Honors Program

When it comes to the debate over the wisdom of going to law school, I fall somewhere in between. I’m not as optimistic as Jordan Weissmann of Slate, but I’m not as pessimistic as Elie Mystal and Joe Patrice, two of my colleagues here at Above the Law.

Back in June, when I reviewed employment data for the law school class of 2013, I sounded some cautiously optimistic notes. I wondered whether a stable job market and shrinking law school classes could produce better employment outcomes for many law grads.

Could the jobs picture be even brighter than “stable”? Check out what looks like a big expansion of the U.S. Department of Justice’s prestigious Attorney General’s Honors Program, along with other opportunities to work as a lawyer for the federal government….

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The federal government isn’t exactly in rapid growth mode right now (which may explain the pain of D.C. law firms). But if you’re interested in working for the government, some opportunities still remain.

Take the Honors Program of the U.S. Department of Justice. As noted on the program’s website, “[t]he Attorney General’s Honors Program is the largest and most prestigious federal entry-level attorney hiring program of its kind.”

If you’re a 3L or law clerk who’s interested in the Honors Program, you need to submit your application materials very soon — about a week from now. The Honors Program application deadline is SEPTEMBER 3, 2013 (and note that the Labor Day holiday falls during this period, which could affect your ability to obtain transcripts or contact references). For complete application information and the full hiring timeline, see the DOJ website.

We wish you good luck — because you’ll definitely need it….

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Last Friday afternoon, we ran a fun little item: a celebrity sighting of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor at the grocery store. Judging from the strong traffic, you enjoyed the story.

So we’re happy to bring you some additional information. As it turns out, the owner of the grocery store in question is an attorney. She left a high-powered legal career to launch her business….

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In today’s increasingly interconnected world, economic opportunities present themselves at every turn. For example, you could leave the practice of law to start an import/export business. There’s money to be made, and satisfaction to be had, in taking great goods from one country and bringing them over to a new market. Free trade is a beautiful thing (unless you’re unskilled labor).

But how do you figure out what products to import or export? Today’s lawyer turned importer entered the business after buying the product for herself while on vacation. She checked it out with a friend and was blown away by the quality.

What kind of product are we talking about? Well, she started her legal career working for the U.S. Department of Justice, and now she’s a pot dealer….

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Here at Above the Law, we try to keep our readers posted about good job opportunities. We have a jobs board where readers can review employment listings, as well as a special Job of the Week. And we mention specific programs from time to time, such as the Louis D. Brandeis Honors Attorney Program at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (which, by the way, seeks experienced lawyers too).

But what if you’re a conservative who’s not down with the CFPB, the brainchild of that magnificent liberal lioness, Elizabeth Warren? Well, you can always apply to the Justice Department’s Honors Program. People on both sides of the aisle can agree that prosecuting those who violate federal law is a good thing.

Today we have some news about the DOJ Honors Program….

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Thanksgiving is just a few days away. But at the U.S. Department of Justice, there might not be a lot to be thankful for. Most of the DOJ-related news floating around right now is depressing.

A court-appointed investigator, Henry F. Schuelke, just issued what the New York Times described as a “scathing” report on one of the DOJ’s most prominent prosecutions in recent years. Schuelke concluded that the prosecution the late Senator Ted Stevens “was ‘permeated’ by the prosecutors’ ‘serious, widespread and at times intentional’ illegal concealment of evidence that would have helped Mr. Stevens defend himself at his 2008 trial.” Ouch.

(The good news, from the Department’s perspective: a recommendation against criminal prosecution of the DOJ officials involved in the case. That’s something to be thankful for, I suppose.)

Alas, that’s not all for depressing dispatches out of the Department. Let’s discussing the hiring freeze, and the state of Honors Program offers….

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Just a friendly reminder to our 3L and law clerk readers: if you’re interested in the Honors Program of the U.S. Department of Justice, you need to submit your application materials very soon — about a week from now. (And note that the Labor Day holiday falls during this period, which could affect your ability to obtain transcripts or contact references.)

As we previously mentioned, the Honors Program application deadline is SEPTEMBER 6, 2011. For complete application information and the full hiring timeline, see the DOJ website.

We wish you good luck — because you’ll definitely need it….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Reminder: DOJ Honors Program Applications Are Due Soon”

As far as we know, the hiring freeze at the U.S. Department of Justice is still on. This shouldn’t come as a shock, given all the recent political logjam concerning the debt ceiling and the federal budget.

When it comes to job opportunities at the Justice Department, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that the DOJ Honors Program is still hiring — and is now accepting applications.

So consider this your friendly reminder from Above the Law, like the ones we’ve done in years past: if you want to apply to the Honors Program, accurately described as “the largest and most prestigious federal entry-level attorney hiring program of its kind,” then you need to get your materials in by SEPTEMBER 6, 2011. For complete application information and the full hiring timeline, see the DOJ website.

Now, the bad news (because there’s always bad news). It seems that the Honors Program might be extra-small this time around….

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Congratulations to successful applicants to the U.S. Department of Justice’s prestigious and highly selective Honors Program. As noted on the program’s website, the DOJ Honors Program “is the only way that the Department hires entry-level attorneys.” (Otherwise you have to clerk or practice elsewhere first — as I did, before joining the DOJ as an AUSA.)

Offers for the Honors Program have actually been going out for a little while now. We first heard of offers being issued a little over a week ago, around November 12. In the past few days, though, we’ve been getting many more reports. And according to the list of key dates on the program website, now is the time for offers to be issued.

So, which divisions — or “hiring components,” in DOJ speak — are making offers?

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Or maybe news you could have used. Apologies for not reminding you, as we’ve done in past years, about the application deadline for the Department of Justice’s Honors Program. The application deadline for the 2010-2011 program fell on September 7, 2010. [FN1]

(If you’re not already familiar with how the Honors Program works, read our prior post or visit the official DOJ website. The short description: “The highly competitive Honors Program is the only way that the Department hires entry-level attorneys.” Most applicants to the program are 3Ls and judicial law clerks.)

Yesterday, if you checked the DOJ website, you could find out whether you were selected for an interview (although you couldn’t tell which DOJ component had selected you). This morning, official interview notifications went out to selected candidates. To those of you selected for interviews, congratulations! Feel free to crow about your success or trade tips with other interviewees in the comments to this open thread.

Getting picked for an Honors Program interview is quite an accomplishment, especially given the still-tough legal job market and the many 3Ls and law clerks searching for jobs. Word on the street is that the DOJ received 3,000 applications for an estimated 160 vacancies in the Honors Program. Says a source: “[T]hat’s nearly 20 applicants per position. Which is actually pretty low by comparison with clerkship apps, I bet, but still daunting.”

If you didn’t get selected for an interview, or if you missed the application deadline altogether, don’t despair. Here’s another opportunity for graduating law students who are interested in working for the federal government. And the deadline has not yet passed — but it’s fast approaching….

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And Open Thread: DOJ Honors Interview Decisions

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