Tyler Kirtley. “Law or public affairs: Choosing the best course of study for Hill work.” The Hill. August 1st, 2006: “For those who know simply that they want to work in policy, the debate lies primarily between pursuing a law degree or an MPP/MPA.
The traditional wisdom has been to pursue law. From the most basic perspective, it makes sense that people constructing laws should know the field of law. Additionally, legal educations are intense, honing the skills of critical thinking and clear communication, all while proving the graduate’s mettle. From a career standpoint, a law degree provides a specific skill set that would allow for a relatively easy transition into the legal sector, either permanently or while the other political party is in power.”
Joseph Cordes, associate director at George Washington University’s School of Public Policy and Public Administration: “[A law degree] provide[s] invaluable education in the areas of drafting legislation and regulations.”
Steve Seidenberg. “The View from the Hill: Working as a Congressional Staffer.” Law Crossing.com: “Perhaps the most common career path is for staffers to work on the Hill for a few years before and/or after law school and then cash in on their experience by joining a trade association, a lobbying group, or a law firm that has clients with legislative interests. “Those organizations are always looking for people with Hill experience. Nonprofits pay a lot less, so ex-staffers may work for companies for a while in order to pay off their student loans. But people generally stay in the same industries. You get expertise in that field and work in it for the rest of your career.”