ausa interview

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poweradezero

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ausa interview

Postby poweradezero » Wed Jul 20, 2016 7:58 pm

My friend has an upcoming interview with us attorneys office. They said its four person panel interview, including the us attorney himself and his first assistan attorney with division chiefs. What kinda questions do they ask in this kind of interview? Any tips from those who actually underwent this kind of interview is greatly appreciated.

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Re: ausa interview

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:30 pm

- Why prosecution (potentially lots of follow up) (assuming criminal - if not, whatever an appropriate civil lit question would be)
- Why the federal government (especially if your experience is all private sector - may lean to "why Feds" if you have state experience)
- Why our office/district (you probably want to be able to talk about the kinds of cases they do and not just weather/family/raising kids/etc, though the latter can help too)
- What qualities can you bring to the job
- Tell us about your pertinent experience (especially emphasize anything you can spin as relating to trial)
- Specific questions about anything on your resume (really, anything)
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years
- How will you handle running your own cases independently (or questions intended to get at this)
- Maybe questions intended to get at how you will handle enforcing office charging policies, especially if you don't agree with them - discretion v. autonomy (this and the above may depend on previous experience and what potential red flags they see - lack of experience or too much).

I haven't seen specific crim pro-based hypos myself.

fauxpsych

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Re: ausa interview

Postby fauxpsych » Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:31 pm

They'll give you a list of law positions and ask you to rank them by prestige. This part is timed.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: ausa interview

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:43 pm

fauxpsych wrote:They'll give you a list of law positions and ask you to rank them by prestige. This part is timed.

There's no need to troll a reasonable question.

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Re: ausa interview

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:24 pm

I haven't interviewed myself but plan to apply for AUSA spots after another year or two in biglaw and have continued to stay in touch with AUSAs I met during my clerkship.

I've been told that the most important thing is to demonstrate that you're not just going to put in a few years as an AUSA to get trial experience then leave for the private sector. The applicant should have a very solid, compelling answer to "why fedgov?"

Additionally, there will be quite a few ethics-related questions. Prosecutors have crazy amounts of power and discretion, and you need to show that you won't abuse that autonomy and do things that would reflect badly on the office.

Though this isn't related to your question, tell your friend not to get bummed out if s/he doesn't get the job the first go-around. An AUSA on the recruiting committee told me it's extremely rare for someone to get the spot the first time they come in for an interview. After the interview, keep notes about the interview to make the responses consistent/establish follow-through on activities previously discussed.

poweradezero

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Re: ausa interview

Postby poweradezero » Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:34 pm

What would be a good answer to the question "why work for fedgov?"

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Re: ausa interview

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:39 pm

poweradezero wrote:What would be a good answer to the question "why work for fedgov?"

Well, why DO you/your friend want to work for the feds? Presumably there's some reason.

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Re: ausa interview

Postby poweradezero » Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:06 pm

I figure they do expect certain type of answers to these questions. Most peeps would prefer feds coz they pay better than state jobs and carry more prestige, but most are smart enough to not say those things on interview.

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Re: ausa interview

Postby fauxpsych » Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:44 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
fauxpsych wrote:They'll give you a list of law positions and ask you to rank them by prestige. This part is timed.

There's no need to troll a reasonable question.



Look at who OP is, and his responses. Let me know who's trolling who here.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: ausa interview

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:52 pm

fauxpsych wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
fauxpsych wrote:They'll give you a list of law positions and ask you to rank them by prestige. This part is timed.

There's no need to troll a reasonable question.



Look at who OP is, and his responses. Let me know who's trolling who here.

Damn, I didn't realize this was that guy. I get your response now. Never mind.

andythefir

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Re: ausa interview

Postby andythefir » Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:- Why prosecution (potentially lots of follow up) (assuming criminal - if not, whatever an appropriate civil lit question would be)
- Why the federal government (especially if your experience is all private sector - may lean to "why Feds" if you have state experience)
- Why our office/district (you probably want to be able to talk about the kinds of cases they do and not just weather/family/raising kids/etc, though the latter can help too)
- What qualities can you bring to the job
- Tell us about your pertinent experience (especially emphasize anything you can spin as relating to trial)
- Specific questions about anything on your resume (really, anything)
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years
- How will you handle running your own cases independently (or questions intended to get at this)
- Maybe questions intended to get at how you will handle enforcing office charging policies, especially if you don't agree with them - discretion v. autonomy (this and the above may depend on previous experience and what potential red flags they see - lack of experience or too much).

I haven't seen specific crim pro-based hypos myself.


These seem to be more private-to-prosecution based questions. What would you expect from state prosecution to federal prosecution?

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Re: ausa interview

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 21, 2016 4:08 pm

Probably move "why feds" to the top of the list. Why leave the state. What do you think you can do as an AUSA that you can't as an ADA.

Describe your felony trial experience. Most difficult/challenging experience. Maybe strengths/weaknesses. Maybe what kinds of cases you like most/least. What kinds of cases you handle most often. Do you specialize or are you a generalist.
- which is to say that I think you're still going to have to sell your specific experience and how it transfers to their office; probably less trial skills generally and more practice areas that you could hit the ground running on without too much difficulty.

Have you ever [fill in the blank with stuff getting at your level of responsibility - supervised anyone, done intake, done a murder trial at all/on your own, worked with CIs, etc]

Still stuff about charging policies/how you handle them (the state people in my office tend to feel that they have less autonomy about what to offer, though some of that may be unique to my office given the nature of our caseload).

Still why our office/district.

Still where do you see yourself in five years.

Still anything on your resume (or application).

Probably stuff about how you work with police (agents)?

I feel like if you're coming in with some decent level of state prosecution experience, the direction of the interview may be determined much more by how you answer/what that experience is.

And this is just based on my understanding of what my office looks for. Can't guarantee it's at all representative of all offices.

poweradezero

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Re: ausa interview

Postby poweradezero » Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:47 pm

If all you did for felony trial experience was sitting as a second chair and observing, is that even worth mentioning?

Also, would you say its true that Ausas have a lot less freedom when it comes to plea deals & charging decisions?

Thanks for your response. Your posts are super helpful.

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Re: ausa interview

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:55 pm

poweradezero wrote:If all you did for felony trial experience was sitting as a second chair and observing, is that even worth mentioning?

Sure, it's worth mentioning - it's not as good as doing stuff in the trial, but you can learn a lot by watching. Just don't try to pass it off as more than it is.

Also, would you say its true that Ausas have a lot less freedom when it comes to plea deals & charging decisions?

I can't say for certain b/c I never worked for the state. I have heard people say that. At least in my office, consistency is very important so there are pretty clear policies for routine cases. I think anywhere you go, once you get into more complex, sophisticated cases, there's a lot more leeway (just because the cases start to look much more different from each other so there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution).

poweradezero

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Re: ausa interview

Postby poweradezero » Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:43 pm

Thanks for your response. I just had a few more questions if you dont mind.

How often do the Ausas who just start at us attorneys office go to court? Do they start at misdemeanors first? Start with bench trials? jury trials?

How many new briefs/memos do you write per month? Is there standard memos that get circulated within your office? Because they contain the same issues, defense raise similar issues etc? or Do Asuas have to write their own stuff every time there is a motion to respond to?

What would be the common Wrong answers to "Why feds?" question. Would saying that you have too many cases as an Ada be a bad answer? The fact that two or three different Adas have to share one felony case, etc?

your response would be greatly appreciated.



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