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Kelly Brown Gunn, Government Attorney

published February 19, 2014

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left

( 16 votes, average: 4.8 out of 5)

What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Working as a government attorney has both pros and cons, just like any other attorney. Some of the pros include more freedom over what cases they work on and often having a more stable job than some other types of attorneys. Some of the cons include a lower average salary compared to private practice attorneys and less support staff to help you than you would have in private practice.

Government attorneys enjoy various benefits that private practice attorneys don't have. That being said, there are some downsides to becoming a government attorney. While they often have additional freedom over the cases they take on, and more job security, they also usually have less support staff and a lower average salary as compared to private practice attorneys. All in all, you should definitely consider becoming a government attorney if it looks like the right fit for you.

1. Why did you decide to work as a government attorney?

I became a GA because I had a personal preference to assist the public sector versus the private sector.

2. What is the best part of working as a government attorney?

The best part of working as a GA was financial stability and the diverse population of people, both professionally and personally, that you encounter on a day-to-day basis. There is a sense of contributing to your community that makes the job worth it!

3. What is the worst part of working as a government attorney?

The worst part of working as a GA was the growing lack of financial stability, the changes in a Governmental Administration which may negatively affect your employment and limited financial growth depending on whether you are at the local, state or federal level. Often you have little or no support staff.

4. What advice would you give to others looking to become a government attorney?

Be devoted to working hard with limited pay and little support staff. However, these become assets later if you seek to transition into the private sector.

5. What is a typical day like for you as a government attorney?

A typical day as a GA begins early and ends late, however, typically no later than 6pm. Assessing your daily agenda which likely changes daily. Attending meetings, in addition to your caseload is normal. Sometimes lunch is not on the agenda because of trying to balance your responsibilities.

6. How does your experience as a government attorney compare with your peers who chose other sorts of jobs?

My peers that have chosen the private sector have their own pros and cons that come with working at law firms or for corporations. They often make more money.However, the billable hours make it difficult to enjoy a quality of life. It all depends on the individual and what they desire in life.

7. What was/is your title while working in the government?

I was both an Assistant Corporation Counsel (City of Detroit) and Assistant Prosecuting Atty (Wayne County)

8. How hard is it to get the sort of job you did?

It was difficult to get both jobs due to the number and qualifications of the candidates. Numerous interviews and being patient comes with the territory.

Alternative Summary

Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

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