CCN for a career as an ADA?

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thunderflesh
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CCN for a career as an ADA?

Postby thunderflesh » Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:39 pm

I'm hoping to get some feedback on both my career plans, and on what schools I should pick in order to pursue them. I've applied to start in Fall 2011, and I've heard back from enough schools to start thinking about which ones to go to, given my career goals.

I want to go into government law. Specifically, I want to be a prosecutor. I'm interested in working as an ADA or (even better) a federal prosecutor. It is my understanding that many federal prosecutors come from prestigious private firms; so, if I want to become a federal prosecutor, should I just go for BigLaw and then try to switch over? Some people have seemed to indicate that being an ADA can be kind of a dead-end, career wise. Does anyone have a sense of whether this is true?

So far, I'm into Georgetown and (almost certainly- decision letter sent 12/6, RD) NYU. I applied to several other T14 schools (waiting to hear back), along with Brooklyn Law and Indiana University-Bloomington. I have a 172/3.63, so I expect $$$ from Brooklyn, IU, and possibly Georgetown.

If I want to go the ADA route, would CCN be worth sticker, or would it make more sense to go for Georgetown/Brooklyn/IU with $$$, given what my salary as an ADA would be? Or should I stick with CCN regardless, and fall back their nice LRAP packages?

And if I want to become a federal prosecutor, I should probably stick with CCN, right?

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thelaststraw05
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Re: CCN for a career as an ADA?

Postby thelaststraw05 » Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:49 pm

I think that one of the things that is often under-valued about Georgetown is having access to D.C. internships during the school year when other law students are back at school.

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patrickd139
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Re: CCN for a career as an ADA?

Postby patrickd139 » Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:53 pm

thelaststraw05 wrote:I think that one of the things that is often under-valued about Georgetown is having access to D.C. internships during the school year when other law students are back at school.

While this is true, doesn't really help OP out. Most law schools (incl. the T2 I'm at) place students during the semester in internships. We place at DA offices, USAO, fed dist. judges, etc.

OP: Right now you want to be an ADA. That might change. Go to the best school you can get into (in case you change your mind and decide you want to clerk, do biglaw, or w/e), but wait until you have all your acceptances and scholarships back before you make that decision.

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thelaststraw05
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Re: CCN for a career as an ADA?

Postby thelaststraw05 » Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:57 pm

patrickd139 wrote:
thelaststraw05 wrote:I think that one of the things that is often under-valued about Georgetown is having access to D.C. internships during the school year when other law students are back at school.

While this is true, doesn't really help OP out. Most law schools (incl. the T2 I'm at) place students during the semester in internships. We place at DA offices, USAO, fed dist. judges, etc.


I was mostly referencing this because the OP mentioned an interest in being a federal prosecutor. Having access to both DOJ and USAO internships year round can be helpful. In particular, the USAO in DC is the largest in the country and serves as the prosecutor for both local and federal cases.

I thought that it might be something worth considering if you have an interest in becoming a federal prosecutor.

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thunderflesh
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Re: CCN for a career as an ADA?

Postby thunderflesh » Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:05 pm

patrickd139 wrote:
OP: Right now you want to be an ADA. That might change. Go to the best school you can get into (in case you change your mind and decide you want to clerk, do biglaw, or w/e), but wait until you have all your acceptances and scholarships back before you make that decision.


That is very true. I just feel an enormous amount of pressure to have my career goals figured out quickly, so I use my summer wisely haha.

I wonder if any prosecutors lurk around in TLS who would want to throw in their $.02...

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Patriot1208
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Re: CCN for a career as an ADA?

Postby Patriot1208 » Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:13 pm

OP, i've been told by an AUSA that the best route to becoming an AUSA is to be a succesful ADA first. If you can get DOJ honors out of school i'd do that, but DOJ honors doesn't seem to really discriminate based on school and more on having great grades no matter where you go and having clearly defined prior interest in government work. Someone else will have to tell you more about the ADA hiring process but I know it is very competitive, especially in New York. You may do better to eliminate some debt by taking a scholly at the lower t14 if you can.

zrcm18
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Re: CCN for a career as an ADA?

Postby zrcm18 » Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:06 pm

I've worked as an intern at the USAO for a year and half....all the AUSA's that I know of did not go to a T-14 school, most went to a T-50 school or below, a lot even went to T-3 schools....ultimately, it doesn't matter where you go to school. A few were ADA before they came on, but I know for a fact none (and i'm talking about 60+ attorneys just in my district) practiced "Biglaw" before they came to the DOJ, and the majority were not a part of "prestigious" private firms beforehand either. Make good grades, establish connections, and you can get in. All this "you have to go to a T-14 and/or practice Biglaw or you will not succeed" is the biggest load of BS I've ever heard.

NYker
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Re: CCN for a career as an ADA?

Postby NYker » Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:09 pm

zrcm18 wrote:I've worked as an intern at the USAO for a year and half....all the AUSA's that I know of did not go to a T-14 school, most went to a T-50 school or below, a lot even went to T-3 schools....ultimately, it doesn't matter where you go to school. A few were ADA before they came on, but I know for a fact none (and i'm talking about 60+ attorneys just in my district) practiced "Biglaw" before they came to the DOJ, and the majority were not a part of "prestigious" private firms beforehand either. Make good grades, establish connections, and you can get in. All this "you have to go to a T-14 and/or practice Biglaw or you will not succeed" is the biggest load of BS I've ever heard.



Do you mind if I ask what region that is in? I feel like being around the NY/NJ area it seems a little harder to get into the USAO, although this is pure speculation and may not have any truth to it whatsoever.

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Patriot1208
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Re: CCN for a career as an ADA?

Postby Patriot1208 » Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:13 pm

NYker wrote:
zrcm18 wrote:I've worked as an intern at the USAO for a year and half....all the AUSA's that I know of did not go to a T-14 school, most went to a T-50 school or below, a lot even went to T-3 schools....ultimately, it doesn't matter where you go to school. A few were ADA before they came on, but I know for a fact none (and i'm talking about 60+ attorneys just in my district) practiced "Biglaw" before they came to the DOJ, and the majority were not a part of "prestigious" private firms beforehand either. Make good grades, establish connections, and you can get in. All this "you have to go to a T-14 and/or practice Biglaw or you will not succeed" is the biggest load of BS I've ever heard.



Do you mind if I ask what region that is in? I feel like being around the NY/NJ area it seems a little harder to get into the USAO, although this is pure speculation and may not have any truth to it whatsoever.


Of the AUSA's that I have met personally through my internship with the DOJ, 1 went to harvard, 1 Georgetown, 1 stanford, 1 North Carolina, and 1 WashU. The harvard and stanford grads were in Cali and the georgetown, UNC, and Washu grads were in st. louis.

zrcm18
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Re: CCN for a career as an ADA?

Postby zrcm18 » Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:18 pm

NYker wrote: Do you mind if I ask what region that is in? I feel like being around the NY/NJ area it seems a little harder to get into the USAO, although this is pure speculation and may not have any truth to it whatsoever.


Southeast region. A lot of these AUSA's are making between $90-140k a year....plus if you work for the USAO they will help pay back your student loans....pretty good gig IMO. If you're wanting to stay around the NY/NJ region then I would obviously go to a school in that area....but it doesn't have to be NYU in order to get a spot at the USAO.

NYker
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Re: CCN for a career as an ADA?

Postby NYker » Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:23 pm

Gottcha, thanks for the info.

irishman86
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Re: CCN for a career as an ADA?

Postby irishman86 » Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:50 pm

zrcm18 wrote:I've worked as an intern at the USAO for a year and half....all the AUSA's that I know of did not go to a T-14 school, most went to a T-50 school or below, a lot even went to T-3 schools....ultimately, it doesn't matter where you go to school. A few were ADA before they came on, but I know for a fact none (and i'm talking about 60+ attorneys just in my district) practiced "Biglaw" before they came to the DOJ, and the majority were not a part of "prestigious" private firms beforehand either. Make good grades, establish connections, and you can get in. All this "you have to go to a T-14 and/or practice Biglaw or you will not succeed" is the biggest load of BS I've ever heard.


How old are these people? Because 30 years ago, it was much less competitive landing a fed gov position. Moreover, most T-14 students didn't go into biglaw either, because M&A work and other biglaw work wasn't that prominent.

Now, it is much more competitive landing any of these federal government positions, presumably requiring more academic credentials.

zrcm18
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Re: CCN for a career as an ADA?

Postby zrcm18 » Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:33 pm

irishman86 wrote:How old are these people? Because 30 years ago, it was much less competitive landing a fed gov position. Moreover, most T-14 students didn't go into biglaw either, because M&A work and other biglaw work wasn't that prominent.

Now, it is much more competitive landing any of these federal government positions, presumably requiring more academic credentials.


Anywhere from late 20's to early 40s and a few that are in their early fifties.

frost
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Re: CCN for a career as an ADA?

Postby frost » Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:56 pm

I don't have much knowledge about federal prosecution but worked/interned in a DA's Office in nyc before and during law school. Having seen at least five classes of new ADAs roll in, it seems that the prestige of their schools does not matter as much as their commitment to being a prosecutor. If you're absolutely sure you want to be an ADA, you should consider $$ a lot more than rankings, especially since NYC prosecutors make about 55k a year. If you graduate with 180k in loans, it makes it extremely difficult to seriously consider taking that salary even with LRAP. Also, check out the school's clinical programs and placements: Fordham has a clinic that places you at the Queens DA's Office, and I believe SJU has something similar.

zrcm18
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Re: CCN for a career as an ADA?

Postby zrcm18 » Sat Dec 11, 2010 3:47 pm

frost wrote: it seems that the prestige of their schools does not matter as much as their commitment to being a prosecutor. If you're absolutely sure you want to be an ADA, you should consider $$ a lot more than rankings, especially since NYC prosecutors make about 55k a year. If you graduate with 180k in loans, it makes it extremely difficult to seriously consider taking that salary even with LRAP.


+1

If I had the time I'd like to look up the current US Attorneys and see where they went to law school....I think we'd all be surprised how many didn't go to T-14's.

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Borhas
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Re: CCN for a career as an ADA?

Postby Borhas » Sat Dec 11, 2010 5:39 pm

patrickd139 wrote:OP: Right now you want to be an ADA. That might change.


a very important thing to take into account

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2014
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Re: CCN for a career as an ADA?

Postby 2014 » Sat Dec 11, 2010 9:12 pm

I think the best LRAP is the answer.
Even if the debt looks daunting, you could be looking at $0 in loan payments from say NYU on your 50k or w/e salary. Even if you come out of say Brooklyn with only COL debt, or half tuition GULC debt, you are probably going to stuck paying at least something on your loans for the 10 years until your debt is forgiven.

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thunderflesh
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Re: CCN for a career as an ADA?

Postby thunderflesh » Sun Dec 12, 2010 3:06 pm

Thanks for the thoughtful responses everyone!

It seems NYU has a pretty great LRAP program, so I'm thinking that might be the best bet... but we'll see what kind of scholarships I get.

Nice to hear that there are people on TLS who are interested in govt. law, sometimes it feels like most people are biglaw or bust heh.




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