The Hill

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sky7
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The Hill

Postby sky7 » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:02 pm

Anyone else not drinking the BigLaw cool-aid and deciding to work on the Hill?

It looks to me that the biggest problem is getting the "Hill experience" box checked, as many of jobs (LA, committee staff, etc) require it.

Anyone have any advice or experience about the process?

cr073137
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Re: The Hill

Postby cr073137 » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:05 pm

sky7 wrote:Anyone else not drinking the BigLaw cool-aid and deciding to work on the Hill?

It looks to me that the biggest problem is getting the "Hill experience" box checked, as many of jobs (LA, committee staff, etc) require it.

Anyone have any advice or experience about the process?


Do an internship over the summer now before law school, that serves to check out the box since you are "staff" while working as an intern.

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sky7
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Re: The Hill

Postby sky7 » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:08 pm

I actually just took an internship at a D.C. non-profit that ostensibly should suffice ("Congressional Correspondent"). I'm currently targeting the MLA job of my state's senator. That would be amazing.

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sky7
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Re: The Hill

Postby sky7 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:35 am

Well holy crap, I guess no one else wants to work on the Hill! Looks like I won't have much competition!

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pleasetryagain
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Re: The Hill

Postby pleasetryagain » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:43 am

why would you spend 3 years and copious dollars to go work at an entry level job on the hill that any college graduate/previous intern can get? I would think they want their lawyers/counsel/advisers to have some kind of actual legal experience, be it a firm, clerkship, etc.

270910
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Re: The Hill

Postby 270910 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:48 am

pleasetryagain wrote:why would you spend 3 years and copious dollars to go work at an entry level job on the hill that any college graduate/previous intern can get? I would think they want their lawyers/counsel/advisers to have some kind of actual legal experience, be it a firm, clerkship, etc.


It varies a lot. There are plenty of positions for (and taken by) fresh JDs, especially on the committee level. The jobs still tend to be connections based and low paying, however.

JD + hill job can, in many circumstances, be a great entry to the great Washington revolving door. Spend a few years with the right member or on the right committee and you can lateral into lobbying, which can be both sweet and not as evil as you would expect :lol:

It's true though that a similar career path is often open without the JD. A JD, especially if you do well at it, can set you up for some of the more policy-wonk / technical positions rather than just the well-connected / grunt work positions. Probably still need to be well connected though...

PoliticalJunkie
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Re: The Hill

Postby PoliticalJunkie » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:49 am

Alot of entry level law grads get work on the hill. You could intern before law school begins, but you're better off interning for a House/Senate committee during your 1L summer, ideally in an area you are interested in. The Hill is like big city biglaw - specialization/focusing on an area of interest is important.

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baboon309
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Re: The Hill

Postby baboon309 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:29 am

sky7 wrote:Anyone else not drinking the BigLaw cool-aid and deciding to work on the Hill?

It looks to me that the biggest problem is getting the "Hill experience" box checked, as many of jobs (LA, committee staff, etc) require it.

Anyone have any advice or experience about the process?


I've interned in one of the committees before. The counsels there were from very diverse background.


Counsel A

School: Midwest T30s (grade unknown, but I'd say not in top 20%)

First job out of law school : U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (1.5yrs)
Second Job: Committee Counsel

Counsel B

School: MVP
First Job: LA(1yr)
Second: National Grocers Association (Director of Government Affairs, 2 yrs)
Third: Committee Counsel

Counsel C

School: Southern TTT
First Job: Unknown
Second Job:Committee Counsel

Counsel D
School: Midwest T30s
First job: VA small law (1yr)
Second job: Congressional Staff (4yrs)
Third:Chief Counsel in the same committee

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sky7
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Re: The Hill

Postby sky7 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 9:16 am

Very interesting. I'm not going to lie through, I'm not entirely interested in being counsel. I'd much rather work my way to being an LD, then see what the private sector has to offer. I mean, as a senior LA or LD, you sit in the meetings with your member (ha), and they look to you for policy advice. I don't think it gets much cooler than that.

If I was on a committee, it would likely be one like SSCI (as my experience points me towards the defense related ones). In that case, counsel might not be so bad.

JD + hill job can, in many circumstances, be a great entry to the great Washington revolving door. Spend a few years with the right member or on the right committee and you can lateral into lobbying, which can be both sweet and not as evil as you would expect


This is key. I'd very much like to not be evil. But I'm not averse to making money.

Anonymous User
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Re: The Hill

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:12 pm

Anyone know how difficult it is to move into an LA or LD position from corporate work in big law? Also what type of hours/money can one expect?

270910
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Re: The Hill

Postby 270910 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone know how difficult it is to move into an LA or LD position from corporate work in big law? Also what type of hours/money can one expect?


Long hours, low pay, and that's kind of an unusual transition. But the #1 rule is connnnnections. The jobs go to locals and/or people In The Know.

swester
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Re: The Hill

Postby swester » Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:52 pm

And by low, just to clarify, I think we're talking in the mid-$30s to low $40k range + gov't benefits for an L.A., and probably closer to mid-$50k starting for an L.D. So yeah, low. It's not a job you're in for the money, that's for sure.

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FunkyJD
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Re: The Hill

Postby FunkyJD » Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:02 pm

How frequently do Hill counsel transition to top-drawer executive branch attorney jobs -- DOJ, national security/defense, SEC, White House Counsel's Office, etc, depending on their area of interest and experience? Or is this not a common transition?

Also, how often do Hill counsel transition to legal jobs with defense industry firms or high tech firms in the DC area? Again, is this a common transition?

swester
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Re: The Hill

Postby swester » Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:26 pm

If there's one thing common to all government related positions in Washington, it's transition. People move through the revolving private-public door so often it's actually difficult to keep track of someone's most up-to-date business card. That being said, there are also plenty of people who stay in one office for decades, provided of course that their employer isn't swept out of office next time around.

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sky7
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Re: The Hill

Postby sky7 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:45 pm

swester wrote:And by low, just to clarify, I think we're talking in the mid-$30s to low $40k range + gov't benefits for an L.A., and probably closer to mid-$50k starting for an L.D. So yeah, low. It's not a job you're in for the money, that's for sure.


False. At least on the Hill.

swester
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Re: The Hill

Postby swester » Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:53 pm

Then maybe you'd care to follow up with some information of your own? "False" is not particularly helpful. 8)

270910
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Re: The Hill

Postby 270910 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:56 pm

sky7 wrote:
swester wrote:And by low, just to clarify, I think we're talking in the mid-$30s to low $40k range + gov't benefits for an L.A., and probably closer to mid-$50k starting for an L.D. So yeah, low. It's not a job you're in for the money, that's for sure.


False. At least on the Hill.


It's close though. LD median is 80K, LA median is 40K. Roughly 10% of LAs have law degrees. This data is very easy to look up.

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baboon309
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Re: The Hill

Postby baboon309 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:00 pm

swester wrote:Then maybe you'd care to follow up with some information of your own? "False" is not particularly helpful. 8)


--LinkRemoved--

Why dont you just look up here?

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sky7
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Re: The Hill

Postby sky7 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:03 pm

Where does it show average? On the Senate side, they certainly make quite a bit more. I've found plenty on the House side making 60K+ as well.
Last edited by sky7 on Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

swester
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Re: The Hill

Postby swester » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:07 pm

I did check there. And I've worked on the Hill, albeit a few years ago. I still don't understand the unsubstantiated "false" comment.

If the MEDIAN income of an L.A. is in the $40s, then the starting is in the mid $30s. With a J.D. you would probably start a bit higher, but I was just stating general numbers, not for J.D.s. Same with L.D.'s. In a couple of years you could be in the $70k range and eventually perhaps close to $100k, but you won't start out there.

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baboon309
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Re: The Hill

Postby baboon309 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:07 pm

sky7 wrote:Where does it show average? On the Senate side, they certainly make quite a bit more.


You have to add up the 4 quarters

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oberlin08
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Re: The Hill

Postby oberlin08 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:09 pm

I currently work on the hill, in a committee -

if you dont know anyone to get a job, then the next best way to land a job is work your way up, even if that means starting with an internship..

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sky7
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Re: The Hill

Postby sky7 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:10 pm

disco_barred wrote:
sky7 wrote:
swester wrote:And by low, just to clarify, I think we're talking in the mid-$30s to low $40k range + gov't benefits for an L.A., and probably closer to mid-$50k starting for an L.D. So yeah, low. It's not a job you're in for the money, that's for sure.


False. At least on the Hill.


It's close though. LD median is 80K, LA median is 40K. Roughly 10% of LAs have law degrees. This data is very easy to look up.


Where did he get those numbers?

If you look at any senators office, the LA's are making 75k+

If you look at any reps office (at least the 6 or 7 I've looked at in my states), they all make 55K+

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sky7
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Re: The Hill

Postby sky7 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:12 pm

Heck, in MA, the LC's for the Reps are making 50K.

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oberlin08
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Re: The Hill

Postby oberlin08 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:13 pm

sky7 wrote:Heck, in MA, the LC's for the Reps are making 50K.



It depends on the office/member of congress and what they want to pay their staff.




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