USAO vs. U.S. District Court

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1L summer: USAO vs. U.S. District Court?

USAO
14
74%
U.S. District Court
5
26%
 
Total votes: 19

Anonymous User
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USAO vs. U.S. District Court

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:23 am

1L internship decision, deciding between these two offers:

USAO in secondary market to which I have no ties (other than relative geographic proximity), though I am open to living in that area.

U.S. District Court in the district where my parents live and where I grew up. I wouldn't want to end up living in that area long-term, but it is adjacent to a major market (Chicago).

While I am very interested in federal criminal prosecution, I'd ideally like to clerk after graduation and then go into government work (like in a state-level AG's office).

Also, since it's bound to come up, my school doesn't require that we accept offers from judges, and the hiring clerk explicitly extended my deadline so I could decide between the offers.

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Detrox
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Re: USAO vs. U.S. District Court

Postby Detrox » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:29 am

Interning in a court as a 1L is unlikely to provide any boost to your clerkship applications and may even hurt your chances with that judge (See previous threads on this topic). USAO internship on the other hand will help demonstrate your commitment to gov't work.

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bk1
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Re: USAO vs. U.S. District Court

Postby bk1 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:51 am

Pick whichever one you'd rather do. I might be inclined to say extern with the judge just to save money (assuming you can live with parents).

midwestls
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Re: USAO vs. U.S. District Court

Postby midwestls » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:03 pm

If there is any chance that you're interested in a 2L SA position, than district court.

District court will significantly boost your SA chances in that market (and a good market to boot).

Working at the USAO will have employers wondering if you really want to do firm law.

keg411
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Re: USAO vs. U.S. District Court

Postby keg411 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:05 pm

midwestls wrote:Working at the USAO will have employers wondering if you really want to do firm law.


This is really wrong. Most AUSA's are former BigLaw attorneys.

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Cupidity
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Re: USAO vs. U.S. District Court

Postby Cupidity » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:07 pm

I've heard mixed stories from USAO's a lot of them had mediocre experiences and spent their summers performing busy work. Working for a District Court Judge was absolutely amazing.

midwestls
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Re: USAO vs. U.S. District Court

Postby midwestls » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:28 pm

keg411 wrote:
midwestls wrote:Working at the USAO will have employers wondering if you really want to do firm law.


This is really wrong. Most AUSA's are former BigLaw attorneys.


Please, think through your point here.

I'm on the recruiting committee at my firm. If you spend your 1L summer with the USOA or legal aid (in any form), my firm is going to be suspicious of you. Know why? Because most ASUAs are former firm attorneys.

There are few things firms dislike more than wasting 2-5 years training talented people for the USAO (or any other job for that matter).

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kalvano
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Re: USAO vs. U.S. District Court

Postby kalvano » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:34 pm

midwestls wrote:
keg411 wrote:
midwestls wrote:Working at the USAO will have employers wondering if you really want to do firm law.


This is really wrong. Most AUSA's are former BigLaw attorneys.


Please, think through your point here.

I'm on the recruiting committee at my firm. If you spend your 1L summer with the USOA or legal aid (in any form), my firm is going to be suspicious of you. Know why? Because most ASUAs are former firm attorneys.

There are few things firms dislike more than wasting 2-5 years training talented people for the USAO (or any other job for that matter).



Your firm sounds like douchebags. It's a 1L summer, you take what you can get. On top of that, looking suspiciously at someone who interned for the USAO is completely contrary to pretty much everyone I've spoken with. It's not the easiest internship to get, and it gives you federal experience. They all seem to like it just fine.

midwestls
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Re: USAO vs. U.S. District Court

Postby midwestls » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:41 pm

Yes ... well ... name-calling aside, the fact remains that in one recent year every - yes, every - summer associate in my firm had interned for a federal judge or magistrate as a 1L or undergrad (or both, in one instance).

None had worked for the USAO, the federal defender or any sort of legal aid job.

The irony, of course, is that the tasks performed as a district court intern and a USAO intern are extremely similar.

Yet I'll stand by my original statement: If you aspire to a 2L SA gig, particularly in that market go with the judge.

adonai
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Re: USAO vs. U.S. District Court

Postby adonai » Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:57 pm

midwestls wrote:
keg411 wrote:
midwestls wrote:Working at the USAO will have employers wondering if you really want to do firm law.


This is really wrong. Most AUSA's are former BigLaw attorneys.


Please, think through your point here.

I'm on the recruiting committee at my firm. If you spend your 1L summer with the USOA or legal aid (in any form), my firm is going to be suspicious of you. Know why? Because most ASUAs are former firm attorneys.

There are few things firms dislike more than wasting 2-5 years training talented people for the USAO (or any other job for that matter).

Same could be said for those who work for your firm then bail to clerk and go to some other firm. Judicial internship = potential clerk....right???

Anonymous User
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Re: USAO vs. U.S. District Court

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:05 am

Is a USAO internship hard to get? Would you mind saying the range of your school ranking (T2, T1, T30, T14) and if you are doing pretty good in your class ranking?

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Cupidity
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Re: USAO vs. U.S. District Court

Postby Cupidity » Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:13 am

I found that grade-cut offs weren't as hard for Gov/PI, like AG or USAO. They seemed to prefer you were above median, and beyond that, it came down to resume, interest, and interview.

Anonymous User
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Re: USAO vs. U.S. District Court

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is a USAO internship hard to get? Would you mind saying the range of your school ranking (T2, T1, T30, T14) and if you are doing pretty good in your class ranking?

Not the OP, but I received multiple interview requests from a various offices in a prestigious district and TTT school w/ no grades. Doing 0L prosecution related work helps nabbing interviews.

Anonymous User
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Re: USAO vs. U.S. District Court

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is a USAO internship hard to get? Would you mind saying the range of your school ranking (T2, T1, T30, T14) and if you are doing pretty good in your class ranking?

Not the OP, but I received multiple interview requests from a various offices in a prestigious district and TTT school w/ no grades. Doing 0L prosecution related work helps nabbing interviews.


I am the one who asked the question about how hard getting into USAO is. What 0L prosecution related work are you talking about?

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Onthebrink
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Re: USAO vs. U.S. District Court

Postby Onthebrink » Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:25 am

kalvano wrote:
midwestls wrote:
keg411 wrote:
midwestls wrote:Working at the USAO will have employers wondering if you really want to do firm law.


This is really wrong. Most AUSA's are former BigLaw attorneys.


Please, think through your point here.

I'm on the recruiting committee at my firm. If you spend your 1L summer with the USOA or legal aid (in any form), my firm is going to be suspicious of you. Know why? Because most ASUAs are former firm attorneys.

There are few things firms dislike more than wasting 2-5 years training talented people for the USAO (or any other job for that matter).



Your firm sounds like douchebags. It's a 1L summer, you take what you can get. On top of that, looking suspiciously at someone who interned for the USAO is completely contrary to pretty much everyone I've spoken with. It's not the easiest internship to get, and it gives you federal experience. They all seem to like it just fine.


Kalvano or Raylin or however you would like to be referred to, you are my hero.

Anonymous User
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Re: USAO vs. U.S. District Court

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:32 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is a USAO internship hard to get? Would you mind saying the range of your school ranking (T2, T1, T30, T14) and if you are doing pretty good in your class ranking?

Not the OP, but I received multiple interview requests from a various offices in a prestigious district and TTT school w/ no grades. Doing 0L prosecution related work helps nabbing interviews.


I am the one who asked the question about how hard getting into USAO is. What 0L prosecution related work are you talking about?

Intern with something like the local DAs office or City Attorney's office type of thing. People here will discourage you from doing it cause it supposedly won't help you or be a bump for anything. But if you follow a certain path towards your goal while gathering related work experience on the way, you gain some valuable insights and things to talk about during the interview. That is the only thing that I think helped my resume stand out against all those HYS kids with ibanking/congressional staffer experience, because I obviously had nothing going for me in terms of school or prestige. I have also heard of people getting USAO offers in this forum without an interview because they had done DA gigs or other related stuff prior to law school.

Anonymous User
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Re: USAO vs. U.S. District Court

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is a USAO internship hard to get? Would you mind saying the range of your school ranking (T2, T1, T30, T14) and if you are doing pretty good in your class ranking?



OP here:

T25, above median but nothing special. I tried to tailor the interests I mentioned in my cover letter to the cases that particular office seemed to predominantly prosecute. That was the primary topic during my interview, and it may have helped somewhat.

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kalvano
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Re: USAO vs. U.S. District Court

Postby kalvano » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is a USAO internship hard to get? Would you mind saying the range of your school ranking (T2, T1, T30, T14) and if you are doing pretty good in your class ranking?


Doing a spring internship now with them. 2L, SMU (T50 - barely) in Dallas, was at median when offered the internship. They focused on writing and they liked a couple of the classes I took - Admin Law came up because, well, it's pretty much fundamental to anything government related. They also were pleased with Crim Pro, and it is super helpful in doing the work. Aside from that, it was mainly a "do we think working with you will suck" type of interview. I know they got more than a few resumes, and they only took 2 people for each section, criminal / civil.

Anonymous User
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Re: USAO vs. U.S. District Court

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:18 am

kalvano wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is a USAO internship hard to get? Would you mind saying the range of your school ranking (T2, T1, T30, T14) and if you are doing pretty good in your class ranking?


Doing a spring internship now with them. 2L, SMU (T50 - barely) in Dallas, was at median when offered the internship. They focused on writing and they liked a couple of the classes I took - Admin Law came up because, well, it's pretty much fundamental to anything government related. They also were pleased with Crim Pro, and it is super helpful in doing the work. Aside from that, it was mainly a "do we think working with you will suck" type of interview. I know they got more than a few resumes, and they only took 2 people for each section, criminal / civil.


Thanks to this poster and the op and all the other info. Appreciate the info. I am a 0L but a federal prosecuting position is something that is incredibly appealing to me so thanks for the info. And I will stop hijacking this thread ha.

midwestls
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Re: USAO vs. U.S. District Court

Postby midwestls » Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:11 am

adonai wrote:Same could be said for those who work for your firm then bail to clerk and go to some other firm. Judicial internship = potential clerk....right???


There doesn't seem to be as much connection. It seems rare that we have someone summer with us, get an offer, and end up clerking, or subsequently leave us for clerking. Might be luck, might be a good screening process or it might be that people like working here, but it just doesn't seem to happen. We have recently lost someone to the USAO. Not sure if she'd interned with them. Ironically, she did have clerkship experience.




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