Fed Not that Great

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 333197
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Fed Not that Great

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:49 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I came into my agency at 12 with 15 potential. 3+ years later I'm still a 12. Try to look for an agency that has a career track to 14. I believe those agencies it's usually 11-14 and one year at each to get to 14.

On another note, how do you find fed jobs in secondary markets? I've been looking for a fed. job in or around NYC or Philly for over a year now and have seen maybe 3 postings on USAjobs. I got my DC fed gig off my school's symplicity but they pretty much only post DC stuff.


Wow, gs-12 after 3 years experience is really tough. Is this a position with SSA or the VA? I have heard those agencies specifically try to keep salaries down, which is why they are so frequently hiring.

As far as non-D.C. gigs, you can set up a search on USAJobs to show only jobs in specific cities or states. I have one set up with about 20 states that I would be happy to move to, and I get a few postings per week that way. They seem to be mostly civilian-attorney positions with the Army/Navy/Air Force, requiring skills I have no way of acquiring. The other common thing to see are positions with ICE or CPB, which personally am not interested in. I'm guessing good fed attorney jobs in affordable areas that don't require specialized skills are only gonna come open up a few times a year.

Right now, I've got a job I'm pretty happy with, but it's not in an area I want to settle down in, and I don't think I can get past gs-14 here, at least not without like 10+ years experience.


Not at any agency ever talked about here, but a small agency just about as mismanaged as BVA. Substantive work is hard to come by, but no production requirements so I literally work 40 hours a week from my house. Travel can suck a few weeks out of the year.

Anonymous User
Posts: 333197
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Fed Not that Great

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:22 am

I'm in my first year at an agency in DC after graduating last May. As others have said, the answer seems to be agency specific. I don't necessarily identify with experiences others have expressed, albeit in my very limited time at an agency. I've already taken depositions, currently involved in active litigation with fairly substantial responsibility, and feel very much a part of the litigation team with much more senior attorneys. I'm GS-11, so not paid much, but our management has made it clear that they plan to move me up to GS-12 as soon as I become eligible next month. I also haven't really felt the effects of the "bureaucracy" stereotype. Everyone at the agency is very competent and will make sure to move things along for you if you stay on top of it.

The obvious tradeoff is salary. I certainly recognize that the first-year associates at firms that I interact with about mundane discovery issues are getting paid three times more than me. Also that the more senior opposing counsel at the depositions are getting paid closer to five or six times more than me. But, I don't have any regrets. I work a lot but never feel put upon or that any coworkers would push back if I said that I needed to slow down. The latter part seems like the biggest difference. At least where I work, people are very serious about respecting work-life balance and I can't imagine anyone holding it against you if you make your priorities clear. Give me a few more years and I may get jaded, but there are certainly perks to the right federal agency job.

Anonymous User
Posts: 333197
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Fed Not that Great

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:08 pm

I believe at the FCC, GS15 is only available for supervisory roles. That being said, can’t complain about the substance, work life balance, or exit options.

Anonymous User
Posts: 333197
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Fed Not that Great

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:44 pm

Only bad side so far is that I have no idea how I will be able to buy a house/condo on a GS13/14 salary in DC.

User avatar
anon sequitur

Silver
Posts: 689
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:14 am

Re: Fed Not that Great

Postby anon sequitur » Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:Only bad side so far is that I have no idea how I will be able to buy a house/condo on a GS13/14 salary in DC.


Enjoy manassas.
Last edited by QContinuum on Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Outed for anon abuse.

Anonymous User
Posts: 333197
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Fed Not that Great

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:53 pm

I'm in DC biglaw (lit) and recently got an offer from a mid-level niche agency. It has a couple of important pros for me: it is litigation and seems to be a good work-life balance. I've never litigated in this area of law, though, and frankly it doesn't sound that interesting. I'd love to get out of the firm ASAP, but will taking this job hurt my later chances for working at other agencies, like DOJ, if I end up not liking the work? Will I be effectively pigeonholed into that niche area of law? Or could it serve as a foot in the government door, even for other agencies? Not to mention who knows if I'd get another offer in this hiring environment.

CBlaw

New
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:43 am

Re: Fed Not that Great

Postby CBlaw » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:As an attorney at one of the Fed Not So Great agencies identified in the above post (VA) I hate to agree but I think the post is pretty on point. While there are great things about my job (telework, 4-day week, little stress, GS-13 after 2 years, GS-14 after 2 more with a chance for GS-15 or higher if you become a supervisor or admin judge), the work is not exciting, and is challenging, but only because the system is so broken and frustrating. If you are going to be happy doing frustrating, tedious, repetitive work for years and years in order to have the good parts of a federal job, you may be happy at one of these agencies, but my impression is Fed IS Great only when you can combine the good parts with interesting, rewarding work at an agency like those identified in the post above.



Can you PM me. Got some questions

Notatroll2017

New
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:15 pm

Re: Fed Not that Great

Postby Notatroll2017 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:01 pm

Quick question: is there an area in Fed (either in DOJ, USAO, or an agency) where young attorneys can move up the ladder steadily (or ideally) rapidly so long as they win cases and turn in exemplary work? I'm looking for a place where attorneys are assigned cases, given relative autonomy over litigation strategy, and rewarded for end results after mano-a-mano combat. Is a US Attorneys Office the place? Or, is this something where folks should go to a state AG because of less space?

Anonymous User
Posts: 333197
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Fed Not that Great

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:38 am

Can anyone provide any insight on what it is like to work for the Department of Transportation (any modes except FAA)?

Also - do all federal attorneys still have to have a blackberry for a work phone? Obviously not important, just curious.

Anonymous User
Posts: 333197
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Fed Not that Great

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:34 am

Not DOT, but in my agency it’s all iPhones. (You could also put work email on a personal device and get reimbursed for some of your phone bill, but I don’t want to do that personally.)

Anonymous User
Posts: 333197
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Fed Not that Great

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:53 am

iPhones at my agency and iPhones at the USAO in my area.

Anonymous User
Posts: 333197
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Fed Not that Great

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:08 pm

Are there any fed agencies suitable for a corporate junior big law attorney who's practice involves bank finance / high yield debt work. I can't think of anyone from my firm that's lateraled to fed gov -- almost everyone I know has either gone to another firm or in-house at a bank.



Return to “Legal Employment?

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.