There are many reasons government jobs are a great way to start a career.
Government jobs are fantastic opportunities to gain experience and responsibility very early in your career. Government attorneys often get to take on their own case loads and handle significant responsibility long before entry-level attorneys in the private sector. In addition, the federal government is the nation’s largest employer and it hires attorneys regularly. You can always find a good fit in the government because there is an enormous variety of legal work to be done and nearly every practice area has a government counterpart (see the US Department of Justice’s practice area guide, which includes over 50 practice areas alone!). If you are interested in public service, there is no better place to work than the government. The federal government pays the best salaries for public interest work, and the work can be very meaningful. And by working for the government, you can take advantage of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness and the Federal Student Loan Repayment Program.
Lewis & Clark Law School students have had repeated success securing employment, both in the federal government, and in Oregon and other states. Recent graduates have found employment with the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Internal Revenue Service, the Oregon Department of Justice and more.
Lewis & Clark Law School offers an array of resources to students and alumni looking for attorney positions in the federal government, including one-on-one advising and materials review by the Career & Professional Development staff.
For more information, please schedule an appointment with Career & Professional Development, firstname.lastname@example.org or 503.768.6608.
Federal Government Job Resources
- USAJobs.gov: This is the official job posting site for all federal jobs. Note that many federal attorney positions are classified as “excepted service” and do not post here.
- Government Honors and Internship Handbook: This is the most comprehensive source for listings for government externships and hiring. You can get the login info from the CPDC.
- PMF.gov: The Presidential Management Fellows program is a federal program to hire people with advanced degrees for two-year positions in policy and management.
- United States Government Manual: This manual provides comprehensive information about all of the federal agencies, and can be a helpful tool to narrow down the agencies you are interested in.
- PSJD Resource Center: Federal Government Careers: This Public Service JD guide provides information about working as an attorney for the federal government, and has other helpful links for your job search.
- 2017-2018 Federal Legal Employment Guide: This resource provides information on specific careers within the federal government.
- The Department of Justice Attorney General’s Law Student Programs: The Department of Justice operates both paid and volunteer Law Student Programs for work during the summer or the school year. 1Ls apply in December, 2Ls apply in the early fall.
- The Department of Justice Attorney General’s Honors Program: Apply at the beginning of your final year of law school for entry level positions in the Department of Justice. All of the information you need to apply can be found here.
- The Department of Justice Practice Areas: Many people think that the only way to work in certain areas of law is through non-profits. This guides shows that many different causes can be served by working for the government.
- The Environmental Protection Agency’s Careers: EPA hires law student interns and attorneys.
- The Department of State’s Information on Foreign Service Officers: A foreign service officer career begins with the Foreign Service Exam; find out about the test and the career.
- Securities and Exchange Commission Careers: The SEC hires large numbers of attorneys and takes on many student interns each year. The SEC is a great place for people interested in business law and public service.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Careers: Be at the forefront of keeping consumers safe from financial corruption. Like the SEC, the CFPB is a great place for those interested in business, finance, transactions, and public service.
- Go Government: The US Government’s recruiting site with tips, guides, and ways to find the kind of job you want in federal service.
- The Partnership for Public Service: The office behind promoting government careers; see behind the scenes what the federal government is doing to attract new talent.
- House of Representatives positions: Find positions with members and committees in the House of Representatives.
- Harvard Law School’s Public Interest Job Search Guides: Guides for searching for jobs in a variety of public interest fields, including general government jobs, criminal prosecution, and public defense.
- Michigan Law School’s Making a Difference: Government Careers: A guide to government jobs with many helpful tips, from finding jobs, to applying and interviewing.
State and Local Government Job Resources
- Oregon DOJ Honors Program: The Oregon Department of Justice has its own Honors Program, which is a prestigious opportunity for students who are interested in staying in Oregon.
- Harvard Law School’s Careers in State and Local Government: This is a helpful resource if you are interested in working at the state or local level, but aren’t sure where you may land after graduation.
- PSJD’s : Click on the state you are interested in for links to job boards and state and local government employment.
- Oregon Jobs: Find state and local government jobs throughout Oregon.
- Government Jobs: Search for state and local government jobs in many states across the country.