First Year ADA - Ask Me Anything

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First Year ADA - Ask Me Anything

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:15 pm

I am a first year ADA working in a county of about 600K people. Case load is in the mid 100s. Most cases are low end felonies and a ton of misdemeanors (mostly small drugs, DUIs, retail theft, etc.) This is, by far, the greatest job in the world. I turned down a few midlaw offers to work here for significantly less money and I have had no regrets. Barring a serious change in circumstance I will be a lifer.

Taking any and all questions.

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Good Guy Gaud

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Re: First Year ADA - Ask Me Anything

Post by Good Guy Gaud » Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:17 pm

What made you choose ADA over the midlaw offers?

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Re: First Year ADA - Ask Me Anything

Post by swampman » Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:17 pm

What's office morale like? Are the ADAs generally happy with your DA?

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Young Marino

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Re: First Year ADA - Ask Me Anything

Post by Young Marino » Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:44 pm

In the current economic climate, has your office found it difficult to extend offers to a class of graduates?
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Re: First Year ADA - Ask Me Anything

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:58 pm

What made you choose ADA over the midlaw offers?


I interned for multiple firms in law school and although the money was good, I just didn't enjoy the work. Researching random issues I didn't really care about, drafting countless memos, not ever being in a courtroom, worrying about billable hours, etc. It just wasn't for me. Add in the much better benefits in terms of vacation, insurance, and days off at a government job combined with a basically 9-5 every single day unless prepping for trial and I was sold. It tough to take a paycut, but it was all mental. I wrote out my budget of pre/post paycut, and scaled back accordingly. Money is just money. If you can cover all your stuff, live a decent lifestyle and put away $500+ every month I don't need much more. The enjoyment I get at being at work every day more than makes up for it.
What's office morale like? Are the ADAs generally happy with your DA?


Very high generally. Very close knit group, I love the DA, and people in general are friendly and willing to help. Anyone who left has left for substantially more money, not because they were over stressed or hated the job.
In the current economic climate, has your office found it easy to extend offers to a class of graduates?


Like with any gov job there is a strict budget. If we are at 50 attorneys, thats our max and we wont hire anymore. If 5 ADAs lateral tomorrow we are gonna be hiring basically anyone with a pulse cause this office can't handle a hit like that for much longer than a month or so given the average case loads. We had 2 interns last year and they both received permanent offers. We have 2 more interns right now that have been doing a good job so we shall see what happens with them. In the end if there is no budget there is no budget, but the DA/PD is usually a stepping stone for people. My first day the DA told me to "have fun while I'm here, even if its only 6 months". People leave all the time once they hit the 2-3 year mark so the budget always opens up.
How many black guys have you put in jail? How many years in the aggregate?


If we are counting guilty pleas, then a lot, on both counts.

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Re: First Year ADA - Ask Me Anything

Post by yomisterd » Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:08 pm

what are your thoughts generally on the justice system?

Reform or nah?

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Re: First Year ADA - Ask Me Anything

Post by andythefir » Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:17 pm

Young Marino wrote:In the current economic climate, has your office found it difficult to extend offers to a class of graduates?
I am also a 1st year ADA, although in a town the 1/10th the size. We have 2 interns, but they're high school/college-aged. I don't think the office has ever had a proper law student summer intern. We also have a standing opening-anyone who has passed any bar can walk into a job. One town over in the same judicial district has 3 standing openings. Recruiting is an entirely different animal out here.

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Clemenceau

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Re: First Year ADA - Ask Me Anything

Post by Clemenceau » Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:39 pm

You mentioned that people leave all the time - where are those people heading?

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Re: First Year ADA - Ask Me Anything

Post by redfred22 » Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:40 pm

I interned for multiple firms in law school and although the money was good, I just didn't enjoy the work. Researching random issues I didn't really care about, drafting countless memos, not ever being in a courtroom, worrying about billable hours, etc. It just wasn't for me. Add in the much better benefits in terms of vacation, insurance, and days off at a government job combined with a basically 9-5 every single day unless prepping for trial and I was sold. It tough to take a paycut, but it was all mental. I wrote out my budget of pre/post paycut, and scaled back accordingly. Money is just money. If you can cover all your stuff, live a decent lifestyle and put away $500+ every month I don't need much more. The enjoyment I get at being at work every day more than makes up for it.
When you say they leave for more money, what sorts of positions have you seen these people go into? Why is it considered a stepping-stone? Are people taking these jobs for the experience and then jumping ship, or are they taking them with plans to stay and then getting offers?

I have considered this route, but I have wondered about the potential exit options. I'm from a decent-sized small-town type area, working for a small firm as a paralegal (I'm an 0L) and making a lot of connections in the area. I've grown up here, know the area, etc. As I said, this has been a path I have considered, and it will affect my decision on what types of schools I may target (i.e. T14 vs regional on good scholly). I don't necessarily want to be stuck in that job for life, though, so hearing that people, at least in your area, exit gives me a little more encouragement. Thanks for doing this, btw.

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Re: First Year ADA - Ask Me Anything

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:56 pm

How are lateral applicants with little to no connection to the city/county viewed? I will be relocating to an area (midwestern city roughly similar size as your city) I have no connection to due to SO's job.

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Re: First Year ADA - Ask Me Anything

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:01 pm

What kind of mentoring/training do you get? How often are you in trial? How do you find dealing with opposing counsel?

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Re: First Year ADA - Ask Me Anything

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:12 pm

ADA starting in a similar sized office in a couple months. Super pumped about the job and thankful you're doing this!

1) How much can you talk about criminal justice reform/conviction integrity/etc during the job. Obviously different offices/regions have different culture, but I'm wondering if you're even allowed to openly talk about stuff like black lives matter, police brutality, implicit bias and Batson, etc. or if you're expected to be 10000% yes-men.

2) A trusted mentor told me that you have to have a strong stomach for this kind of work. Paraphrasing here: "You can do alot of good but you have to face that fact that with a high case load, you WILL put people in jail for stuff they didn't do. Your best intentions won't matter because there simply aren't enough hours in the day for you to talk to every cop/witness/chase every possible lead on every single case." Is this true in your experience, hyperbole, or something of both?

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Louis1127

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Re: First Year ADA - Ask Me Anything

Post by Louis1127 » Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:27 pm

What was your starting pay? And how fast does it go up? If you do not mind sharing.

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Re: First Year ADA - Ask Me Anything

Post by nachosrgood » Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:53 am

What's your favorite part of your job?

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Re: First Year ADA - Ask Me Anything

Post by andythefir » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:46 am

redfred22 wrote: When you say they leave for more money, what sorts of positions have you seen these people go into? Why is it considered a stepping-stone? Are people taking these jobs for the experience and then jumping ship, or are they taking them with plans to stay and then getting offers?

I have considered this route, but I have wondered about the potential exit options. I'm from a decent-sized small-town type area, working for a small firm as a paralegal (I'm an 0L) and making a lot of connections in the area. I've grown up here, know the area, etc. As I said, this has been a path I have considered, and it will affect my decision on what types of schools I may target (i.e. T14 vs regional on good scholly). I don't necessarily want to be stuck in that job for life, though, so hearing that people, at least in your area, exit gives me a little more encouragement. Thanks for doing this, btw.
I'm not 100% sure of the relevant etiquette, but I will answer some of these from my experience. This was originally a big concern for me as well. My office has sent folks to every possible next step, from AUSA to the state engineer. I knew a guy when I worked in the state's equivalent of biglaw who went directly from a far-out DA position to an associate position in the biglaw equivalent firm.

To answer your question directly, the most common next step is another DA's office for more pay (when you're desperate enough a mid-level DA somewhere else starts to look like your superstar), PD's, or a small firm. I would honestly struggle to go back to billing, though. My job is way too much fun and billing is way too much of a nightmare to go back. Personally, I would like to pivot to an AUSA, but that's me and the rest of the legal profession. I will say, though, a lot of folks in my office will be trapped there or its equivalent due to their credentials. My office is half Cooley grads, people who have been fired other places, etc.

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Re: First Year ADA - Ask Me Anything

Post by andythefir » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:What kind of mentoring/training do you get? How often are you in trial? How do you find dealing with opposing counsel?
My office has a throw-you-in approach. I did a trial on the first day I was sworn in. There just aren't enough resources for formal training, and if you lose a couple of DUIs as you learn the hard way, so be it. I personally prefer this approach. For the most part I don't have anyone looking over my shoulder, nor have I really ever. I have 150+ cases, and so do my supervisors. The downside is that it's really on you to seek out opportunities to get better. It's also super easy to wake up one day having been here for 4 years because every day is so slammed with putting out fires.

As for trial, when I was doing misdemeanors I did at least one trial every week. Now that I'm doing felonies I have to make trials happen (there's a lot more to slip through the cracks, a lot more flexibility in pleas, working with more senior defense attorneys who are lazier and get their people to plea more). In felony land, 2 trials/month is a pretty good clip. That said, I'm in court every single day for docket calls, motion hearings, etc.

I regretfully deal with opposing counsel every single day. Some are cool, but most are condescending scorched-earth types. I've been a PD, I know what it's like, and they don't need to make it as difficult as they make it.

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Re: First Year ADA - Ask Me Anything

Post by RaceJudicata » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:13 am

andythefir wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What kind of mentoring/training do you get? How often are you in trial? How do you find dealing with opposing counsel?
My office has a throw-you-in approach. I did a trial on the first day I was sworn in. There just aren't enough resources for formal training, and if you lose a couple of DUIs as you learn the hard way, so be it. I personally prefer this approach. For the most part I don't have anyone looking over my shoulder, nor have I really ever. I have 150+ cases, and so do my supervisors. The downside is that it's really on you to seek out opportunities to get better. It's also super easy to wake up one day having been here for 4 years because every day is so slammed with putting out fires.

As for trial, when I was doing misdemeanors I did at least one trial every week. Now that I'm doing felonies I have to make trials happen (there's a lot more to slip through the cracks, a lot more flexibility in pleas, working with more senior defense attorneys who are lazier and get their people to plea more). In felony land, 2 trials/month is a pretty good clip. That said, I'm in court every single day for docket calls, motion hearings, etc.

I regretfully deal with opposing counsel every single day. Some are cool, but most are condescending scorched-earth types. I've been a PD, I know what it's like, and they don't need to make it as difficult as they make it.

Thanks for the thread. I understand a heavy and immediate case load is great for experience. Isn't it also a way to develop horrible habits? How do you prevent this?

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yomisterd

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Re: First Year ADA - Ask Me Anything

Post by yomisterd » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:17 am

andythefir wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What kind of mentoring/training do you get? How often are you in trial? How do you find dealing with opposing counsel?
My office has a throw-you-in approach. I did a trial on the first day I was sworn in. There just aren't enough resources for formal training, and if you lose a couple of DUIs as you learn the hard way, so be it. I personally prefer this approach. For the most part I don't have anyone looking over my shoulder, nor have I really ever. I have 150+ cases, and so do my supervisors. The downside is that it's really on you to seek out opportunities to get better. It's also super easy to wake up one day having been here for 4 years because every day is so slammed with putting out fires.

As for trial, when I was doing misdemeanors I did at least one trial every week. Now that I'm doing felonies I have to make trials happen (there's a lot more to slip through the cracks, a lot more flexibility in pleas, working with more senior defense attorneys who are lazier and get their people to plea more). In felony land, 2 trials/month is a pretty good clip. That said, I'm in court every single day for docket calls, motion hearings, etc.

I regretfully deal with opposing counsel every single day. Some are cool, but most are condescending scorched-earth types. I've been a PD, I know what it's like, and they don't need to make it as difficult as they make it.
I'm interested that you were previously a PD. What was it like coming from the PD's office to the DA? I've heard it is basically impossible to go ADA -> PD but I am curious how you found the transition from PD -> ADA

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Re: First Year ADA - Ask Me Anything

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:08 am

Not OP, and haven't done criminal defense, but I know some people who went from PD to prosecution. Most of them seem much happier - on a really basic level, prosecutors don't have to do the kind of client control that PDs deal with all the time. One of my colleagues said, "Any day I don't have anyone calling me from jail to yell at me is a good day." The extent to which this will matter to you depends on temperament, I think (I know one defense attorney who has the best attitude about even his most difficult clients - a mixture of compassion and humor; but I don't know how he does it). But some people do get tired of dealing with defendants, because it's a hard job - both dealing with (some) defendants on a personal level, and also spending their days having to make arguments they know are going to lose. One of my former PD friends has said she grew to dread sentencings, where she would have to string together some kind of sympathetic please-be-kind sob story when there wasn't really much to be said in support of her client.

I realize to many true-believer defense people (and I don't mean true-believer in a derogatory way), the above looks sort of sell-out-y; I don't think it is, but I get how it might look like that. Criminal defense is just a really hard job and I think most of the people I know who switched are people who believe in/want to work in the criminal justice system, but realized that temperamentally, they weren't going to be happy/effective continuing in criminal defense. I don't think it's that they wanted to win and couldn't take not winning, it's more having to make arguments you don't really agree with/know are losers because you have to make some kind of defense and that's the only feasible argument. It's not about ego, it's more thinking "but the government's case is actually pretty good here" but having to come up with something to counter it with anyway. Some people love that challenge, other people feel like they're trying to make stuff up and it gets old. (This is my impression, anyway.)

In terms of more legal stuff, one colleague has said that one of the biggest shifts has been from thinking about how to keep evidence out, to how to get evidence in. She also said she liked the shift to more of a big-picture focus - thinking about cases as part of overall office policy, rather than intense focus on the individual defendant as when she was a PD. Another former PD colleague says she misses the creativity of being a PD - that you had more opportunities to come up with off the wall arguments/strategies and see what worked as a PD.

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Re: First Year ADA - Ask Me Anything

Post by redfred22 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:50 am

andythefir wrote:
redfred22 wrote: When you say they leave for more money, what sorts of positions have you seen these people go into? Why is it considered a stepping-stone? Are people taking these jobs for the experience and then jumping ship, or are they taking them with plans to stay and then getting offers?

I have considered this route, but I have wondered about the potential exit options. I'm from a decent-sized small-town type area, working for a small firm as a paralegal (I'm an 0L) and making a lot of connections in the area. I've grown up here, know the area, etc. As I said, this has been a path I have considered, and it will affect my decision on what types of schools I may target (i.e. T14 vs regional on good scholly). I don't necessarily want to be stuck in that job for life, though, so hearing that people, at least in your area, exit gives me a little more encouragement. Thanks for doing this, btw.
I'm not 100% sure of the relevant etiquette, but I will answer some of these from my experience. This was originally a big concern for me as well. My office has sent folks to every possible next step, from AUSA to the state engineer. I knew a guy when I worked in the state's equivalent of biglaw who went directly from a far-out DA position to an associate position in the biglaw equivalent firm.

To answer your question directly, the most common next step is another DA's office for more pay (when you're desperate enough a mid-level DA somewhere else starts to look like your superstar), PD's, or a small firm. I would honestly struggle to go back to billing, though. My job is way too much fun and billing is way too much of a nightmare to go back. Personally, I would like to pivot to an AUSA, but that's me and the rest of the legal profession. I will say, though, a lot of folks in my office will be trapped there or its equivalent due to their credentials. My office is half Cooley grads, people who have been fired other places, etc.
Thanks for the reply! So what I am getting from that last sentence is that, despite getting the job and getting the experience, exit options are still a lot/most of the time linked to one's law school? Meaning, those that went to Cooley have those jobs and are getting experience, but someone who went to, say, a T14 is going to be more likely to move on to something else more easily/quickly?

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Re: First Year ADA - Ask Me Anything

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:54 pm

OP here.
yomisterd wrote:what are your thoughts generally on the justice system?

Reform or nah?
Reform in many ways. As an ADA I'm obviously biased, but off the top of my head:

- We need to have a larger gap between punishment for victimless crimes and crimes where someone is, in any way, shape or form, affected. On the one hand we need the system to teach people, and that 7th retail theft means you haven't learned anything so you need harsher punishment. On the other hand, if your 7th retail theft was for a pen that cost $3, I think its harsh to require jail time for that.

- With that said, the juvenile system is absolutely nuts. Unlike adult court, juvenile is entirely outside of my control in terms of sentencing. I get to reduce charges and prosecute trials (adjudication hearings) if they go there, but I can't do plea deals and the office of juvenile probation decides all punishments. To say its a "slap on the wrist" is giving it too much credit. I had a rape case with a juvenile last month. 16 year old raped 14 year old step sister. She gets away, calls cops. Juvenile admits it happened. He gets PROBATION, community service and mental health counseling. The girl gave a victim's impact statement in court and sounds like she will be mentally scarred for life, has developed numerous mental disorders due to the rape, grades are basically failing now, cries every day, etc etc etc. Kid is sitting there smirking as they are reading him his "punishment". If kid was 2 years older and did the EXACT SAME THING, he would be going away for 10-20. I wanted to punch that kid in the face. Juvenile is way way way too lenient. I don't care about the stupid drug crimes, but when you assault someone or worse you deserve to go away.

- Any system is gonna have some flaws, but I think overall we do a decent job on maintaining a fair structure to both parties.
You mentioned that people leave all the time - where are those people heading?
Small firms, whether civil lit or crim defense. Some people have left for the attorney general's office, some have left for fed gov jobs like the department of labor that pay more and have better benefits. The last guy who left basically got an offer to double his salary at a midlaw firm and couldn't say no. Its mostly location or money based, I truly don't know anyone who is miserable at the office.
When you say they leave for more money, what sorts of positions have you seen these people go into? Why is it considered a stepping-stone? Are people taking these jobs for the experience and then jumping ship, or are they taking them with plans to stay and then getting offers?
I think its a mixture. The job is a good stepping stone cause you develop a LOT of hands on skills. When I worked at a firm I did some memos and research. Here I was in court by day 3 by myself with no supervision. By my 2nd week I was getting thrown into proceedings that I haven't even seen before just because "sorry we don't have anyone else that can go, try your best". Its VERY much a trial by fire situation, and some people love it while others just can't deal with the stress. The amount you will learn in 1 month here will be greater than what you learn in a year at the firm. I have worked both (I did firm work for a year prior to moving) and its literally night and day. I think people are taking jobs cause of the money. SOme come here looking for a stepping stone while others come here thinking they will work here forever and then see a 50+% raise staring them in the face and can't say no. Its tough to blame them, its a huge money difference.
How are lateral applicants with little to no connection to the city/county viewed? I will be relocating to an area (midwestern city roughly similar size as your city) I have no connection to due to SO's job.
The smaller the county the tougher the sell if you're not from there in my experience. My county is right on the edge where they will ask many questions but they will still take people with no ties if they need them. You definitely need a perfect answer to "why here?", and if you move with an SO and potentially buy a house that should solve everything.
What kind of mentoring/training do you get? How often are you in trial? How do you find dealing with opposing counsel?
Very little training. Larger offices have full time training programs. We don't have the budget for that. I was in court by myself with no supervision on day 3. I was doing preliminary hearing my 2nd week. Its a lot to take in and to be honest I came home friday after my first week and flatout told my friend I didn't think I could do this job because I had 100 new things being thrown at me with little training or explanation.

Supervisor - "Here, can you go do summary appeals downstairs in half an hour, I need you to cover for someone".
Me- " But...I don't even know what those are or how to do them!"
Supervisor - "Well, we don't have anyone else that can do it so just go down there, talk to the officers and see what they wanna do, then just call the case and explain the charges, see what defense counsel wants to do, and if they want a hearing then just direct the officer and make a closing statement."

It was pretty terrifying, but you get through it. I did my first preliminary hearing without ever seeing a preliminary hearing done. It was a 1st degree felony with 4 witnesses. I probably sweat through my entire suit during tat ~30-40 mins. By the end of my 2nd month I was feeling very confident. As far as trial, I go to trial about once every month, maybe less. Defendants always talk a big game until the week of and then they fold and plead. I have a trial scheduled for Monday where defense counsel has indicated his guy wants to go to trial. My response was "Cool, I'd love to get another jury trial and I've got solid witnesses so I'll see you Monday morning." An hour later he called me saying his guy is pleading.

Opposing counsel is mostly good. We have to work together a lot so there is little advantage to get nasty with one another. They also know that cases assigned to us are entirely at our discretion. If a defense attorney pissed me off I can basically just tell him he isn't getting any more deals, ever, and his guy can just go to trial on all his cases or plead open to the judge. No defense attorney wants that.
1) How much can you talk about criminal justice reform/conviction integrity/etc during the job. Obviously different offices/regions have different culture, but I'm wondering if you're even allowed to openly talk about stuff like black lives matter, police brutality, implicit bias and Batson, etc. or if you're expected to be 10000% yes-men.

2) A trusted mentor told me that you have to have a strong stomach for this kind of work. Paraphrasing here: "You can do alot of good but you have to face that fact that with a high case load, you WILL put people in jail for stuff they didn't do. Your best intentions won't matter because there simply aren't enough hours in the day for you to talk to every cop/witness/chase every possible lead on every single case." Is this true in your experience, hyperbole, or something of both?
1. I spoke of the reform I would focus on in the first part of this post. I wouldn't say you're a yes man, but you probably shouldn't be talking negatively about the police as an ADA, can't really be anti death penalty, etc.. Its fine if you are, but then you are sort of going against everything your office believes in.

2. He is right. My case load is mid 100s right now and going up every week. I don't know the name of every single defendant I have, let alone what plea deal I offered. I had 2 guilty pleas yesterday on cases I don't remember hearing about with deals I don't remember signing, but my signature was in fact on both. Its just how the system works, you do your best, but at the end of the day you can;t fully analyze everything. I will say that the higher up people have a smaller caseload with much more serious cases and can spend the time on them, but me and my 50 DUIs alone, there may be 1 where the guy wasn't really DUI, idk.



I will answer the remaining questions tonight. Thanks guys.

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Re: First Year ADA - Ask Me Anything

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:47 pm

What was your starting pay? And how fast does it go up? If you do not mind sharing.
52k. Guaranteed 55k in 2 years. Guaranteed 60k in 4 years. After that its basically all merit based and when the county has money. Not very lucrative. I started my firm job as an entry level at 75k out of law school.
What's your favorite part of your job?
Too many to list. Jury trials are my favorite but negotiation over plea deals is pretty good. Getting victims to thank you and tell you how impressed they are is pretty good too. There are definitely downsides to the job (Domestic violence cases with uncooperative victims are likely the worst, or witnesses/officers on vacation and completely MIA with a week before trial) but the good truly outweighs the bad. Oh, coming home at 5 pm everyday and never worrying about billable hours is a good favorite as well.
Thanks for the thread. I understand a heavy and immediate case load is great for experience. Isn't it also a way to develop horrible habits? How do you prevent this?
Absolute best advice I can give here: If you're a new ADA who has literally zero clue what is happening, spend your first week getting to know people in the office and ask 1-2 questions from everyone different. You will very quickly be able to tell the difference between people who genuine will not be annoyed with an unlimited amount of questions vs. those who will answer but will very obviously be annoyed that you asked. By your second week you will have your 3-4 "go-to" people who you found are genuinely interested in helping no matter what the situation and can ask them repeatedly for guidance on issues. You will absolutely run into issues you don't understand or don't know about. Sometimes you will run into them at proceedings where you kind of need to bite the bullet and just do something and hope its fine. You're really not going to be given cases early on where if you make a mistake the earth is gonna shatter (You forgot to give a guy Drug and Alcohol counselling when thats standard in all DUI offers? Whatever, you'll learn and no one will likely even find out). I think the absolute hardest part of starting out is learning the policies of the office, because there are literally like a thousand of them and all offices are different. You need to ask questions whenever you can and figure out basic policies (What are standard DUI offers? What makes a person ARD ineligible? Do we always offer bottom of the guidelines based on prior record score and offense gravity score for deals? What summary offenses can we never withdraw? Etc etc etc) So yeah, ask a lot of questions.

andythefir

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Re: First Year ADA - Ask Me Anything

Post by andythefir » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:38 pm

redfred22 wrote:
Thanks for the reply! So what I am getting from that last sentence is that, despite getting the job and getting the experience, exit options are still a lot/most of the time linked to one's law school? Meaning, those that went to Cooley have those jobs and are getting experience, but someone who went to, say, a T14 is going to be more likely to move on to something else more easily/quickly?
I don't want to come across as an elitist, and the attorney who trained me was a Cooley grad. She is a great attorney, and I hope to one day be as good as she is. But eventually you have to put a portrait and a bio on a firm's website. A Cooley grad could become a chief deputy DA, but if they were to try to pivot to another job they would run into some problems. Now DA>DA>DA would be fine, but at some point you will find yourself again on the wrong side of a pile of resumes.

To be clear this is not the case for all schools. I've been on the interviewer side of the table several times, and if someone went to UVA or Michigan or GW I don't care. Even a random state school is fine. But the for-profit schools are a different beast. It's certainly not impossible to get a job from a for-profit school, but it is harder.

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los blancos

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Re: First Year ADA - Ask Me Anything

Post by los blancos » Thu Jul 23, 2015 9:23 am

Is it fair to say most DA's offices won't even look at a resume from someone not currently barred in their state?

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

Now there's a charge.
Just kidding ... it's still FREE!


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