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Exit Interview: Alyssa Staudinger ’13 a new DA in Sin City

August 2, 2013 | Students

Alyssa Staudinger ’13 will be heading to the Nevada desert to work as a deputy district attorney in the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office, which covers Las Vegas. After entering law school unsure of what she wanted to do, Staudinger has worked in three different prosecutors’ offices and took the Prosecution Clinic.

“I initially thought I would work at a law firm, and I didn’t particularly like my first-year Criminal Law class,” Staudinger said. “But after my first year, I applied for all kinds of jobs and ended up accepting a summer position at the Delaware (Ohio) County Prosecutor’s Office. I just loved it. I loved the action and the interesting issues. I started taking more criminal classes and realized this is exactly what I want to do.”

The following summer, Staudinger worked at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland, located in Baltimore. During her third year, she worked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio.

“In Baltimore, I worked on a lot of drug and gun crimes,” she said. “I wrote sentencing memos, memos related to the suppression of evidence, and researched the admissibility of certain evidence. I also was able to do some trial prep work and was all ready to sit at the counsel table during a trial, but, of course, the defendant accepted a plea at the 11th hour.”

In the Prosecution Clinic, Staudinger handled three cases.

“Even though I had already worked at both the county and federal level, the clinic was a different experience because there were so many issues like search warrants, collection of evidence, the thought process on deciding what charges to file that law clerks just don’t normally see. As a law clerk, the case is well-developed by the time it gets to you for research questions. In the clinic, I got to make some of those preliminary decisions, including what I was and was not willing to offer as a plea.”

In Clark County, Staudinger will start in the appeals division and after a year will apply to one of the office’s trial divisions.

“I knew I wanted to be a prosecutor so I applied to just about every office in the country that hires before graduation,” she said. “It worked out well that I am heading to Las Vegas.”