Becoming an Assistant US Attorney: A Guide

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An assistant United States attorney (AUSA) is an attorney employed by the federal government to prosecute criminal cases in U.S. district courts. The position is prestigious, and the job can be very rewarding. However, the position is also very demanding and requires a high degree of dedication and professionalism.


The qualifications for an AUSA vary from district to district, but generally applicants must have a Juris Doctor degree from an accredited law school and at least three years of professional legal experience. Additionally, applicants must be a member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of a state, the District of Columbia, or a United States territory.

Application Process

Once the qualifications for the position have been met, the applicant must complete an application packet and submit it to the United States Attorney’s Office in the jurisdiction where they would like to work. The application packet must include a cover letter, a resume, and a set of writing samples. Once the application has been submitted, the applicant can expect to be contacted for an interview.

Realities of Being an AUSA

Being an AUSA is a demanding job. An AUSA will be expected to manage a large caseload, prepare cases for trial, and represent the government in court. An AUSA will also be required to work long hours, often times working late into the evening and on weekends.

It is also important to note that AUSAs are considered to be “at-will” employees, meaning that they can be terminated at any time for any reason, with or without cause.


Being an AUSA is a prestigious and rewarding job. It requires a high degree of dedication and professionalism, and it is important to note that AUSAs are “at-will” employees. There are approximately 5,000 AUSAs in the United States, and they are responsible for prosecuting criminal cases in U.S. district courts. To become an AUSA, one must meet the qualifications, complete an application packet, and be interviewed.

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