ADA to AUSA

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Anonymous User
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ADA to AUSA

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:19 pm

Just wondering what the TLS consensus is from going from a relatively big name DA office (NYC, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Philly, etc.) to perhaps a less competitive AUSA office (re: something not in a big metro area like NYC).

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nevdash
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Re: ADA to AUSA

Postby nevdash » Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:15 pm

While I don't really have the experience to answer your question, be sure that you actually investigate the reputation of a DA's office if this is your goal; you can't always assume that big city = good reputation. For example, the Boston ADAs get paid pure shit (like $38k or something), so my understanding is that new hires (not necessarily boomers who may have worked in the office when the pay wasn't so comparatively bad and/or people could afford to take a worse-paying job because they had less debt) aren't as respected generally because nobody who has any other options would work as a DA in Boston.

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Re: ADA to AUSA

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:47 pm

I recently spoke with an AUSA who is involved in the hiring process in his office (in a metropolitan area, not NYC) and he said that in that particular office they get about half of new hires from ADA offices and the other half from law firms. I get the sense that most hires are from local ADA offices, not "bigger name" ADA offices like Manhattan.

ETA: FWIW, he also said that a clerkship is getting close to being a de facto prerequisite in that office.

l0g0s
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Re: ADA to AUSA

Postby l0g0s » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:ETA: FWIW, he also said that a clerkship is getting close to being a de facto prerequisite in that office.


Any chance he mentioned whether they preferred district or appellate?

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Re: ADA to AUSA

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:17 pm

I know it is not a smaller or less competitive district, but in CD Cal, they hire most from big law who have had actual trial experience (which limits the pool significantly to a few firms who allow younger lawyers to go to trial). Clerkships are a huge plus, the more the better and the higher level the better. They will also look at DAs with 5+ years experience and JAGs, but they take less of these. Some local DAs offices farm their DAs out to the AUSAs as SAUSAs, which seems to also help a DA get his/her foot in the door. It has been mentioned here time and time again, but the quickest way to get in is lateralling from DOJ Honors. I was told this by two senior AUSAs, one of whom is the Chief of a branch office. IMO, the fastest, surest, and easiest way to get in (out of the options above) is art. III clerkship(s)->DOJ Honors->AUSA.

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kalvano
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Re: ADA to AUSA

Postby kalvano » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:35 pm

Several AUSA's in the Dallas office were former ADA's in the Dallas office.

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Re: ADA to AUSA

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:44 pm

l0g0s wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:ETA: FWIW, he also said that a clerkship is getting close to being a de facto prerequisite in that office.


Any chance he mentioned whether they preferred district or appellate?


Didn't discuss it in detail. We discussed my own interest, and I am doing a district clerkship and have not applied for further clerkships. The advice was to do whatever I can to get trial experience at my firm, as opposed to trying to do another clerkship, so I got the sense that the district clerkship is sufficient. I suppose this varies by office too, and if the office does vertical prosecution that another poster mentioned I imagine having both under your belt would be attractive.

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Re: ADA to AUSA

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:47 am

I've talked to a lot of AUSA's and I don't think what people on this thread are saying is totally accurate regarding hiring out of biglaw. Based on my discussions with the AUSA's, I'd say most AUSA's offices don't generally hire very many ex-biglaw attorneys. The exception would be if you made strong connections in the AUSA's office for some reason (e.g. pro bono work, you practice white collar crim defense, etc). What they want is someone with good experience in what they do (makes sense doesn't it?)--e.g., in offices where they try a lot of cases, the ideal candidate has a lot of trial experience, ideally in federal court and criminal. Being in a good ADA's office + good writing experience is probably the best route in. The reason you often see a lot of AUSA's come from the local DA's office is because of connections. A big consideration is your recommendations, if you get great recommendations from attorneys they know, it helps a lot... I guess a lot of this is really common sense if you think about it - if you were hiring an AUSA and you need someone who you're going to feel comfortable throwing out there with minimal supervision or training, who would you hire?

Lady Heather
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Re: ADA to AUSA

Postby Lady Heather » Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:34 am

An attorney who does some hiring at the EDVA office told me that s/he usually hires from biglaw. S/he actually said (about ADAs and ASAs), "what they do isn't really what we do." I guess it makes sense: a lot of federal prosecutions take years and very little time is actually spent in the courtroom.

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TTH
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Re: ADA to AUSA

Postby TTH » Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:17 am

Rhonda Perlman never was able to make it to the USA's office. I'd gun for trial court judge.

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JamesDean1955
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Re: ADA to AUSA

Postby JamesDean1955 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:31 am

TTH wrote:Rhonda Perlman never was able to make it to the USA's office. I'd gun for trial court judge.


She shouldn't have gotten caught up in illegal wiretaps, and let Marlo walk. No big win = no AUSA job.

Agent
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Re: ADA to AUSA

Postby Agent » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:43 am

In case anyone here cares: HLS Guide: The Fast Track to a U.S. Attorney's Office (LinkRemoved)

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Re: ADA to AUSA

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:07 pm

I'm debating between accepting an offer at a big time DA office versus trying to find a local DA office in what would probably be the suburbs of a large metro area in the south. AUSA is my end goal. Would I be shooting myself in the foot by abandoning the better DA office and trying to network my way to the AUSA in a more rural, southern DA office?

I've read the Harvard guide. It seems pretty helpful, and I've been told the major issue ADAs have being competitive for the USAO is their lack of writing. Also, I feel like Harvard graduate ADAs would have an easier time getting an AUSA job than us lowly t20 guys.

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Re: ADA to AUSA

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:00 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote: But I also think that if you know you want to do something like go to the USAO, you can get relevant experience in biglaw if you work for it (sure, a lot of it might be pro bono, but if the local DA's office isn't very good, biglaw is probably a great hiring pool. Biglaw will certainly give you more federal experience than a DA).


The biggest issue is the lack of trial experience in most biglaw offices, since you won't find many that will offer you much, if any, trial experience in your first few years. But pro bono criminal is a legit way of getting experience and meeting AUSAs though.

Lady Heather wrote:An attorney who does some hiring at the EDVA office told me that s/he usually hires from biglaw. S/he actually said (about ADAs and ASAs), "what they do isn't really what we do." I guess it makes sense: a lot of federal prosecutions take years and very little time is actually spent in the courtroom.


It all depends on the office. Some AUSAs offices try a ton of cases, while others don't (e.g. offices that tend to plea almost everything).

Anonymous User wrote: Would I be shooting myself in the foot by abandoning the better DA office and trying to network my way to the AUSA in a more rural, southern DA office?


It depends. You haven't given enough information for anyone to provide you with a meaningful response to your question. If you're leaning towards the southern DA office because that's where you rather be, then try to get in touch with AUSAs in that district who you have some connection with (e.g. alums from your school). See what they think about the DAs office (i.e. do they carry a good reputation, do they often hire from that office?, etc.)

Anonymous User wrote: I've been told the major issue ADAs have being competitive for the USAO is their lack of writing.


This is all on you though. It's not that state court judges will not accept written motions, briefs in support of motions, etc. It's that a lot of them don't require writing, and it's less time consuming to do things orally, so a lot of attorneys do just that. A lot of things are better to do in writing, and you can create a portfolio of good writing samples at the ADAs office. That's precisely what ADAs who are successful to getting into USAOs do. But it's all on you whether you choose to write things or not (unless the trial court judge requires it- most don't).




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