Gov. Questions

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holapade
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Gov. Questions

Post by holapade » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:22 pm

Hi All:

Quick questions:

1. Can you land DOJ Honors, an AUSA, or (ideally) a State SG position out of law school from a T-2 with median grades if the candidate is:
- on every journal (~8)
- participates in every moot court/trial competition and pro bono activity available (~20-30 in all)
- RAs for more than six professors
- comes from a T-4 undergrad with prime softs

Havin' a field day. But seriously is this realistic?

2. Out of the three offices which provides young attorneys with the highest prospect for mobility so long as they turn in stellar work and maintain a high case winning percentage? What I'm looking for is a sink-or-swim environment where I can be given cases, direct the litigation strategy with passing supervision, go against other attorneys from private practice in discovery, trial, on appeal, etc. and be called to account for the results with rewards for good performance. Thoughts welcome!

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UVA2B
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Re: Gov. Questions

Post by UVA2B » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:27 pm

holapade wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:22 pm
Hi All:

Quick questions:

1. Can you land DOJ Honors, an AUSA, or (ideally) a State SG position out of law school from a T-2 with median grades if the candidate is:
- on every journal (~8)
- participates in every moot court/trial competition and pro bono activity available (~20-30 in all)
- RAs for more than six professors
- comes from a T-4 undergrad with prime softs

Havin' a field day. But seriously is this realistic?

2. Out of the three offices which provides young attorneys with the highest prospect for mobility so long as they turn in stellar work and maintain a high case winning percentage? What I'm looking for is a sink-or-swim environment where I can be given cases, direct the litigation strategy with passing supervision, go against other attorneys from private practice in discovery, trial, on appeal, etc. and be called to account for the results with rewards for good performance. Thoughts welcome!
That list doesn’t seem remotely possible for ECs. Mainly talking about being on 8 journals and doing 20-30 experiential ECs while RAing for 6 different professors.

With that in mind, this is really a ridiculous question.

holapade
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Re: Gov. Questions

Post by holapade » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:29 pm

UVA2B wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:27 pm
holapade wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:22 pm
Hi All:

Quick questions:

1. Can you land DOJ Honors, an AUSA, or (ideally) a State SG position out of law school from a T-2 with median grades if the candidate is:
- on every journal (~8)
- participates in every moot court/trial competition and pro bono activity available (~20-30 in all)
- RAs for more than six professors
- comes from a T-4 undergrad with prime softs

Havin' a field day. But seriously is this realistic?

2. Out of the three offices which provides young attorneys with the highest prospect for mobility so long as they turn in stellar work and maintain a high case winning percentage? What I'm looking for is a sink-or-swim environment where I can be given cases, direct the litigation strategy with passing supervision, go against other attorneys from private practice in discovery, trial, on appeal, etc. and be called to account for the results with rewards for good performance. Thoughts welcome!
That list doesn’t seem remotely possible for ECs. Mainly talking about being on 8 journals and doing 20-30 experiential ECs while RAing for 6 different professors.

With that in mind, this is really a ridiculous question.
I know it is a lot but just work with me here. Am I good to go on 1? Any thoughts on 2?

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UVA2B
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Re: Gov. Questions

Post by UVA2B » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:37 pm

No, not necessarily, because again, it’s a ridiculous proposition. Your resume isn’t magically stronger because you somehow got involved in more things than you reasonably should that would allow you to show any abilities in those ECs. Winning a big mock trial comp is infinitely better than doing 30 of them, and publishing an interesting note or article is infinitely better than being on the editing staff for 8 different journals, and working for 6 different profs all but ensures none of them know anything about your abilities beyond your ability to extend yourself too thin and likely miss deadlines because you’re stretched too thin.

As for comparing the three, I haven’t worked for any of the three, so I can’t speak from personal experience. But logic dictates that all of them will provide substantial experience, depending on the state, particular agency, and office you work in within those agencies. They aren’t monolithic at all. So this question is too broad to be answer d with any specificity.

You seem like you are striving for otherwise out of reach outcomes given less than stellar grades, which are far and away the easiest predictor of legal outcomes, but there isn’t an alternative way to reach the mountaintop of the legal profession when you aren’t meeting the barriers to entry. As a median T2 graduate, all of the outcomes you’re asking about are pretty unlikely, but I’m sure there are also exceptions that basically prove the rule.

holapade
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Re: Gov. Questions

Post by holapade » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:44 pm

UVA2B wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:37 pm
No, not necessarily, because again, it’s a ridiculous proposition. Your resume isn’t magically stronger because you somehow got involved in more things than you reasonably should that would allow you to show any abilities in those ECs. Winning a big mock trial comp is infinitely better than doing 30 of them, and publishing an interesting note or article is infinitely better than being on the editing staff for 8 different journals, and working for 6 different profs all but ensures none of them know anything about your abilities beyond your ability to extend yourself too thin and likely miss deadlines because you’re stretched too thin.

As for comparing the three, I haven’t worked for any of the three, so I can’t speak from personal experience. But logic dictates that all of them will provide substantial experience, depending on the state, particular agency, and office you work in within those agencies. They aren’t monolithic at all. So this question is too broad to be answer d with any specificity.

You seem like you are striving for otherwise out of reach outcomes given less than stellar grades, which are far and away the easiest predictor of legal outcomes, but there isn’t an alternative way to reach the mountaintop of the legal profession when you aren’t meeting the barriers to entry. As a median T2 graduate, all of the outcomes you’re asking about are pretty unlikely, but I’m sure there are also exceptions that basically prove the rule.
Really? 8 journals? 6 competitions? And 20 pro bono orgs? Most of the folks I know can't handle 2 of those things....Any other opinions?

AUSA anon

Re: Gov. Questions

Post by AUSA anon » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:22 pm

I'm not really sure why you think anyone can answer a question that's posed so outlandishly. Most schools don't have 8 journals, let alone allow one student to work on all of them. Nor can you work for 6 different profs. It's like asking if you can learn to fly if you're Superman. Sure, probably, except you're not. Are you actually in law school yet?

In any case, I'm going to treat DOJ honors/AUSA as one question because you can only get hired out of law school as an AUSA through DOJ honors. A lot of DOJ honors is actually pretty ecumenical about schools, but they tend to favor high grades. So median is going to be a difficult hurdle to overcome. In particular, a federal clerkship gives you a huge boost for DOJ honors (some USAOs require a clerkship), and a federal clerkship at median from a T2 is going to be tough. (I guess I want to make sure what you're talking about - T-2 suggests tier two, i.e. ranked 50-100, but when you talk about your undergrad as T-4 and being a plus, I presume that's HYSP or something. So if you mean a tier 2 law school, you face a really really uphill climb from median. If you're using some idiosyncratic shorthand for YS, then your grades aren't likely to matter much and you wouldn't need all the extras you're talking about.)

I know less about state SG's offices, except that I don't think they tend to hire straight out of law school, either (unless you're talking about a state with an entry level honors equivalent - I think a couple do but it's not common). My sense is that this is the kind of job where connections will help you a lot, though I don't know what kind of grades would be expected along with that.

I also don't know exactly what you mean by prospect for mobility. USAOs are going to be a bit more cautious than what you seem to be looking for - you run your own cases, but as a new attorney you will have a fair amount of oversight, and at every level will be expected to comply with office policies/perhaps have less discretion than state prosecutors do. Also I think this varies a little by temperament/office culture but I haven't experienced USAOs being concerned with high case winning percentage (USAOs generally don't charge cases with proof problems, and also understand that sometimes you're going to lose. I've never seen anyone talk about a need to win more cases, or even track win/loss percentage - other people's, I mean; most people know these stats for themselves, in part b/c AUSAs don't go to trial *that* often. There are ways to screw up a case, certainly, but it's not usually by losing at trial). Finally, the reward for good performance is generally more work. To the extent there is a reward, it's the opportunity to take on cases in areas that interest you.

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los_blancos_v2
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Re: Gov. Questions

Post by los_blancos_v2 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:17 pm

Sink or swim, running cases and squaring up alone against opposing counsel as a new lawyer, passing supervision... sounds a hell of a lot more like an understaffed DA's office than anything else. (and it is a fun time)

Although don't merely walk, RUN from any office that cares about winning %.

Also, seek help.

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cavalier1138
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Re: Gov. Questions

Post by cavalier1138 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:42 pm

Which school would let you serve on eight journals?

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CS1775
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Re: Gov. Questions

Post by CS1775 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:53 am

AUSA anon wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:22 pm
I'm not really sure why you think anyone can answer a question that's posed so outlandishly. Most schools don't have 8 journals, let alone allow one student to work on all of them. Nor can you work for 6 different profs. It's like asking if you can learn to fly if you're Superman. Sure, probably, except you're not. Are you actually in law school yet?

In any case, I'm going to treat DOJ honors/AUSA as one question because you can only get hired out of law school as an AUSA through DOJ honors. A lot of DOJ honors is actually pretty ecumenical about schools, but they tend to favor high grades. So median is going to be a difficult hurdle to overcome. In particular, a federal clerkship gives you a huge boost for DOJ honors (some USAOs require a clerkship), and a federal clerkship at median from a T2 is going to be tough. (I guess I want to make sure what you're talking about - T-2 suggests tier two, i.e. ranked 50-100, but when you talk about your undergrad as T-4 and being a plus, I presume that's HYSP or something. So if you mean a tier 2 law school, you face a really really uphill climb from median. If you're using some idiosyncratic shorthand for YS, then your grades aren't likely to matter much and you wouldn't need all the extras you're talking about.)

I know less about state SG's offices, except that I don't think they tend to hire straight out of law school, either (unless you're talking about a state with an entry level honors equivalent - I think a couple do but it's not common). My sense is that this is the kind of job where connections will help you a lot, though I don't know what kind of grades would be expected along with that.

I also don't know exactly what you mean by prospect for mobility. USAOs are going to be a bit more cautious than what you seem to be looking for - you run your own cases, but as a new attorney you will have a fair amount of oversight, and at every level will be expected to comply with office policies/perhaps have less discretion than state prosecutors do. Also I think this varies a little by temperament/office culture but I haven't experienced USAOs being concerned with high case winning percentage (USAOs generally don't charge cases with proof problems, and also understand that sometimes you're going to lose. I've never seen anyone talk about a need to win more cases, or even track win/loss percentage - other people's, I mean; most people know these stats for themselves, in part b/c AUSAs don't go to trial *that* often. There are ways to screw up a case, certainly, but it's not usually by losing at trial). Finally, the reward for good performance is generally more work. To the extent there is a reward, it's the opportunity to take on cases in areas that interest you.
This is a legitimate question because once someone arrives at law school, it becomes somewhat obvious how things work. Law profs offer up RA positions to students through the unofficial network, e.g. at events where faculty and students are in close proximity, in private conversations, etc. Further, the average non-T14 law school has 1-3 journals. There's usually a law review, a moot court, a trial team (aka mock trial), and a secondary journal or two.

Also, undergrad grades and rank/reputation won't mean much beyond your first year when you don't have law school grades with one caveat: if your undergrad has a very large, very close-knit "old boy" network, then that will matter. Here's looking at you, Dartmouth College.

I'm assuming OP means "state solicitor general" by "state SG", and the only states who use that moniker are Michigan, New York, and Ohio. If you legitimately want that position, you should meet and talk to people who have held that title or work in that office.

As for AUSA/USAO positions, it's not easy to predict a law student's chances at being hired without more information such as the specific office or region you want to work for or your law school.

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presh
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Re: Gov. Questions

Post by presh » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:55 am

Even if a school would let you do 8 journals and 20 activities and you could somehow convince that many professors to hire you ( which is a pipe dream), all that would show prospective employers in combination with those grades is that a candidate does a lot of things badly. No employer wants that.

Goldie
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Re: Gov. Questions

Post by Goldie » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:36 am

CS1775 wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:53 am
I'm assuming OP means "state solicitor general" by "state SG", and the only states who use that moniker are Michigan, New York, and Ohio. If you legitimately want that position, you should meet and talk to people who have held that title or work in that office.
That's not true at all. State SG offices are very widespread now. See https://www.law.com/nationallawjournal/ ... l-warfare/ ("The bill also runs contrary to a decadeslong trend toward increasing the number of state solicitors general nationwide to improve the advocacy and professionalism of state litigators. Only 10 states now lack state solicitors.").

Goldie
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Re: Gov. Questions

Post by Goldie » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:43 am

AUSA anon wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:22 pm
I know less about state SG's offices, except that I don't think they tend to hire straight out of law school, either (unless you're talking about a state with an entry level honors equivalent - I think a couple do but it's not common). My sense is that this is the kind of job where connections will help you a lot, though I don't know what kind of grades would be expected along with that.
There are at least three entry-level state SG fellowships: California's Earl Warren Fellowship (https://oag.ca.gov/careers/warren/introduction); Ohio's Simon Karas Fellowship (https://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Car ... Fellowship); and Texas's Gregory Coleman Fellowship (https://www2.texasattorneygeneral.gov/a ... ellowships). But strong credentials are expected for each of these positions (usually at least a circuit clerkship + good grades from a good school). For career positions in these offices, similarly good credentials are often expected, and connections are very helpful too. Because state SGs often tend to work on high-profile litigation that aligns with the respective AG's politics, ideological compatibility is often very helpful, if not required.

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CS1775
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Re: Gov. Questions

Post by CS1775 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:37 pm

Goldie wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:36 am
CS1775 wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:53 am
I'm assuming OP means "state solicitor general" by "state SG", and the only states who use that moniker are Michigan, New York, and Ohio. If you legitimately want that position, you should meet and talk to people who have held that title or work in that office.
That's not true at all. State SG offices are very widespread now. See https://www.law.com/nationallawjournal/ ... l-warfare/ ("The bill also runs contrary to a decadeslong trend toward increasing the number of state solicitors general nationwide to improve the advocacy and professionalism of state litigators. Only 10 states now lack state solicitors.").
They're not where I am in New England, so I had to google it and Wikipedia just lists three. In New England, the state attorney general offices handle appeals except in Massachusetts. Mass is only on their second SG. Four out of six New England states also don't have intermediate appellate courts (RI, VT, NH, and Maine), to give you some context.

My point still stands - if this is a job the OP wants, network for it. Appellate practice for the state is obviously going to be selective, so it only makes sense to talk to people who've worked in the role or who work in the appellate office.

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