Is A Career In Public Service Law Right For You?
May 20, 2013
When most people think of a career in law, they may think of lawyers arguing in a courtroom and representing clients on a plethora of issues. However, there is another area of law that is often overlooked when new and current lawyers consider their career options. A career in public service law offers opportunities that you may want to consider for greater career advancement. It is important to make sure public service law is right for you before getting started.
What Is Public Service Law?While most lawyers work with individuals and companies for billable hours. A public service lawyer handles cases that are brought by an individual or a group for the benefit of the public or the community as a whole. Some of the public issues these lawyers often cover include voting issues, women’s rights, civil rights, domestic violence, environmental issues, and even gun control issues. If you are passionate in one of these areas, public service law may be the perfect option for you.
Who Should Consider Public Service Law?The area of public service law is a highly specialized area that requires someone who is passionate about the topics at hand to be successful. Not only should you be a good lawyer, you must also know a lot about the public issues with which you will work. The issues a public service lawyer cover can vary. Lawyers can cover a niche area or very broad ones. Generally, public service lawyers have a passion for public service, are patient, self-motivated, and flexible. In addition to having a passion for this area of law and the associated issues, it is critical to be able to research well, create a compelling argument and argue your points effectively, especially in the face of adversity.
What Qualifications Do You Need?Anyone who is interested in entering the area of public service law must have a law degree from an accredited law school. For entrance into a law school, you need a high school diploma, bachelor’s degree and an appropriate score on the Law School Aptitude Test. After graduation, you must pass your state’s bar to be able to practice in the area of public service law. Many attorneys also obtain a Masters of Public Administration to help them better understand the inner-workings of public sector organizations and gain managerial and finance skills needed to lead an organization.
What Are Your Career Options?Before you enter into any program to start a new career, it is essential to learn what the career outlook may be. The public service law sector includes jobs in: federal government offices, public defenders, labor unions, private foundations, and nonprofit groups. As a lawyer in public service, you may offer services such as appellate cases, class action suits, lobbying, training, legal writing, community outreach, and individual cases. The area of public service law is an extensive specialty area of law that often requires a strong passion for the topics you will tackle. When you are thinking about working as a lawyer for your career, consider the career options available to you in the public service field to help you make the right choice.
This article was written by Social Media Outreach Coordinator Logan Harper on behalf of Work It Daily-Approved Partner, 2U — an education technology company that partners with institutions of higher education such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill which provides an online MPA program, MPA@UNC.Photo Credit: Shutterstock