ADA to AUSA: NYC

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Pragmatic Gun

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ADA to AUSA: NYC

Postby Pragmatic Gun » Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:28 am

Good evening everyone,

I was wondering if people who worked as ADAs in one of the DA Office's of the five boroughs found it difficult or easy to make the jump to the USAO of the SDNY or the EDNY. I was hoping for some insight into how that happens and how common is it compared to other routes.

I understand that the conventional route is to work at a Biglaw firm that feeds into the USAO, but I would rather work in a job where I get trial experience as soon as possible. Unfortunately, as I gather, litigation associates do not get that opportunity for many years.

TYIA.

andythefir

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Re: ADA to AUSA: NYC

Postby andythefir » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:45 am

I don't have any first person experience, but from what I've heard SDNY USAO jobs are like a SCOTUS clerkship. They exist somewhere between actually impossible and practically impossible. The problem you'd have is hundreds if not thousands of AUSAs from all over the country applying to every opening, not to mention the stars from all over the profession. On the other hand I'd bet they have a big office and a lot of turnover, so it might not be as bad as I currently think.

To answer your question directly, I would say more important than either path would be to clerk. So either ADA or biglaw>clerk would be your best bet.

FascinatedWanderer

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Re: ADA to AUSA: NYC

Postby FascinatedWanderer » Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:06 am

Clerkship is basically mandatory for EDNY/SDNY. Also by far the most common path is from biglaw.

If ADA, I'm virtually certain only Manhattan DA would get a look.

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Re: ADA to AUSA: NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:36 pm

Pragmatic Gun wrote:Good evening everyone,

I was wondering if people who worked as ADAs in one of the DA Office's of the five boroughs found it difficult or easy to make the jump to the USAO of the SDNY or the EDNY. I was hoping for some insight into how that happens and how common is it compared to other routes.

I understand that the conventional route is to work at a Biglaw firm that feeds into the USAO, but I would rather work in a job where I get trial experience as soon as possible. Unfortunately, as I gather, litigation associates do not get that opportunity for many years.

TYIA.

Former ADA Here.
Rarely do ADAs make the jump to EDNY or SDNY. i have never seen it. I have seen former adas for to flyover AUSAs offices (SDTX, WDVA etc)
But the big prestigious offices like SDNY, EDNY, SDFL, NDIL, CDCA or Main Justice wont take people unless they are ex-biglaw with a clerkship or an amazing ADA with 8-9 years experience.

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Re: ADA to AUSA: NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:22 pm

I was at SDNY as a trial paralegal for a long-ass time before going to law school, and both from scoping out the new AUSAs and trawling through the office directory (which would list every AUSA's undergrad, law school, clerkship(s), and/or firm affiliation) the VAST majority of SDNY AUSAs had one or more federal clerkships under their belt (a couple former SCOTUS clerks here or there) + big law experience. There were maybe a handful of people who did DOJ honors and jumped to SDNY (they still clerked at a district court before DOJ honors).

That's not to say there aren't any Manhattan ADAs at SDNY - there was one relatively recent hire, I think, in maybe like the last five years or so? I might be misremembering. He didn't clerk, but he was in Manhattan DA doing appellate work forever. He was considered a special unicorn of a hire.

The Executive AUSA in charge of hiring for SDNY says that he's not against the idea of people with more unconventional paths to the office, but a lot of ADAs are used to running and gunning so the worry is that you aren't a strong writer and have gotten into a habit of answering ready when you haven't met the level of intense prep that SDNY crim AUSAs are expected to meet for even the dinkiest of general crimes cases. I think they used to recruit more former ADAs, but recent trends are like whoaoaaaaaooaaa so much of those skadden/cravath/sullcrom/dpw/you name it folks.



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