Setting myself up for US Attorneys

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ughbugchugplug

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Posts: 93
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:21 pm

Setting myself up for US Attorneys

Postby ughbugchugplug » Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:29 pm

I'm aiming for NJ's US attorney's office in a few years. What should I be doing to prepare for that? I graduated this year as top 5% at a low t14, have extensive moot court stuff (no wins, but high placement) and won a multi-school arbitration competition. I was on a journal but basically did nothing on it. I'll be working at a v10's litigation department in the fall and have a state supreme court clerkship the year after.

What more do I need? A district court clerkship? I'm looking for those at the moment but unfortunately haven't locked one down yet. Federal COA? I could try but I haven't even gotten any bites yet. How long should I stay at the firm before I should start looking to leave? Thoughts and suggestions appreciated. I realize it'll probably be a crapshoot one way or the other, but if there's something I'm not doing that could help, I'd like to know.

clerk1251

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Posts: 196
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:35 am

Re: Setting myself up for US Attorneys

Postby clerk1251 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:38 pm

ughbugchugplug wrote:I'm aiming for NJ's US attorney's office in a few years. What should I be doing to prepare for that? I graduated this year as top 5% at a low t14, have extensive moot court stuff (no wins, but high placement) and won a multi-school arbitration competition. I was on a journal but basically did nothing on it. I'll be working at a v10's litigation department in the fall and have a state supreme court clerkship the year after.

What more do I need? A district court clerkship? I'm looking for those at the moment but unfortunately haven't locked one down yet. Federal COA? I could try but I haven't even gotten any bites yet. How long should I stay at the firm before I should start looking to leave? Thoughts and suggestions appreciated. I realize it'll probably be a crapshoot one way or the other, but if there's something I'm not doing that could help, I'd like to know.


Definitely get a D. Ct. Clerkship. Anywhere would be fine, but it would be especially helpful for networking purposes if you land one in the district where you want to be a AUSA. Don't worry about a COA clerkship, unless you are especially akin to appellate work, it isn't necessary for your goals. If you did SSC and COA, without doing D. Ct., it might even make you look less compelling for the regular criminal or civil division openings.

As far as what else, two suggestions - network, and get trial experience. Join the Federal Bar Association and get involved with your local chapter. It will be the best way to network with AUSA's, Judges, and attorneys that practice in federal court. As far as getting trial experience, your options will be limited as a first year at a V10, but I'd suggest you take on as many pro bono projects as your firm allows, and especially any that offer you opportunities to try cases or argue motions.

ughbugchugplug

New
Posts: 93
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:21 pm

Re: Setting myself up for US Attorneys

Postby ughbugchugplug » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:12 pm

clerk1251 wrote:
ughbugchugplug wrote:I'm aiming for NJ's US attorney's office in a few years. What should I be doing to prepare for that? I graduated this year as top 5% at a low t14, have extensive moot court stuff (no wins, but high placement) and won a multi-school arbitration competition. I was on a journal but basically did nothing on it. I'll be working at a v10's litigation department in the fall and have a state supreme court clerkship the year after.

What more do I need? A district court clerkship? I'm looking for those at the moment but unfortunately haven't locked one down yet. Federal COA? I could try but I haven't even gotten any bites yet. How long should I stay at the firm before I should start looking to leave? Thoughts and suggestions appreciated. I realize it'll probably be a crapshoot one way or the other, but if there's something I'm not doing that could help, I'd like to know.


Definitely get a D. Ct. Clerkship. Anywhere would be fine, but it would be especially helpful for networking purposes if you land one in the district where you want to be a AUSA. Don't worry about a COA clerkship, unless you are especially akin to appellate work, it isn't necessary for your goals. If you did SSC and COA, without doing D. Ct., it might even make you look less compelling for the regular criminal or civil division openings.

As far as what else, two suggestions - network, and get trial experience. Join the Federal Bar Association and get involved with your local chapter. It will be the best way to network with AUSA's, Judges, and attorneys that practice in federal court. As far as getting trial experience, your options will be limited as a first year at a V10, but I'd suggest you take on as many pro bono projects as your firm allows, and especially any that offer you opportunities to try cases or argue motions.


Sounds like good advice. Thanks!

andythefir

Silver
Posts: 569
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:56 am

Re: Setting myself up for US Attorneys

Postby andythefir » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:20 pm

Consider going to a trial-heavy DA's office after your clerkship. Time in a big firm + clerkship + trial experience will make a pretty compelling package.

Also, be flexible geographically. If only one office will work you could end up waiting 10+ years because you never know when the planets will align (budget + turnover + USA that likes people coming from your background). But if you're willing to work in a different office for a few years, it can happen much more quickly.



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