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:

Law

  • 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

Contact

Anthony Pernell-McGee, Executive Director, Pre-Law Advisor

Pre-Law Guide: Information about LSAT, LSAC, the law school application process, and much more.

California

Chicago

New York and New Jersey

Washington D.C.

* indicates a paid opportunity
** indicates a partially paid or funding-dependent paid opportunity
*** indicates some other benefit is provided, such as housing
NOTE: unpaid opportunities may be eligible for summer funding

More opportunities coming soon!

Multiple Locations

California

Midwest

New York and New Jersey

Pennsylvania

The South

Washington D.C.

* indicates a paid opportunity
** indicates a partially paid or funding-dependent paid opportunity
*** indicates some other benefit is provided, such as housing

More opportunities coming soon!

  • Harvard Law School JD Referral Program: Apply when you are a college junior; if admitted, commit to defer that offer of admission for a minimum of two years after completing your undergraduate degree. This opportunity allows you to apply to Harvard Law School for free.
  • Vault/MCCA Law Firm Diversity Database: Allows you to compare law firms by diversity criteria (demographic group, attorney category, and firm answers to qualitative questions). See how firms measure up regarding diversity initiatives that they have set in place.
  • The National Women’s Law Center's mission is to protect and advance the progress of women and girls at work, in school, and in virtually every aspect of their lives.
  • The National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA) is a national organization designed to articulate and promote the professional needs and goals of Black law students.
  • NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund offers several scholarships to African American students pursuing legal careers.
  • The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) is an incorporated, non-profit, national association representing the interest of over 25,000 Hispanic American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students in the United States and Puerto Rico.
  • Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) provides resources and scholarship awards to law students who support MALDEF's mission to advance the civil rights of Latino communities through the legal profession.
  • The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American (APA) attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students, providing a national network for its members and affiliates.
  • Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) uses litigation, advocacy, education and organizing to secure human rights.
  • Law School Admission Council's Discover Law Program encourages racially and ethnically diverse students to discover career opportunities in law and choose a path in undergraduate school to help them succeed. LSAC's DiscoverLaw.org Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) programs are targeted, but not restricted, to college students from racial and ethnic minority groups underrepresented in the legal profession. The programs are designed for students in the first two years of college, and preference will be given to students who have signed up for the discovery program.
  • Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) offers The CLEO College Scholars Program. Its purpose is to identify, motivate and prepare students for a career in the legal profession. The College Scholars program aims to help low-income, minority, and otherwise disadvantaged students become competitive law school applicants. Committed students can learn how to successfully navigate the law school admission process and underwrite their success in law school by participating in the College Scholars program.
  • ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity has information about scholarships and other opportunities.
  • Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF) is dedicated to diversity in the legal profession and provides programs, workshops and other events on the law school admission process.

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.