Careers - Career Paths at GAO - Legal Careers at GAO
Legal Honors Program Helps New Attorneys Excel
GAO's entry-level attorneys join our legal honors program, known as the Attorney Development Program (ADP):
- Immediate substantive contributions and responsibilities
- Assignment to a specific GAO team to gain subject matter expertise and client skills
- Two-year program of professional training and development
- Potential recruiting bonuses
Immediate substantive contributions and responsibilities
Attorneys are assigned their own cases and projects from day 1.
Supervisors meet frequently with new attorneys to provide guidance and training.
Assignment to a specific OGC team to gain subject matter expertise and client skills
New attorneys are assigned to a team within OGC. Each OGC team focuses on a particular subject.
Two-year program of professional training and development
Attorneys in the ADP receive training in areas such as GAO statutory authorities, appropriations law, legislative history, and the Federal procurement process.
Attorneys are appraised and get formal feedback on performance every 6 months. Each 6-month review is followed by a salary increase, if performing satisfactorily. Increases range from 5% to 7%.
After two years, attorneys are eligible for promotion to Band II. GAO's career path for attorneys extends to the Band III level — the equivalent of a GS-15 under the General Schedule.
Potential recruiting bonuses
GAO may pay recruiting bonuses to attorneys in the ADP, depending on the agency's appropriation and budget. New attorneys typically receive the bonus payment within one month of beginning work. The bonus must be repaid pro rata if an attorney leaves before three years.
In the past 3 years, GAO paid individual bonuses of up to $7,500.