Career Paths: Government

Lawyers are employed in every branch and at virtually every level of government, from a small city law department all the way up to the largest branches of the federal government.  The U.S. Department of Justice alone (the investigation and litigation arm of the federal government) is the single largest employer of attorneys in the country. Some government attorneys work in a traditional legal role, serving as the attorney for the city, state, agency, etc. Other attorneys work in legislative affairs, compliance issues, or other law-related specialties.

Government employment also encompasses attorneys working as prosecutors, as clerks or staff attorneys in judges' chambers, as well as attorneys serving in the military as JAG officers.

The Career Planning library has an excellent collection of federal and state directories, as well as county directories for some states.   Some publications include explanations of department structure, numbers of attorneys and contact names. Most government agencies and departments also have excellent websites that giver extensive information about their department's work and details about their hiring procedures.