Lateraling to fed gov

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Lateraling to fed gov

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 04, 2015 10:05 am

In lateraling to fed gov after few years in big law, is it necessary that I show commitment to public service? In particular, if we are talking DOJ (AUSA position or Main Justice position), would a public defender clinic in law school help show commitment to public service? I can't think of any other way other than doing pro bono work. Legal Aid?

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Re: Lateraling to fed gov

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 04, 2015 10:49 am

I'm not really clear if you're trying to decide what to do while you're still in school, or trying to figure out how to spin your resume after the fact? If the former, interning for the federal government - in whatever capacity - is going to show your interest in government work most directly. If you're looking to be an AUSA, most of the ones I know interned for a USAO during law school. Some kind of state or local government gig would work, too. The defender clinic would be fine, although I think doing the work through school seems a little less connected to public service than if you're working directly for the PD or whoever.

I think usually when the feds want a commitment to "public service," they mean the public writ large (so the government) rather than just aid to the downtrodden. Legal aid and pro bono are good things and look decent on a resume, but direct government experience will probably be more pertinent. (TLS tends to talk about public interest/public service/public sector stuff sort of interchangeably as "not biglaw," but I think "public service" for the feds is more about service to the government than working directly with the indigent, which is what a lot of more strictly public interest positions entail.)

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Re: Lateraling to fed gov

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 04, 2015 10:54 am

I just graduated. I'm wondering if I can do something between bar passage and work start (I have 2.5 months) to benefit me. If I have to work for the government, probably not, right

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Re: Lateraling to fed gov

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 04, 2015 11:02 am

I'm pretty sure you can't volunteer for the feds after you've graduated, no (don't know about state/local government). Doing legal aid or the like in that time then isn't going to hurt you (it sounds like you did the defender clinic already? which is certainly something) but you may get more benefit from networking and doing pro bono stuff once you start work. It's not really a long enough period to get much substantive experience in anything, so not sure how helpful it would be.

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Re: Lateraling to fed gov

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:08 pm

The best way to lateral to the federal government is to work in a field that is on the other side of the federal government, like securities defense, antitrust, and other regulatory fields. While having some federal government internships in law school is a plus, it won't even remotely be the most important thing on your resume as a lateral (it will for honors program jobs directly out of school, though). Also, as someone mentioned, commitment to public service for the federal government means working in the government, preferably on the federal level. Legal Aid etc. don't count for federal government purposes.




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