a 0L do to end up as a Federal Public Defender?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:32 pm

They may not offer it through the law school itself (my law school sometimes offered "Spanish for lawyers," but it presumed a basic level of fluency and was the brainchild of a specific prof so when he wasn't there, it stopped being offered). You can often take a certain number of non-law school classes for credit through the law school, but they're usually expected to be grad classes, so I don't know if you could swing Spanish - but I know people here have talked about taking, for example, Norwegian (I think it was?) and getting credit, so it will depend on the school.

Otherwise if there's an Instituto Cervantes near your law school, they were pretty cheap and I found the classes really good.

cavalier1138

Gold
Posts: 4954
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: What can a 0L do to end up as a Federal Public Defender?

Postby cavalier1138 » Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:30 pm

Even if your school doesn't let you take language classes, if it's a larger university, they likely have a club/group that organizes language practice and exchange. So you might be able to set up a situation where you meet with a native speaker to have coffee/lunch and practice your conversation on a regular basis. And if you pair that with reading the newspaper in Spanish, you'll probably be able to get as fluent as one can get without actually living in a Spanish-speaking country.

GreenEggs

Gold
Posts: 3593
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:55 pm

Re: What can a 0L do to end up as a Federal Public Defender?

Postby GreenEggs » Sat Jan 28, 2017 7:57 pm

Not familiar with the Federal Defender track, but my understanding has been that outside San Diego very few offices hire straight out. Most hire laterals from big law. So go big law first then lateral.
Last edited by GreenEggs on Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse

Diamond
Posts: 29317
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: What can a 0L do to end up as a Federal Public Defender?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:00 pm

DCfilterDC wrote:Not familiar with the Federal Defender track, but my understanding has been that outside San Diego very few offices hire straight out. Most hire laterals from big law. So go big law first then lateral.

My local FPD hires mostly clerks and/or county PDs, actually. So I would imagine it depends on the office. Though I agree people don't usually get hired straight out.

GreenEggs

Gold
Posts: 3593
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:55 pm

Re: What can a 0L do to end up as a Federal Public Defender?

Postby GreenEggs » Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:00 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
DCfilterDC wrote:Not familiar with the Federal Defender track, but my understanding has been that outside San Diego very few offices hire straight out. Most hire laterals from big law. So go big law first then lateral.

My local FPD hires mostly clerks and/or county PDs, actually.


Oh interesting, which office is that?
Last edited by GreenEggs on Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse

Diamond
Posts: 29317
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: What can a 0L do to end up as a Federal Public Defender?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:15 pm

Definitely flyover. It's not New England, so not much help to the OP, of course.



Return to ā€œAsk a Law Student / Graduateā€?

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: magikarp, TUwave and 19 guests