DOJ Honors

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overbroad99
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:14 pm

DOJ Honors

Postby overbroad99 » Thu May 31, 2012 12:40 pm

I'm a rising 3L and I'm starting to wonder about AG Honors. Does anyone have a strong sense of what the real chances, if any, are for getting a DOJ job? What makes a difference? I've never worked for the government before, both my summers have been spent at law firms. Does that hurt me? What kind of grades are important? If you have all As/Hs/HHs or whatever, is that meaningful? Is that essential? What other criteria end up being significant? I've read other threads on the forum but no one has seemed to offer any concrete experience on who got hired and how. Maybe that's because such data doesn't really exist, but I thought I'd inquire.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273231
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: DOJ Honors

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 31, 2012 1:30 pm

I went to a garbage law school and I landed an interview with a non-immigration component. I was selected as a finalist, but never offered a job. What got me in the room was:

(1) federal clerkship
(2) externship with the DOJ (I also was a summer at a biglaw firm. I did the externship during the semester.)
(3) proven dedication to the practice area (I wrote 2 articles on the subject matter the component is dedicated to.)

After I received my rejection, I met some people that work for the component I interviewed with. I was told that while they like top students at top schools, the above three things are very important to them.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: DOJ Honors

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 31, 2012 2:04 pm

HYS grad here. Split last summer between law firm and DOJ.

Was at DOJ when they announced new, slashed hiring numbers (including Antitrust and Civil Rights withdrawing from Honors hiring entirely). Over half the remaining Honors positions were term instead of career positions, meaning whoever got them would be desperately hunting again in two or four years. Mood change among interns was like a popped balloon. There were a bunch of SLIP interns and even more unpaid ones who just discovered they now had no chance at a DOJ job. Unless the GOP suddenly stops trying to slash all government funding then this will be the new normal.

Asked DOJ attorneys what to do. Was told to go work at a firm and try to come back when hiring picked up again. In other words: Even an HYS grad with prior PI/DOJ experience was told to make other plans, so yes, things are that bleak.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273231
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: DOJ Honors

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 31, 2012 4:20 pm

No matter your stats, DOJ Honors is currently not a realistic option for 99% of applicants due to hiring freezes. Crim Division hired what, 3 people nationwide last year? I ended up one of 12-ish finalists for another component that had one opening in a certain office and was the only non-clerk that made the final cut.

The consensus among DOJ attorneys I've talked to is pretty unanimously that recent grads wanting to do criminal work should try to hide out in clerkships for a full 2-3 years if your heart is really set on DOJ Honors or even entry-level AUSA in flyover country.




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