Public Sector & Public Interest

The Career Center works closely with the Field Placement Office, Pro Bono Program, and the Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics to support students pursuing public sector and public interest careers. The Career Center connects students with employers through the annual Public Sector Recruiting Program (PSRP), the Equal Justice Works Conference and Career Fair, information sessions with employers, and various networking events. GW Law is also a member of PSJD and Equal Justice Works, national organizations that provide resources and connect law students with public interest opportunities worldwide.

Public Interest Newsletter

The Public Interest newsletter, sent approximately every other week, includes information about non-profit and government events, job postings, news, resources, fellowships, and funding opportunities. Email [email protected]edu to subscribe.

Subscribe to the Public Interest Newsletter

Public Interest Career Advising Timeline

Fall Semester

August

  • Participate in the Public Interest Pre-Orientation.

September

October

  • Attend the Pro Bono Fair in mid-October.
  • Register for and attend table talk session at the Equal Justice Works Conference and Career Fair to meet public interest employers and learn more about public interest internships and careers.
  • Begin using the Career Center webpage and PSJD to explore public interest career paths, practice areas, and practice settings.
  • After October 15th, make an appointment to review your resume, a draft cover letter, and discuss your summer and long-term career plans.

Winter Break

Spring Semester

January

  • Attend the PSRP orientation session in early January.
  • Learn more about public interest careers at oncampus events. Attend the pre-PSRP  networking reception hosted by the SBA and the ABA Public Lawyering panel.
  • Participate in PSRP! Attend interviews, table talk, and apply to resume collections.

February

  • Continue building professional relationships and keep up your summer job search.
  • Learn about summer funding opportunities at the Career Center’s information session on “How to Get Summer Funding for Your Public Interest or Government Job”.
    • Funding sources include GW Law-sponsored summer subsidies, Equal Justice Foundation summer grants, GWU KACIF grants, and external grants. Most sources require that you have a position lined up before funding can be awarded. Deadlines for applications typically fall in late February through late March.
  • Volunteer with the EJF Trivia Night, Race for Equal Justice, and auction activities.

March

  • Keep up your summer job search. Most students confirm their summer positions in March or April.
  • Participate in a pro bono project during Alternative Spring Break.
  • Attend the clinic open house to learn about clinical opportunities; apply for clinics.
  • When registering for classes, consider Field Placement (internships/externships for credit) in line with your interests. Consult with the Dean of Students office for academic advising
  • Submit your application for GW Law summer subsidies.
  • Volunteer for and attend the EJF auction. Submit your application for EJF summer funding.

Summer

  • Make the most of your summer internship experience. Look out for opportunities to take on new assignments, gain new skills and subject matter knowledge, and develop professional relationships in the public interest field.
  • Apply to fall externship opportunities.
  • Consider pro bono opportunities as a way to gain skills and exposure to practice areas outside of your summer internship.
  • OCI is not just for the private sector! Watch for Career Center communication about “OCI” (On-Campus Interviews) and regional recruitment programs. Many public sector employers, including federal agencies and prosecutor and public defender offices, participate in these programs and seek early applications from rising 2Ls.

Fall Semester

  • Meet with a counselor to develop a long-term strategy for your public interest career and begin your 2L summer job search. Consider how your choice of 2L summer position will impact your future plans for Honors programs, fellowships, and other post-grad opportunities.
  • Watch for early deadlines! Apply to DOJ SLIP (deadline is Tuesday after Labor Day).
  • Register for and apply to employers participating in the Equal Justice Works Career Fair and Conference.
  • Research and apply for spring externships and clinics that will help you develop new skills and/or deepen your experience in a specific area.
  • Continue building your resume by participating in pro bono opportunities and through involvement with public interest student organizations.

Spring Semester

  • Apply to and attend PSRP.
  • Continue your 2L summer job search, and begin applying for fall externships.
  • Attend summer funding information session and apply for summer funding.
  • Research and apply for fall externships and clinics that will help you develop new skills and/or deepen your experience in a specific area.
  • Attend Post-Graduate Fellowship Information Session. Consider how your 2L summer experience could impact your search for a fellowship sponsor, especially if you plan to co-design your fellowship proposal or adopt an existing project idea.
  • Review the post-graduate fellowships guide in the “Resource Center” section of PSJD and meet with a counselor to discuss your ideas.
  • Participate in an Alternative Spring Break pro bono project.

Summer

  • Begin developing proposals and sponsorship relationships for project-based fellowships like Equal Justice Works and Skadden.
  • Research and begin applying for organization-based fellowships, whose deadlines start now and run through spring of 3L year.
  • Research deadlines for federal agency and state AG Honors Programs.
  • Apply for 3L Shapiro Fellowship for academic-year internships by late July deadline.
  • Prepare for and participate in OCI and regional recruitment programs. Some federal agencies, prosecutor, and public defender offices begin their recruitment for post-graduate opportunities through OCI.
  • Begin post-grad financial planning. Research loan repayment and student debt relief options. 

Fall Semester

  • Apply to federal agency and state AG Honors programs. DOJ Honors deadline is Tuesday after Labor Day. Other Honors Program deadlines occur throughout September and October.
  • Apply to state court clerkships throughout the fall.
  • Register for and apply to employers participating in the Equal Justice Works Career Fair and Conference.
  • Complete applications for Equal Justice Works, Skadden, and Gideon’s Promise Fellowships, due in September/October.
  • Attend Presidential Management Fellowship Info Session and apply for PMF program (typically late October/early November).

Spring Semester

  • Apply to and attend PSRP.
  • Continue applying for organization-based and clinical fellowships and state court clerkships.
  • Finalize your bar exam jurisdiction and study plans.
  • Meet with Financial Aid Office about GW’s Loan Reimbursement Assistance Program, which assists law graduates working in public sector jobs with repayment of law school loans. Research other loan repayment options and assistance.
  • Complete and turn in Pro Bono hours to Dean David Johnson before late April deadline to receive recognition at graduation.

 

 

Explore Public Interest and Public Sector Careers

View resources related to specific practice areas and settings to dive deeper into your areas of interest

 

Application Documents

Learn how to tailor your resume and cover letters to make the best impression with public interest organizations, as well as tips for federal government resumes.

 

Tips for Interiewing

Get tips on preparing for interviews, including public sector, public interest, and prosecutor/public defender interviews.

 

Scholarships and Summer Funding

Students working in public sector or public interest internships are eligible to apply for a variety of scholarships and summer funding opportunities, including the Law School Summer Grant Program, EJF, KACIF, and more.

 

 


Public Sector Recruiting Program (PSRP)

Public Sector Recruiting ProgramThe GW Law Career Center and the Georgetown University Law Center collaborate to host our annual Public Sector Recruiting Program (PSRP). This program allows public interest organizations, government agencies, and legal services offices to meet and interview students from both law schools. The program is comprised of three components: in-person interviews (applications must be submitted in advance), a "Table Talk" networking event, and an online Resume Collection. The program will be held on Friday, January 31, 2020 at the George Washington University Marvin Center.

Students will receive detailed information via email immediately following exams. The application period for in-person interviews occurs over winter break. The Career Center will host webinar(s) over winter break to help students navigate the application process and prepare for the program. Students should monitor their email for important information and deadlines.