Con Consigliere wrote:Do people (generally) go HLS->clerk-> USAO/ADA-> biglaw white collar crim defense or straight to a firm from HLS/Clerk (corollary: are there risks/advantages to doing one or the other?)
Can't speak to the rest, but my impression from the AUSAs I've spoken to is that some firm experience, in addition to clerking, is the most common route. Many do at least a federal district clerkship (some also do an appellate), and then 1-2 years at a firm, at a minimum. This obviously varies by office, and typically depends on the size of the office. In general, the smaller the office, the fewer openings there are, and thus the more experience is required.. For instance an Boston AUSA mentioned that they are much more experience focused than say EDNY. Of course this also varies by geography, as well as "prestige" associated with, and demand for, the given office. Some non-coastal offices are going to be slightly less selective based on the demand for positions (but they typically also have fewer positions, so there's that).
At the end of the day, while it certainly varies by office, I think the bottom-line, most common route to becoming a competitive applicant is clerkship (1-2 years) + 1-2 years at a firm. AUSAs tend to have at least 3 years of experience after law school before applying.
Anyone with more experience and/or information, please correct me if I said anything misleading.