Law + Government

Serve the Public Good

icon of justice scales for careers in law + government

Are you driven to improve your community? You’re not alone.

The numbers don’t lie when it comes to the amount of people who work in areas of Law + Government. Over 22 million people, or 16.7% of the U.S. workforce, work in federal, state, and local governments, over 1.3 million lawyers practice within the United States, and close to 300,000 individuals work as paralegals or legal assistants. 

With so many people working together to build society at its core, opportunities are prime for Gauchos looking to make a difference. Careers in Law + Government share some similarities and a few key differences--learn how you can join the movement of public servants and prepare yourself for a successful future.



Recent Postings

Click to view opportunities related to Law + Government in Handshake. Customize your filters and learn how to search for UCSB career success!

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Meet Your Counselor

Maya Hargens

Maya Hargens

Career Counselor / Coordinator

Law + Government

How I Can Help

If you are looking for ways to work with people in the law and/or government realms, I can help you navigate your path. We can discuss whether law school is right for you, how to successfully apply to law school, how to find legal careers that don't require law school, and how to prepare yourself for a career in government. My expertise is rooted in industry insights from pre-law conferences, governmental research, and a proud passion for true crime podcasts and fictional television about FBI and CIA.

Learn more about me

Gain Experience: Law + Government

For complete information on internships, student jobs, research opportunities, extracurriculars, and more, review our starter tips to Gain Experience in all careers as well as the specialized tips on this page.


While getting experience directly related to law or government is ideal, there are many great transferable skills (teamwork, communication, critical thinking, and leadership) that one can develop in campus organizations, student jobs, and classwork. This can be a helpful approach in boosting your confidence and clarity in pursuing a career in these occupational areas.


Types of Experience

Click below to see are some ways to gain experience related to Law + Government.

There are a number of law and government campus organizations available at UCSB, which can benefit you. Student organizations are wonderful for bringing people with similar career goals together, coordinating alumni professionals for speaking engagements, and providing networking opportunities.

If you are interested in how governments work outside of the United States, take a look at UCEAP’s Political Science Abroad programs. Search within UCEAP Study Abroad Builder for programs with the “legal studies” subject to find various legal classes across the globe.

USAJobs has a filter called “students” within the job search which will allow students to search for positions that are open specifically for current positions. CalCareers has a Student Employment page.

UCDC and UCCS are programs offered by UCSB to students of all majors to learn more about our governments. Alongside classwork, you take part in internships that expose you to working in many of the facets of government.

Whether you are volunteering, interning, or working part-time in a legal or governmental agency, you will start to build the foundation of your career. Remember, what matters most is the skills or knowledge you are gaining from the experience. Volunteer experiences are often just as valuable as paid experiences.

Student jobs can be flexible with your schedule and provide opportunities to gain professional skills that are important to law and government employers, such as leadership, communication, and public speaking. Check with your department to see if they are hiring or look on Handshake for on campus student employment. 

Research grows your analytical, writing, and critical thinking skills, as well as provides an opportunity to experience the life of an academic. If you are thinking of applying to graduate school (specifically PhD programs), research experience can make you a more competitive candidate and provide insight into whether or not graduate school is right for you. Learn more about Faculty Research Assistance Program (FRAP), Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities Grant (URCA), and other ways to find research that matches your interest.

You also might decide upon gaining experience, that the field you intended to pursue isn’t right for you. That’s okay! Take time to reflect on what aspects of the position you enjoyed and what you didn’t. Meet with a counselor if you’d like to further discuss your thoughts and plan your next move. 

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