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Federal, State, and Local Government

The vast majority of government attorneys work at the local level for counties and municipalities (towns and cities) but state governments and the federal government also hire attorneys to fill a wide variety of roles. Federal government attorneys work in a multitude of offices in Washington, D.C. and in various regional offices across the country. Many government attorneys are involved in drafting, interpreting, implementing and enforcing regulations, writing policy, and advising and counseling other government employees. Since they only handle federal issues, federal attorneys for the government can be licensed in any state or the District of Columbia.

While government attorneys at a wide variety of offices are involved in litigation, those who focus on it include district attorneys, public defenders (both state and federal), state attorneys general, federal prosecutors who work at U.S. Attorney’s General Offices across the country. Government lawyers who help develop and pass legislation can be found in state legislative bodies and the U.S. Congress. Individuals who want to work in public policy should look beyond jobs with “attorney” in the title to identify other positions that might match their interests and skill set. Attorneys who focus on advising and counseling other government employers on how to comply with the law may work, for example, on congressional inquiries, Freedom of Information Act requests, rulemaking and citizen petitions.

UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106


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