NLRB/DOL Honors Programs and Employment Firms

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NLRB/DOL Honors Programs and Employment Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:15 pm

Anyone know how competitive these programs are/how many they take each year? I found an old post from a practicing attorney who said that his NLRB class was 7, but I know that their program involves placement in three different sections. I'm top 10-15% at a T20-30, on law review, currently working in a fellowship at a state AG's office doing employment discrimination stuff. Previously worked at a state administrative appeals board that heard mostly employment cases. Would love to work in L/E law after graduation. Anyone who was a past honors program attorney/knows someone who was care to comment on whether I'll be competitive?

Also, if anyone knows any good employment firms (either nationwide or smaller shops in the northeast) that I should target, I would really appreciate hearing about them. Currently focusing on Littler, Ogletree, Jackson Lewis, Epstein Becker, Fisher & Phillips, Seyfarth Shaw. Thanks in advance!

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Re: NLRB/DOL Honors Programs and Employment Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:46 pm

Shameless self-bump.

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Re: NLRB/DOL Honors Programs and Employment Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:59 pm

I am a current intern with one of the DOL regional offices and was given these statistics last week:

The DOL Honors program is incredibly competitive - they accept approximately 10 people per year and receive approximately 2000 applications for those spots.

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Re: NLRB/DOL Honors Programs and Employment Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:I am a current intern with one of the DOL regional offices and was given these statistics last week:

The DOL Honors program is incredibly competitive - they accept approximately 10 people per year and receive approximately 2000 applications for those spots.


Credited. Current DOL HQ intern. Program is just below your DOJ/SEC level of competitiveness. Most of the honors attorneys I know were T14 with LR. Handful of former A3 clerks. Most had significant labor experience and I know a few that turned down offers from the firms you've listed. Not entirely certain about NLRB, but I would wager that it's as, if not slightly more, competitive.

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Re: NLRB/DOL Honors Programs and Employment Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:19 am

Oof, thanks guys. That's way worse than I thought. Do you know if there are any other ways to enter either straight out of school? Like non-honors entry-level positions in regional offices or something?

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Re: NLRB/DOL Honors Programs and Employment Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:05 am

OP- I'm probably the attorney you referred to earlier.

NLRB: Board-side hires about 5 per year. General Counsel usually only takes 3 at headquarters. Field office hiring varies depending on need. I've seen classes between 4 and 7 for field.

HP has gotten exponentially more competitive each year ITE. My bosses screened about 200 apps per opening and that was years ago. I think your credentials are most competitive for GC headquarters. They like BigLaw-caliber academics plus L&E experience and commitment to public service. Board-side tends to be more "egg-heady"; they seem to prefer 3Ls with fed appellate court law clerk-type credentials.

Field hiring is less predictable because the office openings, and thus the app reviewers/interviewers, changes from year to year. Field office management make the hiring decisions fairly independently. Some will look for typical stellar academic credentials while other offices may weigh L&E experience and "cultural fit" more heavily. Some field offices may only look at applicants with skills in a certain foreign language.

Firms: you forgot Proskauer :) I take it you're only interested in management-side firms?

DOL: will hire up to 10 honors attorneys but that may change depending on budget and regional office need.

Do you know if there are any other ways to enter either straight out of school? Like non-honors entry-level positions in regional offices or something


NLRB General Counsel hires new grads at HQ and field offices. Field offices prefer former interns. HQ tends to care more about academic creds, helps if you clerked for a judge first. I've never heard of Board members hiring new grads outside of Honors, but that doesn't mean it hasn't happened.

Honors is pretty much the only way a new grad can get into DOL Solicitors Office. Otherwise, you need a minimum of 2 years practice. DOL Division of Judges sometimes hires law clerks for 2-year terms.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: NLRB/DOL Honors Programs and Employment Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP- I'm probably the attorney you referred to earlier.

NLRB: Board-side, they generally hire 1 per Board Member each year (3-5). General Counsel usually only takes 3 at headquarters. Field office hiring varies depending on need. I've seen classes between 4 and 7 for field.

HP has gotten exponentially more competitive each year ITE. My bosses screened about 200 apps per opening and that was years ago. I think your credentials are most competitive for GC headquarters. They like BigLaw-caliber academics plus L&E experience and commitment to public service. Board-side tends to be more "egg-heady"; they seem to prefer 3Ls with fed appellate court law clerk-type credentials.

Field hiring is less predictable because the office openings, and thus the app reviewers/interviewers, changes from year to year. Field office management make the hiring decisions fairly independently. Some will look for typical stellar academic credentials while other offices may weigh L&E experience and "cultural fit" more heavily. Some field offices may only look at applicants with skills in a certain foreign language.

Firms: you forgot Proskauer :) I take it you're only interested in management-side firms?

DOL: will hire up to 10 honors attorneys but that may change depending on budget and regional office need.

Do you know if there are any other ways to enter either straight out of school? Like non-honors entry-level positions in regional offices or something


NLRB General Counsel hires new grads at HQ and field offices. Field offices prefer former interns. HQ tends to care more about academic creds, helps if you clerked for a judge first. I've never heard of Board members hiring new grads outside of Honors, but that doesn't mean it hasn't happened.

Honors is pretty much the only way a new grad can get into DOL Solicitors Office. Otherwise, you need a minimum of 2 years practice. DOL Division of Judges sometimes hires law clerks for 2-year terms.


Different poster - thanks for the info. In regards to the bolded, are there big law firms they are more known for taking plaintiffs or unions as clients?

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Re: NLRB/DOL Honors Programs and Employment Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 24, 2012 12:03 pm

OP here. Thanks for replying! Your post contains so much information that it sparked a few more questions.

Anonymous User wrote:Field office hiring varies depending on need. I've seen classes between 4 and 7 for field.


Is that 4-7 per office, or 4-7 distributed amongst all of the field offices?

I think your credentials are most competitive for GC headquarters. They like BigLaw-caliber academics plus L&E experience and commitment to public service. Board-side tends to be more "egg-heady"; they seem to prefer 3Ls with fed appellate court law clerk-type credentials.


So do you think that I should apply for Board and Field Office positions anyway? I remember reading that applying for one of the three doesn't factor into consideration for the other two; is that actually true, or would it look too...noncommittal?

Firms: you forgot Proskauer :) I take it you're only interested in management-side firms?


Ah, right! Thanks for the heads-up. I'm not ideologically committed to management-side (in fact, I'm probably more ideologically inclined toward plaintiff-side), but my biggest concern is leaving myself as many options as possible for the future (most notably moving to a USAO). I had assumed that most plaintiff's firms are either a) smaller shops that aren't as well-regarded and thus wouldn't leave as many exit options, or b) so selective that I wouldn't have a chance (e.g. Lieff). Do you know of any plaintiff-side firms that are prestigious enough to leave good exit options but not outside of my reach?

HQ tends to care more about academic creds, helps if you clerked for a judge first. I've never heard of Board members hiring new grads outside of Honors, but that doesn't mean it hasn't happened.


Do you know if clerking in a federal court is the only type of clerkship that matters? I'm applying to about 250 D.Ct. clerkships across the country, but also the supreme court for the state where I go to law school. Would the latter provide any boost at all?

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Re: NLRB/DOL Honors Programs and Employment Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 24, 2012 12:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Oof, thanks guys. That's way worse than I thought. Do you know if there are any other ways to enter either straight out of school? Like non-honors entry-level positions in regional offices or something?


DOL HQ intern Anon from above. All recent non-honors hires at HQ that I know of clerked or did a few years with large firms. A few in my division came from NYC V20s that aren't particuarly known for labor work. I can't really speak to the regions, other than knowing they are almost entirely litigation based, but HQ rarely, if ever, hires straight out of school.

Edit: A few more firms with large employment practices
- Paul Hastings
- Bingham
- Morgan Lewis
- Nixon
- Seyfarth
- Dickstien
- Venable
- Orrick
- Blank Rome
- Reed Smith

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Re: NLRB/DOL Honors Programs and Employment Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:03 pm

What if you are diverse?

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Re: NLRB/DOL Honors Programs and Employment Firms

Postby tgo2013 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:03 pm

3L at a T20, similar stats. Littler is soliciting resumes at my school for entry-level applications in SF or LA.

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Re: NLRB/DOL Honors Programs and Employment Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:24 pm

tgo2013 wrote:3L at a T20, similar stats. Littler is soliciting resumes at my school for entry-level applications in SF or LA.


OP. Yeah, same at mine. I actually spoke with an alum partner in SF and he said he would forward my resume to the hiring partners of those two offices before our school's resume collects were released. Littler is probably my top choice, but I know resume collections are a huge roll of the dice. Thanks for the tip, though. Fisher & Phillips is interviewing 3Ls for their Irvine office if you're also targeting Cali.

And to the Anon above: thanks for the list; I have obviously heard of all of those firms but didn't know that some of them had strong employment groups.

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Re: NLRB/DOL Honors Programs and Employment Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:32 pm

The NLRB field offices participating in Honors Program usually only have 1 opening. It's rare that an office gets more than 1 Honors Attorney a year, though it has happened. You should definitely apply for all the divisions you're interested in. From what I've seen, most people apply to at least both HQ/Bd side anyway.

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Re: NLRB/DOL Honors Programs and Employment Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:DOL HQ intern Anon from above. All recent non-honors hires at HQ that I know of clerked or did a few years with large firms. A few in my division came from NYC V20s that aren't particuarly known for labor work.


Office makeup can vary quite a bit since the divisions do their own screening and interviewing. In my division of about 20 attorneys, I think only three were former BigLaw attorneys (all from DC firm offices). Most transferred from other government agencies though. We also have former union counsels here and in other divisions. We've hired more recently from plaintiff-side firms than out of corporate firms, actually. Sometimes, plaintiff-side attorneys (especially from so-called "private public interest firms") have more of the skills and substantive knowledge that we look for compared to attorneys with the same # of years of practice at corporate defense firms. After all, much of admin agency practice is civil prosecution where the agency is the plaintiff.

In general, government hiring is much more diverse than most people would think, especially compared to BigLaw. Hiring managers/committees can change, so what's favored one year might not be favored the next (i.e. specialized experience vs. demonstrated commitment to public service or a particular specialty vs. superior academic credentials). Changes in administration can also affect hiring trends, which can suck if you're trying to break into government during an election year when things are so up in the air. At the same time, very different candidates can get jobs the same year after being screened by the same people. You can't always predict what's going to make you stand out, so don't get discouraged from applying if recent hires have different backgrounds than you.

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Re: NLRB/DOL Honors Programs and Employment Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:24 am

Corrected my first post here. The # of Honors Attorneys for the NLRB-Board side is not tied to the # of Board Members.

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Re: NLRB/DOL Honors Programs and Employment Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:37 am

Anyone know the prospects of lateraling to a NLRB field office from another bigfed OGC? I have some labor law exposure in my job (though it is federal unions). Working as a field attorney seems like one of the more interesting jobs in federal government.

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Re: NLRB/DOL Honors Programs and Employment Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:48 pm

To the anon poster who worked at the office of the solicitor of a regional DOL office, did you intern as a 1L or a 2L? In your opinion, do firms look favorably at law students who interned at the DOL?

Thanks.

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Re: NLRB/DOL Honors Programs and Employment Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:31 am

I interned as a 1L. There were 6 interns in the NYC office, 3 1Ls and 3 2Ls. I was pretty fortunate in the work I got to do (motion drafting, settlement negotiations, research), so it absolutely helped with my SA applications. It definitely wasn't the focus of most of my interviews, but having something interesting to talk about always helps. I am interested in labor & employment law, so it was great for me.

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Re: NLRB/DOL Honors Programs and Employment Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I interned as a 1L. There were 6 interns in the NYC office, 3 1Ls and 3 2Ls. I was pretty fortunate in the work I got to do (motion drafting, settlement negotiations, research), so it absolutely helped with my SA applications. It definitely wasn't the focus of most of my interviews, but having something interesting to talk about always helps. I am interested in labor & employment law, so it was great for me.


If you don't mind sharing, I would love to get more information from you. Is there anyway I can PM you?

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Re: NLRB/DOL Honors Programs and Employment Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:35 am

Does anyone have any information on Fisher & Phillips, especially regarding Irvine office---i.e. hours, pay, office culture, attrition rate, interaction with other offices, firm respect in L&E world, etc. Thanks!

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Re: NLRB/DOL Honors Programs and Employment Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone have any information on Fisher & Phillips, especially regarding Irvine office---i.e. hours, pay, office culture, attrition rate, interaction with other offices, firm respect in L&E world, etc. Thanks!

I only know they are very well respected in the L&E world. I had a screener with them a month ago but haven't heard back. Firm culture sounded strong, but might skew older. The pay is below market but I'm not sure what exactly; I believe at least 120k though.

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Re: NLRB/DOL Honors Programs and Employment Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
tgo2013 wrote:3L at a T20, similar stats. Littler is soliciting resumes at my school for entry-level applications in SF or LA.


OP. Yeah, same at mine. I actually spoke with an alum partner in SF and he said he would forward my resume to the hiring partners of those two offices before our school's resume collects were released. Littler is probably my top choice, but I know resume collections are a huge roll of the dice.

Anyone hear anything from Littler?

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Re: NLRB/DOL Honors Programs and Employment Firms

Postby dcdude » Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
tgo2013 wrote:3L at a T20, similar stats. Littler is soliciting resumes at my school for entry-level applications in SF or LA.


OP. Yeah, same at mine. I actually spoke with an alum partner in SF and he said he would forward my resume to the hiring partners of those two offices before our school's resume collects were released. Littler is probably my top choice, but I know resume collections are a huge roll of the dice.

Anyone hear anything from Littler?


I had applied in mid-August, and followed up with them a few weeks after. They told me they'd update me within the next couple of weeks and I haven't heard anything since. I'm really curious if anyone knows anything about their summer associate program, how many people they hire right out of school, etc. I'm interested in both LA and SF.... the information seems hard to come by, and I can't locate any NALP forms.

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Re: NLRB/DOL Honors Programs and Employment Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:23 pm

dcdude wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
tgo2013 wrote:3L at a T20, similar stats. Littler is soliciting resumes at my school for entry-level applications in SF or LA.


OP. Yeah, same at mine. I actually spoke with an alum partner in SF and he said he would forward my resume to the hiring partners of those two offices before our school's resume collects were released. Littler is probably my top choice, but I know resume collections are a huge roll of the dice.

Anyone hear anything from Littler?


I had applied in mid-August, and followed up with them a few weeks after. They told me they'd update me within the next couple of weeks and I haven't heard anything since. I'm really curious if anyone knows anything about their summer associate program, how many people they hire right out of school, etc. I'm interested in both LA and SF.... the information seems hard to come by, and I can't locate any NALP forms.

Are you a 2L or 3L?

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Re: NLRB/DOL Honors Programs and Employment Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:22 pm

Can anyone speak to how difficult it is to lateral from an office within the DOL after 2-3 years into a biglaw firm's l&e practice?




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