Biglaw -> Clerkships -> Biglaw -> AUSA

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Biglaw -> Clerkships -> Biglaw -> AUSA

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:04 pm

I am currently in the midst of semi-prestigious district and circuit clerkships that I took for almost no other reason than to catapult me to a USAttorney's office. I know the odds of getting an AUSA position are still not in my favor, but I must say I am somewhat enticed by some off the clerkship bonus offers getting bandied about (e.g., Eimer Stahl at 120,000). I am trying to not be swayed but is there any danger in going back to biglaw for the bonus, maybe acquire a down payment, etc., and then go for AUSA (hopefully when there is some additional stability in budgets, administration).

In actuality probably just looking to be talked out of it. Have close to 300,000 in debt so going for PSLF but doing one or two years back in biglaw would seem to make financial sense.

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Re: Biglaw -> Clerkships -> Biglaw -> AUSA

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:45 pm

I'm a current clerk and at least for the district where I am clerking, the AUSA expressly does not hire straight from clerkships. So the Biglaw -> clerkship -> biglaw -> USAO route is actually precisely the norm.

It's my understanding that this is also the norm for most of the major city USAO's. I suppose it just depends where you are looking.

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Re: Biglaw -> Clerkships -> Biglaw -> AUSA

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a current clerk and at least for the district where I am clerking, the AUSA expressly does not hire straight from clerkships. So the Biglaw -> clerkship -> biglaw -> USAO route is actually precisely the norm.

It's my understanding that this is also the norm for most of the major city USAO's. I suppose it just depends where you are looking.


It was my understanding that this is only the case when you are going straight from law school to clerkships. Can we confirm that they will not take applicants straight from a clerkship, even when the applicant has been previously employed in biglaw? I know at least a few people who have interviewed straight from clerkships but I guess don't personally know anyone who made the jump.

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Re: Biglaw -> Clerkships -> Biglaw -> AUSA

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:55 pm

At SDNY/EDNY if you've spent 2-3 years in biglaw before your clerkship you'll be able to interview for AUSA positions without going back to a firm.

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Re: Biglaw -> Clerkships -> Biglaw -> AUSA

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:41 pm

OP: I guess my question more is there any drawbacks to this, either from AUSA's perspective, or financially? I am thinking I could stay on IBR the first year based on clerkship salary from previous year and take home a lot of money for emergency fund, down payment, etc., and start applying during that year to get a USA office. Am I missing anything? I guess I'm not sure how long you are required to say for the clerkship bonuses either.

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Re: Biglaw -> Clerkships -> Biglaw -> AUSA

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:I am currently in the midst of semi-prestigious district and circuit clerkships that I took for almost no other reason than to catapult me to a USAttorney's office. I know the odds of getting an AUSA position are still not in my favor, but I must say I am somewhat enticed by some off the clerkship bonus offers getting bandied about (e.g., Eimer Stahl at 120,000). I am trying to not be swayed but is there any danger in going back to biglaw for the bonus, maybe acquire a down payment, etc., and then go for AUSA (hopefully l.


That's an eye-popping number, but it's not clear to me whether they pay market salaries.

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Re: Biglaw -> Clerkships -> Biglaw -> AUSA

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:55 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP: I guess my question more is there any drawbacks to this, either from AUSA's perspective, or financially? I am thinking I could stay on IBR the first year based on clerkship salary from previous year and take home a lot of money for emergency fund, down payment, etc., and start applying during that year to get a USA office. Am I missing anything? I guess I'm not sure how long you are required to say for the clerkship bonuses either.


No drawbacks, but just a note for IBR, it is based off your previous year's tax returns. So in other words, during your first year of clerking (or at least half of it), your payments will be based on your biglaw income. As long as you plan accordingly though, you'll be fine.

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Re: Biglaw -> Clerkships -> Biglaw -> AUSA

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:58 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm a current clerk and at least for the district where I am clerking, the AUSA expressly does not hire straight from clerkships. So the Biglaw -> clerkship -> biglaw -> USAO route is actually precisely the norm.

It's my understanding that this is also the norm for most of the major city USAO's. I suppose it just depends where you are looking.


It was my understanding that this is only the case when you are going straight from law school to clerkships. Can we confirm that they will not take applicants straight from a clerkship, even when the applicant has been previously employed in biglaw? I know at least a few people who have interviewed straight from clerkships but I guess don't personally know anyone who made the jump.

With the caveat that I don't really know about SDNY/EDNY, I know people who've gone straight from a clerkship to AUSA, with and w/o prior biglaw experience - it's really going to depend on the office and the hiring person's preferences. I don't think biglaw --> clerkship --> biglaw is any kind of detriment at all; what they usually care about is good experience and/or pedigree, and adding another stint in biglaw isn't going to hurt those things. (I also don't think you "age out" of AUSA hiring - I don't think you end up "too senior" to start as a line AUSA, the way you might be too senior to go into a firm as an associate. But again, it is going to depend who's in charge of hiring when/where you apply.)

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Re: Biglaw -> Clerkships -> Biglaw -> AUSA

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm a current clerk and at least for the district where I am clerking, the AUSA expressly does not hire straight from clerkships. So the Biglaw -> clerkship -> biglaw -> USAO route is actually precisely the norm.

It's my understanding that this is also the norm for most of the major city USAO's. I suppose it just depends where you are looking.


It was my understanding that this is only the case when you are going straight from law school to clerkships. Can we confirm that they will not take applicants straight from a clerkship, even when the applicant has been previously employed in biglaw? I know at least a few people who have interviewed straight from clerkships but I guess don't personally know anyone who made the jump.


I'm the Annon that posted this. In my district, USAO will not take straight from clerkship, regardless of biglaw experience prior. I did a stint in biglaw before my current clerkship and I've looked into it. I'd actually love to become an AUSA, but I will just have to do it in another district or at a later time I suppose.

Note though, that this is not as much a district rule as it is the rule of the current US Attorney here. Perhaps Trump will kick her out and things will change before my clerkship is over.

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Re: Biglaw -> Clerkships -> Biglaw -> AUSA

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:34 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm a current clerk and at least for the district where I am clerking, the AUSA expressly does not hire straight from clerkships. So the Biglaw -> clerkship -> biglaw -> USAO route is actually precisely the norm.

It's my understanding that this is also the norm for most of the major city USAO's. I suppose it just depends where you are looking.


It was my understanding that this is only the case when you are going straight from law school to clerkships. Can we confirm that they will not take applicants straight from a clerkship, even when the applicant has been previously employed in biglaw? I know at least a few people who have interviewed straight from clerkships but I guess don't personally know anyone who made the jump.


I'm the Annon that posted this. In my district, USAO will not take straight from clerkship, regardless of biglaw experience prior. I did a stint in biglaw before my current clerkship and I've looked into it. I'd actually love to become an AUSA, but I will just have to do it in another district or at a later time I suppose.

Note though, that this is not as much a district rule as it is the rule of the current US Attorney here. Perhaps Trump will kick her out and things will change before my clerkship is over.


OP here. Would you mind stating the district? Normally I wouldn't ask, but since you are complete anon, figure I'd give it a shot so I can cross that office off the list. FWIW, I spoke to the USA in the district I am clerking in and he said he received a letter two weeks ago asking for January resignation and he believes all but a few (maybe just Preet in SDNY) received the same. So it may be irrelevant I suppose.

Anonymous User
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Re: Biglaw -> Clerkships -> Biglaw -> AUSA

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:36 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP: I guess my question more is there any drawbacks to this, either from AUSA's perspective, or financially? I am thinking I could stay on IBR the first year based on clerkship salary from previous year and take home a lot of money for emergency fund, down payment, etc., and start applying during that year to get a USA office. Am I missing anything? I guess I'm not sure how long you are required to say for the clerkship bonuses either.


No drawbacks, but just a note for IBR, it is based off your previous year's tax returns. So in other words, during your first year of clerking (or at least half of it), your payments will be based on your biglaw income. As long as you plan accordingly though, you'll be fine.


So, I've already made the transition and when I got to the clerkship submitted my offer letter (and wife's paystub since I am on REPAYE) and they lowered the payments for the following month, irrespective of last years tax returns. My payment is still pretty high, but I wouldn't be able to keep up were it based on a mid-level biglaw salary + bonus.

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

Re: Biglaw -> Clerkships -> Biglaw -> AUSA

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:55 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm a current clerk and at least for the district where I am clerking, the AUSA expressly does not hire straight from clerkships. So the Biglaw -> clerkship -> biglaw -> USAO route is actually precisely the norm.

It's my understanding that this is also the norm for most of the major city USAO's. I suppose it just depends where you are looking.


It was my understanding that this is only the case when you are going straight from law school to clerkships. Can we confirm that they will not take applicants straight from a clerkship, even when the applicant has been previously employed in biglaw? I know at least a few people who have interviewed straight from clerkships but I guess don't personally know anyone who made the jump.


I'm the Annon that posted this. In my district, USAO will not take straight from clerkship, regardless of biglaw experience prior. I did a stint in biglaw before my current clerkship and I've looked into it. I'd actually love to become an AUSA, but I will just have to do it in another district or at a later time I suppose.

Note though, that this is not as much a district rule as it is the rule of the current US Attorney here. Perhaps Trump will kick her out and things will change before my clerkship is over.


OP here. Would you mind stating the district? Normally I wouldn't ask, but since you are complete anon, figure I'd give it a shot so I can cross that office off the list. FWIW, I spoke to the USA in the district I am clerking in and he said he received a letter two weeks ago asking for January resignation and he believes all but a few (maybe just Preet in SDNY) received the same. So it may be irrelevant I suppose.


Not going to provide the specific district. I'll tell you that it's not CA, NY, or TX though. The USA is quite liberal, and I can't imagine her staying (although she's done a great job for the district).



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