United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia

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ProsecutionGunner
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United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia

Postby ProsecutionGunner » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:48 pm

As I understand it the US Attorney's office for the District of Columbia handles ALL the criminal cases for D.C., both Federal and Local. As D.C. is a rather large, and dangerous, city I imagine they must have a comparably large Division which deals with local criminal matters. Are these Assistant U.S. Attorneys hired differently than those who deal with the Federal matters, or are all the A.U.S.A.s hired the same and simply assigned to different areas? Is it easier to get hired for the local criminal division than their Federal Divisions? My understanding of most U.S. Attorney's offices is that basically unless you graduate from Yale and have a USSC Clerkship under your belt, you aren't being hired without 4-5 years of significant experience under your belt. Is this true for the D.C. US Attorney's office? Would a GW grad be positioned well enough to be hired out of law school to work as a A.U.S.A. in DC trying local criminal cases?

Basically is the D.C. US attorney's Office, which deals with local crime, similar to most D.A.'s offices in that they take law school grads, or is it closer to other U.S. attorney's offices in which they only take experienced lawyers?


Another question is how is the office supplementing all the people who leave via attrition? Since they deal with all the crime in D.C. they must have at least 200-300 A.U.S.A.s working on local Criminal matters, most offices that size would have to hire an additional 20-30 attorney's a year, yet they have had a hiring freeze for multiple years now.

Any insight on the D.C. US attorney's office would be appreciated.

LawIdiot86
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Re: United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia

Postby LawIdiot86 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:44 pm

ProsecutionGunner wrote:As I understand it the US Attorney's office for the District of Columbia handles ALL the criminal cases for D.C., both Federal and Local. As D.C. is a rather large, and dangerous, city I imagine they must have a comparably large Division which deals with local criminal matters. Are these Assistant U.S. Attorneys hired differently than those who deal with the Federal matters, or are all the A.U.S.A.s hired the same and simply assigned to different areas? Is it easier to get hired for the local criminal division than their Federal Divisions? My understanding of most U.S. Attorney's offices is that basically unless you graduate from Yale and have a USSC Clerkship under your belt, you aren't being hired without 4-5 years of significant experience under your belt. Is this true for the D.C. US Attorney's office? Would a GW grad be positioned well enough to be hired out of law school to work as a A.U.S.A. in DC trying local criminal cases?

Basically is the D.C. US attorney's Office, which deals with local crime, similar to most D.A.'s offices in that they take law school grads, or is it closer to other U.S. attorney's offices in which they only take experienced lawyers?


Another question is how is the office supplementing all the people who leave via attrition? Since they deal with all the crime in D.C. they must have at least 200-300 A.U.S.A.s working on local Criminal matters, most offices that size would have to hire an additional 20-30 attorney's a year, yet they have had a hiring freeze for multiple years now.

Any insight on the D.C. US attorney's office would be appreciated.


Since when is DC a "rather large, and dangerous, city"? It's 600,000 people and is loaded with every kind of police imaginable. It has crime, but not some absurd amount. Also, no, they don't hire straight out of law school and no a GW grad would not be well position to be hired.

Edit:
Also, DC USAO has 350 lawyers TOTAL: http://www.justice.gov/usao/dc/about/about.html and at least 70 of those handle non-local criminal matters: http://www.justice.gov/usao/dc/divisions/criminal.html. The Yellow Book shows contact information for 26 people in that office (which is obviously low given how the Yellow Book works), but not close to 200+.

ProsecutionGunner
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Re: United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia

Postby ProsecutionGunner » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:00 pm

LawIdiot86 wrote:Since when is DC a "rather large, and dangerous, city"? It's 600,000 people and is loaded with every kind of police imaginable. It has crime, but not some absurd amount. Also, no, they don't hire straight out of law school and no a GW grad would not be well position to be hired.


DC is currently the 24th largest city in the U.S., it is also consistently ranked as one of most dangerous cities in the country. While it has recently lost it's title as Murder Capital of the U.S. it did have that title for many consecutive years. In addition while it's population hovers around 600,000 during the work week it explodes to well over one million people.

LawIdiot86
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Re: United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia

Postby LawIdiot86 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:05 pm

ProsecutionGunner wrote:
LawIdiot86 wrote:Since when is DC a "rather large, and dangerous, city"? It's 600,000 people and is loaded with every kind of police imaginable. It has crime, but not some absurd amount. Also, no, they don't hire straight out of law school and no a GW grad would not be well position to be hired.


DC is currently the 24th largest city in the U.S., it is also consistently ranked as one of most dangerous cities in the country. While it has recently lost it's title as Murder Capital of the U.S. it did have that title for many consecutive years. In addition while it's population hovers around 600,000 during the work week it explodes to well over one million people.


Um, those 400,000 extra people are all exceeding boring, law abiding, federal employees, lobbyists, and contractors. It's got crime, but particularly if you are a lawyer in DC living away from the far SE/far NE and not going out looking for trouble, it's really not dangerous.

Anonymous User
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Re: United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:09 pm

Current USAO DC intern here, assigned to the Superior Court Division (local cases). The AUSAs that try local cases have qualifications on par with the AUSAs that try federal ones; they get hired like any other USAO, not like a DA's office.

Happy to answer any other questions you might have about the USAO DC (provided that I know the answer and answering won't out me).

Napt
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Re: United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia

Postby Napt » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:21 pm

LawIdiot86 wrote:it's really not dangerous.

Except it really is. The city is 50% black and 38% white... it's not this solely lawyer/lobbyist/federal employee filled metropolis like you make it out to be. An extremely large percentage of people who work in DC commute from NoVA and Maryland.

http://www.businessinsider.com/most-dan ... gton-dc-11
--LinkRemoved--
http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/neighb ... dangerous/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Sta ... crime_rate

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kalvano
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Re: United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia

Postby kalvano » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:53 pm

Napt wrote:
LawIdiot86 wrote:it's really not dangerous.

Except it really is. The city is 50% black and 38% white


What the fuck does that have to do with anything?

ProsecutionGunner
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Re: United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia

Postby ProsecutionGunner » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:09 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:The DC AUSAs I know have SCOTUS-level credentials, or are not far off of that.

Anonymous User wrote:Current USAO DC intern here, assigned to the Superior Court Division (local cases). The AUSAs that try local cases have qualifications on par with the AUSAs that try federal ones; they get hired like any other USAO, not like a DA's office.

Happy to answer any other questions you might have about the USAO DC (provided that I know the answer and answering won't out me).


Why is this? How are they getting such highly qualified candidates to do the same job that law school grad's do right out the gate? I mean honestly what Lawyer with 4-5 years extensive experience would want to go work misdemeanor cases? Is it more of a carrot type deal where if you are willing to work with the local criminal cases for a few years they will bump you up to the big Federal stuff?

Napt
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Re: United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia

Postby Napt » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:13 pm

kalvano wrote:
Napt wrote:
LawIdiot86 wrote:it's really not dangerous.

Except it really is. The city is 50% black and 38% white


What the fuck does that have to do with anything?

It has a lot to do with something but I'm not going to respond anymore in this thread because this conversation is no longer on-topic.

LawIdiot86
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Re: United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia

Postby LawIdiot86 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:38 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:The DC AUSAs I know have SCOTUS-level credentials, or are not far off of that.


From AUSAs in the Superior Court Division who report biographical information:
Harvard JD
Michigan JD, USDC clerkship, V25 associate
Miami JD, state agency, staff attorney NLJ250
Florida JD, V100 associate
Richmond JD, SCEP/STEP hire
Pepperdine JD, USDC clerkship, V50 associate
Michigan JD, USDC clerkship, SCEP/STEP hire
W&M JD, West Point UG, JAG
Yale JD
Columbia JD, V50 associate
Yale JD, USCOA clerkship, SCOTUS clerkship, V25 associate, White House EOP
NYU JD, V50 associate
Howard JD
Columbus JD
Harvard JD, USDC clerkship, USCOA clerkship
Villanova JD
UPenn JD
Columbia JD
NYU JD, USDC clerkship
Harvard JD

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leobowski
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Re: United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia

Postby leobowski » Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:12 am

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:The DC AUSAs I know have SCOTUS-level credentials, or are not far off of that.



I've noticed this trend in other districts as well (at least for those who became AUSAs after clerking).

Anonymous User
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Re: United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:30 pm

leobowski wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:The DC AUSAs I know have SCOTUS-level credentials, or are not far off of that.



I've noticed this trend in other districts as well (at least for those who became AUSAs after clerking).



If you look at the post above, this is pretty much wrong.

Anonymous User
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Re: United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:33 pm

i have interned here before, gtlrev's buddies do not represent the overwhelming majority of dc ausas - at all - by any stretch of the imagination. I know three SCOTUS clerks from my firm, every single one of them is male, white, left-handed, and has dark brown hair. That means nothing. Maybe he met them at a SCOTUS clerk convention. A small sample size is so misleading when someone asks for job advice to plan out their future and keep certain goals in the horizon, so ppl should refrain from helping in a potentially misleading way - just my opinion.

just browse this list here, there's three dozen of them, and you'll get a terrific idea. the backgrounds are diverse enough that you'll have a shot from a variety of backgrounds.

http://www.mainjustice.com/2011/03/09/m ... osecutors/

i would stay away from this forum (TLS) and heavily discount the advice of people who are relaying really crappy information. for some reason, this website and some people in particular have a tendency to trump up required credentials for certain jobs. I dont know what the point of that exercise is. Whatever it is, read that website and inform and educate yourself.

I Advise you to go to your own law school career office. They are frequently maligned in this economy, but they see cycle after cycle of hundreds of students, alumni, etc., do different things.

and one last note, and I say this because the legal profession as a whole is infected with the prestige bug, just be a bit more thoughtful/mindful of who you would hire if you wanted to convict someone of a federal offense. And go from there. You would want a combination of intelligence, diligence, commitment to public service, ability to try cases (HUGE), and an ability to think on their feet as a criminal prosecutor. You'd want someone with intangibles - solid temperament, etc. Some of these things are impossible to measure and the prosecutor's office basically relies on their experience and instinct to weed out who they'd think wouldn't fit the intangibles. Law GRADES mean so little, but are proxies for intelligence. Government experience means a LOT because it just says a lot more than any cover letter or fake-interview-back-and-forth ever will, wen it comes to your commitment to contribute in public sector.

Anonymous User
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Re: United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:21 pm

Just to counter the SCOTUS level numbers argument, I worked in Civil Division last summer. My AUSA's were from William & Mary Law and from Kentucky. Another AUSA there was from Minnesota Law. Do what you want with that small sample size.

LawIdiot86
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Re: United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia

Postby LawIdiot86 » Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just to counter the SCOTUS level numbers argument, I worked in Civil Division last summer. My AUSA's were from William & Mary Law and from Kentucky. Another AUSA there was from Minnesota Law. Do what you want with that small sample size.

I suspect we can account for most of this by rememberin that GTL is a COA clerk who presumably knows other appelate lit people, all of whom generally have elite credentials. But this is the superior court division that probably tracks to the general AUSA status. The other part is that in the past it was so much easier for lower ranked schools to get these jobs because of the size of biglaw and the size of DOJ classes. That isn't the case ITE and I'm sure many of the current apps to this unit have biglaw credentials from top schools.

CandyLand
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Re: United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia

Postby CandyLand » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:36 pm

Napt wrote:
LawIdiot86 wrote:it's really not dangerous.

Except it really is. The city is 50% black and 38% white... it's not this solely lawyer/lobbyist/federal employee filled metropolis like you make it out to be. An extremely large percentage of people who work in DC commute from NoVA and Maryland.

http://www.businessinsider.com/most-dan ... gton-dc-11
--LinkRemoved--
http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/neighb ... dangerous/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Sta ... crime_rate


OK I know this is slightly off topic, but I have to jump in here. The most important thing to understand about the DC crime rate (and your racist population figures) is that the violent crime is highly concentrated in the eastern wards across the Anacostia River and the area north of Columbia Heights (maybe even past 16th St. Heights), where few attorneys will ever end up going. Capitol Hill, U Street Corridor, Columbia Heights, Dupont Circle, Foggy Bottom, Penn Quarter, Chinatown, Adams Morgan, Woodley Park, Petworth, etc, are all pretty gentrified (or getting there). The only thing you have to worry about in these areas is robbery.

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koalatriste
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Re: United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia

Postby koalatriste » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:38 pm

CandyLand wrote:
Napt wrote:
LawIdiot86 wrote:it's really not dangerous.

Except it really is. The city is 50% black and 38% white... it's not this solely lawyer/lobbyist/federal employee filled metropolis like you make it out to be. An extremely large percentage of people who work in DC commute from NoVA and Maryland.

http://www.businessinsider.com/most-dan ... gton-dc-11
--LinkRemoved--
http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/neighb ... dangerous/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Sta ... crime_rate


OK I know this is slightly off topic, but I have to jump in here. The most important thing to understand about the DC crime rate (and your racist population figures) is that the violent crime is highly concentrated in the eastern wards across the Anacostia River and the area north of Columbia Heights (maybe even past 16th St. Heights), where few attorneys will ever end up going. Capitol Hill, U Street Corridor, Columbia Heights, Dupont Circle, Foggy Bottom, Penn Quarter, Chinatown, Adams Morgan, Woodley Park, Petworth, etc, are all pretty gentrified (or getting there). The only thing you have to worry about in these areas is robbery.


i would agree with this except for the inclusion of Petworth. But, yes, DC is a chocolate city with a (very safe) marshmellow center.

$$$$$$
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Re: United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia

Postby $$$$$$ » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:01 am

Napt wrote:
kalvano wrote:
Napt wrote:
LawIdiot86 wrote:it's really not dangerous.

Except it really is. The city is 50% black and 38% white


What the fuck does that have to do with anything?

It has a lot to do with something but I'm not going to respond anymore in this thread because this conversation is no longer on-topic.


Using race to define a city as dangerous...you sound like a great candidate for a USAO gig




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