All sorts of interesting, challenging and fulfilling jobs and careers are available to law graduates interested in capital lawyering. Some lawyers move in and out of government or public law work. New lawyers can look for jobs in a wide range of careers in government agencies, nonprofits, and private lobbying and law firms.
The Federal Government is the single biggest employer of lawyers in the U.S.. Many jobs are located in Washington., D.C., with many field offices around the U.S. Federal jobs are searchable at http://www.usajobs.gov/.
For those wishing to stay in California, here are listings for possible public law and policy employment in the Federal Government:
All executive departments (commerce, education, homeland security housing and urban development, interior, labor, transportation, treasury, CIA, FBI, IRS) hire attorneys, many through entry-level Honors Programs run by each department. The Department of Justice has Honors Programs for attorneys and law students at http://www.usdoj.gov/oarm/arm/hp/hp.htm.
All administrative agencies hire attorneys, most through entry-level Honors Programs run by each agency, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Federal Trade Commission or the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Legislative offices hire attorneys to work as aids on their staffs, including House & Senate members, legislative committees, the Congressional Research Service and the Office of Comptroller General.
The courts employ attorneys to fill roles such as judicial law clerk, research attorney or court administrator.
The state is the single biggest employer of lawyers in Sacramento. Many externships provide experience in these jobs. Most jobs will have alumni contacts. Being hired requires taking a test and being placed on a list.
Here are listings for possible public law and policy employment in the State Government:
Many executive agencies take externs and hire attorneys to work in such places as the attorney general's office (with specialized criminal and civil departments), the Department of Education, and the Fair Political Practices Commission
Examples include the Air Resources Board, California Energy Commission, and the California Coastal State Lands Commission.
Possible jobs include staffer to House member or Senator, a staffer to a legislative committee, or a post with the Legislative Counsel's Office.
The courts employ attorneys to fill roles such as judicial law clerk, research attorney or court administrator
Cities hire municipal lawyers to advise local government officers and departments. Some municipal lawyers do transactional work. Some do litigation. In addition to local municipal governments, special purpose, limited, government entities are common. Examples include school districts and utilities districts, district attorney's offices, public defender offices, city attorney or county counsel offices, and specialized municipal agencies
Here are some lists of non-profit public interest employers in California:
Law firms provide a wide array of public interest opportunities. Listings of law firms in California:
Some firms do this exclusively. Others do it as a department within a larger law firm. In either event, these firms employ many lawyers to advocate for different interests. The work involves constant contact with legislators and the client group, and drafting and commenting on legislation and regulations. Many of these jobs are located in Sacramento, and many have McGeorge alumni contacts.
A number of different types of practices within private law firms involve government and public lawyering. One of the most common is the municipal law department. Applicants should carefully review each firm's website or promotional materials to ascertain whether the firm's practice includes public law.
Activities include: providing advice and systems to comply with election statutes and regulations, representing clients in elections and ethics enforcement matters before government commissions, advising political parties and opponents or proponents of ballot measures.
This area involves a broad array of practice areas representing government entities, such as cities, counties, redevelopment agencies, special districts and local and state government agencies like water boards and school boards. Activities include preventative counseling, negotiation, advocacy in court, to legislators, or before administrative agencies and financial guidance.
Areas of practice include land use and environmental issues, education or school law, employment disputes, conflicts of interest, affirmative action controversies, public contracts and contract bidding, public finance, fees and taxes, redevelopment and housing, labor relations, and eminent domain.
This is a general grouping that involves representing mostly private clients in a wide variety of subject areas in which interpreting and advising about statutes and regulations, and advocating before administrative agencies is a substantial part of the practice.
Subject areas include: Bankruptcy, Eminent Domain, Energy Law, Environmental and Natural Resources Law, Land Use and Planning.
These practices involve representing individual clients in hearings before an administrative law judge.
Practice areas include immigration and naturalization, social security, and worker's compensation.