By: Crystal L. Droney
The purpose of this paper is to define a District Attorney, explain what the requirements are for that position, and to discuss the different things one can expect from doing a position like that one.
According to http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com a District Attorney is an elected official of a county or a designated district with the responsibility for prosecuting crimes. The duties include managing the prosecutor's office, investigating alleged crimes in cooperation with law enforcement, and filing criminal charges or bringing evidence before the Grand Jury that may lead to an indictment for a crime. In some states a District Attorney is officially entitled County Attorney or State's Attorney. United States Attorneys are also called Federal District Attorneys and are prosecutors for districts (there are several in larger states) within the Department of Justice, are appointed by the President and serve at his/her pleasure. (1)
The District Attorney is an elected position. Due to the fact that it is an elected position, a DA must not only be publicly visible but also have the confidence of the constituency. Lawyers who wish to be elected must first have a public presence in some capacity, and excellent professional exposure. Once the DA is elected, he or she may appoint ADAs, or Assistant District Attorneys. A good way to become a future DA is to apprentice a legal assistant in the DA’s office while still a law student. This would provide an insider’s view into how the county or district works, as well as insight into what is required to prosecute a case. (Source: http://www.lawcrossing.com) (2)
The requirements for becoming a Da are attending law school and passing the bar. Attending law school is a pre-requisite for all attorneys. It is always a good idea to excel while in law school because it will look better to any future employer and that includes the people who would vote for the DA. Also, if you can get an internship with an Assistant DA while in law school, that would look even better to an employer. After graduating law school one must prepare to take the BAR exam. Before doing this, however, you must figure out what state you wish to practice law in because attorneys are only allowed to be licensed in one state at a time. (Source: http://www.lawcrossing.com) (3)
Once you become an ADA or DA, there are certain things that are expected of you. You must be ethical in your daily work life as well as your home life. You must have good intuition on what cases to take and what not to take. And you must be seen in the public eye as someone who is a protector of the people. The following interview was with the First Assistant to the District Attorney of Warren County, Pennsylvania.
How long have you been the first assistant to the District Attorney? Fist Assistant? Not long. I have only been first assistant two months. The DA took office the first of the year, actually. The first Monday and that’s pro to the Pennsylvania Constitution. I was the second assistant because there are only 2 assistants to the DA in Warren County. And I was appointed to that position April 15th, 2013. So I haven’t even been in the office for a year yet.
Do you like your job? I do. Very much so. You never know what’s going to come across your desk. We are in charge of all the criminal activity within the county of Warren. Which is not the largest county in PA, but geographically we are by no means the smallest.
What kind of education do you have? I, of course, graduated from high school in 2005 from Warren area. I went to college at Mercy Hurst. It was still Mercy Hurst College Not University. I graduated from there in 2009 with a BS in Political Science and a Minor in in history, but I am 2 classes from a major. Then, I went straight to law school down in Oklahoma City and I graduated from there in May of 2012. And that is a Juris Doctor Degree not to be confused…