Career Exploration and Development

Law and Public Policy

Many paths can lead to a career in law and public policy. Obies draw on their broad knowledge, sensitivity and adaptability that is developed through their strong liberal arts education.

Three students stand with Diplomat-in-residence and former US Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley next to a podium. They are smiling.
Diplomat-in-residence and former US Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley meets with students while leading a course on “Practicing International Affairs.”
Photo credit: Pang Fei Chiang ’19

Whether you are interested in culture, education, environmental policy, human rights, healthcare, or international affairs, many past and present Obies have chosen a career in law and public policy to pursue their passion and make a lasting difference in the world. 

Working in the field of law or public policy, you will have the opportunity to address a wide range of complex problems and help shape the future of issues as they impact individuals, communities, and organizations on topics from business to healthcare to civil rights. Obies with an interest in applying the knowledge and skills they have developed – analytical thinking, research, persuasive writing, and more – to the real world may find that Law and Public Policy is the place for them, no matter the major.

Possible Paths

Students with a liberal arts education are well situated to respond and influence a range of pressing issue areas, including:

  • Civil liberties and rights
  • Cultural preservation
  • Food systems and food justice
  • Gender equity
  • Homelessness and housing rights
  • Immigrant rights
  • LGBT rights
  • Mental health care
  • Poverty
  • Racial justice
  • Sustainability and environmental protection

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of law and public policy, there are many entry points into the field. Career paths could include the following:


  • Agent 
  • Civil litigation lawyer 
  • Compliance specialist 
  • Corporate lawyer
  • Criminal lawyer
  • Legal advocacy 
  • Legal nurse consultants 
  • Legislative analyst 
  • Mediator 
  • Patent lawyer

Public Policy

  • Ambassador 
  • Environmental lobbyist
  • Grant administration 
  • Federal/state/municipal government 
  • Foreign service officer 
  • Intelligence officer 
  • International relations 
  • Policy analyst 
  • Policy research 
  • Statistician

Public Policy

Government Jobs


International Affairs

Connect with alumni through Wisr, Oberlin's student-alumni networking platform. Join the Career Community for Law and Public Policy to engage with members from all over the world.

Law and Public Policy Jobs and Internships

Below is a sampling of jobs and internships currently posted for Obies. Log in to Handshake to explore all of the available opportunities in law and public policy.