Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How strong are AUSA exit options? I'm sure it varies by district, but say someone at any district in California. Would they be able to land California biglaw pretty easily?
Also, do AUSA civil positions have exit options?
Also curious about this.
What if you are only an AUSA for say, 1.5 to 2 years? Is that enough experience to have decent exit options?
Let me answer the second question first. An AUSA with 1.5 to 2 years should not be leaving the USAO. Not necessarily because you will have little to no exit options, but because you will not have made your experience at the office a meaningful one.
As to exit options for civil and criminal AUSAs, both have exits options, and whether one is greater than the other really depends on the market you are targeting, the type of civil and/or criminal work you did at the USAO.
The forums and the press often talk about criminal AUSAs leaving the office to become partner at biglaw, and while that happens, that's not the norm typically. Many criminal AUSAs do not do work that will entice biglaw firms. Biglaw cares generally about FCPA / securities / white-collar prosecution experience. If you've been in the USAO doing nothing but gun trafficking or drugs, your skill set just doesn't translate to biglaw. For those criminal AUSAs who have done a bulk of their work in more typical "blue collar" crimes, many open up or join boutique criminal defense firms. Some do join midlaw firms, but one should disabuse themselves of the notion that if you are a criminal AUSA (even in a glamour district like SDNY or NDCA) you've punched your ticket to biglaw partnership.
Surprisingly, civil AUSAs many times have more and better options than their colleagues in the criminal section. This is only true for those AUSAs doing affirmative enforcement work -- typically litigation under the False Claims Act, or other affirmative enforcement statues like the FIRREA. Even though civil AUSAs may oftentimes have little to no courtroom experience (much less trial experience) the knowledge and skill set they bring to the table with respect to healthcare and/or financial services fraud is especially in demand with biglaw firms.
If you're a civil AUSA doing nothing but defensive work -- i.e. FTCA, then you'd be best to stay put. Sometimes there are in-house positions but those are few and far between. And very rare.
If you are entering the USAO with the notion that you want to leave and do [insert dream job in private sector] you need to carefully select what type of AUSA (civil or criminal) and the area of law.
Hope that helps.