Hi all. I’m trying to move from corporate biglaw to either private or public criminal defense. Is this transition likely? I’m a second year.

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I know some people who came from big law (not sure what type) but most of them had done at least one pro bono criminal appeal or something. For federal defense at least, you can sell the research and writing skills. But if you don’t have criminal defense clinic from law school or similar on your resume, expect to get push back from PD offices about whether you have a genuine interest and the ability to empathize with clients.

Thanks! I appreciate the response. I interned at the PD office in law school. Also attended an Ivy for law school if that moves the needle.

I recently made the move to a PD position from a similar position and found it to not be very difficult to find the kind of job I wanted. I wasn’t aiming for a major market, which might have helped.

Your law school background won’t necessarily move the needle (the Ivy League designation is kind of irrelevant for law school, but I went to a similarly ranked school). Having interned at a PD office is a positive — I didn’t even have that, just a bunch of public interest stuff pre-big law. All in all, if you can convince them that you’re committed to this kind of work, you should be able to find something

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