Public Defender & District Attorney Question

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)

PD/DA positions

School prestige
11
25%
Graduating with as little debt as possible
33
75%
 
Total votes: 44

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Public Defender & District Attorney Question

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:07 am

Dude, all I'm saying is that literally all we know about this person is that they interned for the DA for 5 semesters and hasn't been hired by them. We don't know anything else. You are reading an awful lot into this. Plus, as nice as it is to think the DA should be able to find legal employment for this person, how do you expect them to magically create jobs or convince other strapped agencies/employers to hire someone? I realize it's more reassuring to assume the office is filled with jerks than to assume the economy is really that crappy and government offices's budgets are that strapped/unpredictable/powerless, but I just don't think it's that simple. I'm not saying the DA's office is full of saints, just that it's likely not as black/white as you're suggesting.

(And actually, I don't know if Cali trial judges hire clerks; their appellate courts don't hire term clerks, so they only have career clerks [or, I think, staff attorneys], so there are very very few openings.)

(edited to add that picking up and heading to UNM without ties to New Mexico is a really really bad idea.)

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Public Defender & District Attorney Question

Postby Dr. Dre » Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:09 am

Scotusnerd wrote:
Eav1277, if I were you, I would get the fuck out of California.


and forget that TTTT scholly

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dr123
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Re: Public Defender & District Attorney Question

Postby dr123 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:11 am

Scotusnerd wrote:
ikle wrote:things might be different by the time you're a 3l, but as now, there are basically no DA openings in socal. Have a 3l friend at usc that has 5 semesters (including summers) worth of interning/externing at the LA DA's and still can't get a full time position with them.


What the fuck.

Who the hell would they choose over someone who has that much experience in the office? Maybe everyone they hire has six semesters worth of interning/externing...ok...seriously? You have to know you're gonna be a prosecutor before you even step foot into the law school? What, are they accepting members of the Prosecutorial Douchebag Gunner Society at admitted students day now? It's possible your friend did something wrong, possibly in combination with the fact that someone in that office is a gigantic, pink, studded, smelly dildo.

In any event, that is seriously a dick move to lead someone on for that long. They should have dropped some hints about job market woes or something to give your friend a clue that was coming. If there weren't openings here, the attorneys would definitely let me know, and would likely feel bad. Because, you know, working for free and not getting a job out of it is balls. They couldn't help get them a trial court clerkship or give them good recs to another office or something? What a buncha douchebags!

I've heard a lot of crazy shit about the job market man, but that takes the fucked up, dookie-sprinkled cake. You work for an office for your entire time in law school, spend a shitton of money on schooling, and the office you GIVE YOURSELF AWAY FOR doesn't bother to hire you?


They're probably not hiring anyone (or at least anyone pre-bar). Interning somewhere is not, and has never been, a promise of a job.

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Pumpkin_Pie
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Re: Public Defender & District Attorney Question

Postby Pumpkin_Pie » Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:24 am

If you have to stay in CA, I would graduate with as little debt as possible so you can work for free/low pay while you're trying to get a PD/DA job.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Public Defender & District Attorney Question

Postby Dr. Dre » Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:30 am

Pumpkin_Pie wrote:If you have to stay in CA, I would graduate with as little debt as possible


this. but uci is still a bad choice. even rad lulz says (i think) that OP should go to usc.

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Scotusnerd
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Re: Public Defender & District Attorney Question

Postby Scotusnerd » Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:17 am

I know it's not a promise of hiring you; I never said that it was. But the difference in culture between here and there is so huge it just blows my mind.

Eav117, if you want details and how different it is between where I am and what was just described, feel free to PM me.

I don't buy the ties argument either. Sure, ties are important, but a state with one law school and lots of county DAs is going to have openings for someone who busts their butt. It is certainly not going to be like what you just described in LA. Do you really think that UNM students are going to be dying to get into the Deming's DA office? There's jobs there. They may not be scenic Santa Fe, but sheesh. At least there's jobs!

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Public Defender & District Attorney Question

Postby Dr. Dre » Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:45 am

Scotusnerd wrote:
I don't buy the ties argument either.


ties are very important

rad lulz
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Re: Public Defender & District Attorney Question

Postby rad lulz » Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:32 am

Scotusnerd wrote:I know it's not a promise of hiring you; I never said that it was. But the difference in culture between here and there is so huge it just blows my mind.

Eav117, if you want details and how different it is between where I am and what was just described, feel free to PM me.

I don't buy the ties argument either. Sure, ties are important, but a state with one law school and lots of county DAs is going to have openings for someone who busts their butt. It is certainly not going to be like what you just described in LA. Do you really think that UNM students are going to be dying to get into the Deming's DA office? There's jobs there. They may not be scenic Santa Fe, but sheesh. At least there's jobs!

Thanks for your perspective on how to get a legal job, 0L.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Public Defender & District Attorney Question

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:09 pm

Scotusnerd wrote:I know it's not a promise of hiring you; I never said that it was. But the difference in culture between here and there is so huge it just blows my mind.

Eav117, if you want details and how different it is between where I am and what was just described, feel free to PM me.

I don't buy the ties argument either. Sure, ties are important, but a state with one law school and lots of county DAs is going to have openings for someone who busts their butt. It is certainly not going to be like what you just described in LA. Do you really think that UNM students are going to be dying to get into the Deming's DA office? There's jobs there. They may not be scenic Santa Fe, but sheesh. At least there's jobs!

New Mexico's legal market is very very small and very very insular, and the state isn't exactly rolling in money. Lots of people here who are FROM NM have talked about getting grilled about their ties to NM. And I think UNM students are going to be dying to get jobs, period. I know you picked NM pretty much out of your ass, and if the OP had expressed some burning desire to be in NM, that would be one thing. But I don't think suggesting NM to someone who wants to be in NorCal or SoCal makes any sense.

(Also, I'm still not sure what you're basing the "difference in culture" on based on, again, literally the information that this person interned for 5 semesters, doesn't have a job with the office, and nothing else.)

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Public Defender & District Attorney Question

Postby Dr. Dre » Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:45 pm

Image

Image

Image

LOL

Manhattanman
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Re: Public Defender & District Attorney Question

Postby Manhattanman » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:36 pm

This is my dilemma. I'd love to got to USC (1/2 scholly) and gun hard for the LA DA, but they just ain't hiring. Could be a total waste. NYC DA offices seem to hire small classes in 5 boroughs. Chicago also is hiring, I believe. I'd like to believe things will be better in 2016, but who knows. Also would have to get through all the volunteer attorneys working for free now, assuming they will get first crack at openings.

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Scotusnerd
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Re: Public Defender & District Attorney Question

Postby Scotusnerd » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:49 pm

rad lulz wrote:Thanks for your perspective on how to get a legal job, 0L.


I'm a 1L with ties to NM. Thanks for your high-handed and rude responses.

Y'all can have the big-city DA offices. Those things sound like clusterfucks. This is just my personal opinion, but if you want a DA job, go off the beaten path. Don't get in line with all the other sheep who want jobs in LA. Find another office that is more interested in what you're selling. Because I promise you that, whatever you have to offer that big office, they will have seen the same from someone who's friends with someone in that office. You have nothing to offer that they can't pick up from someone else.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Public Defender & District Attorney Question

Postby ManoftheHour » Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:37 pm

Dr. Dre wrote:Image

Image

Image

LOL


180 post.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Public Defender & District Attorney Question

Postby ManoftheHour » Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:38 pm

But what if you are 100% sure on becoming a DA? How much does the school you attend matter you are DA or bust?

jml8756
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Re: Public Defender & District Attorney Question

Postby jml8756 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:54 am

ManoftheHour wrote:But what if you are 100% sure on becoming a DA? How much does the school you attend matter you are DA or bust?


It can matter. If you go to a T-14 and get some DA stuff on your resume during law school, you WILL be able to find a prosecution job somewhere in the country.

Once you start getting farther down in the rankings, the school won't matter as much and it will become more about your courtroom experience and your connections to the office you're applying to.

The reason people say ranking doesn't matter for DA's offices is because of the ratios. There's just not a lot of DA applicants from top schools. For example, my local DA's office hired 2 people from the local T-14 school and about 10 people from the local TTTT. But if you consider hirees as a % of applicants, the office hired 100% of T-14 applicants and 20% of TTTT applicants. Does that make sense?

Bottom line is, you put yourself in a really good spot if you can go to a great school. If you go to a not-so-great school you still have a chance, but it's definitely going to be more of a gamble.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Public Defender & District Attorney Question

Postby ManoftheHour » Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:57 am

jml8756 wrote:
ManoftheHour wrote:But what if you are 100% sure on becoming a DA? How much does the school you attend matter you are DA or bust?


It can matter. If you go to a T-14 and get some DA stuff on your resume during law school, you WILL be able to find a prosecution job somewhere in the country.

Once you start getting farther down in the rankings, the school won't matter as much and it will become more about your courtroom experience and your connections to the office you're applying to.

The reason people say ranking doesn't matter for DA's offices is because of the ratios. There's just not a lot of DA applicants from top schools. For example, my local DA's office hired 2 people from the local T-14 school and about 10 people from the local TTTT. But if you consider hirees as a % of applicants, the office hired 100% of T-14 applicants and 20% of TTTT applicants. Does that make sense?

Bottom line is, you put yourself in a really good spot if you can go to a great school. If you go to a not-so-great school you still have a chance, but it's definitely going to be more of a gamble.


I see. That's what I thought. It makes a lot of sense. I just wanted it confirmed because I'm pretty much DA or bust.

Well, back to studying.

JJ123
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Re: Public Defender & District Attorney Question

Postby JJ123 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:00 am

I'm married to a prosecutor. I would advise you not to go into a lot of debt. Try to do some criminal law-related things in law school (see if they have a prosecution clinic?). Also, try to get a 1L internship in the office. These are the best way in, but there isn't a clear path like BigLaw.

Another thing you need to realize is that prosecutor's/DA's offices are somewhat political. People get hired because they know people, or they gave money to people. This is a pathway to becoming a judge or other political office, so you have people gunning for that angle.

And everything that people have said about government jobs jerking you around is true. You may not know for months whether you will be hired, you may be promised things and have them revoked, you may get passed over at the last minute for the cousin of a political contributor, you may get underpaid because the political party in control of the office's budget is different than the political party in charge of the prosecutor's office.

If you're a Democrat, I wouldn't tell anyone at a DA/prosecutor's office. If you're a Republican, I wouldn't mention it if you want to work as a PD.

JJ123
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Re: Public Defender & District Attorney Question

Postby JJ123 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:02 am

Also, everything I said was general, and/or specific to my experience. You'll want to find someone who works in the job you want and ask what the local office is looking for. It's not like BigLaw where the rules are pretty concrete.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Public Defender & District Attorney Question

Postby ManoftheHour » Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:23 pm

JJ123 wrote:Also, everything I said was general, and/or specific to my experience. You'll want to find someone who works in the job you want and ask what the local office is looking for. It's not like BigLaw where the rules are pretty concrete.


That's pretty much what my uncle told me. He even had a DA buddy of his email me. That guy told me to go to any accredited school. My uncle works at the office that I want to work at. Not sure what his position is. I don't think he does the actual hiring (he's been there for 10+ years and he makes 100k+ though. I know because he cosigned my car). Although, he told me to avoid debt if I can, but even if I get into debt for school, I shouldn't worry too much about debt. He said after 10 years, my debt will be forgiven (of course, I know that's assuming I can stay in a public position for that long).

I just wasn't sure if his advice was legit or not because he might have the shitboomer point of view.

adonai
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Re: Public Defender & District Attorney Question

Postby adonai » Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:50 pm

Scotusnerd wrote:
ikle wrote:things might be different by the time you're a 3l, but as now, there are basically no DA openings in socal. Have a 3l friend at usc that has 5 semesters (including summers) worth of interning/externing at the LA DA's and still can't get a full time position with them.


What the fuck.

Who the hell would they choose over someone who has that much experience in the office? Maybe everyone they hire has six semesters worth of interning/externing...ok...seriously? You have to know you're gonna be a prosecutor before you even step foot into the law school? What, are they accepting members of the Prosecutorial Douchebag Gunner Society at admitted students day now? It's possible your friend did something wrong, possibly in combination with the fact that someone in that office is a gigantic, pink, studded, smelly dildo.

In any event, that is seriously a dick move to lead someone on for that long. They should have dropped some hints about job market woes or something to give your friend a clue that was coming. If there weren't openings here, the attorneys would definitely let me know, and would likely feel bad. Because, you know, working for free and not getting a job out of it is balls. They couldn't help get them a trial court clerkship or give them good recs to another office or something? What a buncha douchebags!

I've heard a lot of crazy shit about the job market man, but that takes the fucked up, dookie-sprinkled cake. You work for an office for your entire time in law school, spend a shitton of money on schooling, and the office you GIVE YOURSELF AWAY FOR doesn't bother to hire you?

LA will choose someone who is the best for the job, not loyalty. There are plenty of people who had no connections, no prosecution/public service experience who got in their first try. No matter how long your friend interned there it wouldn't matter if there happened to be other outstanding issues like he/she was bad at public speaking and/or in court or just had a bad personality or whatever. Plus it is just plain overcompetitive. There are many like your friend. I don't know when your friend graduated, but last year was the first time they hired in 3 years. 4000+ apps for 60 positions, which translates roughly to a 1 in 70 chance. It is more worse than biglaw. Maybe they'll get hired the next time they decide to hire. The whole "loyalty" thing with hiring went down the sh**hole with the economy. Employers, even DAs, are looking for what you can bring them.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Public Defender & District Attorney Question

Postby ManoftheHour » Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:57 pm

Scotusnerd wrote:
ikle wrote:things might be different by the time you're a 3l, but as now, there are basically no DA openings in socal. Have a 3l friend at usc that has 5 semesters (including summers) worth of interning/externing at the LA DA's and still can't get a full time position with them.


What the fuck.

Who the hell would they choose over someone who has that much experience in the office? Maybe everyone they hire has six semesters worth of interning/externing...ok...seriously? You have to know you're gonna be a prosecutor before you even step foot into the law school? What, are they accepting members of the Prosecutorial Douchebag Gunner Society at admitted students day now? It's possible your friend did something wrong, possibly in combination with the fact that someone in that office is a gigantic, pink, studded, smelly dildo.

In any event, that is seriously a dick move to lead someone on for that long. They should have dropped some hints about job market woes or something to give your friend a clue that was coming. If there weren't openings here, the attorneys would definitely let me know, and would likely feel bad. Because, you know, working for free and not getting a job out of it is balls. They couldn't help get them a trial court clerkship or give them good recs to another office or something? What a buncha douchebags!

I've heard a lot of crazy shit about the job market man, but that takes the fucked up, dookie-sprinkled cake. You work for an office for your entire time in law school, spend a shitton of money on schooling, and the office you GIVE YOURSELF AWAY FOR doesn't bother to hire you?



....F#$%.

TheGreatFish
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Re: Public Defender & District Attorney Question

Postby TheGreatFish » Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:00 am

I spoke with a deputy DA for Orange County, and he said the main thing they look for are candidates with an interest in trial work. Moot court, trial ad, or anything else that shows you'll be comfortable in the courtroom.

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Tanicius
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Re: Public Defender & District Attorney Question

Postby Tanicius » Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:44 am

Y'all need to stop talking about California budgets like you know what you're talking about. The state budget is not the issue. California's DA and PD positions are paid by the county. As a result, some counties are rolling in dough (Santa Clara probably being at the top of the list), and other counties are hiring slowly but consistently (Contra Costa, Alameda, followed by San Diego, Salano, and Los Angeles, followed next by counties like San Bernadino, Riverside, Ventura, etc). And believe it or not, yes, LA actually does hire now and then, but it's really up the air all the time.

Of everyone I know at Boalt who has gone into DA or PD work in the class years ahead of mine, all of them have found paid employment in those respective fields. About a third of them looked outside California (NYC, DC, and New Orleans), but the rest of them secured jobs in the Bay Area. It would be an insult to call this work a boom, but it's happening, and going to USC is not going to shoot your chances at doing it.

Conclusion: Between USC's LRAP and IBR, OP will most likely not pay a dime on that 75k so long as he plays his cards right by:

1.) interning at relevant offices, whether it's DA or PD work, somewhere, for his 1L and 2L summers; and

2.) applies all over the place starting in August of his 2L summer for post-grad positions, paid and unpaid, with priority aimed at any office in the country in a place where he is willing to at least temporarily live that employs you as an entry-level staff attorney.

If those two steps fail, then ask your school for a bit of change for rent and volunteer in the state you want to live in (in this case, California) and office where you are most likely to be able to get employment (this part takes more research at the time it comes up). If this means you have to live with your parents for 6 months, then do it.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Public Defender & District Attorney Question

Postby ManoftheHour » Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:12 am

Tanicius wrote:Y'all need to stop talking about California budgets like you know what you're talking about. The state budget is not the issue. California's DA and PD positions are paid by the county. As a result, some counties are rolling in dough (Santa Clara probably being at the top of the list), and other counties are hiring slowly but consistently (Contra Costa, Alameda, followed by San Diego, Salano, and Los Angeles, followed next by counties like San Bernadino, Riverside, Ventura, etc). And believe it or not, yes, LA actually does hire now and then, but it's really up the air all the time.

Of everyone I know at Boalt who has gone into DA or PD work in the class years ahead of mine, all of them have found paid employment in those respective fields. About a third of them looked outside California (NYC, DC, and New Orleans), but the rest of them secured jobs in the Bay Area. It would be an insult to call this work a boom, but it's happening, and going to USC is not going to shoot your chances at doing it.

Conclusion: Between USC's LRAP and IBR, OP will most likely not pay a dime on that 75k so long as he plays his cards right by:

1.) interning at relevant offices, whether it's DA or PD work, somewhere, for his 1L and 2L summers; and

2.) applies all over the place starting in August of his 2L summer for post-grad positions, paid and unpaid, with priority aimed at any office in the country in a place where he is willing to at least temporarily live that employs you as an entry-level staff attorney.

If those two steps fail, then ask your school for a bit of change for rent and volunteer in the state you want to live in (in this case, California) and office where you are most likely to be able to get employment (this part takes more research at the time it comes up). If this means you have to live with your parents for 6 months, then do it.


Hey, thanks for your reply. That's kind of what I've heard.

Great point about the California budgets. Just because Stockton went broke doesn't mean Newport Beach is affected in any way. Different cities, different counties.

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Mroberts3
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Re: Public Defender & District Attorney Question

Postby Mroberts3 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 3:31 am

LA DA has hired some people recently BUT they are all from an eligibility list that closed back in 2011. No way to tell when a new list will be open, but unless the 5 semester person was on that list, there is no way they are getting hired until a new one opens. I definitely get that local government hiring is not a model of clarity, but in this case LA DA has made it known for two years that any hiring is coming from that old list.




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