Political Law?

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TLSNYC
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Political Law?

Postby TLSNYC » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:20 pm

As I start to weigh schools and options, I'm trying to develop a clearer picture of what I want out of my career, and one of the things that I'm really interested in is political law: see --LinkRemoved--

Does anyone know how you get into this kind of speciality? Does it involve top grades, get an SA, and then asking to be in this field or would you just do litigation at a firm with a top notch political law dept and hope to get assignments that cross over? Please excuse my ignorance :oops:

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jonas
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Re: Political Law?

Postby jonas » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:26 pm

Yes, the plan you've outlined is one possibility.

You could also go the government route: intern on the Hill your first summer in law school (e.g., Senate Judiciary Committee); maybe spend your second summer at a DC firm with a big political law practice (Covington, Perkins Coie, etc.); maybe volunteer for some 2012 campaigns and try to get to know some of their lawyers; clerkship; government honors program; work at the FEC....

As I'm sure you know, it's a highly competitive field.

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OGR3
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Re: Political Law?

Postby OGR3 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:32 pm

In speaking with a professor who is a governmental relations expert, the traditional way (and by far the easiest way) to get into governmental relations is to work a couple years on the hill or in a federal agency and then make the move to the private sector.

It's possible to do such work without such experience, but it's immensely more difficult to get your feet in the door/learn the system. Insider knowledge and connections goes a looooong way in the sector.

TLSNYC
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Re: Political Law?

Postby TLSNYC » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:41 pm

Thanks so much for the helpful replies! A question then -- let's say I want to work in a government agency first, i.e. FEC, how does all of this work with OCI? My impression as an 0L is that you do OCI before 2L if you're interested in private sector, but if you want public sector, then you skip it. So, if I skip OCI, then I have to find a position in government or public interest, otherwise I've missed the train for private sector, right? Also, with a lot of these gov't options, there's no guarantee that I'll get a job out of it either, right? Like I noticed the FEC doesn't promise a job post internship.

tx2005
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Re: Political Law?

Postby tx2005 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:20 pm

Just for clarification, what do you mean by "political law"? Government affairs/relations (as in, lobbying)? From what I gathered when I worked on the Hill, most people who head to Covington, Patton Boggs, etc. have extensive Hill experience. It's definitely a "revolving door" part of the industry top Hill staffers and Members head to after their service. That's not the only way, of course - I met people who had experience in the regulatory and litigation side and worked their way in because their policy experience (health care, finance) was sought after. But as another poster said, it's fundamentally all about connections.

TLSNYC
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Re: Political Law?

Postby TLSNYC » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:24 pm

tx2005 wrote:Just for clarification, what do you mean by "political law"? Government affairs/relations (as in, lobbying)? From what I gathered when I worked on the Hill, most people who head to Covington, Patton Boggs, etc. have extensive Hill experience. It's definitely a "revolving door" part of the industry top Hill staffers and Members head to after their service. That's not the only way, of course - I met people who had experience in the regulatory and litigation side and worked their way in because their policy experience (health care, finance) was sought after. But as another poster said, it's fundamentally all about connections.


I'm interested in lobbying and working for a place like Covington. Also interested in representing PACs, candidates, and committees on campaign finance issues before FEC investigations. As to the government side of this, I'd love to work on the Senate judiciary committee, the FEC, and, to an extent, the DOJ.

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OGR3
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Re: Political Law?

Postby OGR3 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:31 pm

TLSNYC wrote:
tx2005 wrote:Just for clarification, what do you mean by "political law"? Government affairs/relations (as in, lobbying)? From what I gathered when I worked on the Hill, most people who head to Covington, Patton Boggs, etc. have extensive Hill experience. It's definitely a "revolving door" part of the industry top Hill staffers and Members head to after their service. That's not the only way, of course - I met people who had experience in the regulatory and litigation side and worked their way in because their policy experience (health care, finance) was sought after. But as another poster said, it's fundamentally all about connections.


I'm interested in lobbying and working for a place like Covington. Also interested in representing PACs, candidates, and committees on campaign finance issues before FEC investigations. As to the government side of this, I'd love to work on the Senate judiciary committee, the FEC, and, to an extent, the DOJ.


I would also look into campaign work and the Presidential Management Fellows program: http://www.pmf.gov/

Regardless, your chances of walking into a private sector job right out of school to do this is 0%.

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OGR3
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Re: Political Law?

Postby OGR3 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:32 pm

TLSNYC wrote:Thanks so much for the helpful replies! A question then -- let's say I want to work in a government agency first, i.e. FEC, how does all of this work with OCI? My impression as an 0L is that you do OCI before 2L if you're interested in private sector, but if you want public sector, then you skip it. So, if I skip OCI, then I have to find a position in government or public interest, otherwise I've missed the train for private sector, right? Also, with a lot of these gov't options, there's no guarantee that I'll get a job out of it either, right? Like I noticed the FEC doesn't promise a job post internship.


See if you can get credit during the semester to work at an agency or on the hill. That way you can still do OCI and work at a firm during 2L summer.

TLSNYC
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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:38 pm

Re: Political Law?

Postby TLSNYC » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:35 pm

OGR3 wrote:
TLSNYC wrote:Thanks so much for the helpful replies! A question then -- let's say I want to work in a government agency first, i.e. FEC, how does all of this work with OCI? My impression as an 0L is that you do OCI before 2L if you're interested in private sector, but if you want public sector, then you skip it. So, if I skip OCI, then I have to find a position in government or public interest, otherwise I've missed the train for private sector, right? Also, with a lot of these gov't options, there's no guarantee that I'll get a job out of it either, right? Like I noticed the FEC doesn't promise a job post internship.


See if you can get credit during the semester to work at an agency or on the hill. That way you can still do OCI and work at a firm during 2L summer.


Just to be clear, if I did OCI and landed a 2L summer gig, that necessarily closes the door to actively seeking a government position for post-grad, right?

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OGR3
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Re: Political Law?

Postby OGR3 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:44 pm

TLSNYC wrote:
OGR3 wrote:
TLSNYC wrote:Thanks so much for the helpful replies! A question then -- let's say I want to work in a government agency first, i.e. FEC, how does all of this work with OCI? My impression as an 0L is that you do OCI before 2L if you're interested in private sector, but if you want public sector, then you skip it. So, if I skip OCI, then I have to find a position in government or public interest, otherwise I've missed the train for private sector, right? Also, with a lot of these gov't options, there's no guarantee that I'll get a job out of it either, right? Like I noticed the FEC doesn't promise a job post internship.


See if you can get credit during the semester to work at an agency or on the hill. That way you can still do OCI and work at a firm during 2L summer.


Just to be clear, if I did OCI and landed a 2L summer gig, that necessarily closes the door to actively seeking a government position for post-grad, right?


Not at all.




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