Office of Career and Professional Development
Federal, State and Local Government
Federal Government: Executive Branch Agencies
Most federal government agencies employ attorneys to provide legal counsel or to work in an alternative capacity, and the function of the attorney varies by agency. The general counsel’s office provides support to the other offices in the legislative and regulatory arena. Federal government attorneys provide legal advice on issues, draft legislation or regulations, write administrative opinions, represent the agency in administrative hearings, research and develop positions on issues, and review compliance with laws and regulations.
To find Executive Branch positions, see:
Federal Government: Capitol Hill Offices
While it is not a traditional practice of law, attorneys with Capitol Hill offices are employed on congressional personal staffs as Legislative Assistants (LAs) who monitor legislative developments, communicate with constituents, attend hearings, and brief the Member or senior staff. Attorneys are also employed as staff members of congressional committees and subcommittees.
Capitol Hill jobs are extremely competitive and most offices strongly prefer to hire those with congressional and legislative experience. Serious candidates must intern on the Hill, and you will usually need to approach the member’s office or committee or subcommittee to express your desire to be an intern. Use connections and select committees/subcommittees which handle issues of interest to you.
To find Capitol Hill positions:
Contact the office of your Representative and Senators
District Daybook (contact OCSP for username and password)
Additionally, OCPD offers a handout on Capitol Hill job searches which provides guidance on preparing for a legislative career, as well as a list of alumni working on Capitol Hill who are available to speak with students.
State & Local Government
Students interested in government positions should include state, county, and city governments, and target more than one major city in the scope of their search. Many of the tasks are the same and the positions will have similar areas regarding regulation and compliance.
For students interested in opportunities outside of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area:
State and Municipal Yellow Books
(contact a reference librarian for username and password)
If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact OCPD at (202) 319-5132 or firstname.lastname@example.org.