An assistant United States attorney, colloquially known as a federal prosecutor, is an official career civil service position working for the federal government of the United States in the United States Department of Justice, assigned to a local district of the United States Attorney's Office under the supervision of the regional U.S. Attorney. In 2008, there were approximately 5,300 assistant United States attorneys employed by the United States Government. Though colloquially known as "prosecutors", not all assistant U.S. attorneys work in Criminal Divisions, and may work in Civil, Appellate, or other divisions. As of 2014[update] they earned a starting base salary of $50,287, adjusted significantly for local cost of living.
Assistant United States attorneys working in a criminal division generally handle large case loads; however, as most federal prosecutions end in plea bargains, they will typically try only two and six cases annually.
Special Assistant United States Attorney
Uncompensated Special assistant United States attorneys are unpaid volunteers; the positions carry the same duties as assistant United States attorneys but are typically held by young lawyers seeking to establish "professional credibility".
Special Assistant United States Attorney designations are also given to prosecutors who are employed by another agency, such as the Social Security Administration, United States Postal Service, or Federal Bureau of Investigations, but work alongside AUSAs to prosecute mainly the cases of their agencies. They are paid by that agency and seconded to the United States Attorneys Office for a set period of time. This designation may also be given to an AUSA who is seconded to a different district or from main justice to a specific office, or even a local prosecutor or enforcement attorney who is assisting in a joint investigation and prosecution.
- "ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTORNEY". justice.gov. U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Richman, Daniel. "Political Control of Federal Prosecutions – Looking Back And Looking Forward". nellco.org. Columbia Law School. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Reid, Stephanie. "The Role of the Assistant U.S. Attorney". The Role of the Assistant U.S. Attorney. Houston Chronicle. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Baranouski, Elise. "The Fast Track to a U.S. Attorney's Office" (PDF). harvard.edu. Harvard Law School. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Danzig, Christopher (January 26, 2012). "The DOJ Wants You, Experienced Attorneys — To Work for Free". Above the Law. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Davidson, Joe (July 18, 2013). "'Special' assistant U.S. attorneys work for free". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
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