DOJ Civil Appellate vs Federal Programs - 1L

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DOJ Civil Appellate vs Federal Programs - 1L

Postby sabrina8740 » Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:02 am

Very lucky to have received offers at both civil appellate and federal programs for 1L summer. My heart isn't set on clerking after law school (still deciding), but I am definitely interested in ending up in government (if not immediately after graduation, then shortly after a clerkship or big law stint). Equally interested in the subject matter, though perhaps slightly more so in civil appellate.

Does anyone have thoughts/advice on working in either of these offices as a 1L? Also reached out to some alumns from my school but am waiting to hear back (holidays and all...)


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Re: DOJ Civil Appellate vs Federal Programs - 1L

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:51 am

First off, congrats! Both offers sound great and a great intro intro government work.

I think your choice should depend on whether your interests are more in line with appellate work or trial work. Though the two are both inlitigation, appellate work in general is more writing/research intensive with occasional oral advocacy opportunities (depending on the office you're in). In general, I'd say appellate work is more along the lines of what you'd see in moot court in a law school setting and you'd have the chance to do research on discrete legal issues. Trial work is more motion intensive and fast-paced, with less research/writing.

So in the broader realm of clerking/government service, I think the question is whether you'd want to one day pursue a district court clerkship and eventually an AUSA position, or whether you'd want to be on track for a COA clerkship and/or government litigator in an appellate litigation position. The skillsets required are slightly different but overall this is a great start.

Last advice would be to possibly observe hearings at the local federal court if you can. If you're able to watch hearings to see what AUSAs do and depending on when you have to respond to your offers by, it'd be great to see oral arguments in your circuit if that's possible.

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