Public Interest and Policy Related Jobs
Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 1:57 am
Re: Public Interest and Policy Related Jobs
Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:26 pm
I've done some policy related work while in law school and its value is a mixed bag.
I have had employers look at it in a positive light, especially in Washington. Understanding how things work on the Hill or in an agency is undeniably an asset. On the other hand, I've had employers look at my resume and then ask if I wanted to run for Congress instead of work for them. The key, I think, is showing a relationship between the policy work you would be doing and the legal work you aspire to do later. Working on prisoner advocacy and then going to a public defender's office makes sense. Working as a health care LA and then going to a firm's energy group doesn't.
Also, its worth figuring out if you will be supervised by an attorney at your policy job. You will probably be able to get more "legal" work if you are working under an attorney. This would be an asset.
Finally, my experience in Washington is that everyone is willing to talk to a young, smart J.D. candidate. Everyone started at the bottom at some point. Consequently, they love to get coffee with a young turk and talk about themselves for 20 minutes. Use this phenomena to build a broad network of contacts while you are there.