For students interested in learning more about legal jobs with the federal government, Landing a Federal Legal Job: Finding Success in the U.S. Government Job Market, by Richard Hermann, provides a great introduction to the types of jobs available and how to apply for them. A copy of this book is available in the Career Development Office.

The first two parts of the book provide basic information about federal legal jobs, including demographic information about federal lawyers and some pros and cons of working for the federal government.

The third part describes “Where the Federal Lawyers Are.” This part begins by clarifying the difference between attorney jobs, which require a law degree, and law-related jobs, in which a law degree is not required but may be preferred. The author then explains different legal job opportunities available within the three branches of government and where legal offices are located throughout the country. The fourth part then gives an overview of some common federal legal jobs and their unique aspects.

Parts five and six of the book are dedicated to the more practical aspects of applying for and landing jobs. The author offers insights about finding a job that matches an applicant’s skill set and interests, understanding vacancy announcements, and responding to common application questions. This discussion is followed by advice for making one’s application stand out from the crowd, crafting effective résumés and cover letters, submitting applications properly, and conducting interviews successfully.

Part seven offers predictions about the long-term hiring trends in federal government jobs, specifically addressing areas such as national defense, government regulation, globalization, energy independence, technology advances, and others.

In the final part of this book, the author lists and describes several of what he believes are the best areas and legal positions within the federal government. This part is broken up into three sections: jobs involved in facilitating functions performed by the government in which attorneys play a major role, “hidden” jobs, and specific positions that are simply excellent jobs overall.

This book is a great initial resource for anyone considering working for the federal government. It offers a wealth of information about federal legal positions in general (including information about many jobs that often are overlooked) while also providing some practical tips for gaining a competitive edge in the application process.