Government lawyers work at the federal, state and local level, in every state and city in the country (as well as internationally), and across almost every substantive area of law (for example: civil rights, environmental, tax, antitrust, labor, consumer protection, energy, banking, public international, administrative and criminal law, to name just a few), and practice type (including, among others, litigation, regulatory work, legislative drafting and advocacy, policy, negotiations, etc.) The common bond tying together this huge range of experiences is that government lawyers represent or advocate for the interests of citizens and residents in the aggregate, or the institutions of the government itself, rather than individuals or corporations.
At every governmental level, lawyers work in all three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. Government lawyers in the executive branches work in the White House, state governors’ offices, city mayors’ offices; the US Department of Justice (the federal government’s legal office in Washington, including both criminal and civil litigators), U.S. Attorney’s Offices (U.S. Department of Justice criminal and civil litigators based throughout the country), state Attorney General’s Offices (each state’s legal office, including both criminal and civil work), District or State’s Attorney’s Offices (local criminal prosecutors), City Attorney’s Offices (representing cities in a variety of matters); public defenders’ offices; and in executive agencies of all kinds (for example, the U.S. Department of Treasury, the CIA, a state’s Department of Public Health, or a city’s Department of Urban Planning.) Government lawyers in the legislative branches work on Capitol Hill, in state legislatures, and in city councils. Of course, lawyers, as appointed or elected judges and as law clerks, work throughout the judicial branches as well.