Government legal practice is intellectually challenging and rewarding, offering a wide range of experiences. For example, the Department of Justice (DOJ), dubbed the Nation's Law Firm, provides exciting opportunities in the areas of litigation, enforcement, and investigation. Government jobs also span a plethora of practice areas—from securities, to healthcare, to international trade law—so the skills and experience gained in the government transfer to both the private and nonprofit sectors. Below are some resources to help you explore opportunities in the federal government, including working on the Hill and for the military. There are resources for state and local government opportunities as well. For information on positions with the judicial branch, please see the judicial clerkships section. Our website also has information pertaining to some of the top legal practice areas you can experience in the government setting, such as criminal law.
Law School Resources
The Law School has more than 50 student organizations, many which run their own public service projects. Please note that from academic year to year, new student organizations form while others may become inactive.
Criminal Prosecution and Defense (including U.S. Attorneys, District Attorneys, Federal Defender, and local Public Defenders)
See criminal law practice page
Department of Justice
Federal Government (Non-DOJ)
- PSJD is searchable by type of job, practice area(s), geographic area, size of office, and so on.
- USAJobs is the federal government's central place for job postings. Please note that up to 80% of attorney jobs are not posted here. Thus, it is a good start, but not an ending place for your search. www.usajobs.gov/studentjobs is a subset of USAJobs.gov with searchable postings for temporary and permanent jobs for students.
- The U.S. Government Manual is a useful research tool for finding out more about what a particular part of the government does. The Manual "provides comprehensive information on the agencies of the legislative, judicial, and executive branches…. A typical agency description includes: a list of officials heading major operating units; a summary statement of the agency's purpose and role in the Federal Government; a brief history of the agency, including its legislative or executive authority; a description of its programs and activities; and information, addresses, and phone numbers to help users locate detailed information on consumer activities, contracts and grants, employment, publications, and other matters of public interest."
- The ABA's Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division.
- Jobhunt.org lists the employment portals for many government agencies, as well as links to other useful resources.
Law Student Jobs Online has summer internship listings for law students.
Other Government Job Search Links
Federal Government Jobs Outside Washington, D.C.
- America Job lists federal jobs within every state and country, and you can sort them by job category as well. This list may not be useful for finding a particular job posting, but it will help you identify some of the federal agencies/offices that are housed in a particular state or abroad.
- U.S. Government Manual has information on locations of agency field offices.
- The DOJ has compiled a list of Field Office Locations Outside Washington, D.C.
Jobs on the Hill
State and Local AgenciesMichigan
General State and Municipal Resources
Lists of State and Local Government Agencies