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Ever seen a job description begin with:

“Interested in working for a client whose achievements are rarely recognized and whose failures are medial gold? Welcome to the CIA.”

That was the welcoming message two attorneys opened with during a recent information seminar for law students. Conducted by University Virginia Law alum Jim Petrillo and Danny Anderson, a graduate from the University of Mississippi School of Law, both lawyers spent the majority of their time focused on Employment Opportunities with the CIA’s Office of General Counsel, or OGC. According to A. Harrison Barnes, attorney and founder of prestigious legal site,, the CIA offers exciting opportunities for recent law graduates and those who have spent their lives within the American justice system. He says the demand is high, despite regulations attorneys who work for the federal government face. Not surprisingly, Petrillo and Anderson reiterated that fact and spoke about the rewarding careers, regardless of heavy regulations.

With work available in litigation, operations, government procurement and administrative jobs, the potential for advancement is tremendous. The lawyers also spoke of terrorism threats and the potential for attorneys to make their mark in this growing specialty. Calling it a ‘hybrid area of law’, there are clearly potential ways for history to be made by those lawyers working in this ever-evolving specialty.

Before you email your resume to the CIA, you should know only a select group of legal minds are selected to work in the OGC. Currently, there are around 125 attorneys and traditionally, the group hires through its Honors Summer Program and use a few other carefully selected recruitment companies. Interns, which they usually hire an average of six each summer, are chosen based on a number of factors, but they point out the most desired qualities include those with litigation experience, those who have demonstrated a commitment to public service and those whose interest is geared toward national defense.

As mentioned, there are a few methods with no one “definitive” path taking precedence over another. Each position requires an extensive security clearance, including investigations to ensure no past drug use, criminal behavior and of course, activity with foreign intelligence agencies exists. A. Harrison Barnes says these requirements are just the beginning, but also says legal jobs in these areas are some of the most rewarding.

So what should one expect with a career within the CIA? Generally speaking, one might spend three years in general practice – including ethics, litigation, legal services, etc., and the a rotation in specialized areas follows soon after. This might include time spent on counter-terrorism efforts. There may be travel involved, reasonable work hours and interesting work.

Even if working for the CIA is not something you wish to pursue, there are other government jobs one can seek. Be sure to visit for the most current government attorney positions available. Maintained in real time, and whether you’re an intern looking for a summer internship or an established lawyer looking for a new challenge, you can be sure the jobs presented on are current. The government sector or the private sector – more law jobs are found on

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