July 25, 2023

New York State Department of Civil Service Announces Online Civil Service Examination Now Available to Pursue Public Service Careers as Attorneys

Legal Specialties Exam Represents Great Opportunity to Start a Public Service Career with New York State Across Multiple Agencies

Applicants Can Apply and Take the Exam Online Now for Free

All State Civil Service Exams Fees Waived Through 2025

The New York State Department of Civil Service (DCS) announced today that individuals interested in a career as an attorney in New York State public service can now apply and complete the Legal Specialties exam online for the first time. The civil service exam is held continuously and is used to fill multiple attorney titles across New York State agencies. Qualified candidates can apply and take the exam online now.

Department of Civil Service Commissioner Timothy R. Hogues said, “The Department of Civil Service is pleased to offer the Legal Specialties exam online for the first time ever. This exam is used to fill a number of key attorney positions throughout the state. Under Governor Hochul's leadership, we are focused on building a diverse and inclusive workforce that can best serve all New Yorkers, and these entry level attorney positions represent an excellent opportunity to start a career in public service. Working for New York State not only offers the chance to serve the greater public, but also provides the opportunity to work with dedicated public servants, in addition to the great health benefits and compensation packages. I encourage all interested and qualified to apply for these exams today.”

New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “Taking the Legal Specialties civil service exam is a phenomenal way for legal professionals to begin their careers in public service. State workers have the opportunity to be part of the historic and nation-leading progress New York continues to make in almost every area. I encourage all eligible candidates to embrace this new opportunity and apply for the Legal Specialties civil service exam online.”

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "DEC’s Office of General Counsel serves a vital role in enforcing environmental laws and helping craft effective policies to protect New York’s natural resources and communities. The new online availability of the Legal Specialties exam provides a great opportunity for legal professionals to explore potential careers with state agencies, including DEC, and join our team on behalf of the public and the environment.”

DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder said, "A career in public service is so rewarding, and this is a great way for young lawyers to get their start, but whether you are just starting out, or you are a seasoned attorney, we have so many opportunities at DMV. Our attorneys and Administrative Law Judges play an important role in traffic safety, and we are always looking for talented professionals to join our team. I encourage those who qualify to take the exam and I look forward to working with many of you in the future.”

Office of Children and Family Services Acting Commissioner Suzanne Miles-Gustave said, "As an attorney myself, I can attest to how fulfilling and rewarding a legal career in public service can be, particularly when policies and initiatives can help shape the lives and well-being of children, families and vulnerable communities. We have so many legal professional opportunities at OCFS, all of which offer a chance to create truly meaningful, life-changing guidelines and programs. We are excited to welcome diverse and talented attorneys to be change-agents and make a significant mark towards providing equal, equitable and accessible services and supports.”

Workers’ Compensation Board Chair Clarissa Rodriguez said, "There are many opportunities at the Board for rewarding positions in the legal field for those looking to make a difference. As an attorney, I am proud to lead an agency that is dedicated to protecting the rights of workers and employers by ensuring the proper delivery of benefits and promoting compliance with the law. If you are interested in serving the greater good while also growing your career, I highly encourage you to apply for the Legal Specialties exam and see what roles may be available for you.”

People interested in being considered for attorney positions within state government must first meet the minimum qualifications for the exam, which requires candidates to be a graduate of an accredited law school with an LLB or JD degree or be eligible to take the New York State Bar exam. All applicants who meet the minimum qualifications should apply for and complete the exam to be considered for available positions. The online exam will require candidates to provide information about their training and experience with an online questionnaire that is completed and submitted by the candidate. Candidates should be prepared to provide detailed information on their education, work experience, dates of employment, and supervisor contact information to answer the questions completely.

The exam is used to fill the following titles at multiple agencies:

  • Senior Attorney
  • Senior Attorney (Realty)
  • Senior Attorney (Financial Services)
  • Hearing Officer
  • Motor Vehicle Referee/Motor Vehicle Referee (Spanish Language)
  • Unemployment Insurance Referee/Unemployment Insurance Referee (Spanish Language)
  • Several positions within the Legal Specialties Traineeship
  • All positions include generous benefits including paid leave, health benefits, and retirement plans, and telecommuting options may be available to employees in these titles who meet certain criteria.

    It is estimated that approximately 100 attorney positions will be filled statewide over the next year.

    As part of the launch of the Legal Specialties exam, New York State has launched a statewide social media campaign, which will include videos and web content to help attract candidates to apply for the exam. Campaign content and additional information and resources to help candidates complete the exam is available at www.cs.ny.gov/legal-specialties.

    To learn more about civil service and working in New York State, please visit the Department of Civil Service website(External Link) and follow the Department on Facebook(External Link), Twitter(External Link), and LinkedIn(External Link).