Inside Lobbyist Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"Attorney Compensation Lower Than Believed...
Most people are surprised at how little attorneys are paid. Most assume that all lawyers are making six figures, but that is not the case. Most are paid less than if they had gone to law school." (Legal Consultant; 2014)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in New York, female
School: Studied Law at New England Law in Massachusetts; completed Professional degree in 2012

"Communications Skills Translate Well To Politics...
I was surprised at how well a degree in communications translates to the political arena. There are many skills that you learn regarding being an effective communicator that translate to the world of government and politics." (Political Director; 2014)

Career: 7 years of experience, currently based in Pennsylvania, female
School: Studied Communications at Virginia Wesleyan College in Virginia; completed Bachelor degree in 2001

"Clients Lack Understanding...
I am surprised by the lack of understanding by our clients about political issues at the state level. These are successful individuals that have relatively no idea what is going on in the legislature." (Research Analyst; 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in Connecticut, male
School: Studied Political Science at Southern Connecticut State University in Connecticut; completed Bachelor degree in 2011

Best & Worst Things About This Career

CEO Of A Govt Relations Firm: "The best part is that it is very exciting and never boring. The worst part is that it is quite stressful. There are many factors that impact the best and worst aspects of the career: 1. Demanding or unreasonable clients; 2. Legislators who will not consider your position because they have no interest in the opposing point of view; 3. Media that will not cover your issue. However, when the work you have done helps make health insurance more accessible, or combats childhood obesity, you know all the frustration is worth it." (2011)

Political Consultant: "The best part of my career is knowing that I am shaping public policy issues and laws that will probably impact my children and my children's children. It's also a very interesting, fast-paced job that allows me to learn about a diverse range of issues that interest me. Some of the downsides of my career include the long hours and the stressful work environment. It also lacks some dependability -- if our firm doesn't get any campaigns for an extended period, my job could be in jeopardy." (2011)

Career Tips

"Be Willing To Start At The Bottom...
To be successful in politics you have to be willing to start at the bottom and work your way up. Be willing to do the grunt work, like knocking on doors for candidates or volunteering in an elected official's office, before expecting a high-paying job." (Political Director; 2014)

"Networking Key To Legal Employment...
If you want to be successful in the legal field, spend your 3 years in law school interning and building your network. Almost all positions are found via networking, more so than other fields." (Legal Consultant; 2014)

"Communicate With Authority...
You must need to write well and be able to communicate complicated concepts to both large and small audiences with ease. Speaking and writing with authority is also a must for anyone who wants to be successful as a professional advocate. The job is a true joy for anyone who loves to impact the lives of those around them and make their community better." (CEO Of A Govt Relations Firm; 2011)

"Take A Journalism Course...
Read newspapers, magazines or blogs every day to know what's happening where you live and around the world. Refine your writing skills. The ability to write well is critical in this industry. In addition to English classes, a journalism class or two will help you write in a concise, informative way. Consider interning for a political leader, political organization or public policy think tank. This experience is a great way to meet people and get your foot in the door. It will also look great on your resume." (Political Consultant; 2011)