SEC and other Government jobs

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MayomiSanchez
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SEC and other Government jobs

Postby MayomiSanchez » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:10 pm

I'm curious if anyone knows how competitive jobs at the SEC and other non-USAO government jobs are that require several years of litigation experience. Are they similarly difficult to get to USAO?

anon168
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Re: SEC and other Government jobs

Postby anon168 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:52 pm

MayomiSanchez wrote:I'm curious if anyone knows how competitive jobs at the SEC and other non-USAO government jobs are that require several years of litigation experience. Are they similarly difficult to get to USAO?


On average it is less competitive to get a job at the SEC vis-a-vis the USAO, but there are exceptions depending on office/location.

When you say "other non-USAO government jobs" what do you mean, and what are you referring to specifically? Other federal gov jobs? Or state and local jobs like AG or DA?

MayomiSanchez
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Re: SEC and other Government jobs

Postby MayomiSanchez » Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am

Thanks. Interested also in places like cftc, FDIC, gaming commissions etc

anon168
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Re: SEC and other Government jobs

Postby anon168 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:25 am

MayomiSanchez wrote:Thanks. Interested also in places like cftc, FDIC, gaming commissions etc


Most of those agencies (e.g. CFTC, FDIC) are not very competitive, the agency counsel jobs for those agencies (in my opinion) are kind of dull. Most agency counsel jobs are regulatory in nature, and while they're generally "litigation" jobs, they never really litigate -- the real litigating components of just about any federal agency (outside of maybe the SEC) is either the USAO or DOJ.

With respect to "gaming commissions" -- not even sure what that entails. Most gaming commissions, as far as I understand, are state agencies. The only one federal gaming agency that I am aware is the National Indian Gaming Commission, and I'm not sure about their jobs at all.

Anonymous User
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Re: SEC and other Government jobs

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:06 pm

anon168 wrote:
MayomiSanchez wrote:Thanks. Interested also in places like cftc, FDIC, gaming commissions etc


Most of those agencies (e.g. CFTC, FDIC) are not very competitive, the agency counsel jobs for those agencies (in my opinion) are kind of dull. Most agency counsel jobs are regulatory in nature, and while they're generally "litigation" jobs, they never really litigate -- the real litigating components of just about any federal agency (outside of maybe the SEC) is either the USAO or DOJ.

With respect to "gaming commissions" -- not even sure what that entails. Most gaming commissions, as far as I understand, are state agencies. The only one federal gaming agency that I am aware is the National Indian Gaming Commission, and I'm not sure about their jobs at all.


Is this for real? Both of the agencies you cited, especially the FDIC, are extremely competetive because they pay significantly above the standard government levels and offer more job security. While they are not as hard to lateral into as the DOJ, and you are correct that the work is relatively boring, positions at any financial services agency are the most difficult to get in the government after main justice and the US Attorney's Office for SDNY.

lukertin
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Re: SEC and other Government jobs

Postby lukertin » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is this for real? Both of the agencies you cited, especially the FDIC, are extremely competetive because they pay significantly above the standard government levels and offer more job security. While they are not as hard to lateral into as the DOJ, and you are correct that the work is relatively boring, positions at any financial services agency are the most difficult to get in the government after main justice and the US Attorney's Office for SDNY.

According to OPM, neither of those agencies has a special pay rate.

So, do expand on what you mean and where you got this information.

Anonymous User
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Re: SEC and other Government jobs

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:33 pm

lukertin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is this for real? Both of the agencies you cited, especially the FDIC, are extremely competetive because they pay significantly above the standard government levels and offer more job security. While they are not as hard to lateral into as the DOJ, and you are correct that the work is relatively boring, positions at any financial services agency are the most difficult to get in the government after main justice and the US Attorney's Office for SDNY.

According to OPM, neither of those agencies has a special pay rate.

So, do expand on what you mean and where you got this information.


To be fair that list is incomplete. Unless I'm blind, I don't see the SEC which I know has a special pay rate. Pretty sure the FDIC does as well. I ran across that list when trying to dig up salary info. It was missing several agencies which I later confirmed had their own pay rate.

Anonymous User
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Re: SEC and other Government jobs

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:46 pm

Not the same anon as above. The different pay scales are not always agency wide, so that OPM page won't show it. Attorneys can be on a different "occupationally" based scale within an agency. As a matter of fact, the SEC does pay better than DOJ for general attorneys and, even if they get fewer applications, may seem more competitive due to fewer slots and fewer people actually qualified to do the high-level financial work (the latter being why they need to incentivize qualified people to apply, and to stay - since the opportunities for such qualified people on the private side are typically phenomenal).

Anonymous User
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Re: SEC and other Government jobs

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:00 pm

does anyone know how hard it is to land a job at one of the SEC regional offices? linkedin search results suggest that most have very strong biglaw backgrounds with at least 5 years of experience. (i'm only 3 years out of law school)

Anonymous User
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Re: SEC and other Government jobs

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:does anyone know how hard it is to land a job at one of the SEC regional offices? linkedin search results suggest that most have very strong biglaw backgrounds with at least 5 years of experience. (i'm only 3 years out of law school)


It would be hard even with 5 years of experience in "strong" biglaw (whatever that means). If you want a government job, you just apply over and over again. A lot of your chances has to do with who you happen to be competing against at that particular moment, and what the hiring needs are - all things you neither have control over nor insight on when you send your resume into the darkness.

MayomiSanchez
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Re: SEC and other Government jobs

Postby MayomiSanchez » Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:does anyone know how hard it is to land a job at one of the SEC regional offices? linkedin search results suggest that most have very strong biglaw backgrounds with at least 5 years of experience. (i'm only 3 years out of law school)


It would be hard even with 5 years of experience in "strong" biglaw (whatever that means). If you want a government job, you just apply over and over again. A lot of your chances has to do with who you happen to be competing against at that particular moment, and what the hiring needs are - all things you neither have control over nor insight on when you send your resume into the darkness.


This is what I was originally wondering about, is there any stats on this or any other way to figure out if you are "in the running" so to speak...

anon168
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Re: SEC and other Government jobs

Postby anon168 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Not the same anon as above. The different pay scales are not always agency wide, so that OPM page won't show it. Attorneys can be on a different "occupationally" based scale within an agency. As a matter of fact, the SEC does pay better than DOJ for general attorneys and, even if they get fewer applications, may seem more competitive due to fewer slots and fewer people actually qualified to do the high-level financial work (the latter being why they need to incentivize qualified people to apply, and to stay - since the opportunities for such qualified people on the private side are typically phenomenal).


Most federal agencies pay more than DOJ.

DOJ pays more than USAO.

USAO does not pay more than anyone else on the federal ladder that I know of.

But, really, you cannot and should not use payscale as a gauge for how competitive slots are at respective agencies.

Anecdotally, when I was on the HC at the USAO, we routinely received 3000+ applications on a rolling basis for no particular advertised position(s). The same is routinely true from what I know by word of mouth at the SEC, but the number of applications are not as high. This is in part b/c there are less people interested in the SEC than the USAO -- which is not to say that one is better than the other, just that it is what it is.

LawIdiot86
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Re: SEC and other Government jobs

Postby LawIdiot86 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:32 pm

lukertin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is this for real? Both of the agencies you cited, especially the FDIC, are extremely competetive because they pay significantly above the standard government levels and offer more job security. While they are not as hard to lateral into as the DOJ, and you are correct that the work is relatively boring, positions at any financial services agency are the most difficult to get in the government after main justice and the US Attorney's Office for SDNY.

According to OPM, neither of those agencies has a special pay rate.

So, do expand on what you mean and where you got this information.


FDIC: http://www.fdic.gov/about/jobs/salarystructures.html and http://www.fdic.gov/about/legalhonors/FAQ.html
Currently the beginning salary level for a new law school graduate in the Honors Program in Washington, DC is $92,857


OCC: http://www.occ.gov/about/who-we-are/careers/salaries.html and http://www.occ.gov/about/who-we-are/careers/entry-level-attorneys.html

Salaries for incoming 2014 attorneys will be at least $107,500 for Washington headquarters positions.


The SEC and the Federal Reserve have their own scales that are not as favorable as the OCC and FDIC's. The CFTC has its own pay scale, the CT scale, which I couldn't find easily online, but is more than GS and less than the FDIC's. The tradeoff in competitiveness is there are lots of law students who want lower paid government jobs at places like the NLRB and the State Dept because they are passionate about the type of law practices and there are lots of law students who want jobs with the financial regulators because of the higher salary. Overall there are probably fewer financial regulator jobs, but the more boring work can help you stand out if you're actually passionate about finance.

anon168
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Re: SEC and other Government jobs

Postby anon168 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:16 pm

LawIdiot86 wrote:
lukertin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is this for real? Both of the agencies you cited, especially the FDIC, are extremely competetive because they pay significantly above the standard government levels and offer more job security. While they are not as hard to lateral into as the DOJ, and you are correct that the work is relatively boring, positions at any financial services agency are the most difficult to get in the government after main justice and the US Attorney's Office for SDNY.

According to OPM, neither of those agencies has a special pay rate.

So, do expand on what you mean and where you got this information.


FDIC: http://www.fdic.gov/about/jobs/salarystructures.html and http://www.fdic.gov/about/legalhonors/FAQ.html
Currently the beginning salary level for a new law school graduate in the Honors Program in Washington, DC is $92,857


OCC: http://www.occ.gov/about/who-we-are/careers/salaries.html and http://www.occ.gov/about/who-we-are/careers/entry-level-attorneys.html

Salaries for incoming 2014 attorneys will be at least $107,500 for Washington headquarters positions.


The SEC and the Federal Reserve have their own scales that are not as favorable as the OCC and FDIC's. The CFTC has its own pay scale, the CT scale, which I couldn't find easily online, but is more than GS and less than the FDIC's. The tradeoff in competitiveness is there are lots of law students who want lower paid government jobs at places like the NLRB and the State Dept because they are passionate about the type of law practices and there are lots of law students who want jobs with the financial regulators because of the higher salary. Overall there are probably fewer financial regulator jobs, but the more boring work can help you stand out if you're actually passionate about finance.


I just want to say something.

Anyone who chooses a job based on a 10-15k salary difference has his/her priorities out of whack.

I really hope no one here does that.

ClerkAdvisor
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Re: SEC and other Government jobs

Postby ClerkAdvisor » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:05 am

anon168 wrote:
I just want to say something.

Anyone who chooses a job based on a 10-15k salary difference has his/her priorities out of whack.

I really hope no one here does that.


I think you're right for positions just out of law school, but I can see plenty of reasons that someone might want to settle for a litigating position at the FDIC rather than the DOJ, especially considering the salary for experienced attorneys at FDIC is 30-50k higher than the maximum salary for SES positions at DOJ. Even if FDIC is boring, $200k with job stability goes along way for a family in DC.

anon168
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Re: SEC and other Government jobs

Postby anon168 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:13 am

ClerkAdvisor wrote:
anon168 wrote:
I just want to say something.

Anyone who chooses a job based on a 10-15k salary difference has his/her priorities out of whack.

I really hope no one here does that.


I think you're right for positions just out of law school, but I can see plenty of reasons that someone might want to settle for a litigating position at the FDIC rather than the DOJ, especially considering the salary for experienced attorneys at FDIC is 30-50k higher than the maximum salary for SES positions at DOJ. Even if FDIC is boring, $200k with job stability goes along way for a family in DC.


50k is not enough for me to work at the FDIC over DOJ.

And here again I want to point out something. There appears to be an assumption in this thread that all Big Fed jobs are comparable. They're not. For a large majority of them the only similarity is that your paycheck gets processed by the USDA (yes, the Dept of Agriculture).

Working at the FDIC is nothing like working at the SEC or DOJ or DEA or USAO.

Anonymous User
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Re: SEC and other Government jobs

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:12 pm

anon168 wrote:
ClerkAdvisor wrote:
anon168 wrote:
I just want to say something.

Anyone who chooses a job based on a 10-15k salary difference has his/her priorities out of whack.

I really hope no one here does that.


I think you're right for positions just out of law school, but I can see plenty of reasons that someone might want to settle for a litigating position at the FDIC rather than the DOJ, especially considering the salary for experienced attorneys at FDIC is 30-50k higher than the maximum salary for SES positions at DOJ. Even if FDIC is boring, $200k with job stability goes along way for a family in DC.


50k is not enough for me to work at the FDIC over DOJ.

And here again I want to point out something. There appears to be an assumption in this thread that all Big Fed jobs are comparable. They're not. For a large majority of them the only similarity is that your paycheck gets processed by the USDA (yes, the Dept of Agriculture).

Working at the FDIC is nothing like working at the SEC or DOJ or DEA or USAO.


Yes, in that it's significantly less stressful while paying more (50k is not a trivial sum by any standard, and at the senior SES level it looks like the difference is closer to 70k). This doesn't include things like performance bonuses--do those exist at DOJ? For someone passionate about litigation, it may not be the best option, but for someone looking for an interesting, stable position similar in workload to being in-house at a financial company, the FDIC is a great option. And yes, strangely paychecks at my agency (not the FDIC, but similar) are processed by the Department of the Interior.

MayomiSanchez
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Re: SEC and other Government jobs

Postby MayomiSanchez » Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:03 pm

Another random question about this. Are there any non-government jobs that are similarly situated (ie require several years of litigation experience, pay comfortable 6 figures, decent hours etc.)

anon168
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Re: SEC and other Government jobs

Postby anon168 » Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:24 pm

MayomiSanchez wrote:Another random question about this. Are there any non-government jobs that are similarly situated (ie require several years of litigation experience, pay comfortable 6 figures, decent hours etc.)


Tenured professor at T3 law school.

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haus
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Re: SEC and other Government jobs

Postby haus » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:12 pm

ClerkAdvisor wrote:
anon168 wrote:
I just want to say something.

Anyone who chooses a job based on a 10-15k salary difference has his/her priorities out of whack.

I really hope no one here does that.


I think you're right for positions just out of law school, but I can see plenty of reasons that someone might want to settle for a litigating position at the FDIC rather than the DOJ, especially considering the salary for experienced attorneys at FDIC is 30-50k higher than the maximum salary for SES positions at DOJ. Even if FDIC is boring, $200k with job stability goes along way for a family in DC.

Now that we are on the verge of a government shutdown, it is worth pointing out that if Congress does not get there act together, the attorneys at FDIC will continue to work (and get paid), whereas DOJ will not.

LawIdiot86
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Re: SEC and other Government jobs

Postby LawIdiot86 » Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:53 pm

haus wrote:
ClerkAdvisor wrote:
anon168 wrote:
I just want to say something.

Anyone who chooses a job based on a 10-15k salary difference has his/her priorities out of whack.

I really hope no one here does that.


I think you're right for positions just out of law school, but I can see plenty of reasons that someone might want to settle for a litigating position at the FDIC rather than the DOJ, especially considering the salary for experienced attorneys at FDIC is 30-50k higher than the maximum salary for SES positions at DOJ. Even if FDIC is boring, $200k with job stability goes along way for a family in DC.

Now that we are on the verge of a government shutdown, it is worth pointing out that if Congress does not get there act together, the attorneys at FDIC will continue to work (and get paid), whereas DOJ will not.

The benefits of independent self-funding cannot be overstated. Even the SEC does not have that feather in its cap.




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