DOJ Honors 2013

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anon5
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Re: DOJ Honors 2013

Postby anon5 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OCIJ made the offer and I do know the exact location.


For those who have gotten offers - can you tell us how well your location fits your stated preferences?


My offered location was not in my top 5.

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Re: DOJ Honors 2013

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:45 pm

anon5 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OCIJ made the offer and I do know the exact location.


For those who have gotten offers - can you tell us how well your location fits your stated preferences?


My offered location was not in my top 5.


Thanks for sharing.

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Re: DOJ Honors 2013

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Has anyone received an offer from OCAHO/OLAP/OCG yet?


I am still "selected as finalist," but no offer and my references have not been contacted...


OCIJ finalist, but didn't make the cut for other EOIR component. At least one references was contacted before Thanksgiving, no offer.

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Re: DOJ Honors 2013

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:01 pm

I found out that I'm an alternate. Had a pending offer elsewhere, so I asked my status. What are the chances that alternates area actually extended offers? I would think not very likely.

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Re: DOJ Honors 2013

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I found out that I'm an alternate. Had a pending offer elsewhere, so I asked my status. What are the chances that alternates area actually extended offers? I would think not very likely.


You mean you're an alternate for OCIJ?

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Re: DOJ Honors 2013

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I found out that I'm an alternate. Had a pending offer elsewhere, so I asked my status. What are the chances that alternates area actually extended offers? I would think not very likely.


Based on the conversation I had with my interviewer, I think it all depends on your location preferences. If you are limited to certain "popular" locations, your chances are lower. However, If you are able to go anywhere, you have more of a shot.

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Re: DOJ Honors 2013

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I found out that I'm an alternate. Had a pending offer elsewhere, so I asked my status. What are the chances that alternates area actually extended offers? I would think not very likely.


You mean you're an alternate for OCIJ?


Are you sure you're an alternate? I don't have an offer but a source told me that they'll be giving out offers in the next couple of weeks.

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Re: DOJ Honors 2013

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Has anyone received an offer from OCAHO/OLAP/OCG yet?


I am still "selected as finalist," but no offer and my references have not been contacted...


OCIJ finalist, but didn't make the cut for other EOIR component. At least one references was contacted before Thanksgiving, no offer.


How did you find out that you didn't make the cut for the EOIR component (did you interview with them?) What component?

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Re: DOJ Honors 2013

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:12 pm

...
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: DOJ Honors 2013

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:EOIR called my references today for the first time and I heard from a source that they're planning to make me a first round offer. Offers are definitely still being made! Hang in there!


Congratulations --- great news! Is that OCIJ or another component?


OCIJ or BIA.

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Re: DOJ Honors 2013

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I was selected as a Judicial Law Clerk for OCIJ on Tuesday (early afternoon). I got my top location choice (which is one of the top three most popular locations - infer as you will). My status was flipped to finalist two weeks ago, and my references contacted by email two weeks ago. Hope that helps.

I was hoping for some advice though.

Can anyone please give me some compelling reasons to accept an offer as a JLC if you have NO interest in a career in immigration law, though I am highly interested in doing future work with the government (likely state department, AUSA, or Crim Division).

I have a back-up firm job (regular $160K offer), and am having a tough time picking OCIJ. I am graduating from a top-five law school, with good grades, so not worried about a job. Just trying to figure out really a) how prestigious is federal honors if you are being appointed to an immigration clerk position (which is itself not prestigious unless you're doing immigration work), b) how much easier it would be to lateral from OCIJ into another government position at the end of two years (AUSA, Crim, State), and c) would big firms even care about this position?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


I worked in one of the largest immigration court for a semester so my opinion is based on the JLCs that I interacted with.

It seems that most JLCs go into immigration specific positions after their 2 years.

A vast majority were interested in government positions and went into immigration-related positions (mostly in policymaking positions but could be trial or appellate work - think DC). A small minority would go into firms but it would only be in immigration as well. I did see some JLCs that ended up in other judicial positions but again, it had an immigration edge to it.
Overall, since your work is going to be purely immigration related, unless you can sell it to a firm or agency in an unrelated area, it'd be difficult to lateral into some of the positions that you mentioned unless it had a strongly related component.

Anonymous User
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Re: DOJ Honors 2013

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I was selected as a Judicial Law Clerk for OCIJ on Tuesday (early afternoon). I got my top location choice (which is one of the top three most popular locations - infer as you will). My status was flipped to finalist two weeks ago, and my references contacted by email two weeks ago. Hope that helps.

I was hoping for some advice though.

Can anyone please give me some compelling reasons to accept an offer as a JLC if you have NO interest in a career in immigration law, though I am highly interested in doing future work with the government (likely state department, AUSA, or Crim Division).

I have a back-up firm job (regular $160K offer), and am having a tough time picking OCIJ. I am graduating from a top-five law school, with good grades, so not worried about a job. Just trying to figure out really a) how prestigious is federal honors if you are being appointed to an immigration clerk position (which is itself not prestigious unless you're doing immigration work), b) how much easier it would be to lateral from OCIJ into another government position at the end of two years (AUSA, Crim, State), and c) would big firms even care about this position?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


My thoughts are that the Immigration Judges are in great need of clerks who are both interested and dedicated to immigration law. If you have no interest in a career in immigration law, please pass on the position. A JLC position primes you to work in immigration law - indeed after 2 years, you would be quite knowledgeable and valuable in that area. If that is not your goal, best leave the opportunity open for someone else for whom that is the goal.

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Re: DOJ Honors 2013

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I was selected as a Judicial Law Clerk for OCIJ on Tuesday (early afternoon). I got my top location choice (which is one of the top three most popular locations - infer as you will). My status was flipped to finalist two weeks ago, and my references contacted by email two weeks ago. Hope that helps.

I was hoping for some advice though.

Can anyone please give me some compelling reasons to accept an offer as a JLC if you have NO interest in a career in immigration law, though I am highly interested in doing future work with the government (likely state department, AUSA, or Crim Division).

I have a back-up firm job (regular $160K offer), and am having a tough time picking OCIJ. I am graduating from a top-five law school, with good grades, so not worried about a job. Just trying to figure out really a) how prestigious is federal honors if you are being appointed to an immigration clerk position (which is itself not prestigious unless you're doing immigration work), b) how much easier it would be to lateral from OCIJ into another government position at the end of two years (AUSA, Crim, State), and c) would big firms even care about this position?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


Well, I don't know if this is really the best place to ask, as many of us will probably end up as alternates.

However, I think having federal experience (and the background check to go with it) is always a plus when you're trying to find other government work. However, immigration is a rather insular field. You'll get some good experience in writing and reasoning, but Immigration Court is so different than other courts that I'm not sure how well everything else will translate.

I think there's prestige that goes with the Honors Program no matter where you want to go, but the actual work experience probably won't help you that much if you want to go into another kind of government service.

But this is little more than speculation on my part.

Anonymous User
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Re: DOJ Honors 2013

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I was selected as a Judicial Law Clerk for OCIJ on Tuesday (early afternoon). I got my top location choice (which is one of the top three most popular locations - infer as you will). My status was flipped to finalist two weeks ago, and my references contacted by email two weeks ago. Hope that helps.

I was hoping for some advice though.

Can anyone please give me some compelling reasons to accept an offer as a JLC if you have NO interest in a career in immigration law, though I am highly interested in doing future work with the government (likely state department, AUSA, or Crim Division).

I have a back-up firm job (regular $160K offer), and am having a tough time picking OCIJ. I am graduating from a top-five law school, with good grades, so not worried about a job. Just trying to figure out really a) how prestigious is federal honors if you are being appointed to an immigration clerk position (which is itself not prestigious unless you're doing immigration work), b) how much easier it would be to lateral from OCIJ into another government position at the end of two years (AUSA, Crim, State), and c) would big firms even care about this position?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


Well, I don't know if this is really the best place to ask, as many of us will probably end up as alternates.

However, I think having federal experience (and the background check to go with it) is always a plus when you're trying to find other government work. However, immigration is a rather insular field. You'll get some good experience in writing and reasoning, but Immigration Court is so different than other courts that I'm not sure how well everything else will translate.

I think there's prestige that goes with the Honors Program no matter where you want to go, but the actual work experience probably won't help you that much if you want to go into another kind of government service.

But this is little more than speculation on my part.


I second this opinion. JLC positions are definitely more prestigious than other non-profit immigration related positions but I'd compare it to a prestigious fellowship where if you're not interested in that specific area of practice, it may not help you a lot when transitioning out.. whether to a different kind of government service or a firm.

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Re: DOJ Honors 2013

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:40 pm

...
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: DOJ Honors 2013

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
I second this opinion. JLC positions are definitely more prestigious than other non-profit immigration related positions but I'd compare it to a prestigious fellowship where if you're not interested in that specific area of practice, it may not help you a lot when transitioning out.. whether to a different kind of government service or a firm.


Moreover, the path from Biglaw into government is pretty well trod.

It's a good job to have out of law school and no one will look badly on it I don't think, but the name isn't going to be enough to get you a job in a different field that's not connected to immigration.

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Re: DOJ Honors 2013

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I found out that I'm an alternate. Had a pending offer elsewhere, so I asked my status. What are the chances that alternates area actually extended offers? I would think not very likely.


You mean you're an alternate for OCIJ?


Are you sure you're an alternate? I don't have an offer but a source told me that they'll be giving out offers in the next couple of weeks.


Yes, it was alternate for OCIJ. I learned from someone at EOIR. Fingers crossed they still give them out before the end of the year, but I can't imagine how many alternates there are for OCIJ, so it pains me a little to imagine having to wait/hope until January-February.

Anonymous User
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Re: DOJ Honors 2013

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I was selected as a Judicial Law Clerk for OCIJ on Tuesday (early afternoon). I got my top location choice (which is one of the top three most popular locations - infer as you will). My status was flipped to finalist two weeks ago, and my references contacted by email two weeks ago. Hope that helps.

I was hoping for some advice though.

Can anyone please give me some compelling reasons to accept an offer as a JLC if you have NO interest in a career in immigration law, though I am highly interested in doing future work with the government (likely state department, AUSA, or Crim Division).

I have a back-up firm job (regular $160K offer), and am having a tough time picking OCIJ. I am graduating from a top-five law school, with good grades, so not worried about a job. Just trying to figure out really a) how prestigious is federal honors if you are being appointed to an immigration clerk position (which is itself not prestigious unless you're doing immigration work), b) how much easier it would be to lateral from OCIJ into another government position at the end of two years (AUSA, Crim, State), and c) would big firms even care about this position?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


Well, I don't know if this is really the best place to ask, as many of us will probably end up as alternates.

However, I think having federal experience (and the background check to go with it) is always a plus when you're trying to find other government work. However, immigration is a rather insular field. You'll get some good experience in writing and reasoning, but Immigration Court is so different than other courts that I'm not sure how well everything else will translate.

I think there's prestige that goes with the Honors Program no matter where you want to go, but the actual work experience probably won't help you that much if you want to go into another kind of government service.

But this is little more than speculation on my part.



Thanks for the honest response. I know there are many alternates on this page, so I appreciate the lack of a self-serving response. I applied because I want to clerk, and do government work. The only thing is the subject matter is not my focus. I don't think I'm "taking" a job from anyone for this reason, but do want to make sure that working with a subject matter I'm not keen on for two full years will be worth it. Still undecided ...

Good luck to ALL of you out there ... if you have any more advice, please let me know ... and if you have any questions (regarding stats, pm me).


I am a current JLC - you will be deeply immersed in immigration law for two years. If you are not keen on that, your two years will feel like a long slog and your judge(s) will be able to tell.

Anonymous User
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Re: DOJ Honors 2013

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I was selected as a Judicial Law Clerk for OCIJ on Tuesday (early afternoon). I got my top location choice (which is one of the top three most popular locations - infer as you will). My status was flipped to finalist two weeks ago, and my references contacted by email two weeks ago. Hope that helps.

I was hoping for some advice though.

Can anyone please give me some compelling reasons to accept an offer as a JLC if you have NO interest in a career in immigration law, though I am highly interested in doing future work with the government (likely state department, AUSA, or Crim Division).

I have a back-up firm job (regular $160K offer), and am having a tough time picking OCIJ. I am graduating from a top-five law school, with good grades, so not worried about a job. Just trying to figure out really a) how prestigious is federal honors if you are being appointed to an immigration clerk position (which is itself not prestigious unless you're doing immigration work), b) how much easier it would be to lateral from OCIJ into another government position at the end of two years (AUSA, Crim, State), and c) would big firms even care about this position?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

I think if you know you don't want to do immigration, you would have an easier time lateraling into a different federal position after working in biglaw for a few years than from OCIJ. It's not at all uncommon to go from Biglaw to AUSA, and my impression is that although components like Crim and State may not have a lot of lateral openings frequently, you'd have a better shot at one coming out of biglaw than coming out of OCIJ because your biglaw experience will probably be less specialized. I'm repeating what someone else has already said, but my understanding is that the OCIJ JLC position is great for doing immigration law, but won't give you a lot of transferable skills for other areas of law - people overwhelmingly seem to go into government immigration positions or possibly to immigration firms.

There have also been some comments here about using OCIJ to backdoor into the rest of DOJ being frowned upon, whereas I don't think anyone has that attitude about going from biglaw to government work. (I'm not commenting on the morality of doing that, just saying that if it's looked down on, your application won't get as far.)

I mean, I think that if you conclude OCIJ would get you where you want to go, there's no reason to pass on it just because you're not quite as dedicated to immigration as other applicants (you earned the position, it's your choice). But it sounds like OCIJ is really designed to take you into immigration practice, and that's not where you want to go. As for prestige, while being an Honors Attorney looks good, OCIJ is the component that hires the most people, so is much less competitive than (say) Civil Rights. And immigration is not generally seen as "prestigious" the way this board defines that. So I don't think the Honors "prestige" would outweigh the difficulties in going from immigration to something else.

tl;dr: if you know you have NO interest in a career in immigration law and you have a firm job waiting for you, I don't think there ARE any compelling reasons to take OCIJ.

(Full disclosure: I am not competing with you for this, I accepted a position with a different component. Just in case you were wondering. :P)

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Re: DOJ Honors 2013

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for the honest response. I know there are many alternates on this page, so I appreciate the lack of a self-serving response. I applied because I want to clerk, and do government work. The only thing is the subject matter is not my focus. I don't think I'm "taking" a job from anyone for this reason, but do want to make sure that working with a subject matter I'm not keen on for two full years will be worth it. Still undecided ...

Good luck to ALL of you out there ... if you have any more advice, please let me know ... and if you have any questions (regarding stats, pm me).


I'm not an alternate or finalist for OCIJ, so I can say this without self-interest: don't take it. Two years doing 100% immigration work is not only NOT going to get you an offer in Crim or a AUSA, it's going to make you LESS marketable for non-immigration work. DOJH alone is not prestigious in a vacuum. I honestly think you'd have an easier time getting an AUSA position from biglaw after a few years + a clerkship than you would from OCIJ, and you'll have a chance to pay off all of your loans in that time. Plus, working in biglaw will give you more non-immigration exit options than OCIJ ever would.

Also, people look at transitions in subject area with more suspicion when they occur after several years of practice. If I was interviewing someone who spent two years in immigration for a non-immigration job, I'd wonder if they really wanted the non-immigration job, if OCIJ was just their last option, and think they were on-par in skills and area knowledge as a 3L but with the salary requirements of someone who had been working for two years.

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Re: DOJ Honors 2013

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I was selected as a Judicial Law Clerk for OCIJ on Tuesday (early afternoon). I got my top location choice (which is one of the top three most popular locations - infer as you will). My status was flipped to finalist two weeks ago, and my references contacted by email two weeks ago. Hope that helps.

I was hoping for some advice though.

Can anyone please give me some compelling reasons to accept an offer as a JLC if you have NO interest in a career in immigration law, though I am highly interested in doing future work with the government (likely state department, AUSA, or Crim Division).

I have a back-up firm job (regular $160K offer), and am having a tough time picking OCIJ. I am graduating from a top-five law school, with good grades, so not worried about a job. Just trying to figure out really a) how prestigious is federal honors if you are being appointed to an immigration clerk position (which is itself not prestigious unless you're doing immigration work), b) how much easier it would be to lateral from OCIJ into another government position at the end of two years (AUSA, Crim, State), and c) would big firms even care about this position?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


Well, I don't know if this is really the best place to ask, as many of us will probably end up as alternates.

However, I think having federal experience (and the background check to go with it) is always a plus when you're trying to find other government work. However, immigration is a rather insular field. You'll get some good experience in writing and reasoning, but Immigration Court is so different than other courts that I'm not sure how well everything else will translate.

I think there's prestige that goes with the Honors Program no matter where you want to go, but the actual work experience probably won't help you that much if you want to go into another kind of government service.

But this is little more than speculation on my part.



Thanks for the honest response. I know there are many alternates on this page, so I appreciate the lack of a self-serving response. I applied because I want to clerk, and do government work. The only thing is the subject matter is not my focus. I don't think I'm "taking" a job from anyone for this reason, but do want to make sure that working with a subject matter I'm not keen on for two full years will be worth it. Still undecided ...

Good luck to ALL of you out there ... if you have any more advice, please let me know ... and if you have any questions (regarding stats, pm me).


I am a current JLC - you will be deeply immersed in immigration law for two years. If you are not keen on that, your two years will feel like a long slog and your judge(s) will be able to tell.


I agree, and I'm also a current JLC. You will not enjoy your 2 years and it's not going to help you get a non-immigration law job, in all likelihood. There are a few who parlay this position into a federal clerkship or public defender/AUSA position. But usually the immigration background is a part of the reason they get the job (eg: the region has a lot of immigration-related work, like Southern CA, Arizona AUSAs, etc.) or they've applied for jobs with places like the ACLU or other orgs that do class action work related to immigrants' rights or immigrant detainees. So... bottom line is that if you don't really have ANY interest in immigration law and you want to eventually be an AUSA, go to biglaw. You probably won't love it there either, but you can build up your savings and get some transferable skills that will really help you find a job in the future. And you could work on some cool cases through pro bono work.

Anonymous User
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Re: DOJ Honors 2013

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote: I agree, and I'm also a current JLC. You will not enjoy your 2 years and it's not going to help you get a non-immigration law job, in all likelihood. There are a few who parlay this position into a federal clerkship or public defender/AUSA position. But usually the immigration background is a part of the reason they get the job (eg: the region has a lot of immigration-related work, like Southern CA, Arizona AUSAs, etc.) or they've applied for jobs with places like the ACLU or other orgs that do class action work related to immigrants' rights or immigrant detainees. So... bottom line is that if you don't really have ANY interest in immigration law and you want to eventually be an AUSA, go to biglaw. You probably won't love it there either, but you can build up your savings and get some transferable skills that will really help you find a job in the future. And you could work on some cool cases through pro bono work.


I agree with this. I am a current JLC and I know at least one outgoing JLC who did not have a job upon leaving the program, and another that had a non-paying job.... so yeah I would take any kind of permanent job offer over this one. I believe this job is the best possible place for entry-level attorneys to be if they want to make a career in immigration law. Otherwise, I believe that outgoing JLCs have more trouble finding jobs outside of immigration because honestly they have no way to distinguish themselves. It makes sense. It's not impossible to get a non-immigration related job after leaving here, but outgoing AAs/JLCs have definitely struggled in the past (especially in recent years) and if you have something better I would not take a JLC position over that.

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Re: DOJ Honors 2013

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:53 pm

I would like to address this comment someone made earlier:
"There have also been some comments here about using OCIJ to backdoor into the rest of DOJ being frowned upon, whereas I don't think anyone has that attitude about going from biglaw to government work. (I'm not commenting on the morality of doing that, just saying that if it's looked down on, your application won't get as far.)"

There is no way you can use OCIJ as a backdoor into the rest of the DOJ. It's not frowned upon (no one cares where you go after this), it's just NOT possible. This is a two year position and there's no special program where JLCs can transition into another DOJ position. You have to apply for positions just like everyone else. Although you might have an edge for say, OIL (office of immigration litigation) because of the immigration knowledge background that being a JLC gives you, that's hardly a "backdoor." I'd also like to note that OIL has had a hiring freeze for a few years now anyways.

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Re: DOJ Honors 2013

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:02 pm

So, am I correct that as a board we've had no OCIJ offers today?

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Re: DOJ Honors 2013

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I would like to address this comment someone made earlier:
"There have also been some comments here about using OCIJ to backdoor into the rest of DOJ being frowned upon, whereas I don't think anyone has that attitude about going from biglaw to government work. (I'm not commenting on the morality of doing that, just saying that if it's looked down on, your application won't get as far.)"

There is no way you can use OCIJ as a backdoor into the rest of the DOJ. It's not frowned upon (no one cares where you go after this), it's just NOT possible. This is a two year position and there's no special program where JLCs can transition into another DOJ position. You have to apply for positions just like everyone else. Although you might have an edge for say, OIL (office of immigration litigation) because of the immigration knowledge background that being a JLC gives you, that's hardly a "backdoor." I'd also like to note that OIL has had a hiring freeze for a few years now anyways.

Sure, that makes sense. I saw someone else here talk about "backdoor"ing into DOJ, which was what I was referring to - I think all they meant (well, all I meant) was the idea that having fedgov on your resume makes it easier to get fedgov in the future, not that there was some kind of way to bypass an application process. I thought they were getting at kind of what's being discussed here, taking the JLC because it was what you could get in DOJ in the hope you could go elsewhere in DOJ later, and I was just suggesting that if it looked like you did that - took OCIJ just to get your foot in the door, not because you were interested - it probably wouldn't help you in the way you hoped.

(I don't mean in any way to denigrate the JLC jobs or suggest they're some kind of backup - it's just that there are a lot more of them, so numbers-wise, they look like a better shot than, say, trying to get a Civil Rights gig when you really want to do tax, or something.)




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