Colby Freeman (left) is a 3L at USF and has been volunteering for the San Francisco DA's office for four years. He's committed a huge chunk of his life to the office, and of course was hoping that time served would land him with a job after graduation.
Unfortunately, timing is not on Freeman's side. Despite the fact the DA's offices across the country have rescinded offers to 3Ls (citing budget cuts, in most cases), there's an added layer of distress: biglaw refugees looking for public interest work to tide them over until their firms can afford them, according to a really interesting Cal Law story by Petra on the subject (free reg. req.).
Across the bay from Freeman, Alameda County's DA office is experiencing a crunch that seems to paint a pretty scary public-sector picture:
So far, several counties in California (including Contra Costa) are not offering positions to biglaw deferrees. According to Petra, "some [DA's offices] said they [are] weighing the fairness to those for whom this would not just be a pit stop until the economy improves." Sounds like a tough call.