Public Service Careers
Do you want to lobby for equal rights? Have you always imagined yourself as a prosecutor in Law & Order? Have you envisioned a career defending the indigent or representing immigrants? All of these possibilities and more are available in public service careers, and we at Denver Law want to help you explore positions with government agencies, nonprofits, public interest firms, and other employers who work for the public good.
- Attend our Annual Public Interest & Government Career Fair
- Meet with us about career planning and strategy, cover letters and resumes, job searches and volunteer opportunities
- Connect with public sector practitioners who can share advice
Career Development HandbookRead More
Perfect Your Application Materials
Our public service team is here to help you with your job search and application materials. We can review your application materials and help you prepare for the application process!
For more information on creating your resume, cover letter, references, writing samples and other application materials, see our career handbook. For a review of your materials, schedule an appointment in Denver Law Careers Online (Symplicity) with one of the below-listed counselors.
- Elise Logemann, Assistant Director, Public Service
- Andrea Montague, Career Consultant
- Judith Stein, Career Consultant
Online Resources: Searching for Public Service Positions
This job database is run by the CDO for Denver Law students and alumni, listing jobs, internships, contract work and project-based opportunities. If you don’t know your login, contact the CDO, and we can get you on Symplicity to start your job search right away.
Visit Denver Law Externships to learn more about public- and private-sector approved externships (paid and unpaid) and meet with externship faculty for guidance.
Equal Justice Works (EJW) is a professional public interest non-profit organization serving law students and member law schools. The Annual Equal Justice Works Career Fair and Conference held in October in Washington, D.C. draws public interest employers from across the nation and is a great opportunity to start making connections and gather invaluable information at the same time! EJW also offers assistance with internships, postgraduate fellowships, and loan repayment assistance programs. Reach out to the CDO to learn more about EJW opportunities and how to attend the career fair.
This employer database profiles over 13,000 government, nonprofit organizations and other public interest employers spanning the globe. Job postings include internships during the academic year and summer, postgraduate fellowships and a wide variety of permanent positions. Denver Law students can sign up for free email alerts to have new job postings sent to their inbox.
Government Honors & Internship Handbook
This comprehensive handbook contains essential information concerning 186 different hiring programs for law students and recent graduates being offered by 55 federal and 46 state and local government employers. Contact CDO for the password.
The US Government’s official site for jobs and employment information provided by the United States Office of Personnel Management. Lists federal internships, fellowships and jobs.
The State of Colorado’s official site for jobs and employment—search for state jobs and apply.
The City of Denver’s official site for jobs and employment—search for jobs and apply. You can check other cities and counties for similar job postings.
As the District Attorney’s office in each judicial district hires separately, there is no central location for all prosecution positions; however, this is a useful website to see many of the recently posted positions.
The Colorado State Public Defender has a centralized hiring process to hire for all positions in the state. We encourage you to meet with the CDO if you are interested in an externship or position with the Public Defender.
Fellowships are paid, post-graduate, term-limited opportunities to gain invaluable experience in a public interest placement, usually for 1-2 years, though some fellowships are part-time or short-term opportunities. Fellowships may be offered by a public interest organization or agency itself, organized through a larger entity like Equal Justice Works, or offered through Denver Law. Some fellowships are simply posted positions that you can apply for like a regular job; others require you to partner with a nonprofit or other organization and propose a project to the funder, who will then pay the fellowship salary while you work at the nonprofit.
Fellowship applications are due early in the 3L year and take a lot of careful diligence and time to complete—if you are interested in fellowships we recommend that you meet with one of our public service counselors early on to discuss these unique and valuable opportunities.
- For detailed information on fellowships, visit PSJD.org
Are there Colorado-Based Organizational Fellowships or Fellowships Only for Denver Law Students? Yes!
The following opportunities were available to the class of 2019:
- Colorado Attorney General’s Office: Work at the Colorado Attorney General’s Office encompasses criminal prosecution, consumer protection, civil rights, torts, contracts, eminent domain, administrative law, tax, environmental law, violence prevention programs, public health, school safety, energy and much more. Applications due Fall of the 3L year (open to law students from all law schools).
- Denver City Attorney’s Office: The City Attorney’s Office serves as the legal adviser to the Mayor, City Council, and all City departments and agencies—work on matters from municipal contracts to prosecution of municipal ordinances to airport law, family law or employment disputes. Applications due Spring of 3L year (Reserved positions for Denver Law students).
- Rural Colorado District Attorney Fellowship: Love the mountains or the plains? Work as a prosecutor in a rural Colorado Jurisdiction. Applications due Spring of 3L year (Reserved positions for Denver Law students).
- Colorado Civil Justice Corps: Work to provide civil legal services to victims of crime—2019 placements included work for nonprofits in immigration law, family law, education law, and protection order practice. Applications due Spring of 3L year (Denver Law Students only).
- Judicial Fellowships: Work for a Judge after graduation. (Denver Law Students only).
- Part-time Policy Fellowships: Work with nonprofits who are writing legislation and advocating for change at the Colorado Capitol (Denver Law Students only).
Be on the lookout for more! Denver Law is always working on developing additional fellowship opportunities.
- For detailed information on fellowships, visit PSJD.org
Summer Public Interest Funding
There are several options to assist students in offsetting the cost of unpaid public service summer opportunities. Each year, Denver Law offers PILG & Denver Law Summer Clerkships. The student group PILG raises money each year to provide funding to students who are working in a legal placement with a nonprofit or government agency. Denver Law also provides funding for these awards. The number of awards and amount of each award is determined every year based on the amount of money raised at PILG’s auction. Students apply for the awards each Spring.
There are other fellowships and stipends available to Denver Law students as well—visit our financial support page on the public interest portal for more information.
Financial Aid & Loan Forgiveness
We recommend setting up an appointment with Financial Aid to discuss these options.
- Denver Law Loan Repayment Assistance Program and Public Service Loan Forgiveness
- Equal Justice Works also provides useful information and free webinars on Student Debt Relief
Annual Public Interest Career Fairs
DU/CU Public Interest & Government Career Fair
Every fall DU and CU host a public interest career fair. The career fair is generally held in late October or early November. 2L and 3L students can interview with public interest employers for summer and permanent positions, and all students can attend a large fair where public interest employers are available to talk with students about the opportunities at their offices. The fair is a great opportunity for 1Ls to learn more about public service employers and opportunities, 2Ls to get an early offer for a summer externship, and 3Ls to get a jump start on their job search.
Equal Justice Works Conference and Career Fair
The Equal Justice Works Conference and Career Fair is the largest national public interest legal career fair in the country. More than 175 public interest employers conduct interviews for internships and full-time jobs. The fair is held in the fall, typically in October, but the application process for interviews starts in August. Students apply for interviews in advance of the fair.
The CDO provides funding for a limited number of students each year to attend this fair in Washington D.C. The fair is a fantastic opportunity for students to learn about public interest opportunities across the nation and interview for prestigious and fulfilling public interest positions.
Public Service Opportunities
Graduates from Denver Law pursue a wide range of public service careers, and the CDO Public Service Team works to provide information about the public service legal community, promote public service job opportunities, and increase access to funding for such work.
Careers in public interest law include jobs with prosecuting attorneys, public defenders, government agencies, nonprofits, political campaigns, labor unions, private public interest law firms, and more. Your practice could include criminal law, environmental law, family law, employment law, municipal law, contract law, compliance work, international public interest work, public policy advocacy…almost any area of interest.
- Prosecution: Many Denver Law graduates work for District Attorneys, assisting victims and working to keep our communities safe. Graduates may also work as prosecutors for a City Attorney’s office.
- Criminal Defense: Many Denver Law graduates join the state public defender system, representing indigent clients accused of crimes while gaining valuable trial experience. Graduates may also work for municipal (local) public defender offices, alternate defense counsel or public interest firms that provide criminal defense to indigent clients.
- Nonprofit: Many nonprofits hire attorneys to represent clients and advocate for sound policy in their field. Denver Law graduates may work on issues related to environmental law, immigration law, juvenile law, education law, criminal law, civil rights, and many other fields in the nonprofit setting.
- Federal Government: Denver is home to many federal offices that employ Denver Law graduates, including the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Justice and more.
- State and Local Government: Colorado and its cities, as well as states across the nation, have many employment opportunities for Denver Law graduates. They can join the Office of the Attorney General, the Governor’s Office of Legal Counsel, city or county attorney offices, or one of the many state agencies.
- Public Interest Firms: Colorado and other states have many firms that specialize in a public interest practice, including civil rights cases, indigent criminal defense, immigration and other practices. This is a unique combination of public service and private sector work to serve the public.
General Legal Employment
- ABA Career Counsel
- Information and frequently asked questions about finding jobs in the legal profession. Includes job postings and links to Careerbuilder.com for more information on all legal internships, clerkships, and other employment opportunities. Also offers interesting articles on career enhancement.
Looking out-of state? The Office of Career Development has recently joined a consortium of law schools around the country who are willing to share their respective job databases.
- Chronicle of Higher Education Career Network
- Denver Bar Association Job Announcements
Database of Denver/Front Range attorney and legal staff job postings
Website has resources for the public, small businesses, and legal professionals as well as current news. Legal Career Center allows jobseekers to search for positions by location or practice area.
Click on “jobs.” This site is a great resource for several law-related sites
- Hieros Gamos Legal Employment Center
This legal website includes a legal and lawyer employment center with many helpful articles and tips on job hunting, changing jobs, resumes, and interviews.
- Informational Interviewing
A comprehensive tutorial offered by quintcareers.com. An informational interview should be an integral part of your networking and job-hunting plan. An informational interview involves talking with people who are currently working in the field to gain a better understanding of an occupation or industry – and to build a network of contacts in that field.
- JuJu Job Search Engine
Click on the “legal jobs” button to locate nearly 3000 legal jobs — all over the country. Includes a wide range of practice areas in entry-level and paralegal positions as well as in-house counsel jobs and higher-level opportunities.
- LawInfo Career Center
The LawInfo Career Center is a website where job seekers can post resumes, and create up to five legal job match agents that notify you when a job is posted that matches your search criteria. Registration is free.
Website offers a job board with high tech capabilities and also includes excellent hiring trends information.
Website allows job seekers to post resumes, search jobs and apply online. It also has resources on career advancement, networking and other law-related topics. Job seekers can search positions by location or practice area.
- Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer Locator
Information about attorneys and law firms around the world
- National Association for Legal Career Professionals
NALP is dedicated to facilitating legal career counseling and planning, recruitment and retention, and the professional development of law students and lawyers. Diversity resource center, Career toolkit, and information about opportunities with government, clerkships, and in public interest law.
No password needed. Click on “Public Services Initiatives” to access the Federal Legal Employment Opportunities, or PSLAWNET, click on “Directories” for Directory of Legal Employers, or “Career Paths and Resources” for other helpful information.
- RCJobs (Roll Call Jobs)
An excellent resource for jobs on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Website allows job seekers to post resumes, cover letters, writing samples, and create profiles for submission to subscribing employers free of charge. It also allows job seekers to network with each other, search an employer database, and see statistics about how many times their profile has been viewed.
An excellent legal research site.
- Westlaw Jobs Online
Username and password for this website is available on the Password Protected Webpage
Click on “Career and Professional Life” for information on summer positions, special programs for fellowships, honors programs, and judicial clerkships. Programs available nationwide and abroad. Law students can also sign-up to receive JD Carrer Alerts.