DA Employment: A Commitment to Diversity

Graduate Law Clerk Program

Job Description

The Graduate Law Clerk Program of the San Diego District Attorney’s Office affords individuals who have taken the California Bar examination the opportunity to work for a prosecutor’s office while awaiting California Bar results. Employment in this position would start in August 2015. The Graduate Law Clerk Program offers full time, paid positions, and Graduate Law Clerks will be expected to work at least 40 hours a week. They are also expected to be certified to appear in court by the California State Bar.

Graduate Law Clerks are assigned to all divisions and all branches of the Office within San Diego County. They may be tasked to answer defense motions, do legal research and write reports thereon, assist attorneys in trial preparation, conduct felony preliminary hearings, oppose motions to suppress evidence, and possibly assist in misdemeanor jury trials, all under the supervision of Deputy District Attorneys.

Because San Diego is a civil service county, employment as a Deputy District Attorney is by competitive application. Temporary employment as a Graduate Law Clerk is NOT a guarantee or promise of employment as a Deputy District Attorney I, but does allow us to more substantively evaluate your potential for long-term success as a Deputy District Attorney. Interviewing for and hiring of Deputy District Attorneys typically takes place between September and December, and would occur during the Graduate Law Clerkship. Graduate Law Clerk positions are only temporary, and expire after 6 months. Based on the needs of the Office, they can sometimes be extended an additional 6 months, not to exceed a total of 1 year.

Training

Every Graduate Law Clerk participates in an introductory training course before being assigned into a particular division. Experienced trial deputies administer this training to familiarize Graduate Law Clerks with the California criminal justice process and our Office. After the initial training, each Graduate Law Clerk will receive on the job mentorship from an experienced prosecutor who will provide relevant training for each assignment.

All Graduate Law Clerks are expected to apply with the State Bar for their certification. Such certification status allows these then Certified Graduate Law Clerks to not only research, write, and respond to motions, but also to argue such motions in court when appropriate. In addition to motion work, certification permits Graduate Law Clerks, under the supervision of a Deputy District Attorney, to conduct preliminary hearings, present evidence in court in opposition to motions to suppress evidence, and make other court appearances on misdemeanor and felony cases as the assignment permits.

Graduate Law Clerk Application Process

The requirements for the Graduate Law Clerk positions are as follows:

  • 3L Status
  • Commitment to taking the California Bar examination in July 2015
  • Resume, cover letter and transcript
  • Writing Sample (not to exceed three typed pages)
  • Grade Point Average of 3.0
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation (Please provide 2 only)
  • Subject to THOROUGH background and medical clearance

If you have worked for our Office before, please include in your application the names of any supervisors to whom you have previously been assigned or other DDAs who can speak to your work.

The requirements for Graduate Law Clerk position consist of a review of the individual's cover letter, resume, writing sample, letters of recommendation and transcript. After the written application materials have been reviewed, some applicants will be scheduled for a personal interview.

For the Graduate Law Clerk position, interviewing will take place either through Skype/teleconferencing or in person at the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.

To apply for the Graduate Law Clerk position, please submit a (1) Cover Letter, (2) Resume, (3) Writing Sample (not to exceed three typed pages), (4) Two Letters of Recommendation, (5) Official or Unofficial Transcript, and (6) only if you have previously worked for the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, the names of any supervisors to whom you have previously been assigned or other DDAs from our Office who can speak to your work. Please submit the materials as a SINGLE PDF through email to recruiting@sdcda.org. The applications are due on October 10, 2014.

Frank Jackson and Melissa Diaz, Hiring Deputies – Graduate Law Clerk Program
Office of the District Attorney
330 W. Broadway, Suite 1100
MS: D-422
San Diego, CA 92101

Kim Allen, Employee Relations
Office of the District Attorney
330 W. Broadway, Suite 1300
MS: D-421
San Diego, CA 92101