Career Pathways: Administrative Law

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Administrative Law governs interactions between the general public and the government.  This vast area of law is present at the federal, state, county, and city levels.  One way of addressing the complexities of the modern world is to create agencies and regulations to help control regulated areas.  For instance, at the federal level, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (U.S.C.I.S.) is one of the agencies responsible for creating and implementing the country’s immigration policies and practices.  At the state level, the Florida Department of Health is one of the agencies responsible for promoting and maintaining the health and well-being of Florida residents.

The types of employment opportunities available to attorneys who want to practice in administrative law are only limited by the types of regulated industries (and there are many).  For instance, in Florida alone, there are over 60 state agencies and sub-agencies (see http://www.myflorida.com/directory/).  These legislatively created agencies, part of the executive branch of government, function in both a quasi-legislative capacity (creating the regulations necessary to implement governmental policy), and quasi-judicial capacity (holding hearings which usually involve the government as one party and the private citizen as the other party).  The Florida Department of Health, for instance, creates regulations governing licensing requirements for several health care professions.  It is also responsible for holding hearings when, for instance, a health care professional violates one of its rules and his or her license could potentially be revoked.  Employment opportunities exist in the public sector in rulemaking positions (creating the specific regulations for a government agency), quasi-judicial positions (acting as a hearing officer or as an administrative law judge for an agency or for the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings).  Private sector positions usually involve representing clients before hearings or in their dealings with administrative agencies.    

Job Types Typical Duties
Federal Agencies
  • Rulemaking
  • Enforcement (hearings)
  • Implementation
  • Advising
State Agencies
  • Counsel and advise state government and administrative staff in their dealings with other government agencies or private individuals and entities.
Local Government
  • Counsel and advise county or city governments in their dealings with other government agencies or private individuals and entities.
Private Law Firms
  • Maintain corporate relationships with administrative agencies.
  • Engage in lobbying activities for private and public entities.
  • Represent clients in front of administrative agencies.
  • Counsel clients to run their businesses in accordance with regulatory laws.

Other Activities

  • Get involved with student bar association.
  • Obtain an internship with an administrative agency or administrative law attorney or firm
  • Periodically check the Symplicity Job Board for opportunities in this area of law.

Curriculum Considerations

Take a look at the Law Curriculum Mapping Guide to see courses related to a career in Administrative Law.  In addition, it will help you identify faculty that you can speak to regarding this area of practice.