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PSJD: A NALP Initiative

Careers in Public Policy

A career in public policy will require you to combine your legal skills with good administrative and management skills.  Most positions involve less direct service and more program coordiation and planning, developing public information materials and advocating for social change. Public policy is issue-driven and virtually every career field has policy-related roles. There are a variety of paths into public policy work. Advocacy organizations, labor unions, and lobbyists work to influence and change policy. Think tanks conduct research and analysis on policy issues. Elected official are the policy-makers who require legislative support from agencies doing policy analysis. And public administrators implement policy decisions.

Resources to Help Find a Policy Position


  • The University of Arizona Public Policy Handbook This Handbook provides graduate students with an interest in public policy administration and analysis with resources for internships and after-graduation positions with think tanks, advocacy organizations, federal agencies and other institutions engaged in policy analysis and implementation. Annual online subscriptions are available to law schools for distribution to their students and graduates.  Law students and graduates are advised to contact their career services offices for information on accessing this resource.
  • National Institute for Research Advancement's World Directory of Think Tanks. The Directory provides a systematic introduction to the world's most promonent and innovative public policy research institutes. 
  • Think Tank Search (Harvard Kennedy School) - Both a directory of U.S. and international think tanks, as well as a custom Google search of more than 250 think tank websites.
  • World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations' Worldwide NGO DirectoryDirectory of NGOs around the world.
  • The Global Development Research Center's NGO Cafe - The NGO Cafe is a platform for NGOs to discuss, debate and disseminate information about their work, strategies and results. 
  • Foreign Policy Association - General resources and jobs in foreign policy.
  • Public Affairs Council - International association for public affairs professionals, with tools, resources, and job postings.
  • Hill Zoo - Resource, activities, and listings for jobs on and off the Hill.
  • Roll Call - Source for news and information from the US Capitol Hill. Job postings are searchable by category, including: Government Relations, Legislative, Policy, Political, and Research.
  • The Hill - News from Capitol Hill plus job postings.