Consensus on Federal Government jobs

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Consensus on Federal Government jobs

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:10 pm

Hey all, I can't find anything, current at least, that is a good run down on federal government jobs, so I thought I'd ask a few questions.

Are there certain agencies that have better exit options/are going to be a better resume boost?

Would it be dumb to renege on an 2L summer offer from a lesser known agency for a more high-profile agency?

Which internships are best for a 2L summer since they don't necessarily hire from the summer program?

Thanks for any insight.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Consensus on Federal Government jobs

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:14 pm

There are an AWFUL LOT of different government agencies doing all kinds of different things. What do you actually want to do? Where would you hope to exit to?

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mr. wednesday
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Re: Consensus on Federal Government jobs

Postby mr. wednesday » Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:20 pm

It would be dumb to renege on an agency you'd like to work for, especially if they hire honors attorneys. The whole concept of agency 'prestige' is a little silly since unlike big firms, different agencies do vastly different things in vastly different areas of law and aren't really interchangeable.

The best internship for 2L would be at an agency that a) you want to work for and b) hires out of its 2L class or has an honors program.

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Re: Consensus on Federal Government jobs

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:01 pm

mr. wednesday wrote:It would be dumb to renege on an agency you'd like to work for, especially if they hire honors attorneys. The whole concept of agency 'prestige' is a little silly since unlike big firms, different agencies do vastly different things in vastly different areas of law and aren't really interchangeable.

The best internship for 2L would be at an agency that a) you want to work for and b) hires out of its 2L class or has an honors program.


Ha, yeah. That's what I was thinking, but what if you have multiple offers that each with one of those characteristics, i.e. one is the agency you want to work for and one is the agency that hires out of its 2L summer interns?

Also, how hard is it to get Entry-level Honors Programs if you did your 2L summer internships there?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Consensus on Federal Government jobs

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:54 pm

The problem with entry-level Honors programs is that they frequently get 1000+ applicants for between, say, 5-12 positions. So while interning with the agency definitely seems to help for getting an Honors gig, there's no guarantee just because there are so few positions. It may depend a bit on the agency - some seem to hire exclusively from their former interns, but many don't. (This is a totally unscientific impression based on reports here and around the internet about hiring for the various agencies - I have a vague sense, for instance, that the FTC usually hires former interns? But I can't be more specific than that.)

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Re: Consensus on Federal Government jobs

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:18 pm

How beneficial is interning with a US Attorney's Office after my 2L year? Lets say compared to a mid-size firm that won't necessarily be hiring its 2L intern(s).

I want to litigate. Both the mid-size firm (30-40 attorneys) and USAO are in a secondary market

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mr. wednesday
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Re: Consensus on Federal Government jobs

Postby mr. wednesday » Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How beneficial is interning with a US Attorney's Office after my 2L year? Lets say compared to a mid-size firm that won't necessarily be hiring its 2L intern(s).

I want to litigate. Both the mid-size firm (30-40 attorneys) and USAO are in a secondary market

I know some people disagree on this, but I generally think interning at a USAO is pretty unhelpful. They don't hire through the honors program unless you have a federal clerkship, and even then only 0-2 spots a year. If you want to be a prosecutor, you're better off at an AG or DAs office that actually hires 3Ls or clerkship + crim in main justice. If you want to litigate generally but not as a prosecutor, there are a hundred more relevant places to work than a USAO.

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Re: Consensus on Federal Government jobs

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 15, 2013 8:27 pm

1) Reneging on an offer from one agency to go to another, even for an unpaid internship/externship is a very bad idea

2) Getting an internship vs. applying for a permanent job are totally different animals. Example: I interned a fed agency one summer in law school and the hiring process was controlled by individual sub-departments within the legal department for the agency. Between all the sub-departments there were about 25 different legal interns (a mix of 1Ls and 2L).

Compare that with applying for 2-3 open positions for the agency's honors program...those apps were centralized through the agency's general counsel's office. Even though I had a good relationship with my supervisor, I had no shot at those jobs. They were looking for candidates that were finishing up terms in JAG or federal clerkships.

3) As far as exit opps go, there were none. Sure it looked good on my resume and helped me get a job working in business a couple years later but law firms and state/fed agencies weren't falling over themselves to hire me. The number of people that do fed agency internships, especially from schools that are in the DC area, is much higher than you might imagine. It's not really a distinguishing factor.

4) If you want to litigate, try to get into a clinic during 3L year. If you can get a paid part-time law clerk job at a local litigation firm that might help too.

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UnfrozenCaveman
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Re: Consensus on Federal Government jobs

Postby UnfrozenCaveman » Sun Dec 15, 2013 8:48 pm

Does anyone know how much the 5pt Veteran's Preference helps for Honors programs?

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mr. wednesday
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Re: Consensus on Federal Government jobs

Postby mr. wednesday » Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:45 pm

UnfrozenCaveman wrote:Does anyone know how much the 5pt Veteran's Preference helps for Honors programs?

It helps. How do you really quantify how much, though? Most honors programs don't work on a point system. It doesn't make you a slam dunk somewhere you are marginally qualified. But if you had a good chance at a program, your chance is better as a veteran.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Consensus on Federal Government jobs

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:01 pm

UnfrozenCaveman wrote:Does anyone know how much the 5pt Veteran's Preference helps for Honors programs?

For the DOJ Honors Program, this is how the admin explained it for the 2013 program:

Excepted service attorney and law clerk trainee appointments (i.e., SLIP hires who would work for DOJ as law school graduates between law school graduation and the start of a clerkship/legal fellowship) fall within "Schedule A" (5 CFR 213.3101 et seq.), and are wholly exempted from the appointment procedures of 5 CFR Part 302; however, the Department follows the principle of veterans' preference in its attorney/law clerk trainee hiring procedures as far as administratively feasible. Selecting officials must treat veterans' preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring at all stages of the review process. At each point in the review process where a decision is made to eliminate candidates from further consideration, the selecting official should ascertain whether any of the applicants under review are preference eligible and, in borderline cases, continue to consider those applicants.

"Positive factor" means exactly what it says. There are no "points" or scores associated with excepted service attorney/law clerk hiring, so there is no quantitative manner to define "positive factor."

I don't know how/if this applies to other Honors programs.

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Re: Consensus on Federal Government jobs

Postby linquest » Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:07 am

Attorney positions are exempted from the Competitive Service point system, so "veterans preference" is entirely subjective, that is, it only makes a difference if the decision-maker(s) cares about it.

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UnfrozenCaveman
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Re: Consensus on Federal Government jobs

Postby UnfrozenCaveman » Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:03 am

But plenty of attorney positions ask to submit documentation for vet preference. They just do that for fun?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Consensus on Federal Government jobs

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:23 am

Presumably in those cases the decision-maker does care. Also, see the comment about the DOJ Honors program saying that department policy is to consider it as a "positive factor."




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