Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Federal Government Agencies Inundated with Applications from Law Students

The Government Honors and Internship Handbook provides listings of federal and other government agencies and their summer and post-graduate legal hiring needs and application procedures. In an economy which has put a crimp in larger firm hiring, government agencies have been overwhelmed with applications for semester, summer, and post-graduate jobs.

Recently, we received an email from someone in-the-know about how at least one federal agency has felt the crush. That email is paraphrased below:

The Department of Health & Human Services Office of General Counsel in the Children, Families and Aging Division has been inundated with student applications -- not only for Spring but looking ahead to Summer (deadline for Summer would have been December 31st ). The Office has pulled its entry from the Handbook even though its previously stated deadline has not yet arrived. In addition, the Federal Trade Commission has taken similar actions. It appears that some federal employers may be unprepared to handle the large number of applications they will receive this year, due to reduced hiring in the private sector. They may also be surprised by the number of students willing to commit this early in the year for a Summer position. Which leads to an issue students should remember: they are as honor-bound by a commitment to a government employer as they would be when accepting a job offer from a law firm.

Accordingly, if you are interested in federal government employment, the best advice is to apply as soon as possible, as there is no guarantee that a federal agency will keep its application period open for the time it has previously announced.

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