AUSA answering questions

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Re: AUSA answering questions

Postby adonai » Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:19 am

Coco_Local wrote:

It's actually not grades. You're right, in the sense, that people with great grades apply. They don't get interviewed, however, if they don't have the right sort of experience. The bulk of these folks: (1) clerk on the appellate level; (2) spend the bulk of their time attempting to publish law review articles/research for professors when they should be in clinic or externing at a US Attorney's Office or D. Court; (3) work at firms that are known for not having strong trial departments; (4) have no basic litigation experience (i.e. depositions and/or principal brief writing duties); and (5) attempt to portray appellate work as applicable when it's not. Even if you are the law review editor at Stanford, you're not getting interviewed if you make these mistakes. During the last cull of resumes, we chose to not interview former Supreme Court clerks for this reason. During the last round, we found ~25 people with the skills/credentials we needed. It's actually not a big pool since we look for skills that are not exactly valued in law school. We don't need legal academics. We need sharp litigators who can handle running things on their own.

So how would you rank the importance of all the criteria to be competitive? And also, what kind of clinic is the best? I know very few schools have criminal law clinics, so how could you work around that?


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Re: AUSA answering questions

Postby USAIRS » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:03 am

I'm sure Coco_Local is aware of this, but office and division preferences vary. The criminal division for one I'm in, which is pretty large, seems to prefer appellate (at least for the local circuit) or supreme court clerks, law review and latin honors over those with local prosecutor and clinical experience. The civil division's hiring I can't figure out, but connections seem to matter. Coco_Local's route is common for criminal division hires here, though, as well- certain big litigation firms which are well-represented in the office, local district court clerking, and top school.

Oh, and welcome, fellow Maroon :)

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Re: AUSA answering questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:22 am

let's say you've clerked for a district court in a different district as the USAO you're applying to. how is that clerkship experience viewed?

many biglaw NYC firms that do white collar have extremely large doc-review cases. would you suggest avoiding that experience and instead work in another department (say, trademark) that does more trial work, even though the subject matter is different?

how does the hiring timeline work? i've heard that the hiring process (along with the background check) can be lengthy, and may take up to a full year.


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Re: AUSA answering questions

Postby npe » Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:26 pm

Thanks again for taking questions.

This may be too tangential to your experiences, but do you know how a D.C. Superior Court clerkship with a judge with a 100% criminal docket would be viewed by the D.C. USAO? I would think that if your goal was the criminal section, it'd be viewed as helpful, but I don't know if you'd heard anything along those lines.


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Re: AUSA answering questions

Postby TLSNYC » Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:48 pm

How important are geographic ties in the hiring process? I know I'd ultimately like to end up an AUSA in SDNY, EDNY, or DNJ, but I'm interested in potentially working in DC for a few years, if my grade are good enough. Would doing litigation at a top firm in DC vs NYC be an advantage, disadvantage, or irrelevant?

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