JAG v. Big City DA's Office

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Which job would you choose?

Air Force JAG
14
50%
Manhattan DA's Office
11
39%
Chicago State's Attorney's Office
3
11%
 
Total votes: 28

Anonymous User
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JAG v. Big City DA's Office

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:06 am

Hey guys,

I have a bit of a fortunate dilemma but still a difficult choice to make nonetheless so wanted to ask for some advice. I was offered a Direct Appointment with the Air Force JAG and was just given a full time offer for the Manhattan District Attorney's Office as well. I am wondering what the best option would be here. My five year plan is to become an AUSA and I've heard Manhattan can give you great experience and exit options. On the downside, living in NYC on 60K with loans seems like it would be a bit of a struggle plus I think I would enjoy the military lifestyle.

Finally I'm also still in the running for Cook County (Chicago) State's Attorney's Office. I'm not sure if it has the same rep or exit options as Manhattan but I love the city and feel like I would have a higher QOL there. Should I still keep this one in mind over the other two?

Thanks a bunch!

Anonymous User
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Re: JAG v. Big City DA's Office

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:42 am

I think JAG would open more doors at least in Fed government. If your goal might be to become an AUSA than I think it will help. At the USAO Office that I interned at I met a few AUSAs who began their careers with JAG and then transitioned.

Anonymous User
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Re: JAG v. Big City DA's Office

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:18 pm

I chose to go big city DA office for potential work as a federal prosecutor based on my conversations with current ASUAs.

I'd probably go with JAG in your position though. You can't go wrong with any of these choices and you obviously like JAG better.

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NoleinNY
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Re: JAG v. Big City DA's Office

Postby NoleinNY » Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:09 pm

I voted JAG because:

Likely chance to have lower COL. (I'm assuming this on the belief that they offer locality adjustments and that most AF Bases are not in expensive parts of town, except for maybe Andrews or the Pentagon.)
Respect.
Possible door opening in fed gov (not that NY DA is any slouch in that department).

If you had said you wanted to maybe go into Big Lawl, I might've leaned NY DA.

You really can't go wrong here and congrats, either way!

mbuckner
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Re: JAG v. Big City DA's Office

Postby mbuckner » Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:22 pm

I voted for DA. OP, would you mind PMing me? I'd be interested to hear about what you did to get here.

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2014
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Re: JAG v. Big City DA's Office

Postby 2014 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:02 pm

How do you feel about living at one of the numerous AF bases that are in the middle of nowhere? I personally would go with JAG, but if you would be significantly more happy in a city, that is a big consideration.

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Re: JAG v. Big City DA's Office

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:36 pm

When do you have to accept for JAG or Manhattan? Because you won't find out about Cook County until early May, and there's still one more interview before that. They are very selective so under no circumstances would I suggest holding out for Cook if it means turning down your other offers.

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howell
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Re: JAG v. Big City DA's Office

Postby howell » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:42 am

I'm not going to vote, because I'm not familiar enough with the Manhattan/Cook DA Office -> AUSA chances, and I'm severely biased towards JAG. But here are a few things for you to consider.

First, which board did you get in on for the Air Force - October? Note that if you haven't already, you'll have to go through MEPS (which could possibly exclude you altogether), pass the bar, get your security clearance, etc. These things will drag out the time you have before you actually commission (and thus commit). So you should have time to think about the Air Force offer while you wait for Cook County.

If you have significant loans (~$100k or higher) and are thinking about going the IBR/PSLF route, you will have a much better standard of living in the Air Force. I live in Atlanta right now and make about twice the starting "salary" of what I'll make in the Air Force, but the amount of money I will take home in the Air Force will be greater due to BAH, BAS, and a lower tax rate. On top of that, the IBR payment is based on your salary, which for your first couple of years in the AF will be in the 40's. So you'll be paying a lot less in IBR while actually bringing home more money. If you're going to try to pay off your loans without IBR/PSLF, the $65k in SLRP in the AF will help. The flip side to having more disposable income is the chance that you might have to live in North Dakota for 2 years.

It might be worth posting about this in the Military Law thread in the Forum for Law Students. You could probably get different opinions on how well the JAG -> AUSA route might work for you.

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iShotFirst
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Re: JAG v. Big City DA's Office

Postby iShotFirst » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:10 am

Do you want to settle down for a while in New York or move every 2/3 years, possibly to the middle of nowhere (like an above poster mentioned)? The difference in lifestyle of each of these options is pretty stark, if you want AUSA that could be a tipping point but you need to think about your desired lifestyle as well.

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Re: JAG v. Big City DA's Office

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:58 pm

OP here. Thanks for all the advice guys! When it comes to living in NYC v. bouncing around the country for 3 or 4 years, I wouldn't really have a big problem with either as long as I know that I will be working toward my next goal: becoming an AUSA. It's true I still have some time to decide with JAG but Manhattan will want an answer from me pretty soon. To the anon poster who had spoken to AUSAs, did they say that chances of snagging a job like that would be higher from Manhattan DA than from JAG?

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Re: JAG v. Big City DA's Office

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Thanks for all the advice guys! When it comes to living in NYC v. bouncing around the country for 3 or 4 years, I wouldn't really have a big problem with either as long as I know that I will be working toward my next goal: becoming an AUSA. It's true I still have some time to decide with JAG but Manhattan will want an answer from me pretty soon. To the anon poster who had spoken to AUSAs, did they say that chances of snagging a job like that would be higher from Manhattan DA than from JAG?


I'm the anon who posted about speaking to AUSA, which are mostly alumni from my school. I never asked about JAG specifically. I only asked about career advice in general to put myself in a position to be competitive for a an AUSA spot later in my career. JAG was never on my radar though I can't imagine that JAG would put you in a bad spot as compared to a big city DA.

As far as the AUSAs I've spoken to, I explained to them my situation and told them that I couldn't stand working in a firm being paper-pusher for 3 years before I would even be able to speak to a client. I ended up with the same recommendation over and over again: get into a DA/SA office as soon as possible and get experience.

Like I said before, I would probably choose JAG in your situation because it seems like it's what you're more excited to do. If you're looking at only Cook County vs Manhattan, there probably isn't a very big difference in fed gov't exit options. Manhattan gets a lot of hype because it's in Manhattan. That doesn't necessarily mean the office the best in the country or the most "prestigious." It only means that it's in Manhattan. If you do decide to go the big city DA route and you're looking to pick between Manhattan and Chicago, I'd go with the office you like the best in the city you'd feel more comfortable in.

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Re: JAG v. Big City DA's Office

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:22 pm

OP here. Thanks again everyone! I'm started to lean more toward JAG. Can anyone who voted for the DA's office explain why they believe it would be better?

merlin
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Re: JAG v. Big City DA's Office

Postby merlin » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:09 am

My understanding is that you'll get the chance to try serious felonies in JAG sooner than you would at DANY. At DANY, you're stuck in Criminal Court (misdemeanors) for about 2 years. Also, as you probably know, you'll get the chance to do some cool traveling with JAG.

I'd only caution (as I did in another thread) to make sure you qualify physically/medically for JAG. That is, make sure you meet the standards for eyesight, weight, etc. Prior serious knee injuries and the like will cause you some trouble. I've been told that none of these things are outright "deal breakers," but it can certainly make commissioning very difficult. Good luck!

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Re: JAG v. Big City DA's Office

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 22, 2015 3:35 pm

Bump

cbro
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Re: JAG v. Big City DA's Office

Postby cbro » Mon Jun 22, 2015 3:40 pm

2014 wrote:How do you feel about living at one of the numerous AF bases that are in the middle of nowhere? I personally would go with JAG, but if you would be significantly more happy in a city, that is a big consideration.


Doesn't AF JAG disclose your base location to you before you sign your contract? San Diego wouldn't be horrible.

foregetaboutdre
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Re: JAG v. Big City DA's Office

Postby foregetaboutdre » Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:26 pm

JAG

Based on prior federal working experience....veteran's preference is a huge +++++++++++++ (and I mean HUGE). Also AF is a great service to be in. You avoid being on a ship (NAVY), and the more militarized structure/bad base locations of the Marines/Army (although this appeals to some people). Coast Guard has a JAG, but from my understanding that's kind of a unicorn job.

Just get barred in whatever state you want to practice. You may not get the pure experience as a manhattan DA, but if you want to work for the Federal govt, the military opens a huge number of doors for you.




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