AUSA/USAO hiring

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AUSA/USAO hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:24 pm

Does anyone have any insight into how long it takes to hear back after an interview (either positive or negative)? I know everyone says that "it's the government" and so they move slowly, but is it reasonable to expect that offices might be looking to move faster with the change in the administration and potential hiring freeze?

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Re: AUSA/USAO hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 11, 2016 10:21 pm

Of the 3 I interviewed w/...

5 months from final to offer on where I ended up
3 weeks from offer to rejection from another
And still pending 6 months later from the 3rd

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Re: AUSA/USAO hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 11, 2016 10:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Of the 3 I interviewed w/...

5 months from final to offer on where I ended up
3 weeks from offer to rejection from another
And still pending 6 months later from the 3rd


OP here, thanks for the numbers. How long did it take them to contact you between interview rounds and/or ask for references?

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Re: AUSA/USAO hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 12, 2016 12:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Of the 3 I interviewed w/...

5 months from final to offer on where I ended up
3 weeks from offer to rejection from another
And still pending 6 months later from the 3rd


OP here, thanks for the numbers. How long did it take them to contact you between interview rounds and/or ask for references?


Office I accepted with
3 weeks from application to initial interview
3 hours from initial to final round interview invitation
4 months from final round to asking for references
1 month (give or take) from that to offer

Rejection (Office #2)
2 months from application to initial
5 hours form initial to interview for next round
3 weeks from that interview to rejection letter
(never requested references)

Still Pending (Soft rejection)
3 weeks from application to interview
45 minutes from round 1 to invite for round 2
2 weeks from round 2 to invitation to final
Final Round---> radio silence

Anonymous User
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Re: AUSA/USAO hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:28 am

SDNY takes about 4-8 months (2 rounds to 3 rounds depending)
EDNY takes about a year (3 rounds)
DNJ takes about a year (3 rounds)
EDVA takes about 6 months (2 rounds)
D.DC takes 4-6 months (2 rounds)

Each of these offices accepts applications separate from USAjobs.

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Re: AUSA/USAO hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:45 am

Conversely D. Colo. went from "referred to hiring official" to final offer (not to me, alas) in about month - 1 week to being asked for a writing sample; first round interview notice 6 days later; first round interview about a week later; notice that they'd made a final offer about 10 days later. (They did say they were moving VERY quickly.)

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Re: AUSA/USAO hiring

Postby newlawgrad » Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:23 pm

Discussed elsewhere to no avail but does anyone have any insight as to possible freeze exemptions due to public safety?

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Re: AUSA/USAO hiring

Postby newlawgrad » Tue Nov 15, 2016 2:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:SDNY takes about 4-8 months (2 rounds to 3 rounds depending)
EDNY takes about a year (3 rounds)
DNJ takes about a year (3 rounds)
EDVA takes about 6 months (2 rounds)
D.DC takes 4-6 months (2 rounds)

Each of these offices accepts applications separate from USAjobs.


This is very helpful. Are applications just sent to the office unsolicited?

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Re: AUSA/USAO hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:22 pm

Slightly different question: I've read that to ultimately get an AUSA position, one should apply every time there is an opening, and that the repeated applications ultimately build credibility. What if you are a year or two short of requested experience years? Is it worth firing off an application to build credibility, or would it annoy hirers that you applied without the requisite experience?

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Re: AUSA/USAO hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:24 pm

I don't know how it would work for the ones taking applications separately from USAjobs, but I'm pretty sure that if you apply through USAjobs and you don't have the required years of experience it will just kick out your app and not even send it to the reviewing office. So I don't know if it will really help you in any way.

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Re: AUSA/USAO hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I don't know how it would work for the ones taking applications separately from USAjobs, but I'm pretty sure that if you apply through USAjobs and you don't have the required years of experience it will just kick out your app and not even send it to the reviewing office. So I don't know if it will really help you in any way.


Fair enough. I'm referencing an opening not through USAjobs.

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Re: AUSA/USAO hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:57 pm

I don't think it would hurt you, then. It still might not get to the people who actually review apps (vs an HR person weeding stuff out), but I don't think it's going to annoy anyone.

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Re: AUSA/USAO hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 16, 2016 3:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I don't think it would hurt you, then. It still might not get to the people who actually review apps (vs an HR person weeding stuff out), but I don't think it's going to annoy anyone.


Thank you for your advice

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Re: AUSA/USAO hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 17, 2016 8:56 pm

Is it OK to follow up with the HR contact if you haven't heard anything after 2-3 weeks, or is that too soon? Or should you assume soft rejection?

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Re: AUSA/USAO hiring

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:20 pm

Too soon.

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Re: AUSA/USAO hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:15 pm

Bump. Thanks to those that posted above.

Any other anecdotal evidence regarding hiring process (particularly, for USAO's not in NY, CA, DC/VA, or IL)? Time from application to interview(s), interview to offer, offer to starting work, etc? Are there any USAO's with only one interview or are two/three interviews the norm? Any info on interview questions/format... I haven't been able to find much?

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Re: AUSA/USAO hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:21 pm

All the timeline stuff can/does vary by office. Right now, I think offices are trying to hire quickly because of the pending change in administration, but that's not always the case. Re: offer to starting work, if you haven't already undergone a federal background check, it's going to be at least a few months to get clearance to start. I have most commonly seen two rounds of interviews, usually the first can be done by phone/video conferencing, and then one in person.

Questions are pretty much what you'd expect - why law school, why prosecution, why federal, tell us about yourself/your experience (especially trial experience), where do you see yourself in 10 years, what questions do you have for us. I had one office pose hypos but they sent me the hypos ahead of time so I could prepare. At the non-SDNY/EDNY types of offices you'll get asked about ties. Usually (at least, in my experience) the first interview is a panel interview with ~5 people (depending on the office), then the second one is a meeting with the USA, then going around and talking to line AUSAs (usually people you can ask questions of as much as them interviewing you).

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Re: AUSA/USAO hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:50 pm

Thank you... much appreciated. If you receive offer before inauguration or hiring freeze and FBI starts a background check, does that insulate you from having the offer pulled due to a potential freeze? Is that why you think USAO's are moving quickly?

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Re: AUSA/USAO hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:55 pm

Honestly not sure anyone knows at this point; I think that's the hope, yes.

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Re: AUSA/USAO hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:38 pm

Does anyone know how hiring committees typically operate? What are they looking for, etc? Also, do committees typically wait until it finishes reviewing a bunch of resumes to schedule interviews or do committees schedule interviews on a rolling basis?

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Re: AUSA/USAO hiring

Postby andythefir » Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thank you... much appreciated. If you receive offer before inauguration or hiring freeze and FBI starts a background check, does that insulate you from having the offer pulled due to a potential freeze? Is that why you think USAO's are moving quickly?


Trump has specifically excepted public safety from the freeze, which, according to this website, has historically included criminal AUSAs, if not necessarily civil AUSAs. The USAO website also keeps posting new jobs, which would make no sense if they were going to freeze. None of trump's law-and-order rhetoric makes any sense at all if it includes cuts to the ability to actually enforce the criminal laws. Especially on border jurisdictions.

As for the more general question, every office will be different. I've seen a few where ad>panel interview>callback happen within a few weeks. Others are posting the vacancy weeks or even months before the first panel interview, and then more weeks/months. A friend even did one where they got a panel interview, heard nothing, then the office re-posted the vacancy, and dragged several months before they hired anybody.

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Re: AUSA/USAO hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:45 am

FWIW, the offices I know of that are posting jobs aren't really sure what Trump is going to do and are posting jobs in part in the hope that the further along the process is, the more likely it will be exempt from whatever happens. None of Trump's people are in place yet so I don't think anyone knows how this is going to play out.

I tend to agree that cutting criminal AUSAs doesn't fit with Trump's priorities. But I think everyone needs to stop speculating and just wait and see.

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Re: AUSA/USAO hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone know how hiring committees typically operate? What are they looking for, etc? Also, do committees typically wait until it finishes reviewing a bunch of resumes to schedule interviews or do committees schedule interviews on a rolling basis?

Bueller? Bueller?

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Re: AUSA/USAO hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone know how hiring committees typically operate? What are they looking for, etc? Also, do committees typically wait until it finishes reviewing a bunch of resumes to schedule interviews or do committees schedule interviews on a rolling basis?

Bueller? Bueller?


They don't want to have to babysit you. You have to be able to express a reflexive competence, either in your demeanor or in things you can point to ("I've done X number of felony jury trials, Y number of appeals, clerked for Z judge"). USAOs I've interviewed with have been pretty flexible with the credentials/experience they'll call in, but that's usually what they're looking for.

There are generally 2 paths to the USAO. 1 is a state DA/AG (I'd recommend rural over urban because urban DAs tend to do way fewer trials, stay pidgeonholed forever, and get way less independence), the other is time in a big firm. State DA can wake from a dead sleep and go to trial, but some have accumulated bad habits and/or never had proper training at any point in their career. Big firm experience can mean lights-out writing/training, but there would be a learning curve to doing trials and handling one's own caseload. Your best bet in an interview is to get out in front of those liabilities from whichever you're coming from.

As far as the specific hiring process for any given office, no 2 are going to be the same, and every one will vary tremendously based on the background of the USA.

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Re: AUSA/USAO hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone know how hiring committees typically operate? What are they looking for, etc? Also, do committees typically wait until it finishes reviewing a bunch of resumes to schedule interviews or do committees schedule interviews on a rolling basis?

Bueller? Bueller?

Like the other anon said, it's going to vary by office. My experience has been that offices that actually want to hire for a specific opening don't do rolling apps - they post a job (usually on USAjobs), set a deadline, get in all the resumes, review them all, interview a selection, make a cut to finalists, re-interview finalists, call references, and choose. (They might ask for a writing sample up front or make another cut based on writing sample.) It can happen very quickly.

There are offices that have a kind of generic "here's how to apply" page on their website (SDNY for instance) and I suspect they go about things very differently - that might be more of a "rolling" processs. I don't think this is as common as hiring only for specific opportunities, though that may just be my experience. (I think people here who haven't worked for a USAO tend to extrapolate from SDNY but they're pretty unique. But again that could just be my experience skewing my perspective.)

As to what they're looking for - yeah, I'd agree with the above.



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