ADA to federal government exit options?

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girlinthecity

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ADA to federal government exit options?

Postby girlinthecity » Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:58 pm

Inspired by a thread I saw here wherein everyone said that in order to become an AUSA or work for the federal government down the line, you must go either Big Law > Clerk > AUSA or Clerk > Big Law > ADA > AUSA.

I want to work in government somehow and end up in the federal government, whether as an AUSA or for the SEC or similar. I don't particularly want to take the Big Law path to it, though. I'm comfortable with putting in a year or two in Big Law but I really want to start as an ADA. I'm not picky at where I end up in the federal government (my sole criteria being that I am intensely interested in white collar and economic crimes) but I know that federal jobs now are insanely hard to get because everyone wants them. I am from NYC and ideally I would like to stay here but understand that everyone and their mother wants to work here and it's very competitive. I also understand it's a total long shot but I want to put myself in the best position possible.

Is clerking for one year > Big Law > DA for a few years > federal government a viable path? Or is it seen as overkill? Will the people at the DA's office think I am not a serious candidate if I have clerked and worked in the private sector first? Essentially, I am highly committed to public service and it is 100% where I want to end up but I also want to have exit options should I wish to pursue the federal government later on. I do not want to end up in Big Law at all. Truth be told, I only see Big Law as a "stepping stone" which could open up the possibility in the future of being an AUSA or possibly working for the SEC or similar. I think a lot of other people see it in the same way. I would be eternally happy working as an ADA, but I like to have options and feel that Big Law and clerking--if I get it out of the way in the beginning of my career--would be good on a resume next to an ADA position if/when I apply for the federal government.

Am I overthinking this? For what it's worth I looked at current ADAs on LinkedIn and only one out of the 20+ I saw even did a stint at Big Law before being an ADA. Only one clerked. So if an ADA wants to be an AUSA when does s/he clerk?

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Re: ADA to federal government exit options?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:51 pm

Although I'm not an AUSA, I'm a Fed attorney and have looked into the same issue, and your idea seems viable. Fed clerkships are highly desirable, though not required in all districts. However, I would say you could do clerkship > DA unless you can nab a position right after your clerkship. I do know a BigLaw burn-out that was offered an AUSA position (and turned it down), but based on DOJ's job postings, actual criminal litigation experience would be more valuable, unsurprisingly.

girlinthecity

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Re: ADA to federal government exit options?

Postby girlinthecity » Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:14 pm

Thank you for replying!

I am leaning towards clerking > ADA and just eschewing BigLaw. To be completely honest, my heart is just not into private practice. If anything, I would try a stint at BigLaw after years of being an ADA and getting courtroom experience just so I had it on my resume for a federal government position. I think that personally for me starting off in BigLaw might turn me off completely and I would burn out.

I was doing some LinkedIn searches and I found that a lot of the AUSA at EDNY were in fact ADAs. I think that's great!

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Re: ADA to federal government exit options?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:11 am

girlinthecity wrote:Thank you for replying!

I am leaning towards clerking > ADA and just eschewing BigLaw. To be completely honest, my heart is just not into private practice. If anything, I would try a stint at BigLaw after years of being an ADA and getting courtroom experience just so I had it on my resume for a federal government position. I think that personally for me starting off in BigLaw might turn me off completely and I would burn out.

I was doing some LinkedIn searches and I found that a lot of the AUSA at EDNY were in fact ADAs. I think that's great!


Fedclerk to ada at a different large market. A few years in as an ada and I’m simultaneously applying to ausa positions, state ag positions, biglaw lateral positions. I’m definitely getting bites (interviews) from biglaw, but there just aren’t that many junior litigation opportunities. I’ll probably keep working biglaw for another year or so, but it’s my hope I can get ausa without it. In hindsight, I wonder if it would have been better to do biglaw right out of clerkship then be an ada afterwards, but who knows if I would have been able to get my major market target das office with this approach.

Seems like your anticipated path is similar to the one I have charted. Hopefully it works out for us.

girlinthecity

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Re: ADA to federal government exit options?

Postby girlinthecity » Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:01 pm

I'm rooting for you. :P Best of luck!

I'm thinking I will clerk > ADA > gain substantial experience with white collar or however long it takes to take on felony cases and work grand juries > BigLaw > apply for federal gov jobs.

Want to keep in touch outside this forum?

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Re: ADA to federal government exit options?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:51 pm

girlinthecity wrote:I'm rooting for you. :P Best of luck!

I'm thinking I will clerk > ADA > gain substantial experience with white collar or however long it takes to take on felony cases and work grand juries > BigLaw > apply for federal gov jobs.

Want to keep in touch outside this forum?


Yeah sure but I can’t figure out how to pm and I don’t really wanna go off anon cause my specificity above

girlinthecity

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Re: ADA to federal government exit options?

Postby girlinthecity » Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:48 pm

How are things going for you? Still getting bites? I hope so! :)



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