AUSA Taking Questions

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
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JusticeJackson
Posts: 454
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:26 am

Re: AUSA Taking Questions

Postby JusticeJackson » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:52 pm

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Last edited by JusticeJackson on Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Whiteshirtnavysuit
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:24 pm

Re: AUSA Taking Questions

Postby Whiteshirtnavysuit » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for answering these questions, OP. Did you have any language skills/any idea if DOJ looks for that at all?


Yes. I was asked about language skills. I can speak some Spanish and read Spanish fairly well when I have time to work through what is written. My ability to understand it when it is spoken is minimal. I have no ear for it. So in other words, I have little to no language skills.

As with everything else, I don't know for certain how much or if at all language skills play into the process, however I cannot imagine a scenario where language skills cannot help you.

Whiteshirtnavysuit
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:24 pm

Re: AUSA Taking Questions

Postby Whiteshirtnavysuit » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:56 pm

JusticeJackson wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Related to the above question, is there a rating point where you think someone is likely to get an interview? I've applied to a bunch of AUSA positions, and I received pretty dissonant ratings for the ones where I've been referred. I think part of it is about the relative desirability of some districts compared to others but wanted some additional input.

Also, I'm sure that every office interviews differently, but can you talk about the structure for the interviews that you went on? How many applicants are at each stage? Should you start prepping hard for the interview if you get referred, or does that just mean you moved from the super huge pile to the slightly huge pile?

Thanks!


How do you know what your rating is?



I was a bit confused by the use of "rating" as well. But, if you apply through usajobs.com, it will keep you updated on the status of your application. There are a variety of words that could appear after a few weeks based on your application. "Referred" means, if I remember correctly and you should not take what I am saying as canon, that your application was deemed as one to be forwarded on in the process to potential interview.

JusticeJackson
Posts: 454
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:26 am

Re: AUSA Taking Questions

Postby JusticeJackson » Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:04 pm

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Last edited by JusticeJackson on Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Whiteshirtnavysuit
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:24 pm

Re: AUSA Taking Questions

Postby Whiteshirtnavysuit » Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:16 pm

In lieu of all the questions I have gotten about the hiring process and applications I will just share what I did and let that help others that are interested.

Like I said I worked at two DAs offices, one for a short time in a major city, one for a number of years in a mid-size city. I got lucky in my second DA spot because there was a major exodus of experienced attorneys for various reasons (none were eye raising, just a mix of family needs and moving to firms etc.) that allowed me to move up rapidly. Because of that, I got major trial experience very early.

I was happy in my job but I always wanted to be an AUSA so I decided to test the waters. I signed up for the DOJ job announcement emails. You should absolutely do this if you're interested. Every time there was a DOJ opening I got an email about the position, starting salary etc. I asked myself with each one "is that a place I would be willing to move my family and live?" If the answer was yes, I applied. If not, I didn't. It became sort of a Friday afternoon hobby. Which reminds me, a judge I know once gave me the best advice I ever heard as a lawyer. He said "every Friday morning you should check out what jobs are available and see what's out there, no matter how much you tire of it." I have always done that, though not much now because I like where I am.

Anyway, eventually I started getting interviews and naturally got more familiar and comfortable with the process. It is important to note that I only began doing this once I decided I was secure in my position (somewhat indispensable) where I was. I knew my boss, the elected District Attorney, wouldn't fire me for looking elsewhere because he needed me more than I needed him. I loved working for him and I don't mean it as a knock on him. It's business. I was handling very serious cases for him and I knew my own value. This made me very comfortable with applying all over. I have heard horror stories from others who were fired for doing what I did. It's important to know your employer. I was up front that I was applying elsewhere because I knew his only practical option was offering me more money or just living with it. If you're in a firm, you may wish to be more discreet.

In any case, once I started getting interviews it rolled from there. I began applying in January to various offices the year I was hired and started my new job by August that same year. Many places did not refer my application for interview. I didn't let it bother me and just kept testing the waters.

One other thing I did was I contacted a few people I knew who were AUSAs. I asked them their opinion on the job and how they felt I could better reflect who I was in my application. I think it made a huge difference. At one point I even made an appointment with a federal magistrate judge and got her opinion on what was being looked for in candidates. It's important to show commitment and a willingness to pursue in any job you are aiming for.

Finally, in my interview where I got the job I took a different strategy then I did before. I decided to hi light my weaknesses and tell those interviewing me how I would address them. Essentially, I told them I had a plan as an AUSA to improve.

In summary, sign up for the DOJ email updates, meet with someone you know who is an AUSA or get someone you know to set up lunch. People want to help. Get your name out as someone who is interested. And don't give up. It's a process and it takes time.

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swampman
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:48 pm

Re: AUSA Taking Questions

Postby swampman » Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:05 pm

Awesome post, thanks!

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: AUSA Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 10, 2015 2:44 pm

^that was a great poast

Any current or former AUSAs have any interview advice they wouldn't mind sharing?




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