Government & Capitol Hill

In D.C., federal, state and local governments are the largest employers of attorneys. Nationally, the 50 state governments employ 4.7 million people, and in 1997 (last Census), 138,674 of those workers were classified as judicial and legal.

Because government and government services are implicated in almost every aspect of our lives, the types of employment in government service are too numerous to list. From Postal Service attorneys investigating and prosecuting mail fraud to Justice Department lawyers arguing to closed courtrooms in matters of national security, the government offers practitioners excellent experience and exposure.

Advantages to government service include generally better working hours and freedom from client development and billable hours. One disadvantage to government jobs is that salaries are generally lower than in large private firms. However, a career in the government can be financially rewarding. Note also, attorneys often make lateral moves between government and private employers.

If you'd like to target government as part of your job search, be sure to make an appointment with an OCPD career counselor to develop job search strategies and to review application materials. Appointments can be made via CareerLink.


Office of Career & Professional Development • American University Washington College of Law
4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW, Suite C115 Washington, DC 20016 • 202-274-4090 F: 202-274-4096