The different aspects of government law take in a wide variety of jobs that are available for the law student looking for his first job or the partially seasoned attorney looking for a change. It really depends on what level of government you choose. There are state levels which include attorney generals, and the public defenders office. Federal level jobs are quite interesting as they involve a lot of investigating for the Department of Justice and several other agencies.
If the idea of drafting legislative law, lobbying and taking care of civil and criminal proceedings for the government appeals to you, this may be the career choice you want. The legal aid society is one place that may be just what you are looking for in the way of a career. If you think that helping to take care of the legal rights of disadvantaged people would be something you would be interested in, this is one of the many government attorney jobs.
Choosing the Right Career
How many people do you know that thoroughly enjoy their jobs? My guess would be not nearly as many as those who do not. When you go to school as long as it takes to become an attorney, the type of attorney you choose should be considered above all else. After all, this is not a position that you can just walk into after graduating from high school. It takes a lot of hard work to get to the point where you can finally hang the sign that proclaims that you are a bona fide attorney.
Government jobs are hard to come by but the first thing you should know about them is that the upper level positions are harder to get than the entry level. However, if you are really serious about this type of position, you should just get together the best resume that you can and apply. Make sure you put in the reason why you would like to have this type of job over the various other attorney positions available.
What Are the Responsibilities of Government Attorneys?
Some of the responsibilities of government attorney jobs are taking care of court proceedings for state attorney generals, acting as public defenders, working with the district attorneys and the courts. When you work for the federal government as an attorney, you may be assigned to work for the Department of Justice among other agencies.
Government lawyer jobs may include the practice of civil rights law, many aspects of equal housing rights as well as employment. They may also sit in as the judge in a civil rights proceeding. The government always needs advice of a legal nature when it comes to civil rights and government contracts.
The government lawyer will defend clients in the state and federal courts if needed. They have a variety of responsibilities for the public sector which may include investigating claims of violations relating to unfair treatment when it comes to discrimination. Compliance with the law is not an option when it comes to discrimination.
Another specialty of government lawyer jobs are in some instances to represent the municipal government as needed. This may include zoning laws, real estate, and tax law. There is also the problem of labor relations which falls under this category as well. The government lawyer will sometimes have to represent a city or town in courts at the federal level.
The professional responsibility of government lawyers is considered among certain areas of the government as more of a public interest servant than lawyers who have their own practice. There are several legal writings that have stated this as fact. Many other people have challenged this belief. It remains that everyone is of a different opinion.
What Are the Pay Rates for Government Lawyers?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the average salary for lawyers working for government at all levels is
- $119,000+ for the federal executive branch
- Local government $87,000+
- State government $78,000+
The lawyer who works for the government does very well. Do you suppose this is one of the reasons it is such a sought after position? Many times that may hold true however, some lawyers prefer to work government jobs because they feel they are making more of a difference than other practices.
As stated before, political law is one aspect that can be rewarding for a government lawyer if the individual wants to pursue a career in the legislative branch of government. The policy makers need some legal advice from time to time. The advice of these lawyers is an invaluable asset.
The job of the government lawyer is not easy, however; it is not difficult either. The position is definitely a step in the right direction if you think this is the type of career you want. If so, keep your eyes and ears open for any positions that may open up, check with your judicial friends, and if you have relatives, who are lawyers in the government sector, check with them as well. If it is really something you want, do not stop until the goal has been attained.
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