Public Defender Applications - 2021

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Public Defender Applications - 2021

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 03, 2020 4:10 pm

Since many of last year's PD applicants are still stuck in bar exam limbo, I thought I'd create a thread for this year's applicants to track interview offers, job offers, rejections, and hiring freezes.

I know for sure that the Bronx Defenders won't be hiring entry-level staff attorneys for next year, but do we have any other confirmed hiring freezes or timeline changes? Has anyone gotten a first round Legal Aid interview yet?

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SpikeSeagull

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Re: Public Defender Applications - 2021

Post by SpikeSeagull » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:40 am

Anyone have insight into CPCS' "personal statement" requirement for EJW job fair interviews? Don't really see what I'd put in there that I didn't put in my cover letter.

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Re: Public Defender Applications - 2021

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:29 pm

SpikeSeagull wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:40 am
Anyone have insight into CPCS' "personal statement" requirement for EJW job fair interviews? Don't really see what I'd put in there that I didn't put in my cover letter.

When I met with someone in hiring at CPCS in a sort of informal setting last year, I asked him a similar question. He indicated that applicants should find something different and that he really dislikes reading the same/similar material in the personal statement as what he read in the cover letter. I think the personal statement might be how they weed out applicants who aren't really interested in CPCS, since they require the additional writing. Maybe write in-depth about an experience that made you want to be a PD, or if you've done a clinic that provides direct representation (particularly if it's a PD clinic), you write about an experience you had in your clinic? I didn't end up applying (for family reasons I needed to be in NYC post-grad), but best of luck!

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Re: Public Defender Applications - 2021

Post by SpikeSeagull » Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:29 pm
When I met with someone in hiring at CPCS in a sort of informal setting last year, I asked him a similar question. He indicated that applicants should find something different and that he really dislikes reading the same/similar material in the personal statement as what he read in the cover letter. I think the personal statement might be how they weed out applicants who aren't really interested in CPCS, since they require the additional writing. Maybe write in-depth about an experience that made you want to be a PD, or if you've done a clinic that provides direct representation (particularly if it's a PD clinic), you write about an experience you had in your clinic? I didn't end up applying (for family reasons I needed to be in NYC post-grad), but best of luck!
Thanks, super helpful!

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Re: Public Defender Applications - 2021

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Oct 01, 2020 11:09 am

Is anyone applying for prettyman?

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Re: Public Defender Applications - 2021

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Oct 02, 2020 3:47 pm

For EJW interviews, should we treat them as informational interviews or should we brush up on substantive law/be prepared to deliver an opening statement?

I know this largely depends on each office for panel interviews but not sure if the same is the case for EJW.

I'm interested in Texas RioGrande/Hamilton County/Bronx/Miami-Dade primarily. Any insight is greatly appreciated!

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Re: Public Defender Applications - 2021

Post by SpikeSeagull » Fri Oct 02, 2020 4:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Oct 02, 2020 3:47 pm
For EJW interviews, should we treat them as informational interviews or should we brush up on substantive law/be prepared to deliver an opening statement?

I know this largely depends on each office for panel interviews but not sure if the same is the case for EJW.

I'm interested in Texas RioGrande/Hamilton County/Bronx/Miami-Dade primarily. Any insight is greatly appreciated!
I don't know of any offices that ask you to do an opening statement (although someone posted on here back in 2016 that Miami basically made them do that at table talk). Who knows what it will be like this year given the virtual format. I know some offices have asked hypos in the past, so would make sense to brush up on evidenec/crim pro.

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Re: Public Defender Applications - 2021

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Oct 06, 2020 11:04 am

Anyone else apply to Federal Defenders of San Diego through EJW and still waiting to hear about an interview? I’ve heard from other employers.

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Re: Public Defender Applications - 2021

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Oct 06, 2020 11:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Oct 01, 2020 11:09 am
Is anyone applying for prettyman?
I plan to

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Re: Public Defender Applications - 2021

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Oct 06, 2020 11:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 11:04 am
Anyone else apply to Federal Defenders of San Diego through EJW and still waiting to hear about an interview? I’ve heard from other employers.
Still waiting as well. That's the last office in waiting to hear back from.

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Re: Public Defender Applications - 2021

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Oct 07, 2020 2:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 11:21 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 11:04 am
Anyone else apply to Federal Defenders of San Diego through EJW and still waiting to hear about an interview? I’ve heard from other employers.
Still waiting as well. That's the last office in waiting to hear back from.
does anyone know what their screeners are typically like? is it just a friendly chat or is it more like miami's where you could really be put on the spot?

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Re: Public Defender Applications - 2021

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:09 pm

SpikeSeagull wrote:
Fri Oct 02, 2020 4:27 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Oct 02, 2020 3:47 pm
For EJW interviews, should we treat them as informational interviews or should we brush up on substantive law/be prepared to deliver an opening statement?

I know this largely depends on each office for panel interviews but not sure if the same is the case for EJW.

I'm interested in Texas RioGrande/Hamilton County/Bronx/Miami-Dade primarily. Any insight is greatly appreciated!
I don't know of any offices that ask you to do an opening statement (although someone posted on here back in 2016 that Miami basically made them do that at table talk). Who knows what it will be like this year given the virtual format. I know some offices have asked hypos in the past, so would make sense to brush up on evidenec/crim pro.
Lurker here. For anyone reading this, Philly gave some pretty intense hypos when I interviewed at EJW (I know you didn't mention it, but I figured this might be useful info generally). No substantive law, but I definitely got several ethics questions. Philly was the only office that did this for me, but I was pretty geographically limited in my search, so I can't speak to too many other offices.

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Re: Public Defender Applications - 2021

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Oct 23, 2020 1:48 pm

Miami's EJW interview is as tough as advertised! Lots of hypos and questions about substantive law. If you haven't taken Trial Ad/Crim Pro Trial, you are in for a rough time. :oops:

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Re: Public Defender Applications - 2021

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Oct 23, 2020 4:31 pm

Has anyone gotten a first-round interview with Colorado or NYC Legal Aid yet?

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Re: Public Defender Applications - 2021

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:16 pm

Seconding the info request for Legal Aid Society (NYC). And has anyone heard from the Office of the Appellate Defender (also NYC)?

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Re: Public Defender Applications - 2021

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Oct 27, 2020 9:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:16 pm
Seconding the info request for Legal Aid Society (NYC). And has anyone heard from the Office of the Appellate Defender (also NYC)?
OAD interviewed people at EJW. I was told that we'd hear if we had made it to the next round or not sometime in November, with the aim of making decisions in December. Not sure what the process is for people who didn't interview at EJW.

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Re: Public Defender Applications - 2021

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Oct 27, 2020 9:55 am

Has anyone that interviewed at EJW heard back from: Maricopa County, Hamilton County, Bronx, TRLA, or New Mexico?

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Re: Public Defender Applications - 2021

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 9:55 am
Has anyone that interviewed at EJW heard back from: Maricopa County, Hamilton County, Bronx, TRLA, or New Mexico?
yes to NM. didn't interview with the others. and re: the legal aid question above, i haven't heard back yet (nor have any of my PD friends)

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Re: Public Defender Applications - 2021

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Oct 27, 2020 7:22 pm

Has anyone heard back from King County (Seattle)?

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Re: Public Defender Applications - 2021

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 4:31 pm
Has anyone gotten a first-round interview with Colorado or NYC Legal Aid yet?
Yes, I had a first-round interview with CO through EJW.

I heard from a connection that Legal Aid does not get back to people until later in the process, which is anxiety-producing. I wish all offices let folks know around the same time- I don't know how to reconcile stability with uncertainty re: potentially turning down opportunities.

I have also not heard back from King County.

Best of luck, folks- this is going to be a tough hiring year- thanks, Covid! :((

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Re: Public Defender Applications - 2021

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:38 am

you guys should know up front that legal aid isn't going to hire this year. the chance of any nyc office hiring this year is .01%. dont count on any job in nyc.

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Re: Public Defender Applications - 2021

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Oct 29, 2020 1:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:38 am
you guys should know up front that legal aid isn't going to hire this year. the chance of any nyc office hiring this year is .01%. dont count on any job in nyc.
I mean, the chance of getting a job in NYC is always extraordinarily slim, so sure. What's your basis for the claim about Legal Aid? As for other NY offices like BDS and OAD, I just don't see why they'd go through the hassle of EJW and all these other interviews if they're not going to hire at least a few people.

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Re: Public Defender Applications - 2021

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Oct 31, 2020 9:12 pm

I can only speak for my area, but I've never met someone who wanted to do public defender or legal aid who didn't get it. Some of the more urban areas have more applicants than openings, but the rural places tend to be the opposite. Sometimes people have to be a bit flexible with location, but if they are willing to be flexible, they tend to be ok. The starting salary tends to be a bit low, even for the supervisors. But I could see that being more generous in more affluent areas too. I could see covid tossing a wrench in this for a lot of people though. Just keeping applying, many will let you apply even before you pass the bar exam.

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Re: Public Defender Applications - 2021

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Nov 02, 2020 8:38 am

Does anyone know how hard it'll be to be a PD in my situation?

COA clerk, no defense experience (clinic, intern, etc.). Just realized while clerking and working on habeas cases that I really want to be a defender.

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Re: Public Defender Applications - 2021

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:57 am

It will be hard but definitely not impossible, particularly if you are applying this year. You'll likely have to go to a small or rural office. Doing that, however, will be enough proof to any other office that you later want to move to, that you are serious about public defense. Also, if you did any PI work in law school it will be easier than if you did firm stuff the whole time.

One other thing to check out is entry-level jobs at federal defender offices, they are called "Research & Writing Specialist" they even have just habeas specialist. They value clerking a lot for these jobs and since the overlap of people who do lots of PD work and those who clerk is small, you'd have a better shot. Federal offices usually aren't as "true believer" as state offices so they won't knock you down for not seeing the light at age 5 as some defenders do. If you like that you could stay and try and become a federal defender or if not you'd have the experience/ PD commitment to move to a state office.
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Nov 02, 2020 8:38 am
Does anyone know how hard it'll be to be a PD in my situation?

COA clerk, no defense experience (clinic, intern, etc.). Just realized while clerking and working on habeas cases that I really want to be a defender.

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

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


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