lolwat wrote:Agreed. There's always a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem with this assessment, as those firms are the most selective and therefore hire the most qualified applicants. If you took the typical hire at one of those firms and put them instead at Latham/Gibson/wherever, perhaps their ausa chances would be just as good. I suspect not, though. I think the opportunities afforded by those boutiques (and, perhaps just as importantly, the reputation of those boutiques as places that provide such opportunities) is a significant factor.
The opportunities (or at least the reputation for those opportunities) are often much better at boutiques. But I always heard/thought that AUSA (and similar) jobs come in at least some (if not large) part due to connections. Which is why firms like MTO and Gibson places really well. It's also more difficult to say how well somewhere like Susman places because I honestly haven't seen anyone actually leave the LA office yet... It wasn't a big office to begin with (maybe 10 attorneys several years back and 15 now?) and it seems like everyone who was there when I looked at the firm back in 2012 or so is still there.
As an aside, I don't really know why people consider AUSA jobs "unicorn" jobs across the board. I guess it depends what people are looking for.
i actually pretty clearly called out cdcal and ndcal ausa jobs as "unicorn" jobs. those offices are SO competitive, i think they make becoming a law professor look easy. i've also worked for a fed defender in a small town in the midwest. ausa jobs in that district weren't in the "unicorn" category. but becoming an ausa in san francisco? holy sh*t that's hard. but yeah i'm with you, not my cup of tea either.