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 public sector/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

Eighty members of the Class of 2013 and 61 members of the Class of 2014 worked for public service organizations during the summer of 2012.

Public interest employers included:

  • Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (Dayton, OH)
  • Alliance Defense Fund (Scottsdale, AZ & Washington, DC)
  • Animal Welfare Institute (Washington, DC)
  • Colorado Lawyers Committee (Denver, CO)
  • Colorado Legal Services (various locations)
  • Colorado State Public Defender's Office (various locations)
  • Conservation Law Foundation (Concord, NH)
  • Montana Office of the State Public Defender (Bozeman, MT)
  • National Conference of State Legislatures (Denver)
  • Natural Heritage Institute (San Francisco, CA)
  • Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network (Westminster, CO)
  • Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (Westminster, CO)
  • WildEarth Guardians (Santa Fe, NM)

Government employers included:

  • Boulder City Attorney's Office (Boulder, CO)
  • City of Greeley (Greeley, CO)
  • Colorado Attorney General's Office (Denver, CO)
  • Colorado Department of Healthcare Policy and Financing (Denver, CO)
  • Colorado Secretary of State (Denver, CO)
  • District Attorney’s Offices (throughout Colorado's Judicial Districts)
  • Federal Communications Commission (Washington, DC)
  • Federal Trade Commission (Washington, DC)
  • National Park Service (Salt Lake City, UT)
  • Office of the (Iowa) Attorney General (Des Moines, IA)
  • U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps
  • U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps
  • U.S. Attorney's Office (Colorado and Washington, DC)
  • U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (Denver, CO)
  • U.S. Department of Energy (Golden, CO)
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (Denver, CO)
  • U.S. Department of Justice (Denver, CO)
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Denver, CO and Washington, DC)
  • U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Los Angeles, CA and Denver, CO)
  • U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General Corps
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (Denver, CO)

29.1% (46 students) of employed graduates in the Class of 2012 reported working in public service jobs nine months after graduation. Twenty-seven (27) were in government positions and 19 were in public interest positions. A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 3 Honors Attorney Fellowship position was among the jobs secured by members of the Class of 2012.

Post-graduate employers included:

  • 11th Judicial District Attorney’s Office (Canon City, CO)
  • Colorado State Public Defender's Office (various locations)
  • Denver City Attorney’s Office (Denver, CO)
  • Federal Communications Commission (Washington, DC)
  • Grand Canyon Trust (Flagstaff, AZ)
  • Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services (Boston, MA)
  • Mountain States Legal Foundation (Lakewood, CO)
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 3 (Philadelphia, PA)

Financial Support

Colorado Law provides fellowships/stipends for summer work that would otherwise be unpaid or extremely low-paid. In the summer of 2012, Colorado Law launched the Public Service Summer Fellowship Program, providing 14 students with awards ranging from $2,000 to $3,000. Student groups also raise funds throughout the year to support their peers who are undertaking unpaid public service summer work.

Additional summer fellowships for work involving environmental, natural resources, 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:

  • 20th Judicial District Attorney's Office
  • Colorado State Public Defender's Office (Boulder County Office)
  • Financing Your Public Service Career
  • Presidential Management Fellowship ("PMF") Program
  • Pursuing Federal Opportunities
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Legal Honors Program
  • U.S. Department of Justice Honors Program
  • U.S. Department of State

Colorado Law co-sponsors an annual Government and Public Interest Law Career Fair. Over 40 public service entities participated in the 2012 event. Participating organizations included:

  • Boulder County Attorney’s Office
  • Colorado Attorney General's Office
  • Colorado Legal Services
  • DNA People’s Legal Services
  • Earthjustice
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

In January 2013, the CDO sponsored the 2nd Annual JD Pathways, a career conference that brought together 60 students and 80 attorneys, a number of whom work for public service employers. The conference included a Public Interest Law Panel and a State & Local Government 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 2011-2012 and/or 2012-2013 academic years included:

  • 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office
  • Center for Juvenile Justice
  • Colorado Attorney General’s Office
  • Colorado Office of Administrative Courts
  • Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
  • The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Department of Transportation
  • 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 University of Arizona 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.