Why Work for the U.S. Department of Justice

Author: Lauren Love

As law students weigh their legal career options, Kevin Culum, ’86 B.S., an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice in the Antitrust Division, said that those looking to hit the ground running right after graduation might want to consider working for the DOJ.

“We offer immediate responsibility,” Culum said. “We have a limited number of people who are litigating all over the world, who are litigating lots of different things, and you’re going to be thrown into the thick of it immediately.”

Culum recently visited Notre Dame Law School to encourage students to consider working for the DOJ. In addition to gaining early career experience, Culum said work-life balance was a huge benefit for working for the DOJ.

“My wife and I have two children and I teach them to work hard,” he said. “But in addition to working, I also coach [their sports teams] and I’m involved in our church. I have a life. I don’t identify solely as a prosecutor. I identify myself in a number of different ways and I think that’s important.”

Student loan debt forgiveness was another selling point Culum discussed with students. He said the department’s Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program repays certain types of Federal student loans as a recruitment and retention incentive in exchange for three years of service.

As the nation’s largest legal employer, the DOJ offers opportunities for law students and attorneys in virtually every litigation practice area. To find out more about their internship and honors programs, visit https://www.justice.gov/legal-careers.

Culum’s talk was a precursor to Notre Dame Law School’s Public Interest Month. The Career Development Office will host a series of events throughout October that will focus on a wide variety of careers including legal aid, public interest fellowships, Judge Advocate General positions, careers in state and local government, prosecution, and how to integrate pro-bono work into private firm practice.

The events will begin on Monday, Oct. 3, at 5:45 p.m. in the McCartan Courtroom. Shaffer Fellows, Audra Passinault and Jessica Binzoni, and Bank of America Foundation Fellows, Jason Sethen and Rachael Winkler, all 2015 graduates, will discuss how they created their own public-interest job opportunities through the Shaffer and BOAF fellowships. A reception will follow at 7:00 pm in Eck Commons.