DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

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DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jul 31, 2020 4:24 pm

Applications opened today, so figured I'd get this started. Debating whether or not to apply, since I'm graduating from a CCN with slightly above-median grades but no clerkship, and thus not likely to be competitive.

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:04 am

DOJ Honors alum here. I had no clerkship and came from a TTT school but had all the “check marks” to make it in (ie moot court, mock trial, fed internship, grades, etc.) so it is definitely possible.

Best thing you can do is try to leverage your experiences (either before or during law school) and try to frame your application so that it shows you either have some experience and interest in the top 3 selections you choose.

Although I had no clerkship, I was able to set myself apart by highlighting the fact that I was a non-traditional candidate who can bring diversity to the Honors Program. I reinforced this by sharing my pre law school professional experience that related to the area of the law I currently work in, I showcased that I was eager to advocate in the courtroom by highlighting my accomplishments from my time in moot court, and I was able to show I had a strong dedication to public service by interning at federal agencies (SLIP/ non-slip).

All these things help form a strong application even though I didn’t come from a T14 and maybe was a breath of fresh air to the interviewers from the traditional JLC/ T14 application they see every year.

Additional advice: be realistic in your top 3. I’m sure there are highly sought-after components that are hiring this cycle (USAO, FBI, DEA, etc) that each have 1-2 hires available for the whole country. If you can’t dig deep and try to tie your real-life experiences to the highly sought-after positions, it may be better to choose a different component (crim/ civil division, EOIR, etc) that will offer hire more than just 1-2. The HP is competitive as it is.

Or you could always go the judge clerkship route and try a future HP cycle since clerkship “toll” your eligibility to the HP.

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Aug 09, 2020 2:09 pm

What are traditionally seen as the "less sought-after" components? Is it basically just a question of more/fewer spots, or do particular components also tend to see fewer applicants each year?

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Aug 09, 2020 2:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 2:09 pm
What are traditionally seen as the "less sought-after" components? Is it basically just a question of more/fewer spots, or do particular components also tend to see fewer applicants each year?
It may be subjective but imo usually the USAO slots are the most “sought-after” just because of the limited spots it has.

Also, does anyone know if a Trial Attorney for for the Criminal Division is the same as an AUSA? The participating components say that the crim division is hiring 8 honors whereas the USAO for District of AZ is hiring only 2 honors and specifically requires the candidate to either be in a clerkship or about to enter one with a JD and have their Bar license upon commencement.

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Aug 09, 2020 5:04 pm

Different anon (anon b/c I went through the HP), but I would say the positions with more openings, that also don't lead to permanent jobs, and also sometimes location. So the IJ positions in EOIR, they're great experience for people who want to do immigration law. However, they're not permanent (2 yr clerkships), some of them are in much less popular locations (no offense, Lumpkin, GA), and they hire a lot of people, so they're not quite as objectively competitive as, say, the civil rights division. (They're not *not* competitive, in that they don't take just anyone, and if you have no immigration experience or anything that indicates much interest in immigration, you're not going to be a great candidate, but they're less competitive than some.)

My sense also is that BOP and the DEA ALJ positions (again, not permanent) may be somewhat less competitive. There are also probably a lot fewer people who apply for the Indian Country Fellowship (but also a smaller pool of appropriate candidates - I can't say that someone literally has to be Native to get the fellowship, but I would say you absolutely have to have experience with Indian law and/or connections to a Native community).

Crim was referenced as less competitive - that's probably true in some ways (more slots), but I was told that if you don't rank crim #1 in your component ranking, you're not going to get an interview. The problem with something like crim is that a lot more people are going to be able to show criminal law background/be interested in applying than for some of the more specialized components/programs (like the Indian Country fellowship).

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alquemiste

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

Post by alquemiste » Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:10 am

Does anyone know if applicants are only invited to interview after the application deadline or could applicants be invited to interview prior to the deadline? Kind of like a first come first served situation.

In other words is there a benefit to submitting your application as early as possible?

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:11 am

Generally, there isn’t. There’s a huge centralized process and you’re not invited to interview until after the deadline. I’m 99% sure components don’t even get your application materials until after the deadline (your materials go to a website run by EARM, not to the components directly).

The exception is informally participating components - they’re not really bound by the same timelines so theoretically they could interview earlier. I don’t think in practice they interview before the application deadline, though (I don’t think they get your materials before the deadline, either, they’re just not bound to the centralized interview process and schedule).

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 10, 2020 3:03 pm

For what it's worth, I got multiple interviews this past cycle (and offers from each component) after submitting my application on either the very last day or the day before. I was told there's no advantage to applying early from people who'd applied before. As another poster mentioned, that may be different for informal components/USAOs. Also, DOJ Crim-Trial Attorney is not the same thing as AUSA, and while most AUSA honors slots affirmatively require a clerkship or post-JD experience, there's no explicit requirement for that to do DOJ Crim.

Anon bc went through the last app cycle and took a non-DOJ honors offer.

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:29 am

So the deadline passed. Anyone want to share where they applied?

I ranked CRT and CRM in that order. I got an interviews scheduled last year, but then dropped out because I accepted a clerkship. Anyone in a similar boat?

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:43 pm

CRM then CRT, and some USAOs. Current clerk. Fingers crossed for everyone!

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Sep 11, 2020 1:05 pm

I was 1) CRT, 2) CIV, and 3) ATR. Current fed. law clerk.

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Sep 11, 2020 2:36 pm

I had CIV at 2 and CRT at 3. Reading around now it seems that neither of those components take you if you didn't put them at 1? Is that the case or am I offbase.

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Sep 11, 2020 3:39 pm

Re: ranking selections.

I've heard that rumor--that certain components won't select you if you didn't rank them #1. But I asked about it when I interned at DOJ and two recent honors grads told me that they were hired even though they ranked a different division #1. So that's not entirely true.

Obviously, YMMV and that was just about ranking #1 and #2. I bet there's some truth to it for #3, which is why I didn't even rank a third component.

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:06 pm

From what I have heard, I think it's true that certain components will not interview you if you did not rank them first. But for what it's worth for applicants nervous about ranking a component second, I interviewed with and received an offer from a component that I ranked second. So that sort of thing can definitely happen.

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:42 pm

And FWIW, I got an interview and offer with my 3rd choice (although it wasn’t CRT or CRM).

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Sep 12, 2020 12:01 pm

Current fed. law clerk. 1) CIV, 2) CRT, 3) CRM

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:21 pm

current dc state court clerk. Ranked 1). FBI 2). CIV 3). CRM

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paisa_sandia

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

Post by paisa_sandia » Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:00 pm

When do folks think we’ll hear about interviews?

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:11 pm

paisa_sandia wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:00 pm
When do folks think we’ll hear about interviews?
Last year, interview notices went out around the last week of September and first week of October. I don't know if covid might affect that timeline this year.

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:19 pm

They’ll announce the date somewhere on the online application system. It’s roughly the same time every year - my year it was Sept 25, but they’ve changed software since then so it might be a bit quicker now.

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

Post by Jasperval » Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:12 am

Looks like DOJ updated the website . Notifications if people were selected for interviews will be posted to the portal "On or about October 1" , which will kick of the scheduling process. Interviews themselves will take place between Oct 19 and Nov 6th. Everything will be done through a "virtual platform".

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

Post by nontrad29 » Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:20 pm

Has anyone had their status changed from "Application Received" yet?

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:30 pm

Selected for interview on Avue portal. Haven't gotten an email or anything.

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:30 pm
Selected for interview on Avue portal. Haven't gotten an email or anything.
Care to share which component(s)?

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2020-2021

Post by anoushig122 » Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:30 pm
Selected for interview on Avue portal. Haven't gotten an email or anything.
Congrats!! Which component were you selected for!?

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

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