Tom Brzezenski, Government Attorney

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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 decided to enter service with the FDIC in the immediate aftermath of the economic crash of 2008 (sometimes referred to as the "Great Recession"). The world and US economic and banking systems were teetering on the edge of collapse and I thought it important to offer my services as part of the solution in the bank regulatory area.

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

I enjoy the camaraderie of working with some extremely bright and dedicated people. Government work tends to foster a team approach to the practice of law.

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

The economic compensation and sometimes the frustration that can accompany the navigation of the government bureaucracy.

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

I believe that all attorneys will benefit greatly from have served, at least for a portion of their careers, as a government attorney. I believe that such work will expose you to high-level legal issues, many times cutting- edge. I feel a profound sense of mission accomplishment and patriotism as a result of my service, and I do not believe that this is an uncommon sentiment among government attorneys.

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

There seldom is a typical day.

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

I believe there are certain experiences and perspectives that you will find only as a government attorney. The practice is very intellectually rewarding and challenging. The obvious difference is that there are no new business development goals placed on government attorneys.

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