AUSA Transferring Offices

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AUSA Transferring Offices

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 25, 2016 12:49 pm

So, I got pretty luck and a family friend is now in a position very high up in my local AUSA office. I'm a second year biglaw lit associate and she plans to bring me on board in the next year or two, well if Trump does not institute a federal hiring freeze. My soon to be wife does not want to live in the city where we currently live. It's too small for her tastes. Once I am in the office, and am an AUSA, is there any mobility to transfer to another city?

I know that I'll never have an opportunity like this again. I'd be able to get in without having clerked first. Just wondering whether its either give up my dream, working as an AUSA, or give up hers, living in a large city?

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Re: AUSA Transferring Offices

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 25, 2016 1:07 pm

So, two things - 1) in theory it is possible to transfer, as I know someone who's done it. However, her husband is military and he got transferred - I don't know if you need to have that kind of change/connection to the military, though I suspect it helps. Also, the transfer has to be approved by the office you're transferring to, some won't (can't?) take a transfer unless they have an opening already...so in practice I'm not sure how it works and I think it varies by office. But I know the possibility exists.

2) once you have experience in a USAO it is MUCH easier to move to another one. Most of the people from my office who've left have gone to another office. Yes, you have to wait/hope for an opening somewhere where you want to be, so you can't just decide, "I want to transfer now," but mobility is very possible.

andythefir

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Re: AUSA Transferring Offices

Postby andythefir » Sun Dec 25, 2016 3:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:2) once you have experience in a USAO it is MUCH easier to move to another one. Most of the people from my office who've left have gone to another office. Yes, you have to wait/hope for an opening somewhere where you want to be, so you can't just decide, "I want to transfer now," but mobility is very possible.


My experience is with the state-side DA world, where prosecutor experience is a huge asset, but you're not transferring offices as much as you're much more attractive to hire because you have apples-to-apples experience. Is it the same within the DOJ, or is it more of a transfer process? Also, what kind of timeline is most common for these kinds of moves? Does a change to the USA that hired you make any difference? In the DA offices where I worked, if there is a change to the elected DA, all odds are off in both directions; it was fair game to bail on the office and fair game to fire everyone in an office.

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Re: AUSA Transferring Offices

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 25, 2016 5:31 pm

It also depends on the office. Transferring to CDCA/NDCA/SDNY/EDNY will only be marginally (if at all easier). It's pretty common for current AUSAs applying to spots in those offices to not even get interviews.

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Re: AUSA Transferring Offices

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 25, 2016 6:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It also depends on the office. Transferring to CDCA/NDCA/SDNY/EDNY will only be marginally (if at all easier). It's pretty common for current AUSAs applying to spots in those offices to not even get interviews.

Sure, that's true, which is why I said "easier," not a given. For those offices, most people who apply aren't going to get interviews, regardless of background. If you're not looking at NYC/SF/LA, though, I think you have a much better chance coming from another office.

andythefir wrote:My experience is with the state-side DA world, where prosecutor experience is a huge asset, but you're not transferring offices as much as you're much more attractive to hire because you have apples-to-apples experience. Is it the same within the DOJ, or is it more of a transfer process? Also, what kind of timeline is most common for these kinds of moves? Does a change to the USA that hired you make any difference? In the DA offices where I worked, if there is a change to the elected DA, all odds are off in both directions; it was fair game to bail on the office and fair game to fire everyone in an office.

Based on my experience/who I know, there is an actual transfer process (but again, not absolutely sure how this works), but mostly it's having apples-to-apples experience. In the last 2-3 years I've seen 5 different offices (admittedly not the fancy ones listed above, but some good offices) hire people from other USAOs, and one person got hired who was a state AG who did a lot of cases with the local USAO. So the experience made a big difference, but they went through the usual hiring process that everyone else went through. In terms of timeline, it totally depends on the person and when openings come up - there are very experienced people moving (someone who'd been in my office for 10+ years went to another office closer to her family), there are less experienced people moving (3-4 years, I think - and those were both people who came into their office with little/no other prosecution experience).

I haven't lived through a change in administration yet but I don't think it's like what you describe on the DA side. While it wouldn't surprise me if some people in my office don't want to work for Trump and so may be looking at other jobs, there's no expectation at all everyone bailing or getting fired (besides the USA of course) - I feel the expectation is that we line AUSAs just truck along like the cogs in the giant machine that we are. I think the closest is the USA coming in and changing out the supervisors and so on. But I don't know anyone who feels like we're expected to leave/get fired - there are people who've been in this office for decades. (People may decide they want to make a change depending on who the new USA is, of course. But I don't think at the level of the line AUSA there's an expectation of cleaning house.) I don't think who hired you makes any difference, again not at the level of line AUSA. If the USA brought in some super-experienced person to be the first assistant, maybe that would be different.

grixxlybear99

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Re: AUSA Transferring Offices

Postby grixxlybear99 » Sun Dec 25, 2016 7:35 pm

It is entirely dependent on who the USA is for the office you're trying to transfer. Just because you are an AUSA in X doesn't mean you can just transfer to Y as an AUSA

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Re: AUSA Transferring Offices

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 25, 2016 7:57 pm

OP here, thanks for all the responses! Some really good information here. Sounds to me like if I did take this job we wouldn't be necessarily stuck in my current city for the rest of my life. Really good to know.

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Re: AUSA Transferring Offices

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 25, 2016 8:31 pm

grixxlybear99 wrote:It is entirely dependent on who the USA is for the office you're trying to transfer. Just because you are an AUSA in X doesn't mean you can just transfer to Y as an AUSA

Yeah, like I said, I do know someone who has transferred as opposed to going through the hiring process, but it doesn't operate on demand and I didn't mean to give the impression it does.



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