I'm a Public Defender AMA

sdancer89
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by sdancer89 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:18 pm

alykdesire wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:52 am
sdancer89 wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:47 am
alykdesire wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:55 pm
Leela wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:00 pm
Clamence wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 5:05 pm
Leela wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:51 pm
Clamence wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:17 pm
Leela wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:54 am
happy to answer questions about getting the job
Thanks for the response to my earlier question, and thanks for doing this in general. Could you walk us through a typical work day? I imagine the "typical" work day might be somewhat of an oxymoron for a PD, so I understand if this isn't easy to do. Also, what are your hours like? 9-5? More? Work on weekends?
I want to give this a full answer, but I'm running some errands. Will get back to it later this weekend!
No worries! Thanks in advance.
This is a ton of information, so please feel free to ask about anything that jumps out at you!
Leela, thank you so much for that information. You are a beautiful angel literally sent from heaven.

Question, and sorry if you already addressed this but I don't think so: Did you have to wait until 3L or shortly after graduation before you were able to lock down your current place of employment? I've heard that public interest usually has to wait a little bit longer than those interested in corporate law for a job offer.
Not Leela, but also a newer PD. I got my offer at the beginning of January 3L year. Other friends looking for PD jobs got offers mostly between late Nov-January. There were some slower ones that trickled in later, but the bulk of the offers came during 3L year. Since the BigLaw folks had offers coming out of their 2L summer, the PD offers definitely came later by about a semester. Mine at least came early enough that I could mostly check out and relax my last semester of 3L though :)
Awesome! Thank you so much. Another question: Did you have a lot of freedom when it came to picking which PD office you ended up at?
Interesting question! I'm probably not the best person to ask, as I was being pretty picky about where I was willing to live. I'm a city person and had/have a strong West Coast preference. I applied to a bunch of CA offices (where I had thought I would end up), but CA hiring is weird because you can't be hired full-time until after bar results, so you end up having to find a "Post-Bar" position where you may or may not be paid until you finally get hired somewhere. I originally intended to only apply to CA offices and wherever else came to my school, but then got really sick of interviewing and the job search and realized I did not want to go through the process again (post-bars typically go through a regular entry-level PD hiring process). I had already decided not to go to EJW at that point (few West Coast offices), so didn't apply as broadly as I think I would have had I been being less picky when I started. I had applied to my current job on a complete whim and because I liked the city I'm currently in. I got lucky and got a FT offer here, so couldn't imagine turning that down for any temporary option in CA.

Many of my LS friends were less picky than me and applied more broadly through EJW, etc. Most of them ended up with multiple offers and got to choose between them. A few people didn't end up with EJW offers, so ended up doing post-bars in CA. So while I'd like to say everyone had choices and freedom to go where they wanted, there were some that were scrambling to find something in the spring.

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Borhas
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by Borhas » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:29 pm

bikeflip wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:57 pm
Borhas wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:33 pm
By the way, if anyone has questions about the Colorado State Public Defender's Office let me know (hiring, interview), PM's are fine if you want to be real specific. I was a PD for about 4 years, worked on every type of case including murder-1 before burning out.

I know the answer to this, Borhas, but others will wanna know.

How does hiring work in Colorado? Is it statewide hiring? Is there a chance you will be sent to an area you might not wanna work in? What does the first year of training look like? What kind of cases did you do? Did you do municipal cases?
Colorado State Public Defender System Overview:

The Colorado State PD is a centralized state PD system. It is managed by the central administrative office in Denver, the regional trial offices represent individual clients. The Public Defender and his chief deputies and specialist attorneys work at the state admin office. There are trial offices throughout the state, to include the green dots on the map. Each trial office has an office head, investigators, administrative staff, sometimes a social workers, and obviously attorneys. It is a "vertical representation system" which basically means you get to keep the client from first appearance through trial, and appeal (if misdemeanor... the appellate division does the work for felony appeals.)

New permanent hires are placed a trial office and given a misdemeanor caseload where there is an opening, and must remain at that specific office for two years, they can request a transfer (which usually happens within a few months) to a metro Denver office after that. Hint: there will be more opening at the bigger offices, and also the offices with the highest turn over.

Image

Placement/Regional Offices

In my experience the most likely places for placement are: Colorado Springs/El Paso County and Arapahoe County because those are big offices with shitty DA's that also increase turn over. Not surprisingly, there are not as many spots to be had at say... Boulder or Denver proper.

The size and culture of individual offices vary widely. For example compare the 13th Judicial District PD is located in Sterling Colorado to the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office, the 13th PD covers 7 counties with about 6 attorneys (maybe fewer). In CO all felonies are tried in the district court, and misdemeanors in county court. The 4th PD office covers only El Paso County and Telller County but has almost 60 attorneys and 40 admin, investigators, and a social worker.

The PD experience in Sterling will be a relatively light docket load with a lot of travel. The office culture is a lot of more 9-5ish and not sort of happy hour going place since it is in the middle of nowhere. The DA offices there are usually not particularly competent or aggressive.

The PD experience in Colorado Springs will include a heavy caseload and many trials immediately. As a new attorney you will be spending nights and weekends at the office on a consistent basis. The office is a lot more tight nit because the CO Springs office gets about 10 new attorneys every year and they usually start around the same time. These folks usually become friends with each other, and their mentors who are just the attorneys that started a year before them. Worst DA office in the state is the 4th Judicial DA, close runner up is 1st Judicial District.


The CO PD represents all juveniles charged with crimes (unless they get private counsel) and all indigent adults charged with misdemeanors or higher charges in county and district courts throughout the state. The PD does not represent people at administrative hearings (like DMV/DUI driver license revocation hearings), or collateral civil matters (like protection orders) or anything in municipal court.



Hiring Process:
So there is hiring for newly minted trial lawyers but I've also seen them hire new lawyers for the appellate division. It is generally agreed that Appellate is pretty chill but boring. If you want to do appeals you may have to apply specifically for that, but I've also seen people transfer to appellate division from a trial office. Occasionally, the office will hire lateral attorneys from a variety of backgrounds (except law enforcement). I mostly know stuff about hiring process for new trial lawyers.

There are two things you need to have a good shot at getting hired (as a typical new trial lawyer):
1) Demonstrated interest in serving indigent clientele that PD serves
2) In court litigation experience, one or more jury trials would be preferrable

Other very helpful things:
3) prior 2L internship at CO PD
4) clinic, trial advocacy, moot court
5) Spanish speaking skills

things that dont really matter at all
law review + grades

I am not sure as far as the timeline of when applications have to be submitted, but generally there are 2 rounds of interviews. The first round is usually why PD? + some sort of hypo, the second round is with the State PD or a chief deputy. If you get to second round you will probably be hired. Once you are "hired" you are placed on the list and people will be drawn from the list and placed at offices as offices have openings. I have no idea how they decide who goes where. Your preferences are mostly irrelevant and best kept to yourself.

Training and First Year:

You get a misdemeanor caseload, for a couple weeks at least there will be another slightly more experienced PD who will be your partner in docket. You will be expected to competently represent clients from day one, but usually your supervisor will sit in on your first client advisements or jail visits so they can make sure you don't immediately fuck things up. If you go to trial you'll have a second chair to help you out. There are regular training by the state office and your local supervisors. There is an incredibly tough learning curve if you are placed in a high pressure jurisdictions as there is just an enormous amount of stuff to know just to be half way competent. If you do ok your first year they will schedule you for bootcamp, which is a week long ultra intensive course on how to work up and try a felony case that has been approved as boot camp appropriate (interesting issues, likely to go to trial etc). If you pass boot camp (and many don't) you'll get clearance to get a felony docket, and you'll go handle district court cases when your office has an opening in district court.

I did misdemeanors only for about a year, then I helped people on some felonies but still had a misdo caseload until about 1.5 years in. At 1.5 years I started representing district court clients ranging from drug possession to aggravated assault and attempted murder. Then at about 2.5 years I also started doing juvie cases ranging from shoplifting to attempted murder. My last year I did juvenile defense and crimes against juveniles (sex assault on child type cases). Murder cases go to four person teams: 1st chair, 2nd chair, investigator, admin. I was a second chair on one which ultimately plead out a month before trial.

Compensation:

Starting salary for newly licensed attorney: $57.2k
Annual pay raise: 1-2% (maybe more if state government gives everyone raises)
Training completion raise: 5% at end of year 2

I started at around 54k and left at 65k after about 4 years. In another year or two I would have probably been promoted to senior pd, which would have put me around 75k/year. There isn't much promotion potential above senior PD. There is Lead PD for the people that regularly first chair homicides and are all around bad asses, but after that only raises come from the small annual raise or if you happen to become a supervisor or office head. How fast you are promoted really depends on the needs of your office not your competence necessarily. Someone working at Sterling will get promoted to senior before someone working at a metro denver office because there are just not many experienced people that want to live long term in Sterling, CO.

Benefits: standard government benefits, also a Colorado's pension system is pretty generous if not sustainable
Last edited by Borhas on Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Clamence
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by Clamence » Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:03 pm

Borhas wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:29 pm
bikeflip wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:57 pm
Borhas wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:33 pm
By the way, if anyone has questions about the Colorado State Public Defender's Office let me know (hiring, interview), PM's are fine if you want to be real specific. I was a PD for about 4 years, worked on every type of case including murder-1 before burning out.

I know the answer to this, Borhas, but others will wanna know.

How does hiring work in Colorado? Is it statewide hiring? Is there a chance you will be sent to an area you might not wanna work in? What does the first year of training look like? What kind of cases did you do? Did you do municipal cases?
Colorado State Public Defender System Overview:
Wow, Borhas this is awesome. Thanks so much for this.

leslie
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by leslie » Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:44 pm

if i have pretty good criminal defense experience from law school (e.g. criminal defense pro bono all three years, a lot of clinics with substantive experience including the PD clinic, recs from my clinical instructors, etc etc) and then do biglaw for a few years, is it at all realistic to try to transition to PD work after?

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RubyRhad
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by RubyRhad » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:24 pm

[/quote]

Interesting question! I'm probably not the best person to ask, as I was being pretty picky about where I was willing to live. I'm a city person and had/have a strong West Coast preference. I applied to a bunch of CA offices (where I had thought I would end up), but CA hiring is weird because you can't be hired full-time until after bar results, so you end up having to find a "Post-Bar" position where you may or may not be paid until you finally get hired somewhere. I originally intended to only apply to CA offices and wherever else came to my school, but then got really sick of interviewing and the job search and realized I did not want to go through the process again (post-bars typically go through a regular entry-level PD hiring process). I had already decided not to go to EJW at that point (few West Coast offices), so didn't apply as broadly as I think I would have had I been being less picky when I started. I had applied to my current job on a complete whim and because I liked the city I'm currently in. I got lucky and got a FT offer here, so couldn't imagine turning that down for any temporary option in CA.

Many of my LS friends were less picky than me and applied more broadly through EJW, etc. Most of them ended up with multiple offers and got to choose between them. A few people didn't end up with EJW offers, so ended up doing post-bars in CA. So while I'd like to say everyone had choices and freedom to go where they wanted, there were some that were scrambling to find something in the spring.
[/quote]

What are the exit options for a PD? Can you, say, transition to a litigation boutique (or something similar) after doing PD for a few years if it were necessary?
Are there any PD offices where going to a T14 is necessary?

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Borhas
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by Borhas » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:26 pm

There is no PD office where going to a T14 is necessary, but PDS- DC seems to be pretty prestige whorish

Federal PD jobs are ridiculously difficult to land out of law school, so if you wanted to be hired out of ls to that sort of gig you probably need to be T14 for serious consideration

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Hey_Everybody
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by Hey_Everybody » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:53 pm

Hi there, long term lurker here, but I feel compelled to ask this because Colorado PD is my goal coming out of law school. If you had to guess, what are the odds that you would wind up being assigned somewhere super rural like Sterling or Trinidad or Alamosa or something for your first two years? I would be willing to relocate anywhere, but I suspect that my SO would not be thrilled with the job prospects for her in any of these areas. Do most people wind up being assigned somewhere on the front range or are these rural postings common for your first couple of years?
Last edited by Hey_Everybody on Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Borhas
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by Borhas » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:05 pm

Ok, so I would classify the rural offices into two types:

potentially cool mountain towns:
Steamboat Springs
Glenwood Springs
Durango
Salida
Dillon

depressed small towns:
La Junta
Trinidad
Sterling
Alamosa

Montrose and Grand Junction are kind of a mix of those two

the odds of you being placed in La Junta, Trinidad, Sterling, Alamosa, Grand Junction or Montrose are small. Those offices combined are smaller than a medium sized office like Pueblo. You're SO may find it hard to work in the mountain towns too. Most of those are tiny offices as well, no more than 6 or so attorneys each. Since people can't transfer for two years, a lot of those offices may not actually need to hire someone if they recently received a placement.

Denver and Colorado Springs have more attorneys than all of those offices combined, and once you add in the Front Range offices (Pueblo, Castle Rock, Golden, Boulder, Arapahoe, Brighton, Greeley, Fort Collins), odds are pretty good that you could live in an economically vibrant area. Even if you worked in Pueblo you could easily live in Colorado Springs. If you worked in Greeley you could live in Fort Collins.

On the other hand you could be placed in Alamosa and your SO would have no life and no job

lastly, would appreciate it if you took down the big block quote, I'd like to edit that post as I go, also its clunky
Last edited by Borhas on Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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bikeflip
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by bikeflip » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:57 pm

Borhas, you might wanna clarify just a bit. Grand Junction has more than 6 PDs. I'd estimate they're closer to 12-15 based on their webpage. The other 5, yeah. They're tiny and cover multiple (large and empty) counties like you mentioned. Lotta driving from Sterling to Kit Carson for your weekly county court docket, though some of the offices do have a company car for you to put miles on. From my experience, most people placed in the other 5 areas cycle out after 2 yrs. So they usually need 1-3 new attorneys every year. So 5-15 people are gonna be bummed about their placement. How big is the usual incoming class of PDs, just so 2Ls and 3Ls can compare?

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Borhas
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by Borhas » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:31 am

Yep 5-15 sounds right to rurals sounds about right

Number of new hires is not set but I think about 40-60 a year.

The system has about 500 attorney positions in total (440 trial lawyers), and 80ish % retention rate last time i looked that up.

It looks like OSPD's budget request for this next year is asking for 60 new attorney positions. Legislature probably won't give them all of that but CO is flush right now (and counter intuitively the GOP tax plan will lead to hundreds of millions more in state tax revenue).

So next year could be a great year to try to get into OSPD.

If anyone is curious here is the FY2019 budget requests. It has also sorts of nifty info like case loads etc. http://www.coloradodefenders.us/wp-cont ... equest.pdf

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Leela
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by Leela » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:16 pm

Clamence wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:51 pm
Thank you for this wealth of information, this is wonderful. It seems like a lot of work, which is no surprise. Do you find that work life balance is about as difficult as it is for those in biglaw? More difficult? Less difficult? You mentioned earlier that you were interested in being a public defender for the long haul. Do you ever think about jumping to federal public defense? Why or why not?
The biggest difference in terms of workload is that I don't get "big lawed" and have a lot of control over my schedule. Trials don't crop up all of a sudden and since I have my own caseload a supervisor doesn't dump things on me out of the blue. Basically I don't live under a pathern which is a huge deal in terms of quality of life compared to big law. On the other hand, there are serious emotional stresses that I don't think are as present in big law. I don't think it's more or less difficult, they just tax you in different ways.

I interned with a federal defender office in law school. They make more money, are better supported, work better hours (because of the appropriate case load). It is an incredible job. Unfortunately, the federal government doesn't really come after people on weak cases. As a result there isn't a lot of trial work or traditional litigation, so much as mitigation and sentencing work. It really change what your definition of a win is. My understanding is also that a huge proportion of the work is federal re-entry charges, gun possession, and drug possession (or very low level distribution of either)...all of which are boring as shit. At this point it's not something I'm particularly keen on, but wouldn't rule it out in the future.

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Leela
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by Leela » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:18 pm

alykdesire wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:55 pm
Leela, thank you so much for that information. You are a beautiful angel literally sent from heaven.

Question, and sorry if you already addressed this but I don't think so: Did you have to wait until 3L or shortly after graduation before you were able to lock down your current place of employment? I've heard that public interest usually has to wait a little bit longer than those interested in corporate law for a job offer.
I am a bored lady who spends too much time on the internet, but thanks :P

I received an offer in spring of my 3L year, which is pretty typical. My office hires people prior to bar passage, but many places don't.

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Leela
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by Leela » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:19 pm

leslie wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:44 pm
if i have pretty good criminal defense experience from law school (e.g. criminal defense pro bono all three years, a lot of clinics with substantive experience including the PD clinic, recs from my clinical instructors, etc etc) and then do biglaw for a few years, is it at all realistic to try to transition to PD work after?
Yes, I know several people that have done this

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bestwishes
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by bestwishes » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:35 pm

Borhas wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:33 pm
By the way, if anyone has questions about the Colorado State Public Defender's Office let me know (hiring, interview), PM's are fine if you want to be real specific. I was a PD for about 4 years, worked on every type of case including murder-1 before burning out.
Thanks so much for all the info you shared, Borhas! Do you mind sharing why you burnt out and what you're up to now?

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Borhas
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by Borhas » Wed Mar 07, 2018 5:44 pm

I'm a hearing officer at a state agency, mostly do dmv hearings right now, hopefully start handling regulatory stuff (licensing for marijuana dispensaries in particular) after I get more experience.

I got a reputation at being good at child abuse cases and child witnesses so I ultimately ended up getting a caseload that included juvenile clients, and adult clients charged with felonies against their children (mostly child molestation but some attempted murder level violence type stuff as well). It was soul crushing for various reasons. I often felt stuck in between 3 assholes, the client, the DA, and the Judge. Sometimes I had to the be the asshole too.

If you can't inhibit your empathy to some degree you will burn out. Some people can be empathetic and never burn out, those people are nuts. I felt bad for my clients, for the vics, for the fucking jurors that had to watch some horrible videos etc, even for the DA's when I had to embarrass them, and for me when I got embarassed. Never felt bad for the judges though.

All in all there was just too much evil in the whole criminal justice system for me to handle on an emotional level.

I could have handled if it was a 20 hour/week job, but it was a 60 hour/week job

Cal Trask
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by Cal Trask » Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:03 pm

To trail off of Borhas's post, I can maybe try to answer questions about the Colorado hiring process, having somewhat recently gone through it myself.

I don't think the process has fundamentally changed in the last few years though.

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bikeflip
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by bikeflip » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:12 pm

Cal Trask wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:03 pm
To trail off of Borhas's post, I can maybe try to answer questions about the Colorado hiring process, having somewhat recently gone through it myself.

I don't think the process has fundamentally changed in the last few years though.
Bump for this. Do you like your placement? What was the applications process like? Were there hypos in the interview? What did you do 1L amen 2L summer? Where are you at in your career? Is Nolan the best Rockie of all time? What type of mentoring and training do you get?

Cal Trask
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by Cal Trask » Wed May 16, 2018 3:59 pm

bikeflip wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:12 pm
Cal Trask wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:03 pm
To trail off of Borhas's post, I can maybe try to answer questions about the Colorado hiring process, having somewhat recently gone through it myself.

I don't think the process has fundamentally changed in the last few years though.
Bump for this. Do you like your placement? What was the applications process like? Were there hypos in the interview? What did you do 1L amen 2L summer? Where are you at in your career? Is Nolan the best Rockie of all time? What type of mentoring and training do you get?
I love my placement. My application is going to vary somewhat from others, since I originally applied for my 2L internship through EJW, had a scheduled table interview, then a follow-up skype interview. After my internship, I submitted an application for an attorney position, had a skype interview, and was notified by November of my 3L year that I was being offered a position. Overall it was a pretty simple process.

I don't recall specifically any hypos, moreso questions regarding court experience and preferences on where I'd want to live in Colorado, things like that.

1L summer I worked at a PD office closer to my law school. 2L, as I said, I was an intern with Colorado. During that time I was in court multiple times a week with my own caseload and even got to do two trials over the summer.

At this point, I'm still in my first year and as such am doing misdemeanors.

Not sure if Nolan is the best Rockie of all time, I think only time will tell on that one. That said, I'd be heartbroken if he leaves any time soon.

Training and mentoring-wise, all first-year attorneys in the state are required to complete a number of trainings during their first year, culminating with a felony "boot camp" around the one year mark, which they need to successfully complete before moving to district court cases. The trainings leading up to boot camp have been helpful, with various trainings addressing different subjects you'll encounter in trial and representation. As mentoring goes, it's extremely unlikely that you'd be doing your first trial or two alone. In my office at least, supervisors review your preparation and provide support in that preparation to guide you along the way.

SpikeSeagull
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by SpikeSeagull » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:43 pm

2 qs:

1) As a rising 2L... what timeline would y'all suggest I should be on for trying to get a gig in a trial office? I'm based in NYC--looks like most of the trial offices there start hiring around September.

2) I'm thinking of trying to get a clerkship. If I try to pursue that route and manage to land one (all hypothetical at this point), would that be looked down upon for future hiring at a PD office? B/c skills aren't super relevant to trial work/it looks like I'm not committed? Just wondering if it'd be worthwhile to spend time on.

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Leela
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by Leela » Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:45 pm

SpikeSeagull wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:43 pm
2 qs:

1) As a rising 2L... what timeline would y'all suggest I should be on for trying to get a gig in a trial office? I'm based in NYC--looks like most of the trial offices there start hiring around September.
for permanent positions or internships?

SpikeSeagull
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by SpikeSeagull » Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:59 pm

Leela wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:45 pm
SpikeSeagull wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:43 pm
2 qs:

1) As a rising 2L... what timeline would y'all suggest I should be on for trying to get a gig in a trial office? I'm based in NYC--looks like most of the trial offices there start hiring around September.
for permanent positions or internships?
2L Summer Internships.

LunaBar
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by LunaBar » Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:49 pm

SpikeSeagull wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:59 pm
Leela wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:45 pm
SpikeSeagull wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:43 pm
2 qs:

1) As a rising 2L... what timeline would y'all suggest I should be on for trying to get a gig in a trial office? I'm based in NYC--looks like most of the trial offices there start hiring around September.
for permanent positions or internships?
2L Summer Internships.
What office do you want/location? NYC or outside NYC?

There's almost no such thing as too early to apply (except for some places that are disorganized and lose early applications).

LunaBar
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by LunaBar » Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:53 pm

SpikeSeagull wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:43 pm

2) I'm thinking of trying to get a clerkship. If I try to pursue that route and manage to land one (all hypothetical at this point), would that be looked down upon for future hiring at a PD office? B/c skills aren't super relevant to trial work/it looks like I'm not committed? Just wondering if it'd be worthwhile to spend time on.
re this part: if you want to clerk you clerk (assuming we're talking federal clerkships here). if you want to be a pd you be a pd. in vast majority (if not all) state pd offices clerking wont help you land a job (different for FDs). some it might hurt a bit, the biggest thing you have to explain is why you clerked instead of going right into pd work. the fear of a lot of offices/interviewers is that you want something intellectually stimulating and prestigious and youre gonna be smacked in the face hard pretty quickly and might not survive as a pd.

that being said, people do clerk and then they do go to state trial offices. Only do it if it's something you want to do

senoritascully
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by senoritascully » Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:46 pm

Hi! Incoming 1L here. What are the best options for my 1L summer if I'm interested in being a PD? My school isn't highly ranked but places well in its area.

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Eurapoopin
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by Eurapoopin » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:31 pm

senoritascully wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:46 pm
Hi! Incoming 1L here. What are the best options for my 1L summer if I'm interested in being a PD? My school isn't highly ranked but places well in its area.
I interned with a local PD office for my 1L summer. So you can obviously do that. 1L summer is less important than 2L summer though, even for PDs. So if you have any inclination to explore other fields at some point, 1L summer could be a good time to do that as well.

Most states also have a lot of nonprofit organizations that either do criminal defense work of some sort or generally serve indigent populations. Shouldn't be difficult for you to find a good organization, so focus on your courses and just keep up with public interest fairs or whatever your school does to promote those kinds of things.

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