The Office of the State Attorney requires each new Assistant State Attorney (ASA) to commit to remaining with the office for at least three (3) years, calculated from the date of their being sworn in as an Assistant State Attorney (ASA). A Legal Trainee will be sworn as an ASA when he/she passes the Florida Bar exam, his/her character and fitness background is completed and he/she is admitted to the Florida Bar.
Presently, the starting salary is $35,000 for legal trainees. After admission to the Florida Bar and having been sworn as an Assistant State Attorney, the salary will be increased to $50,000. Thereafter, and at the discretion of the Florida State Legislature, Assistants may be given cost of living increases. Additionally, merit increases may occur and promotional raises are given when an attorney rises to certain levels in the office. [Click here for Assistant State Attorney Benefits Package]
ASA candidates are required to submit a cover letter, updated resume’, and an unofficial copy of their law school transcripts to Gunnar Stewart, Attorney Recruitment Coordinator, via email at GunnarStewart@miamisao.com. You may also mail the documents to the address provided below:
Attn: Gunnar Stewart
Attorney Recruitment Coordinator
Miami State Attorney’s Office
1350 N.W. 12th Avenue
Miami, FL 33136
There are approximately 300 Assistant State Attorneys at the Office of the State Attorney. The majority of these Assistants are located at our main office, across from the criminal courts. Separate buildings house our County Court and Juvenile Divisions.
Each new Attorney is initially placed into a four to six week training program supervised by our full-time Training Officers. The training program consists primarily of lectures and workshops. Upon entering the program, each Legal Trainee will be given a comprehensive training manual which contains the subject material and case-law that new attorneys must master. Toward the end of the training program each Legal Trainee will be assigned to work with an experienced prosecutor.
After completing the training program, the new employees are assigned to the County Court Division. In County Court, we prosecute misdemeanor offenses. The assignment to County Court generally lasts approximately 12 months. While in the County Court Division the employee has an opportunity to be lead counsel in jury and non-jury trials and to conduct plea negotiations. Once the assignment to County Court has been completed, each employee generally transfers to Juvenile Division. The Juvenile Division assignment is approximately four to six months.
In Juvenile Court, we prosecute both felonies and misdemeanors. These cases are all bench trials, but they allow the Assistant State Attorney to learn the elements of the felony crimes and to improve his/her trial and advocacy skills.
At the County Court level, selected attorneys will be given the opportunity to extend their stay in these divisions. The office uses the term “committed attorneys” to identify these Assistants. Committed Attorneys receive a salary increase to encourage stability and excellence in County Court.
Upon completion of the assignments in the County Court and Juvenile Court Divisions, an ASA is assigned to the Circuit Court Division. It is in the Circuit Court Division where the ASA will primarily prosecute adult felony cases. With rare exception, the trials are all by jury.
There are presently 21 general units in the Circuit Court Division. Each general unit practices before one (1) circuit court judge on a daily basis. Within each general unit there is a Division Chief attorney (the supervising attorney), and an “A”, “B” and “C” prosecutor (the “pit” assistants). Each new incoming felony ASA enters into a unit as a “C” level prosecutor. With experience, the ASA is promoted to a “B” level and then an “A” level prosecutor. With each promotion, the ASA is assigned more difficult and serious cases.
Typical of any large prosecutor’s office, Miami-Dade County offers many areas of specialization once an attorney gains experience as a litigator. The Career Criminal, Domestic Violence, Economic Crimes, and Sexual Battery Units provide opportunities for the A level attorneys to develop an expertise in these areas.
Each of the 21 Division Chiefs have been selected by the Administration to supervise the Felony Courts and handle the most serious offenses not assigned to the Specialized Units.
Senior Trial Counsel and the Organized Crime-Racketeering/Public Corruption attorneys are experienced, career prosecutors. Entry into these positions is limited and selection is based on merit. Senior Trial Counsel handle capital crimes cases and Organized Crime-Racketeering/Public Corruption handles complex investigations.
For more information, contact Gunnar Stewart, Attorney Recruitment Coordinator at 305-547-0561 or GunnarStewart@miamisao.com.