State Government Jobs in State Capitals (Class of 2007)

NALP Bulletin, February 2009

Among Class of 2007 law school graduates, a total of 1,379 reported taking a job in state government, making this sector a small (less than 4% of the total) but nonetheless important source of jobs. Not surprisingly, the number of state government jobs has fluctuated over the years, reflecting fluctuations in states’ fiscal conditions. More consistently, however, only about 35-40% of these jobs are located in state capital cities, suggesting that students interested in state government jobs should not limit their searches to just these cities.

Overall, the number of state government job opportunities in state capital cities is less than in the late 1990s, but more than in 2002, even as the total number of jobs increased. However, individual cities may or may not follow this pattern, as the table on the opposite page shows. For example:

  • Among cities that provided 50 or more total jobs to the Class of 2007, the percentage of jobs in state government was highest in Tallahassee, Lansing, and Harrisburg. Most state capitals, including such sizable cities as Atlanta, provide fewer than a dozen state government jobs.

  • Opportunities have been relatively constant over time in cities such as Tallahassee, St. Paul, Raleigh, and Jackson.

  • A few cities offered substantially more jobs in 2007 compared with 1997. Columbus, Sacramento, Phoenix, and Topeka are among them.

  • A greater number of cities, however, have seen a decrease since 1997 or 2002. These include Boston, Albany, Austin, Harrisburg, and Madison.

  • A number of state capitals offered few or no state government opportunities in 2007, and fewer in 2007 than in 2002 or 1997. Boise, Charleston, Oklahoma City, and Providence are among cities that offered a reasonable number of jobs overall but few in state government in 2007, and fewer than in 2002 or 1997.


State Government Jobs in State Capitals -- Classes of 1997, 2002, and 2007

City 2007 2002 1997
Total #
of Jobs
# of State
Government
Jobs
Jobs in
State
Government
as a % of
Total Jobs
Total #
of Jobs
# of State
Government
Jobs
Jobs in
State
Government
as a % of
Total Jobs
Total #
of Jobs
# of State
Government
Jobs
Jobs in
State
Government
as a % of
Total Jobs
Columbus 277 44 15.9 257 25 9.7 250 37 14.8
Sacramento 199 35 17.6 203 25 12.3 183 28 15.3
Indianapolis 256 31 12.1 226 17 7.5 230 27 11.7
Austin 225 29 12.9 237 37 15.6 206 33 16.0
Boston 785 28 3.6 703 22 3.1 706 49 6.9
Tallahassee 81 27 33.3 93 29 31.2 79 27 34.2
Albany 150 24 16.0 110 21 19.1 133 31 23.3
Columbia 125 21 16.8 80 10 12.5 83 20 24.1
Phoenix 281 20 7.1 181 5 2.8 237 15 6.3
St. Paul 108 19 17.6 118 14 11.9 124 16 12.9
Jefferson City 32 19 59.4 42 19 45.2 39 26 66.7
Springfield 30 15 50.0 20 4 20.0 36 18 50.0
Lansing 64 14 21.9 47 9 19.1 60 13 21.7
Harrisburg 62 13 21.0 70 19 27.1 68 22 32.4
Topeka 49 13 26.5 36 11 30.6 41 7 17.1
Olympia 34 13 38.2 26 16 61.5 31 18 58.1
Trenton 68 12 17.6 50 11 22.0 51 7 13.7
Hartford 125 11 8.8 129 7 5.4 140 15 10.7
Atlanta 654 11 1.7 566 4 0.7 521 14 2.7
Honolulu 109 11 10.1 86 9 10.5 103 11 10.7
Nashville 130 10 7.7 96 5 5.2 101 9 8.9
Baton Rouge 96 10 10.4 81 6 7.4 58 6 10.3
Salt Lake City 158 10 6.3 148 5 3.4 116 4 3.4
Richmond 142 8 5.6 115 5 4.3 146 11 7.5
Little Rock 104 8 7.7 51 4 7.8 94 13 13.8
Raleigh 153 7 4.6 103 6 5.8 102 6 5.9
Frankfort 22 7 31.8 16 6 37.5 28 18 64.3
Salem 44 7 15.9 52 5 9.6 37 11 29.7
Montgomery 71 6 8.5 60 3 5.0 56 8 14.3
Oklahoma City 156 6 3.8 115 11 9.6 81 9 11.1
Madison 72 5 6.9 70 8 11.4 79 16 20.3
Jackson 95 5 5.3 128 6 4.7 93 5 5.4
Denver 217 5 2.3 281 30 10.7 223 9 4.0
Carson City 18 5 27.8 8 1 12.5 12 2 16.7
Santa Fe 28 5 17.9 19 6 31.6 14 4 28.6
Concord 25 4 16.0 24 3 12.5 30 3 10.0
Lincoln 36 4 11.1 47 8 17.0 45 7 15.6
Annapolis 51 4 7.8 24 2 8.3 38 9 23.7
Des Moines 96 3 3.1 72 4 5.6 64 1 1.6
Boise 53 3 5.7 38 . . 51 6 11.8
Cheyenne 16 3 18.8 11 1 9.1 17 5 29.4
Montpelier 9 2 22.2 12 3 25.0 15 6 40.0
Dover 9 2 22.2 10 1 10.0 7 1 14.3
Charleston 43 2 4.7 54 1 1.9 56 5 8.9
Providence 66 1 1.5 42 4 9.5 74 3 4.1
Bismarck 8 1 12.5 10 1 10.0 9 2 22.2
Helena 12 1 8.3 14 1 7.1 13 . .
Juneau 5 1 20.0 4 0 0.0 3 0 0.0
Augusta 4 0 0.0 2 1 50.0 8 5 62.5
Pierre 5 0 0.0 7 0 0.0 7 1 14.3
Totals 5,658 545   4,994 451   4,998 619  

Source: NALP Employment Report and Salary Survey data for the class year.

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