A career in law can cross many fields including business, government, technology, human and civil rights, international relations, medicine, law enforcement, politics, entertainment, sports and the arts, as well as jurisprudence and academia. Those interested in the structure and function of government often find themselves in the legislative branch, helping to research and craft legislation that eventually may become law. Others may prefer to explore civil service paths in executive agencies and departments. The Harvard Veterans Alumni Organization is an excellent resource for students exploring military options. The organization can help to connect students thinking about military service with veterans from across Harvard University.

Finding Internships

Finding an internship within a federal government agency or affiliate can require a variety of approaches. Look for opportunities through the Pathways Program on USAJobs.gov. These internship opportunities are paid, and can be a helpful way to gain experience and a more in-depth understanding of how the federal government operates. Harvard also has many excellent resources for students interested in pursuing government internships, including the Institute of Politics (IOP). For state and local government opportunities, visit the respective city or state government website to search for the staffing or human resources link and use their job search resource. GovEngine.com aggregates links to various federal, state, and local governments, including court systems.

Finding Jobs

For full-time opportunities in the 300 plus agencies of the federal government, one approach is the Recent Graduates Program, part of the Pathways Program on USAJobs.gov. The program is generally one-year and includes training, development, and mentorship. There are several other tools and offices to help students navigate USAJobs (and the government job search) including the Partnership for Public ServiceGoGovernment, and Harvard’s Institute of Politics (IOP). In addition, the A to Z list of Federal Agencies  can be helpful in contacting offices directly. For State and local government opportunities, GovEngine.com aggregates links to various federal, state, and local governments, including court systems.

Graduate and Professional Programs

To practice law in the U.S., you must graduate from law school and pass the bar exam. Graduate education is also typically necessary for advancement within government and international relations. For advanced positions in government agencies, a professional master’s degree is the most common credential. Many universities offer graduate degrees in public policy (M.P.P.) or public administration (M.P.A), or a master’s level degree in government, political science, or international relations. Depending on the job role or function, other degrees might be required or preferred, including law, business, engineering, or a doctoral degree.

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