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Ausa Jobs

I see a lot of posting for these now. How hard are these dcm198309/22/17
This happens with every new administration. They are ext thirdtierlaw09/22/17
I'm with a large DA's Office and know several people who wen newjag1709/22/17
dcm1983 (Sep 22, 2017 - 2:26 pm)

I see a lot of posting for these now.

How hard are these to get, and what is is the work like?

How flexible are they on starting salary?

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thirdtierlaw (Sep 22, 2017 - 3:35 pm)

This happens with every new administration.

They are extremely hard to get, it's considered very "prestigious." Depending on where you are located, They aren't very flexible for starting salary. Just like every government job, there is a pay scale. There is some slight flexibility but not much. Most people use it as a stepping stone. Many biglaw and midlaw firms like to boast having a previous AUSA on their team. So you'll sometimes see people leave biglaw, go be an AUSA attorney, then go to another biglaw firm for a lot more money.

Though you'll be able to find exceptions, they typically look for people with federal clerkship experience and graduates from highly ranked school towards the top of their class. Depending on the office, many also want 5-7 years of litigation experience.

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newjag17 (Sep 22, 2017 - 6:22 pm)

I'm with a large DA's Office and know several people who went to the Feds. Many of them joined the DA's Office with that as a goal and gained anywhere from 3-5 years of litigation experience then applied. Some of them had some connections but others not so much. The DA's who wanted a solid chance often volunteered for unit assignments in the drug unit as well as the white collar section where, despite not litigating at a high volume, gained a lot of experience in dealing with cases that overlapped with federal agencies etc. I don't specifically recall where they went to law school but know that at least some weren't from the T14 range. Additionally, many of them ended up working locally and not having to move over hell and half of Georgia.
Also, one pretty experienced DA (about 10 years) made the jump to Washington DOJ--she didn't know anyone specifically, just applied. I heard from one of her closer friends still with our Office that there are opportunities if you are willing to relocate to the DC area but either need some solid litigation/prosecution experience or have the other resume jewels (law review, top grades, etc).

Hope that helps--bottom line is that it is not impossible at all but obviously competitive. As far as the criminal side goes, everyone I know who made the jump as well as criminal defense attorneys who interact with the AUSA's on a regular basis say that for the most part, it is a ton of drug cases unless you happen to be in a specialized unit. I have no idea if that aspect simply depends on your geography or it's fairly common throughout all AUSA positions.

Oh and what some people have done is to apply to less glamorous area slots in order to get in the door then laterally transfer when they can. Some areas always seem to have openings because of the area/quality of life/ etc.

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