This year, the OPM and various government agencies will select hundreds of graduate students (including law students) to participate in PMF’s prestigious program. Upon graduation, PMF’s are placed within various federal agencies and departments, and typically work as policy analysts. The Fellows receive valuable training, network with a variety of government officials on a daily basis, and are placed (possibly on a rotation) with agencies and departments, including Justice, Homeland Security, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. More information on this program can be found at https://www.pmf.opm.gov/HProgramOverview.aspx . After the two‐year fellowship, Fellows may have the opportunity to convert to a full‐time permanent position with the government.
The application process to become a PMF is somewhat unique. It is described fully at: https://www.pmf.opm.gov/HowToApply.aspx . Briefly, to begin the process, interested 3L’s must submit not only an application during the fall application window (application window is October 1-15 this year) but also be “nominated” by the College of Law (nomination deadline is October 31). College nominations are bolstered by an applicant’s accomplishments, leadership, and dedication to public service. Please contact Dean Dickey ASAP if you wish to be nominated. Later in the fall, selected nominees will be notified of a date for an in‐person test, or “assessment,” which will take place in January or February. The assessment focuses on three areas: 1) life experiences; 2) critical thinking skills; and 3) writing fundamentals. Then, beginning in February, nominees are notified as to whether they have been selected as finalists. Finalists are invited to a Washington, D.C. job fair, which is attended by various federal agencies who are interested in hiring a PMF. Finalists are also given access to online resources to search for agency placements.
A recent S.J. Quinney alum successfully applied for the PMF program during his third year of law school. Upon acceptance, he was placed with the Department of Transportation, and, years later, is now counsel for the Federal Transit Administration in Washington, D.C. He highly values the time he spent as a PMF, and strongly encourages the following persons to apply to the program: those interested in living in Washington, D.C. (although there are other work locations) and those interested in government service and policy analysis. He also suggests that even those without top grades should apply if interested. Although acceptance into the PMF program is competitive, the government is looking for Fellows who can think, communicate, and who are strongly interested in public work.