hopefulundergrad wrote:I would like to clerk (CoA) immediately after graduation and then do litigation (biglaw or boutique) for long enough so that I can pay off loans, bank my (future) kids college tuition, and amass some $$ before heading to the DoJ or USAO. That career trajectory would be FTW in my opinion.
That sounds like my ideal career path also, except I'm gonna leave out the law firm part and try to go straight to the DOJ.
If your eventual goal is DOJ or USAO, then you'll want to get your hands dirty in as much corporate stuff as you can. That will help you because 1) that'll help you get the BigLaw job you want to start out with and 2) set you up to be an ideal candidate for some of the prestigious white-collar crime division jobs, like USAO SDNY. The USAO divisions that deal heavily in white-collar crime tend to hire people with a few years corporate experience since they're the ones that understand the corporate laws that are being broken in their big federal fraud/antitrust/etc. trials. You may also want to do some criminal work while you're in law school (a prosecution clinic, or a prosecutor internship your 1L summer) to show the USAO you know what you want and you've already tasted it.
Clerkship will definitely help with your end goals too. Some of the most prestigious firms tend to only bother with people who've done prestigious federal clerkships or other really interesting intellect-proving things.
So, what you need to focus on is 1) corporate law and BigLaw placement, and 2) clerkship opportunities. Given those I'd say Chicago is probably 1st for you and UVA is probably a close 2nd. However, I strongly encourage you talk to all those schools about those goals and see what they tell you.