As a general rule, during their first four years of service with this Office, Assistant United States Attorneys "rotate" through a series of assignments, each of which lasts approximately six to twelve months. However, Assistants who join the Office with particular expertise may accelerate through the process. Office needs may also result in an adjustment from the general schedule. The rotation system provides training in District of Columbia criminal law and procedure, allows Assistants to develop and hone their trial and oral advocacy skills, and offers exposure to the myriad of issues raised by the wide variety of cases the Office handles.
The first assignments in the Office are typically in the Appellate Division or the Misdemeanor Unit of either the General Crimes Section or the Sex Offense and Domestic Violence Section in the Superior Court Division. After completing a stint in one of the Misdemeanor Units, an AUSA usually moves to the Felony Unit of the General Crimes Section to try felony narcotics and gun cases and then to the Felony Major Crimes Unit to prosecute violent crime cases. In order to give AUSAs exposure to our federal court practice, many AUSAs rotate through one of three sections in our Criminal Division. Some Assistants may also spend time serving as Community Prosecutors in the Community Prosecution Unit of our Felony Major Crimes Section. The length and order of an AUSA's assignments to the various sections depends upon the staffing needs of the Office.
Experienced Assistants are eligible for assignments in the more specialized sections of the Office. In the Criminal Division, these sections include the Violent Crime and Narcotics Trafficking Section, the National Security Section, and the Fraud and Public Corruption Section. The Homicide Section, the Felony Major Crimes Section and the Sex Offense and Domestic Violence Section are specialized sections in our Superior Court Division. Vacancies in these sections are generally filled with seasoned AUSAs who have completed the office rotation.
Civil Division vacancies may also be filled by Assistants from the criminal divisions who have completed the rotation; other Civil Division vacancies may be filled by direct hires in the Civil Division.