Law School Discussion

Law Students => Job Search => Topic started by: theor on November 15, 2008, 09:36:20 PM

Title: .
Post by: theor on November 15, 2008, 09:36:20 PM
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Title: Re: So you've bombed OCI at an elite school - come here for advice and support
Post by: Changed Name on November 16, 2008, 09:13:17 AM
Hey, Theor.

I was wondering if you're still working as a Federal prosecutor and was wondering if you could speak to the job a little bit (do you like working there?  What type of work do you do?  Is it interesting?).

Thanks.
Title: Re: So you've bombed OCI at an elite school - come here for advice and support
Post by: botbot on November 16, 2008, 12:34:34 PM
DOJ has always been the savior for top students that couldn't pull biglaw.

Light workload + impossible-to-lose cases = great fun.
Title: Re: So you've bombed OCI at an elite school - come here for advice and support
Post by: ,.,.,.;.,.,. on November 16, 2008, 12:42:59 PM
DOJ has always been the savior for top students that couldn't pull biglaw.

Light workload + impossible-to-lose cases = great fun.

Really?  I get the sense that DoJ is insanely competitive in comparison to a random BigLaw position.  I know that many of my peers consider it a "dream job."
Title: Re: So you've bombed OCI at an elite school - come here for advice and support
Post by: heartbreaker on November 16, 2008, 01:12:27 PM
I work with a bunch of lawyers who are former federal prosecutors - at least in NYC (Southern and Eastern districts), the hours are more or less backbreaking, and the jobs are nearly impossible to get. The impossible-to-lose cases thing is pretty spot on though.

I'm sure this differs from market to market.
Title: Re: So you've bombed OCI at an elite school - come here for advice and support
Post by: goaliechica on November 16, 2008, 01:14:02 PM
DOJ has always been the savior for top students that couldn't pull biglaw.

Light workload + impossible-to-lose cases = great fun.

Really?  I get the sense that DoJ is insanely competitive in comparison to a random BigLaw position.  I know that many of my peers consider it a "dream job."

This is my sense as well. At least, DOJ Honors programs. My sense is that you have to either have great credentials and get in through the honors programs, or lots of relevant experience and get hired as a lateral (if that's the right term for it). The OP's experience seems anomalous, but he probably know more information about this than I do.

ETA: My observation was that the hours depended entirely on your section. Some sections litigate a LOT, and those people work really insane hours. Some sections don't go to trial much, and their hours are much more chill.
Title: Re: So you've bombed OCI at an elite school - come here for advice and support
Post by: botbot on November 16, 2008, 01:21:01 PM
DOJ has always been the savior for top students that couldn't pull biglaw.

Light workload + impossible-to-lose cases = great fun.

Really?  I get the sense that DoJ is insanely competitive in comparison to a random BigLaw position.  I know that many of my peers consider it a "dream job."

This is my sense as well. At least, DOJ Honors programs. My sense is that you have to either have great credentials and get in through the honors programs, or lots of relevant experience and get hired as a lateral (if that's the right term for it). The OP's experience seems anomalous, but he probably know more information about this than I do.

ETA: My observation was that the hours depended entirely on your section. Some sections litigate a LOT, and those people work really insane hours. Some sections don't go to trial much, and their hours are much more chill.

It was less a commentary on the competitiveness and more a commentary on the timeline + mostly inflation proof hiring class size.
Title: Re: So you've bombed OCI at an elite school - come here for advice and support
Post by: goaliechica on November 16, 2008, 03:07:03 PM
My sense is that you have to either have great credentials and get in through the honors programs, or lots of relevant experience and get hired as a lateral (if that's the right term for it). The OP's experience seems anomalous, but he probably know more information about this than I do.

You really know very little about my experience, even from what I've posted on this site.

This whole thread has gone way off topic.

No need to get snippy. I was taking issue with botbot's comment that DOJ has  "always been the savior" for students who "couldn't pull biglaw." That seemed misleading to me, based on my experience.
Title: Re: So you've bombed OCI at an elite school - come here for advice and support
Post by: ,.,.,.;.,.,. on November 16, 2008, 05:36:39 PM
I'm not trying to be snappy, but I think a "paycheck" can mean many things.  I would be happy with a modest salary that allowed me to pay down my debt and enjoy a decent standard of living; to be fair, I never said anything about making millions.  I think you would agree that that's what you want(ed), too.

Could you talk about the type of litigation that your friends do as opposed to what you do?  A civil action is largely a civil action, no?  Do they do more discovery?  More eager to settle?  Do they fight at the appellate level more often?  Judgment as a matter of law?

What would be the difference between litigating for the DoJ and, say, litigating at Cravath?

Thank you.  I appreciate the comments, as per usual.  It's nice to have someone older talking about the legal world.  I'm sorry if my previous comments came across the wrong way.

<-- taking a break from working on Bigelow memo.  Maybe that brings up memories for you.   :)
Title: Re: So you've bombed OCI at an elite school - come here for advice and support
Post by: Jets on November 16, 2008, 05:58:16 PM
What would be the difference between litigating for the DoJ and, say, litigating at Cravath?

It sounds like he actually gets to be involved in the litigation at the DOJ, rather than just watch a partner do everything important, at Cravath. (Which isn't really a firm I personally would want go to, if I was hoping to do litigation, which I am. They're known more for their corporate work, I think.)

I'm not going there, but CSM actually has a very strong litigation department.
Title: Re: So you've bombed OCI at an elite school - come here for advice and support
Post by: nerfco on November 16, 2008, 06:12:06 PM
I'm not going there, but CSM actually has a very strong litigation department.

My bad--didn't interview for NY, and was going off second-hand information.
Title: Re: So you've bombed OCI at an elite school - come here for advice and support
Post by: goaliechica on November 16, 2008, 07:31:27 PM
I got rejected by DOJ Honors twice. 

how exactly did you get rejected by DOJ Honors twice?

By applying twice and never hearing back from them.  I may have applied a third time.  I don't remember if I applied 1L year.

Er. I know you're the actual DOJ employee and everything, but you can only apply to DOJ honors as a 3L, to start upon graduation. 2Ls can apply to DOJ SLIP (the paid Summer Legal Internship Program) and 1Ls can apply to the DOJ Volunteer Legal Intern Program.

Not that this matters. Just because it seems like people are being confused. :)


<----not too old for smileys

ETA: So it was different back in the day. That explains it!
Title: Re: So you've bombed OCI at an elite school - come here for advice and support
Post by: botbot on November 16, 2008, 07:55:38 PM
If anyone thinks DOJ is the savior for those who couldn't get biglaw, think again.  DOJ is harder to get than law firm work. 

1.  DOJ Honors hiring timeline (3L) often "saves" those who had the numbers for biglaw but, for what ever reason, struck out.
2.  DOJ Honors is easier to get than some firm work and harder to get than other firm work.
Title: Re: So you've bombed OCI at an elite school - come here for advice and support
Post by: ,.,.,.;.,.,. on November 16, 2008, 10:58:28 PM
Sorry, man.  I guess I just project too much onto others.
Title: Re: So you've bombed OCI at an elite school - come here for advice and support
Post by: nerfco on November 17, 2008, 03:50:26 AM
Man, these students are right under your nose. How many times do I have to tell you that not everyone at UC wants to make market at biglaw? These generalizations are aggravating and patently false -- based on not opening your eyes to the realities of our classmates (I can probably count 15 offhand who have explicitly said that they want PI careers). The upshot for everyone is that when you're applying to Kirkland we won't be competing with you, and when we're applying for DOJ (or whatever) you won't be competing with us.

I agree with this completely, so long as we're counting things like the DOJ/other government work as PI. I know many people wishing to go straight into PI or government upon graduation, and even more people who plan to work for biglaw for a while to pay off debts, and then hope to find the most rewarding career they can (and I don't mean financially rewarding).

The DOJ Honors program is definitely the main goal, and not just some backup, for a fairly large number of people, far more than will actually make it in.
Title: Re: So you've bombed OCI at an elite school - come here for advice and support
Post by: botbot on November 17, 2008, 08:01:01 AM
Just so the spectators are clear:  Don't believe botbot.  I was being facetious.  Not only is it incorrect, but it would be a bad plan to just think that you can be "saved" by DOJ.  That would be an extremely low probability.  If you bombed out of OCI at a top school, timing wasn't your problem.  You could do 5 more years of law school and 4 more OCIs and still have the same problem.  Is DOJ less selective than O'Melveny and Meyers?  No.  Are they worse at picking up your faults?  No.  Do they ask easier questions or have lower expectations?  No.  Will you do better in an interview with them just because it is later?  No.  You need to change your strategy, not your timeline.

I get it.  You are taking the 'saves' personally.  Everything you wrote above is true, yet everything I wrote is also true.

Quote
DOJ still does most of its hiring through 2L summers.  You've missed out on that just as you did for private practice.  There are a number of things available as a 3L, including law firms and government, but none of them are looking to "save" you and they are going to be distrustful of you since you didn't work there as a 2nd summer.  You can save yourself, however, and you have plenty of time to do it, but you certainly can't do it with the attitude that everything is a back-up.

I'm pretty sure ~50% DOJ honors were SLIPers in 2007 (although I would guess you have better access to that info).

Anyways, you are defensive for no reason and remind me why every non-DOJ-H AUSA hates DOJ-Hers.  DOJ Honors is super prestigious and difficult to obtain.  You are a feminine hygiene product and a number of DOJ Honors entrees bombed OCI just like you (you are not special).  Congrats?
Title: Re: So you've bombed OCI at an elite school - come here for advice and support
Post by: goaliechica on November 17, 2008, 08:59:41 AM
I'll bite with an actual question for the OP and see how it goes...

You understandably can't comment on your specific section, but sounds like you have a pretty good sense of what the different sections of the DOJ are like. Broadly speaking, do you have any sense of what DOJ work is available outside of D.C. that has the same level of challenging and interesting work that you are doing?
Title: Re: So you've bombed OCI at an elite school - come here for advice and support
Post by: ,.,.,.;.,.,. on November 17, 2008, 10:53:50 AM
jesus this guy's an a-hole.

the OP?
Title: Re: So you've bombed OCI at an elite school - come here for advice and support
Post by: botbot on November 17, 2008, 11:23:33 AM
No, you see, DOJ did not save me.  It rejected me. Twice.  I was an idiot in law school.  Have I not been completely up front about that?  I am special, but only insofar as most people here did not screw up in law school.  I didn't clerk and I didn't work at or summer in biglaw.  That puts me in the minority here as far.

And you weren't supposed to read that whole section.  Yet, you come on here and post that "~50%" stuff with nothing but your own speculation to support it.  Do you think you are really helping other law students with pure conjecture when there is someone who actually has been through it?  Can you at least state that you know two people and one of them was SLIP and the other wasn't?

And, I love honor's hires, as does everyone else here.  The vast majority of non-honors laterals here came from v50 firms (we really raided O'Melveny this year, and Latham is a close second), graduated from t6 (mostly Harvard), and have clerkships under their belts.  The honors hires are generally younger versions of them.  They are really amazing.  You, on the otherhand, insist on describing them as biglaw rejects based on nothing but pure speculation.  You know, you don't offend me at all.  I don't have any ego to inflate here.  If I've screwed up, I'll try and post it here so that others learn from it.  However, please try and refrain from insulting your peers who are applying to the DOJ with your assumptions.

I am not being defensive for no reason.  You make a lot of false statements and baseless allegations.  Your statements simply need correction so that other law students aren't misled.  I am actually unsure why you feel the need to continue to do so.

The H-Panel antitrust materials this year had the ~50% figure.  It isn't pure conjecture, but it is in a stack of materials up at work and I am in another city (take it at face value because I can't prove it, but it is accurate).  I was hoping you would try to prove me wrong so that you could find the materials.

I didn't say they were all biglaw rejects, just some of them.  It is a super prestigious gig that happens to save some biglaw rejects.  No big deal.  There are plenty of people in biglaw who tried to get DOJ-H and didn't.

The DOJ-H guys that I have run across have been douchebags (not in the biglaw wealth overcompensation way, more in the intellectual overcompensation way).  Not that this is uncommon in our field.

Also, I don't know what office you are at, but the four I am familiar with run a balance of hyper prestigious laterals and local DA guys.
Title: Re: So you've bombed OCI at an elite school - come here for advice and support
Post by: nealric on November 17, 2008, 12:35:01 PM
This thread should be officially renamed:

"So you've bombed OCI at an elite school- come here so I can crush your hopes of working for the DOJ"
Title: Re: So you've bombed OCI at an elite school - come here for advice and support
Post by: botbot on November 17, 2008, 01:59:16 PM
if it is flame, it is a pretty boring one.

this place sucks more and more.

Credited.