Working for US Attorney after 1L?

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Working for US Attorney after 1L?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 06, 2009 5:42 pm

Just wondering if this would be a good option for 1L summer. Is it considered less prestigious or less worthwhile than interning for a judge? What would be the best option for a 1L for the summer considering firm jobs are basically non-existent and I'd like to have a job for 2L summer?

Edited to clarify interning for a judge.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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patrickd139
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Re: Working for US Attorney after 1L?

Postby patrickd139 » Sun Sep 06, 2009 5:54 pm

Why is this anonymous?

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ggocat
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Re: Working for US Attorney after 1L?

Postby ggocat » Sun Sep 06, 2009 5:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just wondering if this would be a good option for 1L summer. Is it considered less prestigious or less worthwhile than clerking for a judge? What would be the best option for a 1L for the summer considering firm jobs are basically non-existent and I'd like to have a job for 2L summer?

The USAO is a good option for 1L summer. It is probably not less prestigious than working for a federal judge. Firms probably won't care. If you can work in the civil division of the USAO, that would probably look better than the criminal division (from the firm's POV).

But I'd recommend working for a judge at some point if you have the opportunity. Not only will you receive great experience, but having this type of work on your resume will help if you plan to apply for clerkships. Further, although working at the USAO over the summer is highly unlikely to lead to a post-grad position, there is a slight possibility that you could be hired by your judge for a clerkship.

PS - "Clerking" for a judge is paid post-grad employment, so you will probably want to refer to unpaid summer work with a judge as an "internship" to prevent any confusion. Some people still refer to part-time work while you are in school as "clerking," but this term may be confusing if you are discussing working for a judge.

Arredondo
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Re: Working for US Attorney after 1L?

Postby Arredondo » Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:13 pm

I interned this past summer, after my 1L year, at a USAO. It was a great experience and I was able to work with the criminal, civil, and appellate divisions.

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Re: Working for US Attorney after 1L?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:08 pm

Yes, it's a great option. You get amazing litigation experience, and it's fairly competitive to get. I interned in the EDNY Criminal my 1L summer. As far as I know, it's the only district that lets 1Ls argue in court. I second chaired a violent gang trial, and argued a suppression motion by my self (with my supervising AUSA sitting on in case I vomited all over the podium). It was a lot of fun, and helped a lot at OCI.

Also, being in crim doesn't hurt you at all with firms/judges. I and most of my friends there ended up at V10/20s, and some are clerking for COAs now.

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samiseaborn
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Re: Working for US Attorney after 1L?

Postby samiseaborn » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:38 am

A few questions for anyone who has interned/applied (forgive me, I know absolutely nothing about this process):

What kind of references are they looking for, law school professor? undergrad/grad school professors?

Does the procedure operate the same way as for local judges, everyone mass applies in the fall/winter and then they wait until grades come out in January before making any considerations?

I know the ideal 1L summer would be a law firm intern, but realistically, is this the next best type of position to aim for? I guess I'm asking how prestigious/competitive a position working for the USAO is? I really don't know anything about job hierarchy outside of law firms.

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prezidentv8
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Re: Working for US Attorney after 1L?

Postby prezidentv8 » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:50 am

samiseaborn wrote:A few questions for anyone who has interned/applied (forgive me, I know absolutely nothing about this process):

What kind of references are they looking for, law school professor? undergrad/grad school professors?

Does the procedure operate the same way as for local judges, everyone mass applies in the fall/winter and then they wait until grades come out in January before making any considerations?

I know the ideal 1L summer would be a law firm intern, but realistically, is this the next best type of position to aim for? I guess I'm asking how prestigious/competitive a position working for the USAO is? I really don't know anything about job hierarchy outside of law firms.


I feel like something like this would be a fantastic article for somebody who has gone through the application process.

NYU2011
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Re: Working for US Attorney after 1L?

Postby NYU2011 » Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:10 am

samiseaborn wrote:A few questions for anyone who has interned/applied (forgive me, I know absolutely nothing about this process):

What kind of references are they looking for, law school professor? undergrad/grad school professors?

Does the procedure operate the same way as for local judges, everyone mass applies in the fall/winter and then they wait until grades come out in January before making any considerations?

I know the ideal 1L summer would be a law firm intern, but realistically, is this the next best type of position to aim for? I guess I'm asking how prestigious/competitive a position working for the USAO is? I really don't know anything about job hierarchy outside of law firms.


I worked for a USAO last summer. I'm pretty sure the office I applied for didn't ask for references, but for the jobs I applied for that did, I used my legal writing professor and a former boss (from an undergrad job).

I applied in mid-December, they sent me forms to fill out by the end of the year, and called me for a phone interview in January. I was offered the position a week later (first week of Feb. if I remember correctly).

I worked for one of the biggest USAO's in the US, so it was pretty prestigious I guess. Most of us were from T14 schools. That said, they didn't even ask me for grades, so it wasn't competitive in that sense.

I don't remember the process too well, but if you have other questions I can try to answer them. It wasn't a terribly long/difficult process, or that different from other jobs I applied for.

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samiseaborn
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Re: Working for US Attorney after 1L?

Postby samiseaborn » Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:16 am

Thank you for all the info NYU! Good to know about the references, one of the apps I glanced at asked for 3, which seemed like a lot if it was all supposed to be law school profs when we've only been in school for a few months.

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TTT-LS
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Re: Working for US Attorney after 1L?

Postby TTT-LS » Sun Sep 27, 2009 12:45 pm

.
Last edited by TTT-LS on Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Corsair
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Re: Working for US Attorney after 1L?

Postby Corsair » Sun Sep 27, 2009 5:45 pm

..

jdny09
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Re: Working for US Attorney after 1L?

Postby jdny09 » Sun Sep 27, 2009 10:20 pm

I worked for a USAO in NYC my 1L summer. It was a great time and I learned a ton. Wrote a brief that was submitted to the 2d Cir. and second-chaired a narcotics conspiracy trial. I'd highly recommend it to anyone, particularly the criminal division where you get a much more dynamic and active litigation environemnt.

Interview was only 30 mins with one AUSA. Just resume stuff. Background check was anoying though.

Also, back when I did this and the economy was booming, a 1L summer at a USAO was highly sought after. Most of the 1L interns were from T6 schools, and all of us really wanted to be there. It's really not the kind of thing you apply to as a "second choice," even back in '06 when firms hired many 1Ls.

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Rocky Estoppel
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Re: Working for US Attorney after 1L?

Postby Rocky Estoppel » Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:37 pm

To anyone that worked for a USAO your 1L summer, did they hire you before grades were out? Also, did they hire before the background check came back? I looked at how long the background check takes and it says 3 months, that's why I ask, it would be while to wait for a background check.

Should I apply before I receive first semester grades?

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Re: Working for US Attorney after 1L?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:13 am

Rocky Estoppel wrote:To anyone that worked for a USAO your 1L summer, did they hire you before grades were out? Also, did they hire before the background check came back? I looked at how long the background check takes and it says 3 months, that's why I ask, it would be while to wait for a background check.

Should I apply before I receive first semester grades?


Yes and yes. Apply before 1L grades come out. Really tell them how much you want to be a prosecutor and work for them. Get your stuff out on 12/1. I was hired well before mid January, when my first grades come out. The background check takes a while, so they usually make offers quickly.

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Re: Working for US Attorney after 1L?

Postby FrankReynolds » Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:37 am

If you can work in the civil division of the USAO, that would probably look better than the criminal division (from the firm's POV).

The firm is not really gonna care much which division you are in.

But I'd recommend working for a judge at some point if you have the opportunity. Not only will you receive great experience, but having this type of work on your resume will help if you plan to apply for clerkships.

Well duh, but clerkships is really only an option for a select few, and basing your 1L job decision on this path isn't the best idea.

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underdawg
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Re: Working for US Attorney after 1L?

Postby underdawg » Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:38 am

outside of working at a law firm, i don't think 'prestige' matters all that much. how you talk about it in interviews matters the most, which you can do better if you get more substantive experience. which would also help for references for non-nyc firms. also, i think having the chance to work with one person closely helps, especially if that person knows people in firms and whatnot. working with a judge...don't you mostly work with clerks? hardly anyone does it at my school anyway since it's not funded for 1L summer so iuno

in short, if you think working at usao would be cool, i'm sure it'll be fine. it has some 'prestige' too imo. baby prestige since working at usao full time is 10000x harder than working for the summer.

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underdawg
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Re: Working for US Attorney after 1L?

Postby underdawg » Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:39 am

ggocat wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just wondering if this would be a good option for 1L summer. Is it considered less prestigious or less worthwhile than clerking for a judge? What would be the best option for a 1L for the summer considering firm jobs are basically non-existent and I'd like to have a job for 2L summer?

The USAO is a good option for 1L summer. It is probably not less prestigious than working for a federal judge. Firms probably won't care. If you can work in the civil division of the USAO, that would probably look better than the criminal division (from the firm's POV).

you can always say you want to work white-collar. i would just follow your heart in this instance :) :) :)

tengorazon
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Re: Working for US Attorney after 1L?

Postby tengorazon » Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:28 am

I suppose this might have changed with the economy, but at my school (HYS), working at either a USAO or DOJ was preferable to working at a firm and the most popular thing to do for one's 1L summer (third being a non-profit, fourth being a firm).

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ggocat
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Re: Working for US Attorney after 1L?

Postby ggocat » Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:24 am

FrankReynolds wrote:
If you can work in the civil division of the USAO, that would probably look better than the criminal division (from the firm's POV).

The firm is not really gonna care much which division you are in.

True, but if you want to do civil work at a large firm, you might as well do civil work at the USAO.

underdawg wrote:you can always say you want to work white-collar. i would just follow your heart in this instance :) :) :)

OP should definitely follow his/her heart (i.e., his/her own career goals). But telling a large firm "I want to work in white collar defense" is not likely to help your chance of getting hired as a student.

FrankReynolds wrote:
But I'd recommend working for a judge at some point if you have the opportunity. Not only will you receive great experience, but having this type of work on your resume will help if you plan to apply for clerkships.

Well duh, but clerkships is really only an option for a select few, and basing your 1L job decision on this path isn't the best idea.

I meant to suggest that interning for a judge, IMO, is more interesting than working for USAO. Any possible help for clerkships is simply an added benefit.

underdawg wrote:working with a judge...don't you mostly work with clerks?

Depends on the judge. Often interns will work with both the clerks and the judges. But even if you end up working mostly with the clerks, this is a great experience.

sprezzatura
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Re: Working for US Attorney after 1L?

Postby sprezzatura » Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:27 pm

How does the pay working for a USAO stack up against a summer associate job in biglaw?
/grossly ignorant

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spanktheduck
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Re: Working for US Attorney after 1L?

Postby spanktheduck » Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:18 am

I worked at a AUSO last summer, it was a great experience. I worked at a small office in a small state and it seemed as if most (if not all) of the interns were either going to school in the state (and most of these people were originally from the state) or were from the state.

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Re: Working for US Attorney after 1L?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:19 am

sprezzatura wrote:How does the pay working for a USAO stack up against a summer associate job in biglaw?
/grossly ignorant


As a 1L it is unpaid. As a 2L it is unpaid unless you get into the slip program

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ihatelaw
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Re: Working for US Attorney after 1L?

Postby ihatelaw » Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:29 am

i was curious, what does the background check entail?

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ggocat
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Re: Working for US Attorney after 1L?

Postby ggocat » Sat Nov 21, 2009 9:44 am

sprezzatura wrote:How does the pay working for a USAO stack up against a summer associate job in biglaw?
/grossly ignorant

Depends on the office. Some USAO will not pay, some will pay work study, and some (very few) will pay SLIP. SLIP pays an hourly wage equivalent to GS-7. Pay will depend on location, but for example, 12 weeks of GS-7 in Washington, D.C., is $9,480. Work study will also depend on location/office. But different offices might pay different work study rates. I know of one office in a small city (very low cost of living) that pays $12/hour, which is $5,760 for 12 weeks. EDIT: For unpaid work, sometimes your school will subsidize. Most likely anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000 for the summer.

Most large firms will pay 2Ls the same salary as first-year associates ($145K-$160K in major markets) prorated for the summer. For 8 weeks (probably standard in this economy), that equals about $24,166 to $26,666 in a major market. In a smaller market, probably closer to $20,000.

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ggocat
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Re: Working for US Attorney after 1L?

Postby ggocat » Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:02 am

ihatelaw wrote:i was curious, what does the background check entail?

Here are some forms: http://www.opm.gov/forms/html/sf.asp
For USAO, you will probably have to do either (1) SF-85, (2) SF-85P, or (3) SF-86. I haven't done a side-by-side, but I think the most important difference is probably just how many years back they will look into your life. (5, 7, or 10).

This may depend on the office, but often an investigator will talk to at least one person (all different) who can verify each job you've held, each place you've lived, and each school you've attended. They might also talk to your immediate family members and some of your friends. You will also probably sit down with an investigator and verify that all the information on the form is correct, and you may be asked to supplement the form with additional information.




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