Earning a Master of Science in Law opens up doors for career possibilities in public affairs, including a career as a lobbyist. Lobbyists are people who advocate for specific matters pending before elected officials. Through oral and written communication, lobbyists work on behalf of people or organizations to influence politics. They aim to get legislation passed or presented that aligns with their cause. Lobbyists are generally experts in their field, taking on the job of educating the elected officials they are interacting with on the matter at hand.
If you’re looking to become a lobbyist full-time, earning a Master of Science in Law (MSL) at McGeorge School of Law is a great prequel to your career. Our Government Law and Policy program is designed for lobbyists looking to enhance their skills without needing a law degree to succeed.
Industries for Lobbyists
There are endless causesto champion when lobbying in the government. Whether you’re passionate about working for a cause, community, or industry, there are plenty of options to choose from. Organizations collectively spend large sums of money lobbying every year. According to data from opensecrets.org and the Senate Office of Public Records and calculations by the Center for Responsive Politics, the top industries spending on lobbying are:
- Pharmaceuticals/health products
- Electric utilities
- Electronic manufacturing and equipment
- Business associations, a grouping including small businesses, big businesses, and international trade associations
- Oil and gas
- Hospitals/nursing homes
- Miscellaneous manufacturing and distributing, including top consumer companies
Millions to billions of dollars get funneled into lobbying efforts by these and other industries. For example, in 2021, the United States Chamber of Commerce spent $66.4 million alone, while the American Hospital Association spent $25.1 million. Some organizations spend millions on lobbying, joining others in their industry to create heavy influence for their cause.
Types of Lobbying
Within lobbying, there are four main specializations. The main differential is who they are lobbying before and trying to influence:
- Executive lobbyist: Targets the executive branch of the government.
- Elected government official lobbyist: Influences the local government officials. This encompasses counties, cities, towns, and villages.
- Judicial lobbyist: Targets the judicial branch of government and their purchasing decisions.
- Legislative lobbyist: Influences the legislative branch of government and therefore any legislation getting passed regarding their industry.
There are also different types of lobbying: direct and grassroots. Direct lobbying is what most people think of when they think of lobbying; written and oral communication with those in government to influence decisions. Grassroots lobbying occurs when someone gets the public to rally behind a cause.
How to Become a Lobbyist with McGeorge School of Law
Lobbyists need to register with their city or state, depending on where they are located. Each state has rules governing the profession that are important to become familiar with and stay on top of.
Before registration, earning a degree in the field and then getting involved in causes paves the way for a career in lobbying. McGeorge School of Law’s MSL gives our students the knowledge, skills, and broadened perspective required to succeed in the rapidly changing legal environment that exists in the United States. Plus, our program is fully online, giving students the flexibility to cater their education to their already busy lives. Our faculty are chosen for not only their exceptional teaching ability but also for their expertise in government and policy.
If you’re looking to become a lobbyist, our MSL program is the perfect next step. Interested in learning more? Contact our admissions office today to get started.