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Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Positions

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Positions

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C. has recurring openings for its Superior Court Division Special AUSA (SAUSA) detail programs.  All attorneys, including newly hired Honors Attorneys, are eligible.  We are offering our standard, shortened, and split programs starting on July 15, 2024, with other details starting on October 7, 2024, and January 13, 2025.  (This detail is not for cases involving the breach of the United States Capitol Building.)


The first option is our standard detail that will start on July 15, 2024, and end on February 7, 2025.  The detail begins with the same three-week Basic Training course that our newly hired AUSAs attend. The course is an excellent blend of intense academic classes (e.g., evidence, discovery), trial skills, and hands-on experience, including evidence workshops and mock trials that are critiqued by seasoned Assistant United States Attorneys with years of trial experience.  At the conclusion of Basic Training, SAUSAs are assigned to either our Misdemeanor Section or our Domestic Violence Misdemeanor Section in the Superior Court Division.  While in the Superior Court Division, SAUSAs will handle their own caseloads; draft and argue motions; handle plea negotiations; conduct plea hearings; meet with and prepare victims and witnesses; first-chair bench trials; advocate at sentencings; etc.  Most days include court appearances.  There is no difference between a regular AUSA and a SAUSA in terms of duties, responsibilities, and training.  Because the U.S. Attorney’s Office also serves as the local prosecutor for the District of Columbia, we prosecute thousands of cases each year.  Our misdemeanor-level caseloads include simple assaults; threats; possession of prohibited weapons; drug possession; assaults on police officers; theft; destruction of property; hate/bias crimes; child abuse; credit card fraud; etc.  We do not handle traffic; DUI; or juvenile cases.

Second Half of the Standard Detail:  During the second half of the standard detail (November 4, 2024 – February 7, 2025), the SAUSA will be given more advanced litigation opportunities while in their assigned Misdemeanor or DV Section.  


The second option is a shorter detail in the Superior Court Division that will start on July 15, 2024, and end on November 1, 2024.  This program begins the same way as the standard detail with our Basic Training program followed by assignments to either our Misdemeanor Section or our Domestic Violence Misdemeanor Section.  While SAUSAs in the shortened detail will receive the same training and handle the same types of cases as the SAUSAs in the standard detail, the more advanced litigation opportunities are not part of this program.


The third option is a split detail.  After completing the shortened detail in the Superior Court Division, and with advance agreement between the USAO-DC and the SAUSA’s component, DOJ attorneys are eligible to be considered for a transfer to our Criminal, Civil, Appellate, or Special Proceedings Division for six months (November 4, 2024 – May 2, 2025).  The Division Chief must approve the transfer and the SAUSA must have the requisite security clearance.

Finally, the start and end dates for the standard and shortened details are based on the start dates of our Basic Training programs to ensure smooth case transitions with incoming and outgoing AUSAs and SAUSAS.  We have classes that begin in January, April, July, and October.  The USAO-DC provides SAUSAs with laptops, iPhones, and a USAO email address upon onboarding. 

Please encourage any interested applicants to reach out with questions.  The potential SAUSA may also come to the Office to “shadow” for a morning.  A resume; written supervisory approval; a joint Memorandum of Understanding; and verification of security clearance will be required.  A Tier 2 Background Investigation (BI) is sufficient for SAUSAs who are serving only in Superior Court.  This is a non-reimbursable detail; the SAUSA’s agency will continue to pay the SAUSA’s salary and benefits.

If you have additional questions about our program, please reach out to either Jean Sexton, our Director of the Office of Professional Development and Training, at, (202) 252-7735, or Alan Boyd, our Assistant Director for the Office of Professional Development and Training, at, (202) 815-9021.

Updated May 16, 2024