Each year more than 1,500 law school graduates and practicing attorneys apply for positions as Assistant District Attorneys. There are approximately 40 openings each year for legal staff positions. Most of the staff is hired directly out of law school, while some of the staff join the office as laterals or after clerking.
New Assistant District Attorneys commit themselves to serving the office for three years. Most stay well beyond their commitment. Traditionally, the new class joins the office several weeks after taking the bar examination. After completing a six-week orientation and training program, ADAs begin work in their bureaus.
Assistant District Attorneys are given substantial responsibility early in their careers. ADAs start in the Trial Division, Appeals Bureau, or in the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor. As they gain experience, they have the opportunity to handle more serious and complex cases. They are also afforded the opportunity to transfer to the office's Investigation Division, which is comprised of experienced attorneys who prosecute fraud, corruption, white-collar crimes, and rackets cases. Unlike many other prosecutor's offices, we prosecute cases vertically, meaning that one ADA handles a case from its inception to final disposition.
Given the diverse nature of our community, the ability to work with people of different backgrounds is critical. In addition, the office seeks to have a legal staff that reflects the diversity of the community that we serve. To that end, we actively recruit minority applicants. The office is firmly committed to a policy against discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or employment status.
We offer a generous benefits package. Attorneys receive five weeks of paid vacation and twelve sick days. After two years of service, all attorneys are eligible for up to six months of childcare leave, which, depending on the circumstances, may be with full pay. Loan repayment assistance programs (LRAPS) relieve the debt burden of law school graduates. Various types of LRAPS are available to prosecutors in public service, including the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA), NYS Bar Association, NYS Higher Education Tuition Reimbursement Program. Click here for additional information on loan forgiveness programs.
Public Officers Law Section 3(1) requires that all persons holding civil office be citizens of the United States. Accordingly, United States citizenship is required of all Assistant District Attorneys upon commencement of their employment, as is New York State residency. A three year commitment to serve in the office is also required.