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

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

Postby mmhh1144 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:31 am

mi-chan17 wrote: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.


Yep. Hope I didn't make it sound as if the USAO uses the GS scale. They have a variation that includes a couple different scales. But yes, different that the normal GS scale.

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

Postby Blueberrypie » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:35 am

mmhh1144 wrote:
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.
mmhh1144 wrote:
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.



I know it' a government job, but why such low pay? To quote Gerald Lynch, "Congress has cast the federal prosecutor in the role of God". (I read this quote from John Kroger's Convictions...pretty solid book thus far!).

As the future role of God (hyperbole), I should be compensated accordingly. lol

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

Postby Blueberrypie » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:36 am

mmhh1144 wrote:
mi-chan17 wrote: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.


Yep. Hope I didn't make it sound as if the USAO uses the GS scale. They have a variation that includes a couple different scales. But yes, different that the normal GS scale.


Is the scale USAO uses public knowledge (i.e. a google seach)?

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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 11:40 am

http://www.justice.gov/usao/career-cent ... nformation

As you can see as you read through, there's a lot of variation in pay in the USAOs as compared to fed agencies on the GS scale. It really depends on where they'd offer to start you and how fast they would bump you closer to Q4 or the max pay for your AD-grade.

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

Postby runinthefront » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:42 am

This may be a dumb question, but is there any decisive edge that a person would get from going to like GDC (DC) or W&C? Or does the firm you're coming from matter less than anything?

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

Postby mmhh1144 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:44 am

Blueberrypie wrote:Is the scale USAO uses public knowledge (i.e. a google seach)?

I'm pretty sure you can just google "AUSA salary" and you can find more information and pay scales. Best bet is on DOJ website
Blueberrypie wrote:I know it' a government job, but why such low pay?

See bolded. Our gov't is BROKE!

By the way this thread may be of interest to you. viewtopic.php?f=23&t=191582

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

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:48 am

A former TLS poster, I've forgotten his name, graduated the Univ. of Colorado School of Law & became an AUSA in Phoenix. If someone can remember this poster (he stopped posting over a year ago, if I recall correctly), he would be a great resource. I don't know his background, but I believe that he became an AUSA not long after graduating law school, although it may have been a year.

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

Postby Blueberrypie » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:49 am

mmhh1144 wrote:
Blueberrypie wrote:Is the scale USAO uses public knowledge (i.e. a google seach)?

I'm pretty sure you can just google "AUSA salary" and you can find more information and pay scales. Best bet is on DOJ website
Blueberrypie wrote:I know it' a government job, but why such low pay?

See bolded. Our gov't is BROKE!

By the way this thread may be of interest to you. viewtopic.php?f=23&t=191582



Yes, but lets all note that we are broke by choice and by choice I in part mean the ones made.

I'll look at the thread in a bit.

**goes to research salaries**

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

Postby lapolicia » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:56 am

Blueberrypie wrote:
mmhh1144 wrote:
Blueberrypie wrote:Is the scale USAO uses public knowledge (i.e. a google seach)?

I'm pretty sure you can just google "AUSA salary" and you can find more information and pay scales. Best bet is on DOJ website
Blueberrypie wrote:I know it' a government job, but why such low pay?

See bolded. Our gov't is BROKE!

By the way this thread may be of interest to you. viewtopic.php?f=23&t=191582



Yes, but lets all note that we are broke by choice and by choice I in part mean the ones made.

I'll look at the thread in a bit.

**goes to research salaries**


That doesn't explain why the pay is so far below the GS scale that covers most federal jobs and way below agencies like the SEC.

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

Postby Blueberrypie » Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:00 pm

lapolicia wrote:
Blueberrypie wrote:
mmhh1144 wrote:
Blueberrypie wrote:Is the scale USAO uses public knowledge (i.e. a google seach)?

I'm pretty sure you can just google "AUSA salary" and you can find more information and pay scales. Best bet is on DOJ website
Blueberrypie wrote:I know it' a government job, but why such low pay?

See bolded. Our gov't is BROKE!

By the way this thread may be of interest to you. viewtopic.php?f=23&t=191582



Yes, but lets all note that we are broke by choice and by choice I in part mean the ones made.

I'll look at the thread in a bit.

**goes to research salaries**


That doesn't explain why the pay is so far below the GS scale that covers most federal jobs and way below agencies like the SEC.


The benefits must out weigh the volunteer check you get every two weeks as an AUSA

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

Postby mmhh1144 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:01 pm

lapolicia wrote:
That doesn't explain why the pay is so far below the GS scale that covers most federal jobs and way below agencies like the SEC.


Unfortunately, I don't know the exact reason for that. I was speaking generally.

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

Postby Blueberrypie » Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:02 pm

I call bs on low salaries, as I found one job posting from '14 that gave a salary range from 88k-153k for a lawyer. These were the qualifications:


QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:



Required Qualifications: Applicants must possess a J.D. Degree, be an active member of the bar (any U.S. jurisdiction), and have at least 1 year post-J.D. legal or other relevant experience.

United States citizenship is required.

Preferred Qualifications: Applicants should be committed to public service, possess superior communication and courtroom skills, exhibit exceptional research and writing ability, perform thorough legal and factual analyses, demonstrate an ability to work well with a wide variety of people, exercise good judgment, and function with minimal guidance in a highly demanding environment.

You must meet all qualification requirements upon the closing date of this announcement.

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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 12:05 pm

And what AD-grade does that post have on it? Also, which locality?

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

Postby Blueberrypie » Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:09 pm

mi-chan17 wrote:And what AD-grade does that post have on it?


AD-0905-21

Please interpret this mi-chan, as I am not familiar with this.


Thanks :)

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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 12:14 pm

Send me the link, and I'll try to interpret. That doesn't sound right to me, though, if it's AD-21 in Any location, because these postings are all from non-rural areas in the last week:

Salary:
AUSA pay is administratively determined based, in part, on the number years of professional attorney experience. The range of basic pay is $45,477 to $120,365 plus locality pay where authorized. (C.D. Cal.)


Salary:
Assistant United States Attorneys' pay is administratively determined based, in part, on the number of years of professional attorney experience and availability of funds. The current range of pay is $54,877 to $145,244 which includes 20.67% locality pay. (N.D. Tex. - Dallas)


Salary:
$51,917 - $153,176 per year (C.D. Fl. - Tampa)

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

Postby Blueberrypie » Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:20 pm

mi-chan17 wrote:Send me the link, and I'll try to interpret. That doesn't sound right to me, though, if it's AD-21 in Any location, because these postings are all from non-rural areas in the last week:

Salary:
AUSA pay is administratively determined based, in part, on the number years of professional attorney experience. The range of basic pay is $45,477 to $120,365 plus locality pay where authorized. (C.D. Cal.)


Salary:
Assistant United States Attorneys' pay is administratively determined based, in part, on the number of years of professional attorney experience and availability of funds. The current range of pay is $54,877 to $145,244 which includes 20.67% locality pay. (N.D. Tex. - Dallas)


Salary:
$51,917 - $153,176 per year (C.D. Fl. - Tampa)


Will do!

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

Postby twenty » Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:37 pm

Also, USAJobs salary ranges are notoriously unreliable. Sometimes the HR person includes locality pay in the posting, sometimes they don't. Some agencies will bump you up in steps for outside experience, some agencies won't.

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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 1:17 pm

So, looking at the posting, it is USAJobs, which can be a touch iffy on salary figures. It's also seeking somewhat specialized knowledge/experience, which might mean its been preemptively bumped a little for outside experience they're assuming applicants will have. That said, it's for AD-21, the lowest grade. The locality is SDNY, which of course has the highest locality pay. Since OP wants NY, looking at those numbers makes some sense.

I don't think anyone is arguing that AUSAs are paid an unlivable wage, but I think they are, on the whole, compensated less-well than some of their DOJ counterparts, and certainly not as well as their SEC counterparts.

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

Postby BruceWayne » Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:44 pm

SEC pay is retarded high for government work. Honestly, I think the pay really makes them a lot more attractive than USAOs assuming you can deal with the type of work they do. The disparity is just too wide. Really, they end up getting paid more than most people in biglaw will end up making when you consider how quickly you typically end up getting forced out of biglaw.

Not sure what the QOL is like though.

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

Postby Blueberrypie » Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:32 pm

BruceWayne wrote:SEC pay is retarded high for government work. Honestly, I think the pay really makes them a lot more attractive than USAOs assuming you can deal with the type of work they do. The disparity is just too wide. Really, they end up getting paid more than most people in biglaw will end up making when you consider how quickly you typically end up getting forced out of biglaw.

Not sure what the QOL is like though.


Lol too bad I don't feel like making sure companies follow regulations when it comes to stocks of make sure their not beig pounded from behind.

I'm interested in the least paying legal fields. Lol I'd rather be a ADA than work in big law, lol... My people think I'm nuts.




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