DOJ Honors or BigLaw?

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DOJ Honors or BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:33 am

Hi -

I realize it's a little early to decide, since Honors interviews haven't yet been assigned, but I'm pretty sure I have a good shot at landing one. Can we just assume I've landed one and go from there? I promise it isn't an entirely advisory opinion :)

I applied to DOJ Honors on kind of a whim. I'd always thought it was out of reach and/or would never hire me, so I planned everything around going to biglaw. I didn't get a clerkship for next year, so I was about ready to accept biglaw, but decided to hang on a little longer to see what DOJ Honors did. It isn't my top choice DOJ component, but I realize it's still a great opportunity (right?) so I'm wondering if it's something I should really shoot for. But I like my biglaw firm. And I want $$$. I was making plans to ESCAPE biglaw because the hours sound like the worst thing of all things, but I was hoping to at least give it a SHOT for a while before trying to go gov or other things.

What should I do? I feel like kind of a dick considering how many absolutely committed Honors applicants there surely are. I'd feel like I let down my recommenders - people I really want to stay in contact with and continue a friendly relationship with - if I turned down the Honors program or went half-hearted to the interviews. Help! Thanks

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Re: DOJ Honors or BigLaw?

Postby BeenDidThat » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:Hi -

I realize it's a little early to decide, since Honors interviews haven't yet been assigned, but I'm pretty sure I have a good shot at landing one. Can we just assume I've landed one and go from there? I promise it isn't an entirely advisory opinion :)

I applied to DOJ Honors on kind of a whim. I'd always thought it was out of reach and/or would never hire me, so I planned everything around going to biglaw. I didn't get a clerkship for next year, so I was about ready to accept biglaw, but decided to hang on a little longer to see what DOJ Honors did. It isn't my top choice DOJ component, but I realize it's still a great opportunity (right?) so I'm wondering if it's something I should really shoot for. But I like my biglaw firm. And I want $$$. I was making plans to ESCAPE biglaw because the hours sound like the worst thing of all things, but I was hoping to at least give it a SHOT for a while before trying to go gov or other things.

What should I do? I feel like kind of a dick considering how many absolutely committed Honors applicants there surely are. I'd feel like I let down my recommenders - people I really want to stay in contact with and continue a friendly relationship with - if I turned down the Honors program or went half-hearted to the interviews. Help! Thanks


What do you want to do long-term?

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Re: DOJ Honors or BigLaw?

Postby BruceWayne » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:22 am

Are you top 10 percent non HYS top 14 with law review and a 1L fed government internship? Are you HYS with no grades lower than a P with a journal and fed government 1L summer experience? Or are you non top 14 top 5 percent, law review, moot court, with fed government 1L work experience? If your answer to all of those is no your chances of getting a DOJ honors spot are too low for this hypothetical to be worth answering.

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Re: DOJ Honors or BigLaw?

Postby apparentlynew » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:46 am

Why did you think you were a reach when you applied, but now think you're a lock?

Your question can't be answered helpfully without a lot more information, such as where you want to live, what kind of work you want to do, how long you want to do it, how much debt you have, and others.

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Re: DOJ Honors or BigLaw?

Postby BruceWayne » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:51 am

In fairness, if he/she wants to work litigation it's basically a no brainer to take DOJ Honors over almost any law firm.

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Re: DOJ Honors or BigLaw?

Postby anon168 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:54 am

Anonymous User wrote:Hi -

I realize it's a little early to decide, since Honors interviews haven't yet been assigned, but I'm pretty sure I have a good shot at landing one. Can we just assume I've landed one and go from there? I promise it isn't an entirely advisory opinion :)

I applied to DOJ Honors on kind of a whim. I'd always thought it was out of reach and/or would never hire me, so I planned everything around going to biglaw. I didn't get a clerkship for next year, so I was about ready to accept biglaw, but decided to hang on a little longer to see what DOJ Honors did. It isn't my top choice DOJ component, but I realize it's still a great opportunity (right?) so I'm wondering if it's something I should really shoot for. But I like my biglaw firm. And I want $$$. I was making plans to ESCAPE biglaw because the hours sound like the worst thing of all things, but I was hoping to at least give it a SHOT for a while before trying to go gov or other things.

What should I do? I feel like kind of a dick considering how many absolutely committed Honors applicants there surely are. I'd feel like I let down my recommenders - people I really want to stay in contact with and continue a friendly relationship with - if I turned down the Honors program or went half-hearted to the interviews. Help! Thanks


Your asking us this now? WTF?

You don't even have an offer from DOJ Honors, so what the hell are you worried about? In a couple of months the decision between Honors and Biglaw could be made for you.

But assuming you did get an Honors offer, you need to seriously ask yourself what you want to do long-term.

Do you want to be a federal lawyer long-term? Or in private practice? This is important because, unlike the thoughts here on TLS, the exit opps from DOJ Honors is not that great, esp. biglaw. And depending on the component, it may leave you with little or no exit options (think Torts or FP). Not to say that there are no exit options, but just don't believe that after a stint in Honors you have the world at your feet. You don't.

In many ways, believe it or not, it might be easier to go from biglaw to DOJ, depending on your circumstances. DOJ will hire you after X number of years at a firm. The same is not always true with biglaw. You do a stint at DOJ Torts (for example) for six years and there won't be many firms knocking down your door to bring you in. They don't need a senior associate with no book of business and limited translatable skills.

Just something to consider.

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Re: DOJ Honors or BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:47 am

BruceWayne wrote:In fairness, if he/she wants to work litigation it's basically a no brainer to take DOJ Honors over almost any law firm.


I do want to work in litigation. Your advice, here, is what I was wondering about. Why is this?

anon168, as usual, thanks for a great post. I've always sort of thought I wanted to be a private lawyer - I'm not much of a government-type, and I've always pictured myself in the private realm. BUT, biglaw is scaring me so much with the hours I wonder if gov't is maybe the right place for me. Even if it isn't a perfect match with my values and skills, maybe it's worth it if it means I can have a family and do stuff with my life.

My original plan was to work in biglaw for a while, clerk, maybe look at gov't jobs if I can't handle the hours of biglaw. But I realize now that there are so few jobs available in DOJ, particularly in the market I'm considering, that if I ever want it, maybe I'd better jump on the opportunity.

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Re: DOJ Honors or BigLaw?

Postby anon168 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:In fairness, if he/she wants to work litigation it's basically a no brainer to take DOJ Honors over almost any law firm.


I do want to work in litigation. Your advice, here, is what I was wondering about. Why is this?

anon168, as usual, thanks for a great post. I've always sort of thought I wanted to be a private lawyer - I'm not much of a government-type, and I've always pictured myself in the private realm. BUT, biglaw is scaring me so much with the hours I wonder if gov't is maybe the right place for me. Even if it isn't a perfect match with my values and skills, maybe it's worth it if it means I can have a family and do stuff with my life.

My original plan was to work in biglaw for a while, clerk, maybe look at gov't jobs if I can't handle the hours of biglaw. But I realize now that there are so few jobs available in DOJ, particularly in the market I'm considering, that if I ever want it, maybe I'd better jump on the opportunity.


If you want to litigate go to a USAO. Main Justice, with the exceptions of some criminal sections with strike force units (eg HEAT), rarely do trials.

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Re: DOJ Honors or BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:01 pm

anon168 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:In fairness, if he/she wants to work litigation it's basically a no brainer to take DOJ Honors over almost any law firm.


I do want to work in litigation. Your advice, here, is what I was wondering about. Why is this?

anon168, as usual, thanks for a great post. I've always sort of thought I wanted to be a private lawyer - I'm not much of a government-type, and I've always pictured myself in the private realm. BUT, biglaw is scaring me so much with the hours I wonder if gov't is maybe the right place for me. Even if it isn't a perfect match with my values and skills, maybe it's worth it if it means I can have a family and do stuff with my life.

My original plan was to work in biglaw for a while, clerk, maybe look at gov't jobs if I can't handle the hours of biglaw. But I realize now that there are so few jobs available in DOJ, particularly in the market I'm considering, that if I ever want it, maybe I'd better jump on the opportunity.


If you want to litigate go to a USAO. Main Justice, with the exceptions of some criminal sections with strike force units (eg HEAT), rarely do trials.


you got PM. No love from the USAO as far as I know. isn't main justice a path to USAO?

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Re: DOJ Honors or BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:04 pm

I'm making a similar decision (boutique vs. Honors). I feel like an idiot because I did SLIP and was so worried about making a good impression, I didn't really ask the questions about some of the negative things I observed. The honors attorneys in my division really really liked their job. But many of them had very different goals than I do - I want to get trial experience and leave DC within a few years. However, I'd like to be in government long term as an AUSA so I'm not sure if I should just suck it up and do the Honors stint for 3 years and get the DOJ name on my resume.

BTW, I've also heard a lot of chatter that the honors program isn't all it's cracked up to be.

http://www.xoxohth.com/thread.php?threa ... :#15842954

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Re: DOJ Honors or BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:22 pm

BruceWayne wrote:Are you top 10 percent non HYS top 14 with law review and a 1L fed government internship? Are you HYS with no grades lower than a P with a journal and fed government 1L summer experience? Or are you non top 14 top 5 percent, law review, moot court, with fed government 1L work experience? If your answer to all of those is no your chances of getting a DOJ honors spot are too low for this hypothetical to be worth answering.



This is absolutely not true. It seems like most are good, but not tippy-top students at T14 with demonstrated commitment to both public service and the division's subject. I don't think any of the Honors attorneys in my division were on LR at their schools.

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Re: DOJ Honors or BigLaw?

Postby BruceWayne » Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:Are you top 10 percent non HYS top 14 with law review and a 1L fed government internship? Are you HYS with no grades lower than a P with a journal and fed government 1L summer experience? Or are you non top 14 top 5 percent, law review, moot court, with fed government 1L work experience? If your answer to all of those is no your chances of getting a DOJ honors spot are too low for this hypothetical to be worth answering.



This is absolutely not true. It seems like most are good, but not tippy-top students at T14 with demonstrated commitment to both public service and the division's subject. I don't think any of the Honors attorneys in my division were on LR at their schools.


I wasn't talking about immigration or Bureau of Prisons. I assumed that the OP meant the litigating components of the DOJ. Generally when people talk about DOJ Honors that's what they mean.

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Re: DOJ Honors or BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:26 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:Are you top 10 percent non HYS top 14 with law review and a 1L fed government internship? Are you HYS with no grades lower than a P with a journal and fed government 1L summer experience? Or are you non top 14 top 5 percent, law review, moot court, with fed government 1L work experience? If your answer to all of those is no your chances of getting a DOJ honors spot are too low for this hypothetical to be worth answering.



This is absolutely not true. It seems like most are good, but not tippy-top students at T14 with demonstrated commitment to both public service and the division's subject. I don't think any of the Honors attorneys in my division were on LR at their schools.


I wasn't talking about immigration or Bureau of Prisons. I assumed that the OP meant the litigating components of the DOJ. Generally when people talk about DOJ Honors that's what they mean.


I am referring to one of: Crim, Antitrust, Tax, Civil Rights.

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Re: DOJ Honors or BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi -

I realize it's a little early to decide, since Honors interviews haven't yet been assigned, but I'm pretty sure I have a good shot at landing one. Can we just assume I've landed one and go from there? I promise it isn't an entirely advisory opinion :)

I applied to DOJ Honors on kind of a whim. I'd always thought it was out of reach and/or would never hire me, so I planned everything around going to biglaw. I didn't get a clerkship for next year, so I was about ready to accept biglaw, but decided to hang on a little longer to see what DOJ Honors did. It isn't my top choice DOJ component, but I realize it's still a great opportunity (right?) so I'm wondering if it's something I should really shoot for. But I like my biglaw firm. And I want $$$. I was making plans to ESCAPE biglaw because the hours sound like the worst thing of all things, but I was hoping to at least give it a SHOT for a while before trying to go gov or other things.

What should I do? I feel like kind of a dick considering how many absolutely committed Honors applicants there surely are. I'd feel like I let down my recommenders - people I really want to stay in contact with and continue a friendly relationship with - if I turned down the Honors program or went half-hearted to the interviews. Help! Thanks


I don't know what the interview:offer rate is (probably varies), but it's hardly a sure thing that you'll actually get a spot in the Honors Program. I've been told by people on the hiring committee for one of the components you listed that after they do the first cut for interviews, then it becomes about your commitment to a career in the public interest and "fit" with the component and DOJ. Based on your post, none of those criteria sound like slam dunks for you.

Oh, and you should definitely know this: DOJ is not where you go to escape BigLaw hours. DOJ is where you go to work long hours for <$100,000/year because you are passionate about public service. It varies with component, section, and the cases, but most that I've met work extremely hard.

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Re: DOJ Honors or BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi -

I realize it's a little early to decide, since Honors interviews haven't yet been assigned, but I'm pretty sure I have a good shot at landing one. Can we just assume I've landed one and go from there? I promise it isn't an entirely advisory opinion :)

I applied to DOJ Honors on kind of a whim. I'd always thought it was out of reach and/or would never hire me, so I planned everything around going to biglaw. I didn't get a clerkship for next year, so I was about ready to accept biglaw, but decided to hang on a little longer to see what DOJ Honors did. It isn't my top choice DOJ component, but I realize it's still a great opportunity (right?) so I'm wondering if it's something I should really shoot for. But I like my biglaw firm. And I want $$$. I was making plans to ESCAPE biglaw because the hours sound like the worst thing of all things, but I was hoping to at least give it a SHOT for a while before trying to go gov or other things.

What should I do? I feel like kind of a dick considering how many absolutely committed Honors applicants there surely are. I'd feel like I let down my recommenders - people I really want to stay in contact with and continue a friendly relationship with - if I turned down the Honors program or went half-hearted to the interviews. Help! Thanks


I don't know what the interview:offer rate is (probably varies), but it's hardly a sure thing that you'll actually get a spot in the Honors Program. I've been told by people on the hiring committee for one of the components you listed that after they do the first cut for interviews, then it becomes about your commitment to a career in the public interest and "fit" with the component and DOJ. Based on your post, none of those criteria sound like slam dunks for you.

Oh, and you should definitely know this: DOJ is not where you go to escape BigLaw hours. DOJ is where you go to work long hours for <$100,000/year because you are passionate about public service. It varies with component, section, and the cases, but most that I've met work extremely hard.


I didn't list components as far as I remember...

Anyways, I realize if I get an interview I'm not secure for an offer, but the point of this thread is to figure out if a job is something I want. If it is, I'll interview accordingly, because a career in public service would be what I most want. I'm looking for thoughts on whether it's a good idea. As for hours, you're wrong; I've worked in DOJ, USAOs, and biglaw, and the hours are much longer, on average, in biglaw. Everyone knows this.

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Re: DOJ Honors or BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:06 pm

I'm going to entertain this asinine post. If you get DOJ Honors, you can do ANYTHING, like ANYTHING. But, it is the most competitive program to get into, so don't ask the hypothetical until it's a reality.

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Re: DOJ Honors or BigLaw?

Postby rayiner » Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:Are you top 10 percent non HYS top 14 with law review and a 1L fed government internship? Are you HYS with no grades lower than a P with a journal and fed government 1L summer experience? Or are you non top 14 top 5 percent, law review, moot court, with fed government 1L work experience? If your answer to all of those is no your chances of getting a DOJ honors spot are too low for this hypothetical to be worth answering.



This is absolutely not true. It seems like most are good, but not tippy-top students at T14 with demonstrated commitment to both public service and the division's subject. I don't think any of the Honors attorneys in my division were on LR at their schools.


I wasn't talking about immigration or Bureau of Prisons. I assumed that the OP meant the litigating components of the DOJ. Generally when people talk about DOJ Honors that's what they mean.


I am referring to one of: Crim, Antitrust, Tax, Civil Rights.


DOJ used to hire multiples as many people as it does now. Like 150 versus 50 or so.

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Re: DOJ Honors or BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:45 pm

I'm also referring to people that were hired in the last 4 years. I think all of the attorneys are very impressive and like I said, all did well at very good schools. I just think that demonstrated interest in 1) public service and 2) the work of the component (especially through an internship there either 1L or 2L summer) count for a lot more than having a feeder clerkship lined up or being on LR at HLS.

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Re: DOJ Honors or BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi -

I realize it's a little early to decide, since Honors interviews haven't yet been assigned, but I'm pretty sure I have a good shot at landing one. Can we just assume I've landed one and go from there? I promise it isn't an entirely advisory opinion :)

I applied to DOJ Honors on kind of a whim. I'd always thought it was out of reach and/or would never hire me, so I planned everything around going to biglaw. I didn't get a clerkship for next year, so I was about ready to accept biglaw, but decided to hang on a little longer to see what DOJ Honors did. It isn't my top choice DOJ component, but I realize it's still a great opportunity (right?) so I'm wondering if it's something I should really shoot for. But I like my biglaw firm. And I want $$$. I was making plans to ESCAPE biglaw because the hours sound like the worst thing of all things, but I was hoping to at least give it a SHOT for a while before trying to go gov or other things.

What should I do? I feel like kind of a dick considering how many absolutely committed Honors applicants there surely are. I'd feel like I let down my recommenders - people I really want to stay in contact with and continue a friendly relationship with - if I turned down the Honors program or went half-hearted to the interviews. Help! Thanks


I don't know what the interview:offer rate is (probably varies), but it's hardly a sure thing that you'll actually get a spot in the Honors Program. I've been told by people on the hiring committee for one of the components you listed that after they do the first cut for interviews, then it becomes about your commitment to a career in the public interest and "fit" with the component and DOJ. Based on your post, none of those criteria sound like slam dunks for you.

Oh, and you should definitely know this: DOJ is not where you go to escape BigLaw hours. DOJ is where you go to work long hours for <$100,000/year because you are passionate about public service. It varies with component, section, and the cases, but most that I've met work extremely hard.


I didn't list components as far as I remember...

Anyways, I realize if I get an interview I'm not secure for an offer, but the point of this thread is to figure out if a job is something I want. If it is, I'll interview accordingly, because a career in public service would be what I most want. I'm looking for thoughts on whether it's a good idea. As for hours, you're wrong; I've worked in DOJ, USAOs, and biglaw, and the hours are much longer, on average, in biglaw. Everyone knows this.



Agreed. Lots of people out by 6 or so except in very rare cases.

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Re: DOJ Honors or BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi -

I realize it's a little early to decide, since Honors interviews haven't yet been assigned, but I'm pretty sure I have a good shot at landing one. Can we just assume I've landed one and go from there? I promise it isn't an entirely advisory opinion :)

I applied to DOJ Honors on kind of a whim. I'd always thought it was out of reach and/or would never hire me, so I planned everything around going to biglaw. I didn't get a clerkship for next year, so I was about ready to accept biglaw, but decided to hang on a little longer to see what DOJ Honors did. It isn't my top choice DOJ component, but I realize it's still a great opportunity (right?) so I'm wondering if it's something I should really shoot for. But I like my biglaw firm. And I want $$$. I was making plans to ESCAPE biglaw because the hours sound like the worst thing of all things, but I was hoping to at least give it a SHOT for a while before trying to go gov or other things.

What should I do? I feel like kind of a dick considering how many absolutely committed Honors applicants there surely are. I'd feel like I let down my recommenders - people I really want to stay in contact with and continue a friendly relationship with - if I turned down the Honors program or went half-hearted to the interviews. Help! Thanks


I don't know what the interview:offer rate is (probably varies), but it's hardly a sure thing that you'll actually get a spot in the Honors Program. I've been told by people on the hiring committee for one of the components you listed that after they do the first cut for interviews, then it becomes about your commitment to a career in the public interest and "fit" with the component and DOJ. Based on your post, none of those criteria sound like slam dunks for you.

Oh, and you should definitely know this: DOJ is not where you go to escape BigLaw hours. DOJ is where you go to work long hours for <$100,000/year because you are passionate about public service. It varies with component, section, and the cases, but most that I've met work extremely hard.


I didn't list components as far as I remember...

Anyways, I realize if I get an interview I'm not secure for an offer, but the point of this thread is to figure out if a job is something I want. If it is, I'll interview accordingly, because a career in public service would be what I most want. I'm looking for thoughts on whether it's a good idea. As for hours, you're wrong; I've worked in DOJ, USAOs, and biglaw, and the hours are much longer, on average, in biglaw. Everyone knows this.


Reading comprehension. I said the hours were long, not that they were as long as BigLaw. Additionally, like I said before, hours and everything else vary across the divisions and even among the sections within them. So your having worked at the DOJ once doesn't change the fact that some sections work insane hours. And it sure as hell does not make me wrong.

You did list components, down at the bottom of the thread. And your posts are a little conflicted:

"But I like my biglaw firm. And I want $$$. I was making plans to ESCAPE biglaw because the hours sound like the worst thing of all things, but I was hoping to at least give it a SHOT for a while before trying to go gov or other things."
vs.
"If it is, I'll interview accordingly, because a career in public service would be what I most want."

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Re: DOJ Honors or BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm also referring to people that were hired in the last 4 years. I think all of the attorneys are very impressive and like I said, all did well at very good schools. I just think that demonstrated interest in 1) public service and 2) the work of the component (especially through an internship there either 1L or 2L summer) count for a lot more than having a feeder clerkship lined up or being on LR at HLS.


The major litigating branches are incredible hard to get now. I know people who were top 5% T10, prestigious district clerkship, and significant DOJ internship experience who were unable to get a job in a litigating branch.

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Re: DOJ Honors or BigLaw?

Postby anon168 » Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm also referring to people that were hired in the last 4 years. I think all of the attorneys are very impressive and like I said, all did well at very good schools. I just think that demonstrated interest in 1) public service and 2) the work of the component (especially through an internship there either 1L or 2L summer) count for a lot more than having a feeder clerkship lined up or being on LR at HLS.


The major litigating branches are incredible hard to get now. I know people who were top 5% T10, prestigious district clerkship, and significant DOJ internship experience who were unable to get a job in a litigating branch.



DOJH isn't just about credentials.

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Re: DOJ Honors or BigLaw?

Postby BruceWayne » Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:45 pm

anon168 wrote:DOJH isn't just about credentials.


I think you're having trouble with the difference between necessary and sufficient. Having incredible academic credentials is not sufficient for working at the DOJ litigating components but it is necessary. They do care about demonstrated interest and public service work, but they only care about that to the extent that it differentiates candidates with ridiculous academic credentials.


Look I've worked as an intern with the DOJ-not even in their most competitive area--and it was insane how much they cared about grades. Honestly, it was to a point where it turned me off. In addition, one of the very high up directors for the Civil Division's Federal Programs section comes to UVA every year and commented on how they don't go outside of the top 1/3 (and that was at UVA).

An extremely high up director in the Criminal Division came to UVA and commented on how they get most of their hires from Harvard, Yale, and Stanford, but that they will "dip" down to "good" schools like NYU, UVA, GULC etc. for candidates at the very top of their class. He commented on how much students should try to make sure that they were on law review.

Oh and whoever said that DOJ attorneys work a lot of hours: LOL. Honestly, the difference between how much they work vs. people at firms is to a point where I'm not even sure both groups should be considered to be in the same profession. Where I worked it was a ghost town after 5:30-6pm. I have a friend working in one of the litigating components in DC as a paralegal who actually wants to become a lawyer because of the "good work-life balance". They get every federal holiday paid (even damn President's Day). DOJ hours are better than a lot of NON legal jobs.

anon168
Posts: 920
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:36 pm

Re: DOJ Honors or BigLaw?

Postby anon168 » Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:22 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
anon168 wrote:DOJH isn't just about credentials.


I think you're having trouble with the difference between necessary and sufficient. Having incredible academic credentials is not sufficient for working at the DOJ litigating components but it is necessary. They do care about demonstrated interest and public service work, but they only care about that to the extent that it differentiates candidates with ridiculous academic credentials.


Look I've worked as an intern with the DOJ-not even in their most competitive area--and it was insane how much they cared about grades. Honestly, it was to a point where it turned me off. In addition, one of the very high up directors for the Civil Division's Federal Programs section comes to UVA every year and commented on how they don't go outside of the top 1/3 (and that was at UVA).

An extremely high up director in the Criminal Division came to UVA and commented on how they get most of their hires from Harvard, Yale, and Stanford, but that they will "dip" down to "good" schools like NYU, UVA, GULC etc. for candidates at the very top of their class. He commented on how much students should try to make sure that they were on law review.

Oh and whoever said that DOJ attorneys work a lot of hours: LOL. Honestly, the difference between how much they work vs. people at firms is to a point where I'm not even sure both groups should be considered to be in the same profession. Where I worked it was a ghost town after 5:30-6pm. I have a friend working in one of the litigating components in DC as a paralegal who actually wants to become a lawyer because of the "good work-life balance". They get every federal holiday paid (even damn President's Day). DOJ hours are better than a lot of NON legal jobs.


Honors will take people from schools outside the T25.

Because of the 9-5 nature of DOJ (or more precisely, because the nature of the DOJ work allows you to work 9-5), it's also why it's not necessarily a great place to work.

Anonymous User
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Re: DOJ Honors or BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 25, 2012 4:16 pm

On a related note, what would be better for clerkships? I did not apply to clerk this year, but hope to get an appellate clerkship for 2015 or 2016. I think I would be a marginal applicant right now. Can any clerks comment on how work experience plays into the selection criteria?




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