doj full summer or split usao/pi in smaller city/mkt?

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so ambivalent
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:52 pm

doj full summer or split usao/pi in smaller city/mkt?

Postby so ambivalent » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:58 pm

i just learned today that i got an internship with the DEA. it's unpaid and they want a full summer. i'm pretty pumped about it since my gpa was below median at a t20 and i ultimately want to work in govt (maybe not criminal law). but i also have an offer to work a split summer with the city government in my law school town (where i may ultimately want to live) and have interviews with the usao here as well as other state and local gov't agencies. i'd honestly be happy with either option but i have to let DEA know by next week and i want to make sure that i don't make a job choice that hurts me going into OCI or applying to govt jobs later on.
if i want to work in the government, but not necessarily in DC or in criminal law, would it be better to work for anything DOJ?
conversely, if i don't work locally, but want to interview credibly in this small local mkt going into 2L OCI, will the experience in DC/local networking opportunities I forego by being in DC, hurt me?
at this point, either option is great, but it's more about keeping future options open so that i am not closing any doors on local private practice OCI gigs.
any advice would be much appreciated:)

lsapplicant07
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:44 pm

Re: doj full summer or split usao/pi in smaller city/mkt?

Postby lsapplicant07 » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:57 pm

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Last edited by lsapplicant07 on Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: doj full summer or split usao/pi in smaller city/mkt?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:24 am

So I was actually in a very similar position (DEA vs. USAO, both full summer), and have decided to go USAO. Here are some things for you to consider:

1) DEA is technically part of the DOJ, but is VERRRRRY different from working at one of the actual DOJ divisions. The job is purely investigatory, and when I asked about the possibility of seeing a court room during the internship, I was basically told I might get to observe something being done before an ALJ, but nothing before a district court judge.

2) USAO is actually more prestigious than DEA, unless it's like...Wyoming (not slamming Wyoming, just saying not many people want to go there).

3) If you want to litigate, USAO makes way more sense.

This all being said, it doesn't look like you actually have a job with the USAO in your city yet, so don't turn down the federal job unless you can definitely have that USAO offer and they'll let you split your summer. From what I've gathered, the view is generally that federal trumps state in terms of prestige/caliber of work. On the other hand...if you want to live/work in the city where your law school is and want to do government, then it makes sense to do the city government in your town. But if you're not 100% committed to that, then I'd say take the DEA job.

Like the other response said, both good options.

so ambivalent
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:52 pm

Re: doj full summer or split usao/pi in smaller city/mkt?

Postby so ambivalent » Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:45 pm

got the USAO job today and they want a full summer:)
my profs all say to go DEA but i'm still torn...
thanks for your advice, guys!




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