Government and Law includes fields such as lobbying, policy research, military and politics. Hamiltonians in this industry work at places such as the U.S. House of Representatives, Mathematica Policy Research, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, and more.

Scroll through the blog posts and stories below to learn more about Hamilton student and alumni experiences in this industry. Finally, meet with your career advisor and explore the Career Center curriculum to learn how to network with alumni to discuss your interests and learn more about their work.

Federal Resume Guide

Federal agency resumes may differ slightly between agencies. We have put together Federal Resume Guide for students to use to guide them through writing this type of resume. 

Government & Law Blog

Taking Advantage of Hamilton’s Open Curriculum

By Courtney Kaplar ’16

Courtney Kaplar '16 with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg
Courtney Kaplar '16 with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg
Tags Government & Law

One especially exciting aspect of attending Hamilton was the fact that I would never have to take another math class again. I would probably not have anything to do with science either, or so I thought.

After reviewing my intended freshman spring semester coursework, which included classes on Russian literature, 19th century romance novels, and film, my French professor and mentor suggested I add some variety to my schedule. I already fulfilled my QSR requirement with sociolinguistics the previous semester, and wanted to stay strictly in the humanities lane. My professor convinced me otherwise and explained I would be a better student and well-rounded professional overall if I broadened my horizon. He was right!

I have always loved learning, and enrolling in courses with unfamiliar subject matter was interesting and rewarding in many ways. For one, it opened my eyes to how much there is out there to learn about, let alone become proficient in. Taking classes outside my comparative literature and French majors also gave me confidence to admit when I didn’t understand something, ask questions, and sit in classrooms where other students had better grasps on foundational concepts.

I started at Hamilton knowing I would one day attend law school, but didn’t have a clue as to what field of law I would practice. After briefly trying real estate, I wouldn't have guessed that I’d end up working on aviation and commercial space regulations for the Office of the Chief Counsel at the Federal Aviation Administration. While my work naturally requires a solid foundation in writing various sorts of documents, drafting regulations, and legal research, it also requires plenty of technical knowledge.

When I was hired at the FAA, I did not know much about aviation or commercial space, but as I’d noted during my interview for the position, I was very enthusiastic and ready to learn as much as I possibly could. I believe this openness to work with new subject matter, along with my legal skills honed in law school, is what landed me the position (pun intended!). Working with new subject matter is challenging, especially at first, but the coursework my French professor encouraged me to take prepared me and I’m more comfortable with the unfamiliar. I learn something new every day at the FAA, from legal concepts in administrative law, to technical subject matter on rockets, planes, or drones, and more. I am thrilled to have such a dynamic career that keeps me on my toes.

My advice for anyone going into the legal field, or aspiring to any career, is to demonstrate enthusiasm and openness to learning. Law school teaches general legal concepts to prepare students for the bar exam, but it does not focus on preparing students for more specialized positions upon graduation. In my experience, whether for summer internships, part-time positions, or full-time employment, employers are typically looking for someone who will face a challenge head on. Besides learning the intricacies of a specific position, the practice of law and the law itself is constantly evolving. You will have so much to learn no matter what career path you choose, so why not be curious and enjoy learning on the way there?

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