I want to be an AUSA. Current ADA. I'm old(er), should I clerk?

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I want to be an AUSA. Current ADA. I'm old(er), should I clerk?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:06 pm

Mediocre/Okay stats: top 1/3 at T20. 2014 grad. was EIC of a secondary journal at my T20. Also got a few good publications including a T6 secondary journal.

I did 2 years in a Chambers ranked DC big law firm doing white collar.

Currnetly an ADA in my hometown and I want to be an AUSA in the same city (not a major city but still decent sized). I joined as an ADA because I wanted trial experience but I don't think I'd be happy doing this for life so I want to make a move while I'm still young(er).

Thinking about the following options:
ADA for 1 or 2 more years and hope AUSA spot opens up to apply.
Back to Big law.
Plaintiffs Firm
'19 clerkship
Unpaid SAUSA in this district.

With the goal of ausa in mind, what should I do? Money is not a concern. Thanks to TLS wisdom, I had a full ride to law school.

objctnyrhnr

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Re: I want to be an AUSA. Current ADA. I'm old(er), should I clerk?

Postby objctnyrhnr » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:44 pm

If money is literally not a concern and there’s an open SAUSA position, why not do that?

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Re: I want to be an AUSA. Current ADA. I'm old(er), should I clerk?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:00 pm

objctnyrhnr wrote:If money is literally not a concern and there’s an open SAUSA position, why not do that?


Do you think it provides any advantages over the other opitons (clerking or staying as an ADA in particular)?

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Re: I want to be an AUSA. Current ADA. I'm old(er), should I clerk?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:10 pm

It gets you in the door and makes you a known quantity. But talk to people in that district first, if you can. I know districts that were good to unpaid SAUSAs - I know one that hired one into a permanent gig - and I know of districts that were less good. I know a number of SAUSAs who ended up as permanent AUSAs, but the vast majority of them did so in different districts where they were SAUSAs.

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XxSpyKEx

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Re: I want to be an AUSA. Current ADA. I'm old(er), should I clerk?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
objctnyrhnr wrote:If money is literally not a concern and there’s an open SAUSA position, why not do that?


Do you think it provides any advantages over the other opitons (clerking or staying as an ADA in particular)?


Depends. Some districts expressly don't hire SAUSAs as full-time AUSAs after finishing their commitment and are very upfront about it. Others will hire them. Also depends on where you're located and what the hiring practices of the US atty there is. Generally, it seems like flyover districts tend to hire former ADAs with a lot of trial experience. Many major cities hire former biglaw people/clerks/etc (basically people with a history of academic and professional accomplishment). This makes sense, for the most part, given the type of work AUSAs do in their respective districts. Your best bet is to figure out who some of the AUSAs in your target district(s) are and see what type of backgrounds they have. Alternatively, you could post the city or citiea and see if anyone here has insight about the hiring practices of that particularly city or cities.

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Rowinguy2009

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Re: I want to be an AUSA. Current ADA. I'm old(er), should I clerk?

Postby Rowinguy2009 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:47 pm

I went from a midize firm to a district clerkship with the hope of using that as a stepping stone to AUSA or DC bigfed. I ultimately got a job with a fed agency in DC. Honestly I think you should stay at the ADA and apply to any available AUSA openings.

Biglaw litigation and state prosecution experience are seen as two of the things AUSA offices value. You've done both. Fed clerkships are also somewhat coveted, but it's very difficult to sync the end of a clerkship (or SAUSA gig) with the start of a fed gov job. That is especially true if you are only targeting one specific AUSA district. IF you had only worked for the firm then the clerkship might be useful to show a commitment to government service, but as a prosecutor you can very easily show your commitment to government/prosecution (and your firm experience hopefully will balance out the criticism that state prosecutors sometimes get from AUSA offices, which is that they don't have enough substantive writing experience).

In short I would stay put and try to network with anyone you can in the US Attorney office.



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