The federal government is the single largest employer of lawyers. Being hired as a government lawyer requires patience and the ability to complete voluminous paperwork. While the CSO posts all solicitations for resumes from government organizations and many organizations do participate in On-Campus Interviewing and Interviewing trips, students should act proactively and think about what types of government agencies interest them and independently pursue these agencies.
Most entry-level legal hires are done through individual "Honors Programs." The Career Services Office posts notices regarding these programs upon receipt. If you have an interest in a specific agency and want to know the details of their hiring process, contact the agency directly. In addition, many government agencies offer internships (paid and unpaid) to second and first year law students. Many state and local agencies and departments also hire entry-level attorneys and offer internship programs for law school students.
The Government is considered public interest, so you should consider attending the Equal Justice Works Conference job fair which is held in October of each year in Washington, D.C. A considerable number of government agencies and departments participate in this fair.
Students may also participate in Externships with government organizations during the summer or throughout the school year. For more information on Externship opportunities contact the Student Affairs Office. Students also have the opportunity to spend a semester in D.C. working for a non-profit or government agency for law school credit. If you would like to work in D.C. or in any public policy-related position after graduation, this program offers the opportunity to make contacts and gain intensive, hands-on experience in your field of interest. To learn more about the D.C. externship program please see the Semester in DC-Externship Program
The Presidential Management Fellows Program is a post-graduate fellowship program sponsored by the federal government. Jobs are available nationwide, although most are in D.C. Specific information is available on the PMF website.
The CSO has many print resources available with information on government positions. In addition, the following websites are valuable resources for students interested in government positions:
- Federal Legal Employment Opportunities Guide (http://www.pslawnet.org/uploads/2008-2009_FLEOG_FINAL_PDF.pdf)
This guide is a comprehensive source of information on federal departments and agencies as well as profiles of government attorneys and additional tips for success in the federal government job search. Specific Hiring Program Information has been omitted since the University of Arizona Law School's Government Honors and Internship Handbook provides a more comprehensive and up-to-the minute source for the specific hiring information.
- Government Honors & Internship Handbook
This is a password protected site. You will find the user ID and password on the the CSO Section of the Law School's Extranet or contact the Career Services Office. Developed by the University of Arizona, Rogers College of Law, this handbook provides comprehensive information about federal (and some state) honors and internship opportunities, including hiring information, deadlines, etc.
- National Association of Attorneys General (http://www.naag.org)
The NAAG provides a complete list of websites for Attorneys Generals across the nation.
- Making the Difference (http://makingthedifference.org) provides information on federal government internships and employment. The site also has information on creating a government resume, completing KSAs, a DC housing guide and information on loan repayment programs.
- Opportunities in Public Affairs (http://www.brubach.com/opawebversion2/opa.htm) is an online source of Capitol Hill, Public Relations and Public Affairs jobs in the Washington, DC. This is a password protected job site and the login and password information are located on the CSO section of the Extranet.
- Political Jobs (http://www.politicaljobs.net/) this site lists jobs in politics, political parties, public affairs, parliaments and senates worldwide. This is a password protected job site and the login and password information are located on the CSO section of the Extranet.
- Prosecutor Info. (http://www.prosecutor.info/)
This site sponsored by the Eaton County Prosecuting Attorney provides links to District Attorneys, Prosecuting Attorneys, Attorneys General and US Attorneys nationwide.
- The Public Service Law Network (http://www.pslawnet.org/)
PSLawNet is a global network of member law schools and nearly 10,000 law-related world-wide public service organizations. Pitt Law is a member school. Students can register to search for opportunities ranging from volunteer positions during school to full-time summer internships, to post-graduate jobs and fellowships. This site also includes government positions, a page on government careers and information about alternate funding sources. Students can also search to get a list of national and international public interest organizations and government agencies by location and field of interest.
- U.S. Department of State (http://www.state.gov/)
This is the homepage for the U.S. Department of State. The site includes information on employment with the civil service, foreign service, international organizations and more.
- U.S. Government Job Openings (http://www.usajobs.gov)
The U.S. Government's official site for jobs and employment information provided by the United States Office of Personnel Management.
- The White House Website (http://www.whitehouse.gov)
The White House site provides links to all federal agencies and commissions along with the offices and agencies that make up the Executive Office of the President.
- WorkforAmerica.com (http://www.workforamerica.com/)
Launched by CareerBuilder.com, the nation's largest online job site, this new site is dedicated to federal government job search and information. Job seekers can search by keyword, location and job type and by full-time, part-time and contract positions. Visitors also have the option to search CareerBuilder.com's entire database of over 1.5 million jobs and sign up for job alerts that automatically e-mail positions to job seekers based on search criteria.