a. What is Government Contracts Law?
Government contracts law involves the award and performance of contracts to which the government is a party, and any litigation arising from disputes regarding these contracts. Private companies that wish to bid for contracts with federal, state, or local governments must meet a variety of regulations, and be in compliance with certain U.S. labor laws, before they are eligible to enter into such contracts. Government contracts law involves knowing and understanding the relevant regulations and advising clients through each stage of the contract bidding process.
b. What do Government Contracts lawyers do?
Attorneys who specialize in government contracts represent clients in all aspects of negotiating and securing contracts with the government, as well as in disputes that arise out of these contracts. These attorneys advise their clients through each step of the process, beginning with submission of a proposal (or "bid") and the contract negotiation process with the government. If the company is successful, the attorney may also assist the client with defending against claims by other companies that the bid was gained unfairly or inappropriately. On the other hand, some government contracts attorneys represent government agencies in the bidding selection process and negotiation of contracts. As a result, this practices includes both client counseling, contract drafting and negotiation, and litigation. Many government contracts attorneys have relevant experience prior to law school, either working for the government or for a private contractor, though prior experience is not a requirement.
c. Where do Government Contracts lawyers work?
Government contracts attorneys work in a variety of practice settings.Some work in large or mid-sized law firms with a variety of practice areas; others work in small "boutique" firms that specialize in government contracts. Some government contracts attorneys work in-house in companies that specialize in defense or aerospace products or at auto companies that enter into large contracts with the government. Finally, other attorneys in this field work for federal, state or municipal governments.
II. What to do if you're interested in pursuing a career in Government Contracts Law
a. Georgetown Law Courses/Clinics
- Government Contracts
- Negotiations Seminar
- Administrative Law
- Intellectual Property course
- Compete in Barrister's Council - one section competes in government contracts
b. Relevant Associations
c. Where it's Hot
- Washington, DC
- Areas located near military bases, government agencies (such as NASA), and companies that build military weaponry - includes Colorado, Houston, and Florida
III. Helpful Government Contracts Law Resources
IV. Representative Employers/Opportunities
- Government Agencies
- Law Firms
b. Internships and Fellowships