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At OPIA, we know that a change in administration in Washington can create uncertainty and questions in students and alumni considering interning or working in federal government and in alumni already in federal service. As the next presidential transition approaches, we are hearing questions about what it will mean for federal legal internships and careers. As always, we in OPIA are trying to both advise students and alumni wisely and to support them in whatever choices they ultimately make. We have collected the reflections of several alumni who are (or were) federal lawyers, all of whom either experienced, or are about to experience, political transitions themselves. We hope that these concrete role models of attorneys of all political persuasions who have navigated political change will be helpful as current students and alumni chart their own courses.

We have also begun to compile a list of essays discussing some of the challenges facing lawyers and law students right now as they try to decide whether to seek, accept, or keep jobs in government service during the coming administration. At the end of this post, we have included a sampling of those pieces; if you come across others that are helpful, please feel free to share them with OPIA.

Selected Articles

Ross Douthat, You Must Serve Trump, NY. Times, Nov. 11, 2016

David Luban, The Case Against Serving, JustSecurity, Nov. 14, 2016

Daniel Drezner, The Dilemma of Serving in a Trump Administration, Post (online), Nov. 14, 2016

David Kaye, Anticipating Trump: Should Government Lawyers Stay or Go?, JustSecurity, Nov. 14, 2016

Oona Hathaway, Work for the Trump Administration? Yes, But Be Prepared, JustSecurity, Nov. 14, 2016
Note: JustSecurity says that the Luban, Kaye and Hathaway pieces are part of a “series on the ethical and legal dilemmas of serving in the Trump administration” that will include additional essays by Ryan Goodman and our own Sam Moyn, and perhaps others.

Susan Hennessey, The Duty To Serve in Trump’s America?, Lawfare, Nov. 18, 2016

Benjamin Wittes, More on Donald Trump and the Justice Department, Lawfare, June 8, ,2016

Eliot Cohen, I told conservatives to work for Trump. One talk with his team changed my mind, Wash. Post, Nov. 15, 2016