USAO/Clerk Dilemma

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USAO/Clerk Dilemma

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:06 pm

I will be working for a federal agency in the next few weeks. Nevertheless, my main goal is to become an AUSA.

First, would clerking for a federal magistrate judge be helpful in becoming an AUSA? The district I want to work at is one of the most competitive in country.

Second, do government agencies typically allow someone to take a year off to do a clerkship? I realize this is agency specific, but I wanted to have a general idea.

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Re: USAO/Clerk Dilemma

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I will be working for a federal agency in the next few weeks. Nevertheless, my main goal is to become an AUSA.

First, would clerking for a federal magistrate judge be helpful in becoming an AUSA? The district I want to work at is one of the most competitive in country.

Second, do government agencies typically allow someone to take a year off to do a clerkship? I realize this is agency specific, but I wanted to have a general idea.

(Anon because AUSA)
Clerking for a magistrate depends. If it’s the same district where you want to work, and the judge knows people in the office, it could be a way to make connections. Keep in mind that you may not get a lot of experience with criminal matters clerking for a magistrate. Also check whether the office has hired people with magistrate clerkships rather than district. I know magistrate clerks who have been hired as AUSAs, but it’s very office specific. It will also probably depend on what your other qualifications are.

And no, government agencies typically do not let someone take a year off to do a clerkship.

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Re: USAO/Clerk Dilemma

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I will be working for a federal agency in the next few weeks. Nevertheless, my main goal is to become an AUSA.

First, would clerking for a federal magistrate judge be helpful in becoming an AUSA? The district I want to work at is one of the most competitive in country.

Second, do government agencies typically allow someone to take a year off to do a clerkship? I realize this is agency specific, but I wanted to have a general idea.

(Anon because AUSA)
Clerking for a magistrate depends. If it’s the same district where you want to work, and the judge knows people in the office, it could be a way to make connections. Keep in mind that you may not get a lot of experience with criminal matters clerking for a magistrate. Also check whether the office has hired people with magistrate clerkships rather than district. I know magistrate clerks who have been hired as AUSAs, but it’s very office specific. It will also probably depend on what your other qualifications are.

And no, government agencies typically do not let someone take a year off to do a clerkship.


Thank you for your response. I will figure it out. I had one more question. If my agency does not allow me to take a year off to do a clerkship, but the agency allows me to be detailed at the USAO (SAUSA), would that be a better option - to stay with the agency and becoming a SAUSA? Again, I know that depends by office (whether they hire SAUSAs, etc). Just looking for general advice.

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Re: USAO/Clerk Dilemma

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:47 pm

Your agency hasn't been able to hire at the rate it wants to for a year. It's probably starved for bodies. I've noticed my agencies detail opportunities have been very, very slow. And what has been available has been towards administration priorities. And you have to apply for the detail opportunities. You're putting up pie in the sky goals here. I would suggest doing a really good job at your agency for a few years and then seeing what state the world is in. You'll have a long career. There's time.

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

Re: USAO/Clerk Dilemma

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thank you for your response. I will figure it out. I had one more question. If my agency does not allow me to take a year off to do a clerkship, but the agency allows me to be detailed at the USAO (SAUSA), would that be a better option - to stay with the agency and becoming a SAUSA? Again, I know that depends by office (whether they hire SAUSAs, etc). Just looking for general advice.

I think anything that gets you in front of the people who might ultimately hire you is a good thing (assuming you do a good job once there). But you would have to wait for the USAO in question to want a detail from your agency, so it will totally depend on agency/USAO needs. I agree with everything the anon above me said about that.

And to be frank, getting more years of experience and becoming a more qualified candidate will make you a more appealing hire.



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