dardardelight wrote:Can anybody vouch for WUSTL placement into federal agencies such as the DOE, EPA, commerce, etc? I'm interested in getting an honors clerkship in either the EPA or DOE, and am just wondering if the clinics at Washu and the DC semester in practice provide me with the right resources. My decision might have to be washU / GW. Staying in DC seems like a no-brainer, but I really like the small class size, campus feel, and opportunities to study Chinese language/legal studies at WashU .
Basically, how's fed gov placement for people who are super focused and devoted upon entering WashU??
There's really not enough FedGov positions open each year to get a really good measure on how one school places with respect to others. I can say that Labor does OCI at WUSTL, and Labor is one of the more selective agencies out there. It's hard for me to have a good perspective, though, because when I was there, basically every agency had a hiring freeze. I think those are generally thawing.
I do know a handful of people in FedGov, and with WUSTL on your resume, you usually get treated with respect. I don't really think going to GW over WUSTL will give you much of a boost, though, if any. The most exciting FedGov positions, IMO, are in field offices doing litigation around the country. In that case, you're better off doing an internship at that particular office. But if you want to be holed up in a bureaucracy in DC doing policy work, DC might be better suited for you.
WUSTL has plenty of externship opportunities in DC, but doing internships/externships during school aren't a great way to get hired full-time when you graduate when it comes to FedGov. It's not like a private firm, where they say "hey, I like this guy/gal, lets hire them." You have to apply through USA Jobs for a lot of positions, and the HR bureaucracy in DC sorts those resumes, there's all sorts of considerations that go into who to hire besides just doing an internship there. And you have to hope that Congress has given them enough of a budget when you graduate to hire anyone at all. This is sometimes hard to predict. If you graduate after 2016, it might make a huge difference who's controlling the Presidency/Congress. It's extremely bureaucratic and political. Having agency/public interest experience on your resume helps, especially if it's in that particular area. FedGov doesn't like to spend a ton of money training people, so get as much hands-on experience as possible, so you semi-know what you're doing. Then just cross your fingers that there's no budget austerity when you finish law school.
Also, be prepared to volunteer for a year or two (with no guarantee of a job) provided that there's no budget to hire you. Fed and local government agencies can get away with this because your labor is in the public interest.