Clear path to becoming a AUSA, does anyone have any idea?

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Blueberrypie
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Clear path to becoming a AUSA, does anyone have any idea?

Postby Blueberrypie » Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:36 pm

I appreciate any info that can be provided.

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smaug
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Re: Clear path to becoming a AUSA, does anyone have any idea?

Postby smaug » Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:38 pm

there is no clear path, even once you get pretty far in

have good credentials and connections and pray

Blueberrypie
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Re: Clear path to becoming a AUSA, does anyone have any idea?

Postby Blueberrypie » Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:40 pm

Jason Taverner wrote:there is no clear path, even once you get pretty far in

have good credentials and connections and pray


I realized I could have put this in a better section, I do apologize.


What sort of connections? What should I get my certification in? Who should I network with?

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seizmaar
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Re: Clear path to becoming a AUSA, does anyone have any idea?

Postby seizmaar » Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:49 pm

top of class T14-->main justice litigating section-->AUSA seems to be a pretty solid plan, but it may be more difficult to pass a camel through the eye of a needle idk.

Blueberrypie
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Re: Clear path to becoming a AUSA, does anyone have any idea?

Postby Blueberrypie » Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:32 pm

seizmaar wrote:top of class T14-->main justice litigating section-->AUSA seems to be a pretty solid plan, but it may be more difficult to pass a camel through the eye of a needle idk.


what do you mean by the bolded?

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twenty
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Re: Clear path to becoming a AUSA, does anyone have any idea?

Postby twenty » Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:55 pm

I used to think being an AUSA was like unquestioningly TCR, but there are a lot of drawbacks. The pay is absolutely abysmal for the amount and time and experience it takes to get in - where I live, even entry level DAs make more money. Hours aren't particularly great, either.

Top of your class at a T14 -> DOJ - > AUSA seems like the best way to go if you want that, though.

Blueberrypie
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Re: Clear path to becoming a AUSA, does anyone have any idea?

Postby Blueberrypie » Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:11 pm

twenty wrote:I used to think being an AUSA was like unquestioningly TCR, but there are a lot of drawbacks. The pay is absolutely abysmal for the amount and time and experience it takes to get in - where I live, even entry level DAs make more money. Hours aren't particularly great, either.

Top of your class at a T14 -> DOJ - > AUSA seems like the best way to go if you want that, though.


Really, I thought AUSA would definitely make more. Do you know the average salaries for both in NYC?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Clear path to becoming a AUSA, does anyone have any idea?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:14 pm

FWIW, years experience = total, not years as an AUSA. I also think that's without locality pay.

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RunnerRunner
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Re: Clear path to becoming a AUSA, does anyone have any idea?

Postby RunnerRunner » Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:15 pm

Blueberrypie wrote:
seizmaar wrote:top of class T14-->main justice litigating section-->AUSA seems to be a pretty solid plan, but it may be more difficult to pass a camel through the eye of a needle idk.


what do you mean by the bolded?


They are referring to the Department of Justice. Their honors programs hires students straight out of law school, and depending on the division you are in you can get solid litigation experience.

http://www.justice.gov/legal-careers/ho ... components

WheninLaw
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Re: Clear path to becoming a AUSA, does anyone have any idea?

Postby WheninLaw » Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:16 pm

From my communications with current AUSA's:

T14-->Clerk-->WC at a good firm working under a former big-shot AUSA-->pray.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Clear path to becoming a AUSA, does anyone have any idea?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:25 pm

The ones I know well did extremely well in law school & were typically involved in politics. Several came from wealthy, prominent families.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Clear path to becoming a AUSA, does anyone have any idea?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:37 pm

Of course not. And you shouldn't. Regardless, experience is the best teacher & you're too young into your career.

May or may not be office specific, but it is certainly case specific.

Prosecutorial discretion is a powerful tool that some believe is abused. Remember, US Attorneys are political appointments.

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twenty
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Re: Clear path to becoming a AUSA, does anyone have any idea?

Postby twenty » Tue Jun 09, 2015 3:46 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I also think that's without locality pay.


I'm not sure - the website is pretty confusing. :?

http://www.justice.gov/legal-careers/at ... d-benefits

http://www.justice.gov/usao/career-cent ... lan-charts

It seems like each office gets to set a locality pay rate, which means the salary falls between the "minimum" and "maximum" number. Nevertheless, even if you figure in locality pay, there's still a massive difference between the GS payscale and the AD payscale. In no world should a federal attorney with 9+ years of experience be able to earn 78k/year; even if you get no locality pay under the GS payscale and your agency is notoriously shitty about attorney career ladders, you still can't make less than 100k.

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Nebby
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Re: Clear path to becoming a AUSA, does anyone have any idea?

Postby Nebby » Tue Jun 09, 2015 3:50 pm

I know a former AUSA that went:

T14 -> Litigation at Paul Weiss for 1 year -> USAO EDNY

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mi-chan17
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Re: Clear path to becoming a AUSA, does anyone have any idea?

Postby mi-chan17 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:50 am

The tough thing here is that every USAO hires a bit differently. Some really value prosecutor experience, so they'll hire from the local DAs and they'll take laterals from litigating components of Main Justice (like the narcotics and dangerous drug section, organized crime and gang section, etc). Some value that preftige, and they'll hire from the litigating side of biglaw firms. SDNY, in particular, is one that I think tends to pull from firms. So the "best" way to get an AUSA slot depends on which USAO you want to work in.

Blueberrypie
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Re: Clear path to becoming a AUSA, does anyone have any idea?

Postby Blueberrypie » Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:27 am

mi-chan17 wrote:The tough thing here is that every USAO hires a bit differently. Some really value prosecutor experience, so they'll hire from the local DAs and they'll take laterals from litigating components of Main Justice (like the narcotics and dangerous drug section, organized crime and gang section, etc). Some value that preftige, and they'll hire from the litigating side of biglaw firms. SDNY, in particular, is one that I think tends to pull from firms. So the "best" way to get an AUSA slot depends on which USAO you want to work in.



SDNY or EDNY,

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Nebby
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Re: Clear path to becoming a AUSA, does anyone have any idea?

Postby Nebby » Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:14 am

Blueberrypie wrote:
mi-chan17 wrote:The tough thing here is that every USAO hires a bit differently. Some really value prosecutor experience, so they'll hire from the local DAs and they'll take laterals from litigating components of Main Justice (like the narcotics and dangerous drug section, organized crime and gang section, etc). Some value that preftige, and they'll hire from the litigating side of biglaw firms. SDNY, in particular, is one that I think tends to pull from firms. So the "best" way to get an AUSA slot depends on which USAO you want to work in.



SDNY or EDNY,

Lit in BigLaw for at least one year.

Blueberrypie
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Re: Clear path to becoming a AUSA, does anyone have any idea?

Postby Blueberrypie » Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:26 am

Nebby wrote:
Blueberrypie wrote:
mi-chan17 wrote:The tough thing here is that every USAO hires a bit differently. Some really value prosecutor experience, so they'll hire from the local DAs and they'll take laterals from litigating components of Main Justice (like the narcotics and dangerous drug section, organized crime and gang section, etc). Some value that preftige, and they'll hire from the litigating side of biglaw firms. SDNY, in particular, is one that I think tends to pull from firms. So the "best" way to get an AUSA slot depends on which USAO you want to work in.



SDNY or EDNY,

Lit in BigLaw for at least one year.



Do you sit in a chair for 8 hrs a day in biglaw? I want to go to court and work on interesting cases/participate in investigations. I currently work at an awesome job in finance, but I cannot stand sitting down most of the day. :/

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Nebby
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Re: Clear path to becoming a AUSA, does anyone have any idea?

Postby Nebby » Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:36 am

Blueberrypie wrote:
Nebby wrote:
Blueberrypie wrote:
mi-chan17 wrote:The tough thing here is that every USAO hires a bit differently. Some really value prosecutor experience, so they'll hire from the local DAs and they'll take laterals from litigating components of Main Justice (like the narcotics and dangerous drug section, organized crime and gang section, etc). Some value that preftige, and they'll hire from the litigating side of biglaw firms. SDNY, in particular, is one that I think tends to pull from firms. So the "best" way to get an AUSA slot depends on which USAO you want to work in.



SDNY or EDNY,

Lit in BigLaw for at least one year.



Do you sit in a chair for 8 hrs a day in biglaw? I want to go to court and work on interesting cases/participate in investigations. I currently work at an awesome job in finance, but I cannot stand sitting down most of the day. :/

All you do is sit in a chair, but it's for more than 8 hours. You won't go to court nor do anything interesting in BigLaw lit until at least your second year.

I don't work in BigLaw, but those that do on this fora can likely attest to the truthfulness of this.

However, if you want to be an AUSA in places that aren't SDNY or EDNY, then you can make it there without suffering through BigLaw lit.

Blueberrypie
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Re: Clear path to becoming a AUSA, does anyone have any idea?

Postby Blueberrypie » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:00 am

Nebby wrote:
Blueberrypie wrote:
Nebby wrote:
Blueberrypie wrote:
mi-chan17 wrote:The tough thing here is that every USAO hires a bit differently. Some really value prosecutor experience, so they'll hire from the local DAs and they'll take laterals from litigating components of Main Justice (like the narcotics and dangerous drug section, organized crime and gang section, etc). Some value that preftige, and they'll hire from the litigating side of biglaw firms. SDNY, in particular, is one that I think tends to pull from firms. So the "best" way to get an AUSA slot depends on which USAO you want to work in.



SDNY or EDNY,

Lit in BigLaw for at least one year.



Do you sit in a chair for 8 hrs a day in biglaw? I want to go to court and work on interesting cases/participate in investigations. I currently work at an awesome job in finance, but I cannot stand sitting down most of the day. :/

All you do is sit in a chair, but it's for more than 8 hours. You won't go to court nor do anything interesting in BigLaw lit until at least your second year.

I don't work in BigLaw, but those that do on this fora can likely attest to the truthfulness of this.

However, if you want to be an AUSA in places that aren't SDNY or EDNY, then you can make it there without suffering through BigLaw lit.


This is the thing. I can work very long hours, just don't put me in a chair. Its horrible for a woman's figure anyway...who like a flat butt, the highest paying job isn't worth that.

I can't work my way in through another method like ADA?

mmhh1144
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Re: Clear path to becoming a AUSA, does anyone have any idea?

Postby mmhh1144 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:04 am

The vast majority of AUSA attorney's that I'm familiar with in Southern California were amongst the top of their class (anywhere from top 10%-20% depending on the school). They followed this by clerking and doing biglaw for anywhere from 3-7 years.

Generally speaking, the USAO likes biglaw experience because of the high level of work and work ethic a big firm expects. Much like the FPD office, the AUSA office highly covets experience. The difference is what I just stated - the USAO looks highly upon former biglaw attorneys, something that isn't necessarily the case with the FPD office.

The norm is top 10% --> clerk --> biglaw --> hope for the best! But this is the norm, not what is required.

There are exceptions to the norm. I know someone who just got an offer as an AUSA after clerking one year on the district level and in the middle of clerking in the 9th District CoA. However, he had a PhD and was EIC of law review at a T6. Needless to say, you can pave your own path and find yourself as an AUSA attorney with the right mindset and a little bit of luck!

And regarding the salary, it obviously is ridiculously lower than what you expect in the private sector, but that is somewhat made up for by the government benefits and very good vacation time. :)

Best of luck!

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Clear path to becoming a AUSA, does anyone have any idea?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:05 am

Law usually involves spending a lot of time at a desk, honestly.

There may well be some former ADAs in SDNY and EDNY, people are just telling you what is generally understood to be the typical path followed by AUSAs in SDNY/EDNY. Those are also incredibly competitive jobs to get, so putting all your eggs in that basket probably isn't the best idea.

Blueberrypie
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Re: Clear path to becoming a AUSA, does anyone have any idea?

Postby Blueberrypie » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:10 am

mmhh1144 wrote:The vast majority of AUSA attorney's that I'm familiar with in Southern California were amongst the top of their class (anywhere from top 10%-20% depending on the school). They followed this by clerking and doing biglaw for anywhere from 3-7 years.

Generally speaking, the USAO likes biglaw experience because of the high level of work and work ethic a big firm expects. Much like the FPD office, the AUSA office highly covets experience. The difference is what I just stated - the USAO looks highly upon former biglaw attorneys, something that isn't necessarily the case with the FPD office.

The norm is top 10% --> clerk --> biglaw --> hope for the best! But this is the norm, not what is required.

There are exceptions to the norm. I know someone who just got an offer as an AUSA after clerking one year on the district level and in the middle of clerking in the 9th District CoA. However, he had a PhD and was EIC of law review at a T6. Needless to say, you can pave your own path and find yourself as an AUSA attorney with the right mindset and a little bit of luck!

And regarding the salary, it obviously is ridiculously lower than what you expect in the private sector, but that is somewhat made up for by the government benefits and very good vacation time. :)

Best of luck!



I'm hoping to make my own path. I see that a few people from my law school are currently AUSAs. I'll get advice from my advisor and find out the paths they took to get there. Hopefully I can get a networking connect with some of them...maybe even with the USA, but it is good to have the conventional plan in my head.

With respect to pay, if it something I love doing, then the pay won't matter too much. As long as it isn't under 70k, I'd like 80k I would be happy. Anything under 70k, well I may need some help from mom and dad, but I'd still be proud.

Don't they work on a pay scale/systematic pay raises every year?

mmhh1144
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Re: Clear path to becoming a AUSA, does anyone have any idea?

Postby mmhh1144 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:22 am

Blueberrypie wrote:
mmhh1144 wrote:The vast majority of AUSA attorney's that I'm familiar with in Southern California were amongst the top of their class (anywhere from top 10%-20% depending on the school). They followed this by clerking and doing biglaw for anywhere from 3-7 years.

Generally speaking, the USAO likes biglaw experience because of the high level of work and work ethic a big firm expects. Much like the FPD office, the AUSA office highly covets experience. The difference is what I just stated - the USAO looks highly upon former biglaw attorneys, something that isn't necessarily the case with the FPD office.

The norm is top 10% --> clerk --> biglaw --> hope for the best! But this is the norm, not what is required.

There are exceptions to the norm. I know someone who just got an offer as an AUSA after clerking one year on the district level and in the middle of clerking in the 9th District CoA. However, he had a PhD and was EIC of law review at a T6. Needless to say, you can pave your own path and find yourself as an AUSA attorney with the right mindset and a little bit of luck!

And regarding the salary, it obviously is ridiculously lower than what you expect in the private sector, but that is somewhat made up for by the government benefits and very good vacation time. :)

Best of luck!



I'm hoping to make my own path. I see that a few people from my law school are currently AUSAs. I'll get advice from my advisor and find out the paths they took to get there. Hopefully I can get a networking connect with some of them...maybe even with the USA, but it is good to have the conventional plan in my head.

With respect to pay, if it something I love doing, then the pay won't matter too much. As long as it isn't under 70k, I'd like 80k I would be happy. Anything under 70k, well I may need some help from mom and dad, but I'd still be proud.

Don't they work on a pay scale/systematic pay raises every year?


That's exactly right. The pay scale used by the USAO can be found on the DOJ website. Pay raises can occur very quickly, as an AUSA's salary assignment is mainly based on the number of years they've completed in the office. But as I think a few people have alluded to ITT, your starting salary is predicated on where you work. Starting salary in San Fransisco will be much higher than it is in Houston. But with the cost of living in SF being so much higher than HOU, it will basically even out.

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mi-chan17
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Re: Clear path to becoming a AUSA, does anyone have any idea?

Postby mi-chan17 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:25 am

Blueberrypie wrote:This is the thing. I can work very long hours, just don't put me in a chair. Its horrible for a woman's figure anyway...who like a flat butt, the highest paying job isn't worth that.

I can't work my way in through another method like ADA?


It's possible there's a few former-ADAs or Main Justice litigators at SDNY/EDNY, I'm just under the impression that the most common paths for AUSAs in those districts include a stint in biglaw.

Also, I feel obligated to point out that even AUSAs spend a significant portion of their time sitting at desks. That's just kind of how the law rolls. The only exception to this that I'm aware of is the Superior Court Division in the USAO for Washington, DC (because they prosecute all the local crimes, and thus are in court more frequently).

Blueberrypie wrote:Don't they work on a pay scale/systematic pay raises every year?


I think you're referring to the federal GS scale (which is how the other attorneys for DOJ are paid). And no, the USAOs are not on the GS-scale, they do their own thing. So an AUSA may make less per year than someone with the same experience/time in-grade as someone at Main Justice.




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