Staff Attorney (Female, Age 31) in medway, MA

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 31 who works as a Staff Attorney in medway, MA. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete our job profile survey so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job TitleStaff Attorney
Salary$55,800
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week40
Company Size(not answered)
Locationmedway, MA
Years Experience2 years

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career0
Education(not answered)
Income Rating0 / 10
Interest Rating0 / 10
Work-Life Rating0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating0 / 10

Table of Contents

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
I am a public defender and work for the public defender’s office (Committe for Public Counsel Services). We provide legal representation for criminal defendants who are deemed indigent by the court. In the Worcester Superior Court office, where I work, there are 8 attorneys and 2 staff. The district court office has 6 attorneys. There is a juvenile unit as well. For the entire state, there are probably 100 + lawyers and a lot of administrative staff.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
I am a public defender. I provide legal representation for criminal defendants who are deemed indigent by the court. I represent them from arraignment to trial, if necessary and any and all motions and proceedings in between. I handle cases dealing with mental health issues, and represent people charged with all types of crimes such as robbery, attempted murder (but not actual murder), rape, assaults, home invasions, etc.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
medical and dental insurance, retirement pension, 2 weeks sick, 2 weeks vacation, 3 personal days, and I can earn comp time for working on holidays-paid holidays.

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
under

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
Yes, I like it.

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?
Yes

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 6
Benefits: 4
Hours: 5
Co-Workers: 2
Supervisors: 7
Job Title: 8
Level of Responsibility: 3
The Actual Work: 1

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?
Online ad on the public defender’s website

What was the application process?
submitted resume, application (paper) and writing sample, with references.

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
I had two interviews. One with my two direct supervisors and then a second interview with one of the heads of the Committee in the main office in Boston. All were individual interviews.

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
Why I would switch from being a prosecutor to defense, why indigent defense, instead of making money representing rich people, will I be comfortable at the jail, why do I like being a lawyer, etc.

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes. I accumulated cases slowly as I grew to understand what I was doing and the court lingo and procedure.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
Yes. Law school. I also had a clerkship for a year after that, but it’s not required (though very helpful!).

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes, I went to a great law school and undergraduate school, and they really taught me how to think and analyze, which are important for a lawyer.

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
Law school with a heavy concentration in criminal work, such as a clinic. Perhaps before law school, work in a law firm or other legal setting to get used to being around lawyers all the time. Once in law school, intern at our office. You need to be passionate about what you do, otherwise, you will not like it and will dread coming to work.

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
Legal skills, ability to see both sides of an issue, ability to deal well with people of all backgrounds and beliefs, comfort speaking in front of others and standing up for what you believe in.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
Yes.

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
Take what others (i.e., clients!) say with a grain of salt and don’t let them intimidate you. Have fun with it, and know that you’ll be doing great work during every day you are at your job. There are some clients you’ll like and others you won’t, but each one deserves great legal representation and don’t be frustrated by the system.

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