Law students interested in public policy should consider legislative jobs. Although the compensation is less than either private practice or executive departments, the experience gained is usually transferable to other government positions or positions in private practice. Many former legislative attorneys have become lobbyists in private law firms, corporations or trade associations, or have moved to executive departments that support legislative liaison divisions.
Regardless of whether the attorney is hired to serve on the legislator's personal staff or as staff for a legislative committee, these types of jobs share some characteristics. Hiring may be dependent upon political affiliation or support for the policy and programs of the individual legislator or committee. The positions are highly competitive, and many offices prefer staff members with ties to that legislator's district or geographic area. Prior Capitol Hill and/or legislative experience is a plus.
Networking is absolutely a must! Jobs tend to be "advertised" only through word-of-mouth. However, as OCPD receives job announcements, they are posted on CareerLink and listings of vacancies with the Senate are available by calling the Senate Jobs Hotline at 202-228-JOBS. Directions for applying for the openings are also available on this recording. Listings of vacancies with the House of Representatives are available at http://www.house.gov.
Leadership Directory (Federal Yellow Book)