former AUSA taking questions

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surforski
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former AUSA taking questions

Postby surforski » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:45 pm

I have anecdotal stuff about how colleagues got the job, I was NOT in a major market, happy to take any questions

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ck3
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Re: former AUSA taking questions

Postby ck3 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:48 pm

Is there an upper age cutoff for those applying to be a US Attorney?

surforski
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Re: former AUSA taking questions

Postby surforski » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:49 pm

ck3 wrote:Is there an upper age cutoff for those applying to be a US Attorney?

No

randomperson
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Re: former AUSA taking questions

Postby randomperson » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:58 pm

hey thanks for taking questions!

how many hours a week would you spend in the office/doing work at home?

what salary does an AUSA top off at?

surforski
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Re: former AUSA taking questions

Postby surforski » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:17 pm

randomperson wrote:hey thanks for taking questions!

how many hours a week would you spend in the office/doing work at home?

what salary does an AUSA top off at?


I'd estimate 50 a week.

Schedule varied dramatically dep. on cases, also time flies by real quick in court versus desk. You get 'govt level' status which determines your pay, so if you've been with DOJ, say, for X years, but some kid is coming off a clerkship, obviously diff. pay.

Im not sure what the present actual salaries are, which is probably what you're asking - sure this is public info.

Renzo
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Re: former AUSA taking questions

Postby Renzo » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:22 pm

Crim or Civil?

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broadhead
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Re: former AUSA taking questions

Postby broadhead » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:24 pm

i'm interested to hear pretty much anything you have to say about the job - best/worst parts, maybe?

but if that's too broad: would you say you found the job satisfying? did you feel like you were making a meaningful contribution to your community/the world?

and if it's not too personal: why did you leave?

thanks for doing this.

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jdstl
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Re: former AUSA taking questions

Postby jdstl » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:28 pm

I know this is a general question, and I've read up on on the typical routes to an USA's office, but in your opinion what's the most reliable route if your ultimate goal is to make it to a USA Office? It's always sounded like my dream job.

surforski
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Re: former AUSA taking questions

Postby surforski » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:30 pm

Renzo wrote:Crim or Civil?

Crim

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NoleinNY
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Re: former AUSA taking questions

Postby NoleinNY » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:32 pm

Did most of your coworkers get in by being the Top of the Top, doing DOJ Honors, etc. or did they come in with legal experience at the state/local level or private sector jobs related to the cases they covered? (i.e. someone doing going ADA ->AUSA or Firm ->AUSA)

surforski
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Re: former AUSA taking questions

Postby surforski » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:43 pm

broadhead wrote:i'm interested to hear pretty much anything you have to say about the job - best/worst parts, maybe?

but if that's too broad: would you say you found the job satisfying? did you feel like you were making a meaningful contribution to your community/the world?

and if it's not too personal: why did you leave?

thanks for doing this.


I did. I enjoyed trynig cases a lot. First few years for any AUSA will be in low-profile stuff like health care fraud, postal fraud, etc., and that involves learning the laws that govern those fields, not something most people know coming in. First few years were challenging for me because I came out of IP law.

I left to resume a career in the pvt sector for financial reasons.

Renzo
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Re: former AUSA taking questions

Postby Renzo » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:45 pm

surforski wrote:
Renzo wrote:Crim or Civil?

Crim

What did you leave for? Private practice? Crim. defense?

Edit: answered above. But is it defense work, or litigation? Something else?

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yinz
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Re: former AUSA taking questions

Postby yinz » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:50 pm

surforski wrote:I left to resume a career in the pvt sector for financial reasons.

I spoke with a former NY-SD AUSA who said the same thing. Well, actually, he said the reason he left was that "my wife spends too much goddamn money." Same thing.

On a more serious note, what is the transition like back to private?

surforski
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Re: former AUSA taking questions

Postby surforski » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:53 pm

jdstl wrote:I know this is a general question, and I've read up on on the typical routes to an USA's office, but in your opinion what's the most reliable route if your ultimate goal is to make it to a USA Office? It's always sounded like my dream job.


This might not be a workable answer, but the best way to get a AUSA job is to be recommended by either a former AUSA, or to demonstrate somehow that you're not going to be around for 2 years and bounce for a private sector gig. This might sound a little weird, but my interview went well in part because I bemoaned my private sector experience, which I eventually returned to anyway. I did not have connections with a former AUSA, a lot of my colleagues did - they worked for law firms where their colleagues had worked in the AUSA office. So one way to use this advice would be to try to seek out former USAOs, probably in the white collar practice group if your firm has one.

I sought advice from my school's career center which listed alumni who had gone on to become AUSAs, and had kind of a mentor relationship with someone who I actually did not use for my apps, but that would be another route.

surforski
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Re: former AUSA taking questions

Postby surforski » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:58 pm

yinz wrote:
surforski wrote:I left to resume a career in the pvt sector for financial reasons.

I spoke with a former NY-SD AUSA who said the same thing. Well, actually, he said the reason he left was that "my wife spends too much goddamn money." Same thing.

On a more serious note, what is the transition like back to private?

Its useful, I'm not doing white collar stuff like a lot of people who move back to the private sector end up doing. If I eventually am on a big case, I'm pretty sure that I'll be advertised for my trial experience. A lot of clients for my present firm hire my firm because they want to know we're good until trial if that eventuates. My experience helps in that way, puts me on cases that I otherwise wouldn't be on based on my seniority status, or lack thereof. In other words, a stint with the USAO makes you a nice marketing prop, and gets you on cases. Its actually a pretty neat conversation point with clients.
Last edited by surforski on Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

surforski
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Re: former AUSA taking questions

Postby surforski » Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:00 pm

Renzo wrote:
surforski wrote:
Renzo wrote:Crim or Civil?

Crim

What did you leave for? Private practice? Crim. defense?

Edit: answered above. But is it defense work, or litigation? Something else?

IP lit, that was my former job before the AUSA gig.

Anonymous User
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Re: former AUSA taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:01 pm

any chance of landing the job if you're below median?

surforski
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Re: former AUSA taking questions

Postby surforski » Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:any chance of landing the job if you're below median?

I dont understand what you mean

Danteshek
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Re: former AUSA taking questions

Postby Danteshek » Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:03 pm

surforski wrote:I have anecdotal stuff about how colleagues got the job, I was NOT in a major market, happy to take any questions


Were you in San Diego?

tortbook
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Re: former AUSA taking questions

Postby tortbook » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:54 am

Is it possible to work as an AUSA in one market, gain experience and then transfer to another market internally (to still be an AUSA / work in the DOJ)? Do you know anyone who was able to do this?

nol607
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Re: former AUSA taking questions

Postby nol607 » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:58 am

Thanks for doing this. Do you know how one goes from ADA to AUSA, specifically how do you differentiate yourself from the thousands of other ADAs who want to make the transition? What criteria, beyond school & grades, are looked at?

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Cavalier
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Re: former AUSA taking questions

Postby Cavalier » Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:01 pm

How easy is it to transition back the private sector? If you've been an AUSA for a few years, will lots of firms be looking to hire you? You said you left for financial reasons - I'm curious how much the private sector position you took is paying, if you don't mind sharing. Thanks.




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