Positioning for USAO

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Positioning for USAO

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:53 pm

I would like to eventually land at a USAO. I'm currently wrapping up a clerkship and starting with a large firm in DC at the tail end of my third year. I've done a district court and circuit court clerkship in a fairly strong district/circuit, but not in the same location as the offices I would like to target (SDNY, EDNY, CDCA, NDCA, possibly a handful of others). I finished cum laude with law review at a T10 school. I know conventional wisdom is to work for a former AUSA and hope for a good recommendation, but I spent a year doing white collar and would prefer to avoid it this time around. I'd rather litigate. Am I really damaging my chances with the more competitive USAOs if I don't go the white collar route? For what it's worth, I do have several prosecutorial resume items, so I don't think demonstrating an interest is an issue.

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quiver

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Re: Positioning for USAO

Postby quiver » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I would like to eventually land at a USAO. I'm currently wrapping up a clerkship and starting with a large firm in DC at the tail end of my third year. I've done a district court and circuit court clerkship in a fairly strong district/circuit, but not in the same location as the offices I would like to target (SDNY, EDNY, CDCA, NDCA, possibly a handful of others). I finished cum laude with law review at a T10 school. I know conventional wisdom is to work for a former AUSA and hope for a good recommendation, but I spent a year doing white collar and would prefer to avoid it this time around. I'd rather litigate. Am I really damaging my chances with the more competitive USAOs if I don't go the white collar route? For what it's worth, I do have several prosecutorial resume items, so I don't think demonstrating an interest is an issue.
If you can do "real" litigation with a little dabbling in white collar (investigations), that would be ideal. The connections with former AUSAs are helpful if you're gunning for USAO, and that usually means practicing at least a little white collar. If investigations make you hate your life, though, then you should just go litigate in my opinion. You have the credentials to be competitive in those USAOs and litigation experience is always good anyway.

In short, no, you won't be "damaging" your chances at all by litigating. You may be sacrificing some ideal connections, but with your credentials, and with your judges behind you, you'll still be in as good a position as anyone.

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Re: Positioning for USAO

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:38 pm

quiver wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I would like to eventually land at a USAO. I'm currently wrapping up a clerkship and starting with a large firm in DC at the tail end of my third year. I've done a district court and circuit court clerkship in a fairly strong district/circuit, but not in the same location as the offices I would like to target (SDNY, EDNY, CDCA, NDCA, possibly a handful of others). I finished cum laude with law review at a T10 school. I know conventional wisdom is to work for a former AUSA and hope for a good recommendation, but I spent a year doing white collar and would prefer to avoid it this time around. I'd rather litigate. Am I really damaging my chances with the more competitive USAOs if I don't go the white collar route? For what it's worth, I do have several prosecutorial resume items, so I don't think demonstrating an interest is an issue.
If you can do "real" litigation with a little dabbling in white collar (investigations), that would be ideal. The connections with former AUSAs are helpful if you're gunning for USAO, and that usually means practicing at least a little white collar. If investigations make you hate your life, though, then you should just go litigate in my opinion. You have the credentials to be competitive in those USAOs and litigation experience is always good anyway.

In short, no, you won't be "damaging" your chances at all by litigating. You may be sacrificing some ideal connections, but with your credentials, and with your judges behind you, you'll still be in as good a position as anyone.


Correct. I don't think any USAO cares that you (OP) did doc review on an internal investigation. White collar is just a way to get experience working with former AUSAs. Traditional litigation -- writing memorandum, responding to motions, understanding the formality of federal courts is way more important. Also, if I had to say what the most important credential is for an AUSA position, it would be a federal clerkship, hands down. And you've got that. So just litigate until you're ready to apply



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