Law School Discussion

What about government jobs?

What about government jobs?
« on: February 15, 2008, 09:58:01 AM »
A lot of talk seems to focus on what it takes for BIGLAW and relating quality of schools in terms of placement ease in biglaw. I am primarily interested in working for the government after graduation [something along the lines of EPA, FERC, etc]. What is the general consensus of what it takes to land government jobs? Is it correct to assume federal is more competitive than state/city? DOJ, USAO, CIA toughest spots to land? Does T14 still dominant placement in govt positions? Does attendance at a public school have any impact? tyia!

Re: What about government jobs?
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2008, 09:04:34 PM »
BUMP

Im also interested in working for the Federal Gov..
What would be a better choice.. UC Davis with in state tuition or BC with no grant?

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Re: What about government jobs?
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2008, 09:07:55 PM »
DOJ honors, CIA, etc are competitive are dominated by T14 + super T1 students.

The common "go to the best school" generally applies to gov work too (although you should always consider your scholarship options)

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Re: What about government jobs?
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2008, 09:29:18 PM »
Roughly how competitive are typical government jobs (i.e. are T14's auto-admits?  Top half of Georgetown?)?  What is the earnings potential after 2-3 years?  Typical # of hours worked?  Do LRAP and other similar programs consider government work "public interest" ?

$50k first year, right?

Gov != Public Interest, but this does not mean that LRAP won't cover it.

Salaries and competitiveness are highly dependent on the actual job - $40-60k for first years can be expected.

Re: What about government jobs?
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2008, 11:15:11 PM »
A possibly important fact to some people:  If you take a clerkship before you go to the Federal government, the government also counts that as a year of experience towards your pay (in other words, you come in as a GS-12 instead of GS-11)

Re: What about government jobs?
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2008, 06:02:47 AM »
Roughly how competitive are typical government jobs (i.e. are T14's auto-admits?  Top half of Georgetown?)?  What is the earnings potential after 2-3 years?  Typical # of hours worked?  Do LRAP and other similar programs consider government work "public interest" ?

$50k first year, right?

Bump. I am also extremely interested in this!

Re: What about government jobs?
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2008, 07:12:17 AM »
And I wonder if anyone knows about the size of differences within the T14? Looking at school websites, my impression is that HYS send lots of students to jobs like DOJ Honors; NYU and Columbia seem to send far fewer. But the data are so limited that I'd love it if someone could confirm/disconfirm my impression...

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Re: What about government jobs?
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2008, 07:39:24 AM »
I was a paralegal at DOJ before law school, and I spoke with a recruiter about my options.  He basically said that it's best to go to a top school, but if you don't hit that threshold, it doesn't matter so much.  They don't distinguish as much between T1 and T2 or T3.  It's most important to do well at school and take practical skills courses.  There was a huge amount of diversity among schools represented at my office (Yale through fourth tier).  However, there was a noticeable trend that grads hired in the last 5 years were typically from T14 or had phenomenal grades and previous experience.

I'm not making any claims that this is how other components of DOJ make decisions about new hires.  It's just one office.

A federal judicial clerkship helps very much.  But if you can get a federal clerkship, then your grades are high enough that you can probably get DOJ without the clerkship.

Last I checked, most components hired at about $60K in DC.  If your debt is pretty high, this is a manageable but not great salary in DC.  If you're planning on the house, spouse, and 2.3 kids, you certainly want to keep your debt as low as possible.

Re: What about government jobs?
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2008, 10:47:04 AM »
A possibly important fact to some people:  If you take a clerkship before you go to the Federal government, the government also counts that as a year of experience towards your pay (in other words, you come in as a GS-12 instead of GS-11)

Do lawyers working for the Fed cap at GS-15? From the description of the Senior Level pay scale it doesn't sound like they would generally qualify. I don't think I would have a problem with this if it does stop there, as I would ideally like to do government work and then jump into private practice from the connections I make.

Re: What about government jobs?
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2008, 11:44:37 AM »
I'm interested in a government job (DOJ Honors, AG, etc.) after law school as well. Does anyone have any information regarding whether going to one of MVP with a scholarship would limit my options compared to Columbia or NYU? If so, to what extent?