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Author Topic: Public Defender's Office Summer Internship Question  (Read 2209 times)

lakrank

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Public Defender's Office Summer Internship Question
« on: February 01, 2006, 03:00:56 PM »
Just got an interview at the New Jersey Public Defender's Office. Ideally wanted a position with the District Attorney's, but considering I wanna do criminal law, it sounds pretty cool. Or does it?
a) has anyone here worked at a PD's office? If yes, what's it like?
b) is it a good way to start a career in criminal law?
c) is it similar/equivalent to DA's office, or the latter is more prestigious?

I want to practice in New York or New Jersey, so geographically it's quite perfect.

1sweetworld4136

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Re: Public Defender's Office Summer Internship Question
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2006, 03:10:41 PM »
Just got an interview at the New Jersey Public Defender's Office. Ideally wanted a position with the District Attorney's, but considering I wanna do criminal law, it sounds pretty cool. Or does it?
a) has anyone here worked at a PD's office? If yes, what's it like?
b) is it a good way to start a career in criminal law?
c) is it similar/equivalent to DA's office, or the latter is more prestigious?

I want to practice in New York or New Jersey, so geographically it's quite perfect.

a.  I have not, but may be.
b.  As I've been told, absolutely.  Although as a 1L/2L you are generally relegated to mundane office space type work rather than pursuing the merits of a case or some type of administrative nuances.  If you're going to do criminal defense, possibly with aspirations of being a public defender yourself as opposed to private counsel, this is right up your alley.
c.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  I'd personally rather work for a District Attorney's Office - significantly more pay and more prestiege, IMHO.  This is especially true in the tri-state area.  If you have any aspirations in politics, milk an opportunity with the DA for all its worth.
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sdlaw

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Re: Public Defender's Office Summer Internship Question
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2006, 02:38:46 PM »
I would say take it, any experience is valuable especially in the field you want to practice.  Also you could always say I always wanted to be a criminal defense attorney but after my experience I realised that I wanted to become a prosecutor.

sdlaw

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Re: Public Defender's Office Summer Internship Question
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2006, 02:41:01 PM »
Also I had a friend who worked for the San Diego Public Defenders office.  She got to interview prisoners and take statements and did a lot of hands on work.  Not just the office crap, really hands on work, granted interviewing prisoners can be scary, but you get good experience.

Mimimimi

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Re: Public Defender's Office Summer Internship Question
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2006, 11:41:49 AM »
I am also a 1L and I'm interviewing with both the DA and the PD.  I am not sure which is more prestigious in terms of the actual summer employment, but I'm pretty sure that the DA's office, if that's where you want to end up eventually, will view your PD experience in a favorable light.  The employment materials that the DA gave me here said that they like to see experience with either the DA OR the PD's office; it seems like the most important thing is to get experience in criminal law, but it doesn't necessarily have to be on the "side" you want to practice on.

DA's office typically have tons of volunteer/clerk/externship opportunities during the year, so if you don't get a job with them this summer, try working for them during the year to make connections.  The only thing is that you can't work for the DA and the PD at the same time, appearance of impropriety and all that.  But it's fine to work for both sequentially.