Careers in state and local government are often overlooked. When people think of government, the federal government is the first thing that comes to mind and when people think of public interest, non-profits and legal aid are often the first thing that come to mind. But you can get a summer internship or start your career serving the public and working for government at the state and local level.
PSJD has created a phenomenal state and local government resource map, which enables you to click on a particular state and see an easy to read list of job options in that state!
Keep in mind that if you’re looking to have an impact on peoples’ daily lives that state and local government impacts our daily lives more than the federal government does. For instance, public housing, smoking bans, and zoning laws that dictate whether you can build a child’s play set in the backyard are all governed at the state and local level.
Jobs in this field include jobs in the state legislature, with the attorney general, with a local school district, with a city attorney’s office, with the police department, and many more.
So let’s take a look at some of the state and local government career options that are open to you:
If you click on California, for instance, in the PSJD map, this huge list comes up:
State Employment Job Board:
Attorney General’s Office: Provides career opportunities on the upper link labeled “Careers”
State District Attorneys:
Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office: Career opportunities page.
San Francisco District Attorney: Click on the Contact Us tab for employment and volunteer opportunities.
Western USA States – Prosecutor Websites: Includes links to all county prosecutor pages.
State Public Defenders:
San Diego Public Defender: Links for permanent employment and internship opportunities.
San Francisco Public Defender: Describes available permanent and volunteer opportunities.
Municipal Legal Agencies:
Los Angeles Superior Court: Links to permanent and volunteer opportunities on the left side of the homepage.
San Diego Child Welfare Services: Job opportunities on the upper link labeled “Jobs”
San Francisco City Attorney’s Office: Provides internship programs
San Francisco Unified School District: provides job opportunities under the upper righthand link labeled “Job Seekers”
San Diego Police Department: provides information on job opportunities
San Diego Unified School District: Provides employment opportunities under the upper drop-down link labeled “Employment”
San Francisco Superior Court: Links to permanent and volunteer opportunities on the left side of the homepage.
San Francisco Superior Court: Official employment website
San Francisco Unified School District: Click on the upper right hand link labeled “Job Seekers.”
Sweetwater Union High School District: Provides employment opportunities by clicking on the link labeled “Employment” on the upper bar
These websites are highly informative and often contain distinct sections that show you how to apply for internships as well as for entry-level postgraduate positions. The California Attorney General’s website, for instance, indicates they are hiring summer interns for many of their divisions including the Employment and Administrative Mandate in Los Angeles, the Appeals, Writs, and Trials Section in San Diego, the Natural Resources and Law section in San Francisco and Oakland, and many others.
The California Attorney General also hires graduating 3Ls and LLMs for two-year entry level jobs through both their Attorney General’s Honors Program and Earl Warren Solicitor General Fellowship.
And those are just internships and postgraduate positions listed on one of the websites linked from one of the states.
If you are interested in pursuing a summer internship or postgraduate job in state and local government, be sure to look at PSJD’s map and talk to a CDO counselor. We are eager to help you pursue a career in state and local government, talk through the many different career paths that exist, and get your resume perfect when you find jobs to apply for.