Public Service Careers

Our Career Development Office (CDO) is dedicated to helping students find opportunities with employers of all types, including public service employers. "Public service" encompasses both public interest and government employers.

The CDO has strong relationships with public service employers and engages in ongoing outreach to build and maintain relationships within the public service community in order to create job opportunities for students and graduates. Our programs allow students to engage with public service employers, help students learn about public service opportunities, and educate students about how to develop strategies for pursuing public service opportunities.

Our thorough understanding of students' backgrounds and interests combined with our knowledge of public service employers' missions, needs, and preferred qualifications enable us to effectively connect students and graduates with employers that fit their public service goals.

Learn more about Public Service at Colorado Law

Employment

Seventy-four members of the Class of 2016 and 71 members of the Class of 2017 are working for public service organizations during the summer of 2015.

Public interest employers include:

  • ACLU of Colorado (Denver, CO)
  • Boulder County Legal Services (Louisville, CO)
  • Center for Reproductive Rights (New York, NY)
  • Colorado Legal Services (Denver, CO)
  • Colorado State Public Defender's Office (multiple locations)
  • Common Cause (Washington, DC)
  • Communications Workers of America (Washington, DC)
  • Earthjustice (Denver, CO)
  • East Bay Children’s Law Offices (Oakland, CA)
  • Environmental Defense Fund (Boulder, CO)
  • Florida Earth Foundation (West Palm, FL)
  • Legal Aid Society (New York, NY)
  • Midwest Environmental Advocates (Madison, WI)
  • National Conference of State Legislatures (Denver, CO)
  • Office of the Federal Public Defender (Denver, CO & El Paso, TX)
  • Public Advocates, Inc. (Sacramento, CA)
  • Rocky Mountain Children's Law Center (Denver, CO)
  • Rocky Mountain Victim Law Center (Denver, CO)
  • Working Hands Legal Clinic (Chicago, IL)

Government employers include:

  • Boulder County Attorney's Office (Boulder, CO)
  • California Air Resources Board (Sacramento, CA)
  • Colorado Attorney General's Office (Denver, CO)
  • Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (Denver, CO)
  • Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (Denver, CO)
  • Denver City Attorney's Office (Denver, CO)
  • District Attorney’s Offices (multiple locations throughout Colorado's Judicial Districts)
  • Executive Office for Immigration Review, Denver Immigration Court (Denver, CO)
  • Federal Communications Commission (Washington, DC)
  • Federal Trade Commission (Washington, DC)
  • Florida Office of the Attorney General (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
  • Governor's Office of Legal Counsel (Denver, CO)
  • New Mexico Taxation & Revenue Department (Santa Fe, NM)
  • Public Employees’ Retirement Association of Colorado (Denver, CO)
  • U.S. Attorney's Office (Anchorage, AK; Denver, CO; & Fairbanks, AK)
  • U.S. Department of Education (Denver, CO)
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Denver, CO & Washington, DC)
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (Denver, CO & New York, NY)
  • U.S. Department of Justice, Environment & Natural Resources Division (Washington, DC)
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Chicago, IL; Denver, CO; & Washington, DC)
  • U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (Alexandria, VA)

28% (43 students) of employed graduates in the Class of 2014 reported working in public service jobs ten months after graduation. Twenty-six were in government positions and 17 were in public interest positions.

Post-graduate employers include:

  • 1st, 9th, 11th, and 18th Judicial District Attorney's Offices (Golden, Glenwood Springs, Cañon City and Centennial, CO)
  • California Coastal Commission (Santa Cruz, CA)
  • Colorado Attorney General's Office (Denver, CO)
  • Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (Denver, CO)
  • Colorado Department of Transportation (Denver, CO)
  • Colorado State Public Defender's Office (multiple locations)
  • Denver City Attorney’s Office (Denver, CO)
  • DNA People's Legal Services (Window Rock, AZ)
  • Municipal Public Defender’s Office, City and County of Denver (Denver, CO)
  • National Conference of State Legislatures (Denver, CO & Washington, DC)
  • The Wilderness Society (Denver, CO)
  • U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (Alexandria, VA)

Financial Support

Colorado Law provides fellowships/stipends for summer work that would otherwise be unpaid or extremely low-paid. Through student groups and donor gifts, Colorado Law's Public Service Summer 2015 Fellowship Program provided 56 students with stipends ranging from $2,000 to $3,000 for public interest work with government agencies and non-profits located both nationally and internationally.

Additional summer fellowships for work involving environmental, natural resources, social justice, the public sector, international human rights, and public policy issues are available to students as a result of the generosity and public service commitment of Colorado Law's alumni and friends.

Graduates employed in qualifying public service positions may receive grants through Colorado Law's Loan Repayment Assistance Program to help them meet their student debt obligations.

 

Programming

To inform and educate students about the public service realm, our CDO presents information sessions throughout the academic year. Attorneys who work for public service employers are often the featured speakers. Recent public service information session topics have included:

  • Colorado State Public Defender's Office (Boulder County Office)
  • Financing Your Public Service Career
  • Presidential Management Fellowship ("PMF") Program
  • Project-based Fellowships
  • Pursuing Federal Opportunities
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Legal Honors Program
  • U.S. Department of Justice Honors Program

Colorado Law co-sponsors an annual Government and Public Interest Law Career Fair. Over 50 public service entities participated in the 2014 event. Participating organizations included:

  • Colorado Attorney General's Office
  • Colorado Legal Services
  • Denver Public Schools
  • DNA People’s Legal Services
  • Executive Office of Immigration Review (Immigration Court)
  • Federal Public Defender for the Districts of Colorado and Wyoming
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • Jefferson County Attorney’s Office
  • Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network
  • The Public Interest Network
  • U.S. Department of Energy
  • U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

In January 2015, the CDO sponsored the 4th Annual JD Pathways, a career conference that brought together 99 students and 78 attorneys, a number of whom work for public service employers. The conference included a Criminal Practice Panel, a Local Government Panel, and a Public Interest Law Panel.

The CDO also hosts approximately 70 employers each academic year through the fall and spring On-Campus Interview (OCI) programs. Public service employers participate in Colorado Law's OCI programs alongside private sector employers. Participating public service employers who participated in our OCI programs during the 2014-2015 academic year included:

  • Boulder County Attorney’s Office
  • Colorado Attorney General’s Office
  • Colorado Office of Administrative Courts
  • Earthjustice
  • Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
  • Rocky Mountain Victim Law Center
  • U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. House of Representatives, Office of the Legislative Counsel

Job Search Resources

Our CDO maintains a regularly updated database of internship, externship and post-graduate job opportunities. The CDO also provides students and graduates with access to outside tools which are essential for learning about public service job opportunities, such as PSJD and the Government Honors and Internship Handbook. Colorado Law is also an Equal Justice Works member school, making our students and alumni eligible to participate in EJW's annual career fair, educational stipend program, and post-graduate fellowship programs.