data on Assistant DA, assistant US attorney

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appind
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data on Assistant DA, assistant US attorney

Postby appind » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:58 am

i was looking for info on

- total number of DAs and approx range of number ADAs per DA office
- how difficult it's to obtain an ADA position right after a T6 law school
- how difficult it's to transition to AUSA from there
- class percentile gpa requirements to obtain these positions

there will be variation depending on specific T6, but wondering if one could point to such info for a school like H.

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BlendedUnicorn
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Re: data on Assistant DA, assistant US attorney

Postby BlendedUnicorn » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:20 am

No idea where you'd get data for 1, but the answer for everything else is it depends.

ADA/ASA jobs tend to care a lot less about prestige than biglaw or AUSA type jobs. Depending in whose doing the hiring going to a t14 might even be seen as a negative. Instead they care about dedication and personality- if you're set on doing prosecution it's probably better to pick a market, pick a school in that market, and then do everything you can to get internship time at the office than it is to go to a fancy school and blanket the country with apps.

As for transitioning from ADA to AUSA the answer is, again, it depends but it's never going to be easy. Would need to get complex trial experience and somehow prove you're a good writer. Different offices have different needs and preferences so not much else to say- it happens but most ADAs won't become AUSAs.

Finally, it depends. As a rule of thumb, grades are going to be less important than they are for biglaw.

You're not going to get the sort of hard, concrete answers you want here. There's just not enough data out there and the hiring process isn't really numbers driven in most markets. Safest path to AUSA is probably to go to a firm and try to do white collar or litigation for a few years and try to grab an AUSA job realizing that odds are against this outcome. If your heart is set on prosecution. I'd go to a strong local school in the market of your choice and gun hard for the job from day 1. Realize that you might not be able to go from ada to AUSA.

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Re: data on Assistant DA, assistant US attorney

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:30 am

In addition to the above, look at a USAO that you're interested in. I'm betting that you'll find one or two ADAs who made the transition up, while the rest of the office will have come in from biglaw/clerkship backgrounds. Offices in less competitive regions may have slightly different requirements, but the "prestige" USAOs value biglaw experience.

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appind
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Re: data on Assistant DA, assistant US attorney

Postby appind » Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:31 pm

If one is coming from a very non-law background, say only engineering coursework and work ex, is it realistic to get fed clerkship and eventually make a preftige AUSA in a mainstream public service law area (i.e. non patent or ip)?

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Re: data on Assistant DA, assistant US attorney

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:43 pm

appind wrote:If one is coming from a very non-law background, say only engineering coursework and work ex, is it realistic to get fed clerkship and eventually make a preftige AUSA in a mainstream public service law area (i.e. non patent or ip)?


If you have top-notch grades and firm experience, it's realistic. It's not a guarantee, since a lot of getting an AUSA position is dumb luck, but without those prerequisites, you won't have the chance to get lucky.

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Re: data on Assistant DA, assistant US attorney

Postby BlendedUnicorn » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:59 pm

appind wrote:If one is coming from a very non-law background, say only engineering coursework and work ex, is it realistic to get fed clerkship and eventually make a preftige AUSA in a mainstream public service law area (i.e. non patent or ip)?


I don't understand the question at all but especially not the bolded. AUSAs are generalist prosecutors (for the most part). Do you mean work in a prestigious office? Of course it's possible- nobody gives a shit about your pre-law school experience.

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appind
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Re: data on Assistant DA, assistant US attorney

Postby appind » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:42 pm

HuntedUnicorn wrote:
appind wrote:If one is coming from a very non-law background, say only engineering coursework and work ex, is it realistic to get fed clerkship and eventually make a preftige AUSA in a mainstream public service law area (i.e. non patent or ip)?


I don't understand the question at all but especially not the bolded. AUSAs are generalist prosecutors (for the most part). Do you mean work in a prestigious office? Of course it's possible- nobody gives a shit about your pre-law school experience.


yes, i have heard that prestige of AUSA varies greatly with location. nyc may be highly coveted while some at some podunk place may be not so.

i found that there are about ~5800 AUSAs for 93 US attorneys, which is on average ~65 AUSA per USattorney.
DA positions could be very large in number in comparison as there are 3142 counties in the US. One DA/county, true?
any idea how many ADAs per DA on average?

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appind
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Re: data on Assistant DA, assistant US attorney

Postby appind » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:06 am

cavalier1138 wrote:In addition to the above, look at a USAO that you're interested in. I'm betting that you'll find one or two ADAs who made the transition up, while the rest of the office will have come in from biglaw/clerkship backgrounds. Offices in less competitive regions may have slightly different requirements, but the "prestige" USAOs value biglaw experience.


can one go to AUSA directly from clerkship without other experience?

do AUSAs harbor desire to be US attorneys some day (i presume it's very difficult as there are only 93 appointed ones)?

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appind
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Re: data on Assistant DA, assistant US attorney

Postby appind » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:10 am

HuntedUnicorn wrote:
appind wrote:If one is coming from a very non-law background, say only engineering coursework and work ex, is it realistic to get fed clerkship and eventually make a preftige AUSA in a mainstream public service law area (i.e. non patent or ip)?


I don't understand the question at all but especially not the bolded. AUSAs are generalist prosecutors (for the most part). Do you mean work in a prestigious office? Of course it's possible- nobody gives a shit about your pre-law school experience.


they still have some specialized duties and practice areas e.g. financial lit within civil division, true?

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BlendedUnicorn
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Re: data on Assistant DA, assistant US attorney

Postby BlendedUnicorn » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:11 am

appind wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:In addition to the above, look at a USAO that you're interested in. I'm betting that you'll find one or two ADAs who made the transition up, while the rest of the office will have come in from biglaw/clerkship backgrounds. Offices in less competitive regions may have slightly different requirements, but the "prestige" USAOs value biglaw experience.


can one go to AUSA directly from clerkship without other experience?

It happens but it's very rare. Varies by office.

do AUSAs harbor desire to be US attorneys some day (i presume it's very difficult as there are only 93 appointed ones)?

Some of them probably do? Not every US attorney will have been an AUSA though. The president nominates US attorneys and Congress confirms them.

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BlendedUnicorn
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Re: data on Assistant DA, assistant US attorney

Postby BlendedUnicorn » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:13 am

appind wrote:
HuntedUnicorn wrote:
appind wrote:If one is coming from a very non-law background, say only engineering coursework and work ex, is it realistic to get fed clerkship and eventually make a preftige AUSA in a mainstream public service law area (i.e. non patent or ip)?


I don't understand the question at all but especially not the bolded. AUSAs are generalist prosecutors (for the most part). Do you mean work in a prestigious office? Of course it's possible- nobody gives a shit about your pre-law school experience.


they still have some specialized duties and practice areas e.g. financial lit within civil division, true?


Depends on office. The smaller the office, the less specialized they'll be. In Chicago, pretty much every criminal AUSA starts with narcotics and then moves into something more specialized after their first year or so. The civil side there is much smaller and I think they're all kind of generalists though I don't know for sure. SDNY and a few others might have super specialized civil AUSAs but I'm pretty sure that's the exception and not the rule.

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appind
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Re: data on Assistant DA, assistant US attorney

Postby appind » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:27 am

HuntedUnicorn wrote:
appind wrote:
HuntedUnicorn wrote:
appind wrote:If one is coming from a very non-law background, say only engineering coursework and work ex, is it realistic to get fed clerkship and eventually make a preftige AUSA in a mainstream public service law area (i.e. non patent or ip)?


I don't understand the question at all but especially not the bolded. AUSAs are generalist prosecutors (for the most part). Do you mean work in a prestigious office? Of course it's possible- nobody gives a shit about your pre-law school experience.


they still have some specialized duties and practice areas e.g. financial lit within civil division, true?


Depends on office. The smaller the office, the less specialized they'll be. In Chicago, pretty much every criminal AUSA starts with narcotics and then moves into something more specialized after their first year or so. The civil side there is much smaller and I think they're all kind of generalists though I don't know for sure. SDNY and a few others might have super specialized civil AUSAs but I'm pretty sure that's the exception and not the rule.


it just seems like being able to transition from an AUSA position to possibly a preftige DA or some other influential position can be political.

the US attorney is politically appointed so if one has opposite political leanings, then those AUSA can be at a dead end, true?

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Re: data on Assistant DA, assistant US attorney

Postby BlendedUnicorn » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:30 am

appind wrote:
HuntedUnicorn wrote:
appind wrote:
HuntedUnicorn wrote:
appind wrote:If one is coming from a very non-law background, say only engineering coursework and work ex, is it realistic to get fed clerkship and eventually make a preftige AUSA in a mainstream public service law area (i.e. non patent or ip)?


I don't understand the question at all but especially not the bolded. AUSAs are generalist prosecutors (for the most part). Do you mean work in a prestigious office? Of course it's possible- nobody gives a shit about your pre-law school experience.


they still have some specialized duties and practice areas e.g. financial lit within civil division, true?


Depends on office. The smaller the office, the less specialized they'll be. In Chicago, pretty much every criminal AUSA starts with narcotics and then moves into something more specialized after their first year or so. The civil side there is much smaller and I think they're all kind of generalists though I don't know for sure. SDNY and a few others might have super specialized civil AUSAs but I'm pretty sure that's the exception and not the rule.


it just seems like being able to transition from an AUSA position to possibly a preftige DA or some other influential position can be political.

the US attorney is politically appointed so if one has opposite political leanings, then those AUSA can be at a dead end, true?


Not at a dead end- most AUSAs do other stuff with their career. They're generally seen as desirable attorneys because of their litigation experience (light years beyond your average biglaw associate and government connections). But yes, becoming a DA or US Attorney is extremely political and performance as an AUSA has almost nothing to do with who gets those slots. Best to think of it as a completely separate job and not the peak of the AUSA career path.

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appind
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Re: data on Assistant DA, assistant US attorney

Postby appind » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:38 am

HuntedUnicorn wrote:Not at a dead end- most AUSAs do other stuff with their career. They're generally seen as desirable attorneys because of their litigation experience (light years beyond your average biglaw associate and government connections). But yes, becoming a DA or US Attorney is extremely political and performance as an AUSA has almost nothing to do with who gets those slots. Best to think of it as a completely separate job and not the peak of the AUSA career path.


what realistic job should one gun for after LS to eventually go into a public service or elected representative role?

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appind
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Re: data on Assistant DA, assistant US attorney

Postby appind » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:45 am

are assistant attorney generals in a state similar to DAs?

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Re: data on Assistant DA, assistant US attorney

Postby BlendedUnicorn » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:10 am

appind wrote:are assistant attorney generals in a state similar to DAs?


Not too familiar with state AAGs but I'd imagine they do less prosecution work.

As for your other question, IDK. I'm assuming you have the numbers to get into a t6 school and if you do:

If your number one goal is to be a prosecutor, go to a respected school in the city of your choice for as little money as possible and then do everything in your power to get experience with the local office. Career services and alums should be able to give you the details on the office you're interested in.

If your number one goal is eventually do some high level public service route nabbing a biglaw SAat a firm with a good litigation and white collar group and then trying to get a clerkship and/or a spot in an honors program is probably the way to go. Worst case scenario you grind out a few years of big law and then start working your connections.

As far as getting appointed- network your balls off. But that's so far out in the future it's not worth thinking about.

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Re: data on Assistant DA, assistant US attorney

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:15 am

appind wrote:what realistic job should one gun for after LS to eventually go into a public service or elected representative role?


If your ultimate goal is the bolded, then there's no real point in law school. Get an MPP (or don't) and start running for office.

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Re: data on Assistant DA, assistant US attorney

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:39 am

appind wrote:are assistant attorney generals in a state similar to DAs?

It can depend on the state. There are non-criminal AAGs (who do things like election stuff, public utilities, tax, defending state against discrimination suits, etc). Some will do criminal cases, and at least in some places the criminal stuff may be more focused on slightly more complex/financial crime. I know one state where the AG's office handles all the criminal appeals for the state, but I don't know if that's common.

Also I agree with HU - there are a lot of DAs/USAs who have worked as ADAs/AUSAs, but becoming a DA/USA isn't the culmination of the typical career path. Most won't end up there (or want to).

Also why do you want to know how many ADAs/AUSAs there are?

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Re: data on Assistant DA, assistant US attorney

Postby White Dwarf » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:36 am

Preet Bharara came to speak in one of my classes and he said SDNY has about 160-165 criminal AUSAs and 60 civil ones. I'd imagine it's one of, if not the largest offices.

I interviewed at the District of Utah last spring, and the interviewer said they have about 45 AUSAs total. I'd expect that's pretty typical of the more rural offices.

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Re: data on Assistant DA, assistant US attorney

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:56 am

White Dwarf wrote:Preet Bharara came to speak in one of my classes and he said SDNY has about 160-165 criminal AUSAs and 60 civil ones. I'd imagine it's one of, if not the largest offices.

I interviewed at the District of Utah last spring, and the interviewer said they have about 45 AUSAs total. I'd expect that's pretty typical of the more rural offices.


But think of all the fun FLDS tax evasion cases they must get in Utah!

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appind
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Re: data on Assistant DA, assistant US attorney

Postby appind » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:36 pm

i am thinking of focusing on administrative law/IP law in the LS. is that going to be suitable for getting an AUSA if things work out or is it a good idea to focus on something that's more typical for civil division of AUSA e.g. financial lit, affirmative lit, civil rights etc? is administrative law study suitable or not for litigation positions?

i also notice that elected reps hire staff attorneys. how selective are they to obtain?

for the other qs. the Assistant attorney general is more unicorn or better than DA/ADA? i mainly wanted to know the number of DA/ADA to understand their selectivity etc. There are 3142 counties in the US so each one has 1 DA. that makes 3142 DAs and if each one has even a few of them, total ADAs can be more than 10,000, which is not small. so it doesn't seem like ADA should be that hard to obtain. (in comparison there are ~5800 AUSA).

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Re: data on Assistant DA, assistant US attorney

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:02 pm

I don't understand.

Are you interested in IP law, criminal law, or general litigation? You seem all over the map here, and I'm starting to get the sense that you're treating an AUSA position as a stepping stone to some grander career that has nothing to do with practicing law...

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Re: data on Assistant DA, assistant US attorney

Postby mjb447 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:35 pm

It also doesn't really seem like you know what you want your career to lead to. Even the goal you expressed upthread of going into "a public service or elected representative role" (most of which don't require a law degree) is very vague and broad. Do you want to be president? A policy wonk? A bureaucrat? It seems like you're looking at legal jobs mostly as stepping stones, but it's not even clear where you're trying to go right now.

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BlendedUnicorn
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Re: data on Assistant DA, assistant US attorney

Postby BlendedUnicorn » Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:49 pm

Yeah dude you're not thinking about this the right way at all and your questions are weird.

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Re: data on Assistant DA, assistant US attorney

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:54 pm

Civil AUSAs do a lot of work defending the US against suit, which can involve administrative stuff (judicial reviews of agency actions, social security, that kind of thing), though it's a lot of civil rights (often prisoner suits), personal injury, employment discrimination, that kind of thing. They also do affirmative litigation like bringing civil actions re: fraud, environmental enforcement, ADA enforcement and such, but at a lot of offices there is much more defense work than affirmative lit. (Also there's a lot of forfeiture stuff.) I don't think IP would be at all relevant to a civil AUSA (I think any government IP work would be out of main justice or other agencies).

Civil AUSA is a great gig but it also doesn't seem to lend itself to future political positions the way that criminal does (though that's just an impression).

The difficulty of getting an ADA job isn't based only on how many there are, but on how many openings there are when you want one and how many people apply. They're certainly obtainable right out of law school, but not guaranteed. They don't require or even necessarily reward top grades at a top school - it's much more about what experience you get in law school and getting to know people who will be doing hiring.

But it also doesn't sound to me like you're really interested in criminal prosecution?




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