DOJ attorneys are on the federal government pay scale just like most other federal employees. They start at GS-11 and obviously can go higher based on experience. The pay starts around $50,000, depending on location and a few other criteria.
The DOJ is extremely competitive, particularly the criminal law division which is among the most prestigious. Government hiring is a lot less grade-dependent than BigLaw so experience is paramount. Graduating from a top school is key for a job right out of law school. It's also possible to work your way up into those positions after a few years in the private sector or doing other public sector work.
It's really hard to say what you should do. I brought (along with another female employee) a SH lawsuit against a former employer in 2001. It was finally settled in 2004. Those three years were the worst of my life. Everyone in the company saw it and guess what happened when they were deposed? They all lied.
Not only that, my entire personal life was torn apart. The defendant’s attorneys printed up every email I had ever written or sent, and not just work emails but personal emails that went to my personal account. An innocent joke or emails which were passed on to me became a "sign" that I was inviting this type of behavior. A picture of me lying on my couch in my living room that my friend had sent to me was made to seem like I was posing seductively when in actuality, I was watching a football game and didn’t even know the picture was taken. Little things like that get twisted. It was a horrible experience that I would honestly never do again, even though I know I was right.
When this all first happened I was determined to show that you can fight for what is right. In the end however (even though we settled out of court) it was too much. I know I could have won that case, but emotionally I could not take it any longer. It changes you as a person.
However, just last week I was subpoenaed to a deposition to testify as a witness for another SH case against this same employer for almost identical complaints. I thought that what I went through at least made sure that it wouldn’t happen to someone else, but it did and that employer obviously didn't learn his lesson. I hope the new person who is bringing suit can withstand what is about to happen and I hope she wins and he is penalized, again.
In the end I look back and I am glad I stood up for myself, but I wouldn’t do it again. It was horrible and it made me lose trust in not only our justice system, but in other people. To see how easily people lie when there is evidence they are lying is just too much to bear.
Hope I didn’t bore you, but I just want you to know that you have to decide if it's worth it, if you have the strength to endure it. Even the other plaintiff in my lawsuit says the same; she would never go through this again.
Good luck to you. Your welcome to contact me if you want to chat more.