Federal Government Positions

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jediknight2424
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Federal Government Positions

Postby jediknight2424 » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:44 pm

In my research, I've learned a lot about how securing a firm job and the Big Law lifestyle. Is there a specific track I should be following if I want to work in government ?

Should I be looking at 1L summer jobs in government or does it not matter?
Does the government recruit at the same time as firms (beginning of 2L)?
Does working for the government count as "public interest" and are you eligible for LRAP?
What is the government lifestyle like? Is the fact that starting salary is around 60 thousand an issue?
Is securing an entry-level attorney job difficult coming out of law school?
Stupid question-- are all federal government positions in DC or are there some in NY?


If there's a relevant website/thread/article, please let me know. Thanks!

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Campagnolo
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Re: Federal Government Positions

Postby Campagnolo » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:52 pm

Wow. Just... wow.

baller
Posts: 51
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Re: Federal Government Positions

Postby baller » Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:37 pm

Ok I am a 0L but some of your questions are just stupid at least try a little.

In my research, I've learned a lot about how securing a firm job and the Big Law lifestyle. Is there a specific track I should be following if I want to work in government ?

Should I be looking at 1L summer jobs in government or does it not matter?
Duh if you want to be in government being is government is better

Does the government recruit at the same time as firms (beginning of 2L)?
No clue but should be easy to find if you try a little

Does working for the government count as "public interest" and are you eligible for LRAP?
Pretty much what public interest is

What is the government lifestyle like? Is the fact that starting salary is around 60 thousand an issue?
If you have tons of debt or course it is an issue, if you debt free then no you can live comfortably on 60k, but you wont be rich or anything. Do you have no sense of money?

Is securing an entry-level attorney job difficult coming out of law school?
From Yale? No From TTTT? yes.

Stupid question-- are all federal government positions in DC or are there some in NY?
Yes the federal Government only employees people in DC /sarcasm it was a stupid question your right


If there's a relevant website/thread/article, please let me know. Thanks!

ahnhub
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Re: Federal Government Positions

Postby ahnhub » Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:06 pm

An 0L here, but I've researched this a little.

The only established way to gain employment as an entry-level federal attorney is through the Honors Program, which runs on a schedule similar to BigLaw hiring (you will enter your 2L summer). Most federal departments have an Honors Program, but the biggest employer is the DOJ. Still, I think in total only 500 or so attorneys are hired this way (and probably less now, with slashed budgets). Most attorneys who work for the federal gov't have transitioned after working in the private sector or state/local gov't.

People say the life style is pretty great--you get interesting high-level work and manageable hours. The entry-level pay is roughly 25% of a Biglaw salary, and the mid-career pay is probably 33% of a Biglaw salary. I think GS levels cap out around 130,000. But benefits are awesome, and it's very stable once you're in (unless you happen to work directly for Alberto Gonzalez, I guess).

All of the Departments are DC-centric, but there is a US Attorneys office in every state.

I think the starting salary for a federal lawyer is too high to qualify for LRAP at most schools (this may be changing?) But anyone with significant debt will qualify for IBR, which IMO is worse than LRAP but still pretty good.

Well, if there's only a couple of hundred spots, yes it's probably very difficult. There are similar standards to Biglaw hiring--school prestige, class rank, etc. This is just a general impression but I sense HYS gets a huge boost in federal hiring, and the rest of T1 schools less so. But there are a bunch of federal lawyers that got DOJ Honors through less prestigious schools--I think grades and interest in gov't service are equally important.

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20130312
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Re: Federal Government Positions

Postby 20130312 » Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:08 pm

jediknight2424 wrote:If there's a relevant website/thread/article, please let me know. Thanks!


Google.

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mi-chan17
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Re: Federal Government Positions

Postby mi-chan17 » Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:21 pm

I'm a 2L with prior/current/future federal internships. I'll answer your questions, but I have to warn you that a lot of things will vary depending on your prior work experience and what agencies/areas of law you're actually interested in. If you let me know what you're looking for more specifically, I could give you better answers.

Should I be looking at 1L summer jobs in government or does it not matter?
When interviewing for government jobs, showing your dedication to going that route is somewhat important. So if you don't have a background in public service, it's good to get some government experience on your resume. If you do already have a background in public serve, it's less important, though it still doesn't hurt.

Does the government recruit at the same time as firms (beginning of 2L)?
The more competitive government internships begin their recruitment process at the beginning of 2L. However, their process tends to be much longer. DOJ SLIP just began giving out offers in the last couple of weeks. Also unlike the firm recruitment process, the likelihood of receiving a permanent offer through one of these internships is fairly low (especially in the current economy).

Does working for the government count as "public interest" and are you eligible for LRAP?
This depends on your school's LRAP. At my school it only counts if you make less than around $35k (so....no, no you're not LRAP eligible). Look into what your school's policy is.

What is the government lifestyle like? Is the fact that starting salary is around 60 thousand an issue?
You don't make BigLaw salary; you don't even get close to it. That said, you work much more regular hours and around 40 hours a week, which is attractive. And the government has some killer benefits. There's IBR/PSLF, but if you have a ton of debt coming out of school, the lower pay is something to think about.

Is securing an entry-level attorney job difficult coming out of law school?
Yes. Yes it is. The level of difficulty depends on the specific agency/area you're interested in, but given the budget cuts, pretty much any entry level job is tough to come by.

The path required for entry-level legal employment depends entirely on the department/agency. DOJ requires entry through the AG Honors program (for those components that take entry-level, which isn't all of them). DHS has something similar. Go over to the 'Legal Employment' thread and you can read panicked 3L postings about applying through these programs; they're very competitive.

Stupid question-- are all federal government positions in DC or are there some in NY?
There are federal jobs in NY, though I have no idea if they're in the agencies/areas you're interested in. That said, there are far more federal jobs in DC.

If there's a relevant website/thread/article, please let me know. Thanks!
InGoodFaith wrote:
jediknight2424 wrote:If there's a relevant website/thread/article, please let me know. Thanks!


Google.

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Cartman
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Re: Federal Government Positions

Postby Cartman » Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:52 pm

mi-chan17 wrote:I'm a 2L with prior/current/future federal internships. I'll answer your questions, but I have to warn you that a lot of things will vary depending on your prior work experience and what agencies/areas of law you're actually interested in. If you let me know what you're looking for more specifically, I could give you better answers.

Should I be looking at 1L summer jobs in government or does it not matter?
When interviewing for government jobs, showing your dedication to going that route is somewhat important. So if you don't have a background in public service, it's good to get some government experience on your resume. If you do already have a background in public serve, it's less important, though it still doesn't hurt.

Does the government recruit at the same time as firms (beginning of 2L)?
The more competitive government internships begin their recruitment process at the beginning of 2L. However, their process tends to be much longer. DOJ SLIP just began giving out offers in the last couple of weeks. Also unlike the firm recruitment process, the likelihood of receiving a permanent offer through one of these internships is fairly low (especially in the current economy).

Does working for the government count as "public interest" and are you eligible for LRAP?
This depends on your school's LRAP. At my school it only counts if you make less than around $35k (so....no, no you're not LRAP eligible). Look into what your school's policy is.

What is the government lifestyle like? Is the fact that starting salary is around 60 thousand an issue?
You don't make BigLaw salary; you don't even get close to it. That said, you work much more regular hours and around 40 hours a week, which is attractive. And the government has some killer benefits. There's IBR/PSLF, but if you have a ton of debt coming out of school, the lower pay is something to think about.

Is securing an entry-level attorney job difficult coming out of law school?
Yes. Yes it is. The level of difficulty depends on the specific agency/area you're interested in, but given the budget cuts, pretty much any entry level job is tough to come by.

The path required for entry-level legal employment depends entirely on the department/agency. DOJ requires entry through the AG Honors program (for those components that take entry-level, which isn't all of them). DHS has something similar. Go over to the 'Legal Employment' thread and you can read panicked 3L postings about applying through these programs; they're very competitive.

Stupid question-- are all federal government positions in DC or are there some in NY?
There are federal jobs in NY, though I have no idea if they're in the agencies/areas you're interested in. That said, there are far more federal jobs in DC.

If there's a relevant website/thread/article, please let me know. Thanks!
InGoodFaith wrote:
jediknight2424 wrote:If there's a relevant website/thread/article, please let me know. Thanks!


Google.


Quick couple questions: I got most of what you're saying, but I wanted to clarify a couple things: SLIP = ? And PLSF = ? Public Service something? And lastly, AG Honors = ? What's AG?

Thanks for your help!

Edit: One more question: If you wanted to work in government and being that most jobs are in DC, would it be wiser to go to a school in the DC area, say Georgetown? Or would going to a school in NY like Cornell still work?

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mi-chan17
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Re: Federal Government Positions

Postby mi-chan17 » Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:24 pm

Cartman wrote:Quick couple questions: I got most of what you're saying, but I wanted to clarify a couple things: SLIP = ? And PLSF = ? Public Service something? And lastly, AG Honors = ? What's AG?

Thanks for your help!

Edit: One more question: If you wanted to work in government and being that most jobs are in DC, would it be wiser to go to a school in the DC area, say Georgetown? Or would going to a school in NY like Cornell still work?


SLIP = The DOJ's Summer Law Internship Program, which is the DOJ's only paid internship program and the only program through which they are allowed to "funnel" offers through the Honor's program (which I'll explain in a second). The SLIP is very competitive, and has become more so as the economy has tanked; more people are applying (who in a better economy would've gone to firms) and the government can afford fewer paid interns. You apply to the SLIP fall of 2L (on the usual OCI schedule, like for firms). *

AG Honors = The DOJ's Attorney General Honors Program, which is the only method to get an entry-level attorney job (in those components that take entry-level attorneys) with Justice. The application process is just like the SLIP, but the competitiveness is amped up by the fact that they take even fewer Honor's attorneys than SLIP interns. The only way to bypass this process is to receive a "funnel offer" at the end of your SLIP internship, which is extremely rare. You apply for the AG Honors Program fall of 3L.*

PSLF = Public Sector Loan Forgiveness. If you work 10 years in any qualifying public sector job (government, certain non-profits, etc.), and are utilizing IBR for your loan payments, at the end of 10 years the government will wipe out your remaining debt. Whether or not this program will continue (both for those classes whose promissory notes contain these arrangements and for those who are currently 0Ls) is something various law students (and 0Ls) argue about. I'm sure you can find these discussions on TLS somewhere.


As to your last question: If you want Fed, and you're choosing between peer schools (like Georgetown and Cornell), go to the one in DC. The internship opportunities are just so much better (because you have year-round access) that it'll make a difference. If you are choosing between non-peers (like Cornell and American), go to the better school. Prestige is certainly a factor in federal hiring.

* Edited to reflect when, during law school, you apply to these things.

Eliyahu7
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 12:03 am

Re: Federal Government Positions

Postby Eliyahu7 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:51 pm

baller wrote:Ok I am a 0L but some of your questions are just stupid at least try a little.

In my research, I've learned a lot about how securing a firm job and the Big Law lifestyle. Is there a specific track I should be following if I want to work in government ?

Should I be looking at 1L summer jobs in government or does it not matter?
Duh if you want to be in government being is government is better

Does the government recruit at the same time as firms (beginning of 2L)?
No clue but should be easy to find if you try a little

Does working for the government count as "public interest" and are you eligible for LRAP?
Pretty much what public interest is

What is the government lifestyle like? Is the fact that starting salary is around 60 thousand an issue?
If you have tons of debt or course it is an issue, if you debt free then no you can live comfortably on 60k, but you wont be rich or anything. Do you have no sense of money?

Is securing an entry-level attorney job difficult coming out of law school?
From Yale? No From TTTT? yes.

Stupid question-- are all federal government positions in DC or are there some in NY?
Yes the federal Government only employees people in DC /sarcasm it was a stupid question your right


If there's a relevant website/thread/article, please let me know. Thanks!


I've seen a lot of bullshit on this forum from self-designated geniuses but this has got to be the absolute worst example. Why don't you try actually answering a fucking question with a degree of adequacy before you try and spout off about how insightful you are, and how obvious the subject matter is. Clearly if that was the case you would be able to answer with some depth that demonstrates a real sense of understanding. Offering a response such as "no clue" hardly justifies an attempt to make yourself appear superior to the person asking the question. But who am I kidding, you must have known all about government legal positions the minute you popped out of the womb.
Last edited by Eliyahu7 on Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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NYC Law
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Re: Federal Government Positions

Postby NYC Law » Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:56 pm

0Ls: GTFO. Thx.




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