Looking Beyond OCI – Focus on Government

PDO has heard from hiring attorneys that government experience following law school can be a great credential for future employment, whether that career is in civil service, private firms, or non-profit agencies.  Government clerkships can be very competitive and many application deadlines are quickly approaching.   Here are some resources and links that may lead to interesting government opportunities that will build your résumé, expand your network, and open doors to future jobs.

1.   Government Honors and Internship Handbook.  Username and password are in Symplicity’s Document Library, in a document entitled “PDO Passwords.”   A word of caution:  apply as soon as possible because some positions are closing earlier than the published deadline because of a plethora of applications.  Last year, Paula Nailon, JD, who coordinates the Handbook, said “Some federal employers may be unprepared to handle the large number of applications they will receive this year, due to reduced hiring in the private sector.  They may also be surprised by the number of students willing to commit this early in the year for a Summer position.  Which leads to a ‘counseling tip’ for students:  Please be sure that students understand they are as honor-bound by a commitment to a government employer as they would be when accepting a job offer from a law firm.”

2.  PSLawNet.  This is a great resource for those interested in public interest. Students set up their own accounts.  There is no charge because the College of Law pays for an annual membership.

3.   Check Symplicity, and the emails from PDO.  Apply quickly to any job postings which interest you!

4.   If you are looking out of state, email Jaclyn about doing a “Reciprocity” request—which may allow you to access career services at another law school.  Keep in mind, there are often “blackout” periods until OCI ends at the desired school.

5.   Research smaller and mid-size firms that do the work that interests  you—and apply cold (no posting).  Use the Law Firm Lists in Symplicity’s Document Library, and use martindale.com to research others.  Although you should be prepared for rejection, if you express sincere, well-thought out interest, you may get a response.