News and Announcements

3L Government Job Search

As you continue to think about your post-graduate job search,  here are some key updates on post-graduate government opportunities.

This announcement contains information on the following topics:

I)                 Opportunities at Fall OCIP

II)                3L GOV Job Search Webcast

III)              DOJ Honors Program

IV)              Other GOV Honors Programs & Opportunities

V)                Presidential Management Fellows Program

VI)              Judicial Clerkship and Government Counseling



While applying broadly will be the most effective strategy in your post-graduate government job search, we wanted to remind you that there are always a number of prestigious government employers who interview 3L students through OCIP for post-graduate jobs (which this year includes the Comptroller of the Currency, State Department, Federal Reserve, IRS Office of Chief Counsel, U.S. Dept. of Labor, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Navy and Air Force JAG will be conducting informational interviews at OCIP, but require individuals to submit application materials outside and independently of OCIP).

You can review the list of OCIP-participating employers by going to the “OCI” tab in the b-Line.  Be sure to review the details of each employer’s profile, as some of the agencies (e.g., Dept. of Labor and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) have some specific application requirements and directions.


For an overview of post-graduate government career opportunities, please listen to the webcast and view the accompanying powerpoint presentation titled "Post-Graduate Government Job Search" located in the Public Interest Public Sector CDO Webcasts webpage.

This presentation, among other topics, contains:

  • a discussion of the DOJ and other agencies’ honors programs

  • a list of the limited post-graduate government opportunities in the Bay Area; and

  • federal, state and local government agencies who have hired graduating Berkeley law  students in the last couple of years.


Every year, Berkeley Law students apply for entry-level attorney positions with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) through its Attorney General’s Honors Program.  General information, answers to frequently asked questions and an application timeline & checklist can be found here.

This year’s Honors Program (on-line) application opened up on July 26, 2010 and is due no later than September 7, 2010. Click here for a timeline on interviews and offers.  Not all of the components (offices located within the DOJ) participate in the Honors Program; for a list of participating components and their number of anticipated hires, click here.  Please note that nearly all of the honors program assignments are in Washington, D.C.; typically, though, there have been honors program placement possibilities in the San Francisco Immigration Court). 


(1)   While the on-line application went live on July 26, applications are not being accepted on a rolling basis.  We would certainly advise against waiting until the last minute to submit your application.  However, you should take the next couple of weeks to draft your essays and the employment descriptions required in the on-line application.  We are happy to review your draft essays, but will need them by no later than August 18 in order to ensure a thorough review and timely response.

(2)   When you are filling out the application, you should select the “Law school does not rank” option.  Remember, also, that if you are applying for post-graduate judicial clerkships and are in possession of 1L or 2L distinction honors information that you cannot disclose this distinction information as a part of your Honors Program application.  Remember, the law school’s honor code stipulates that you can only disclose distinction information in connection with clerkship or academic job applications.          

(3)   Also, on the application, because Berkeley Law does not calculate cumulative GPA information for students, you should enter “NA” in the text box that asks you for cumulative GPA information.

(4)   The DOJ has informed us that candidates selected for HP interviews will be notified on or about September 30, 2010.  Government-funded HP interviews in Washington, D.C. will be conducted from October 18 – November 5, 2010.   Most first-round offers will be issued by before Thanksgiving.

Interested in clerking for an immigration judge?  You will need to apply for these clerkships through the Honors Program.  Immigration Judges and courts all fall under the auspices of the Executive Office of Immigration Review.

NEW RESOURCE!  We updated a memo from last year that we created which contains sample Honors Program essays from successful applicants, candid insight on the interview process and a list of Berkeley Law alums (with contact info) who are, were or will be Honors Program attorneys.  For information on how to access the memo, please contact Eric Stern.


In addition to the DOJ, there are nearly two-dozen other federal, state and local government agencies that hire entry-level attorneys through honors programs.  You should assume – unless stated otherwise – that all applications for government honors programs (with the exception of the DOJ) are being reviewed on a rolling basis.

UPDATED RESOURCE!!  The 2010-11 version of the Government Honors and Internship Handbook is now available listed under State & Local Government Careers. This guide contains a comprehensive list of and information about all of the federal, state and local agencies who hire graduating law students. For more resources to support your government job search, please see our Public Sector Careers page.

Don’t Forget to Check the B-Line!  We will also be posting post-graduate government job announcements to the B-Line throughout the summer and the fall.

Early Honors Program Application Deadline -- U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS):

Please note that DHS will begin accepting applications on August 16th, 2010, with a September 30, 2010 deadline.  Given the increased interest in public service, we would recommend that students with a sincere interest in this program apply no later than August 27, 2010.  Click here for more information.


The Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF) is a two-year program in which master and doctoral-level students work for different federal agencies.  This leadership development program includes 80-hours of training each year, challenging rotations, and opportunities to network between agencies.

Each year, the PMF Program receives nominations from hundreds and hundreds of law students, many of whom have expectations to obtain PMF appointments as government attorneys.  Attorney positions for PMFs are extremely rare and applicants should not apply to the PMF Program if their goal is to be placed in an attorney-advisor position.  Most often, law students selected as finalists obtain appointments in positions such as policy analyst, budget analyst, tax law specialist, or other non-attorney positions.  Entry-Level attorney positions are filled primarily through agency-sponsored honors programs (outside of the PMF program).

We have, however, had several graduating students successfully obtain PMF appointments, most of whom are currently working in federal agencies doing a mix of legal and policy work.   For information about the application and nomination process, please read this overview and then contact Eric Stern if you have additional questions or are interested in talking to alums who are former or current Fellows.

 UPDATE ON TIMELINE: We have been informed by the Office of Personnel Management that applications will open on October 1, 2010 and close on October 15, 2010.  In conjunction with your application, you will also need to fill out a nomination form that you will bring in to me in early October and that I will fax to the PMF Office before by October 31, 2010.  The two stages of the assessment process will occur throughout January and February 2011 and finalists will be announced in February and March 2011.  We will provide you with more details as soon as we receive them from OPM.


Eric Stern, the CDO's Judicial Clerkships and Government Career Advisor , will be available the rest of the summer and fall should you want to make a telephone or in-person appointment to discuss your post-graduate government job search strategy and get connected to alums that have worked at or are currently working at specific government agencies.  Eric will also happy to review your government job search application materials (resume & cover letter); you can simply email them to Eric and he will email you back with edits and suggested revisions.