The California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division One, located in downtown San Diego, decides cases at the forefront of California’s civil and criminal jurisprudence. The court is currently recruiting talented lawyers with a love for the law and writing, a strong work ethic and a dedication to excellence to serve in the court’s central staff. The court values diversity and inclusion in our workplace. Working as a central staff attorney offers a unique opportunity to think and write about developing issues in the law. Your work at the court would include drafting proposed opinions in all areas of appellate law including criminal, civil, and juvenile. An appellate court attorney must have superior legal research and writing skills and the ability to present a statement of facts, law and argument clearly, concisely and logically in written form.

Litigation experience or a prior judicial clerkship are desirable, but a proven interest in legal writing and analysis, and a desire to contribute to the judicial branch are a must. The Court offers a generous compensation and benefits package, including opportunities for remote work and flexible scheduling, subject to the direction and approval of the justice or supervisor.

The position is being recruited at levels D to Senior and will be staffed at a level commensurate with the qualifications of the selected individuals


Central Staff Attorney

Duties of a central staff attorney include thoroughly analyzing and discussing legal issues, drafting proposed opinions, analyzing motions, and performing other legal duties in assigned cases at the direction of one of the court’s ten justices, on a rotating basis. These responsibilities require that the attorney carefully and accurately review appellate briefs, trial records, and other documents; thoroughly research and analyze existing law; draft clear, concise, and well-organized memoranda and proposed opinions; and make recommendations regarding the resolution of legal issues before the court within assigned deadlines.

A central staff attorney may also perform other tasks, such as assisting the writs department, reviewing civil case information statements, and reviewing and analyzing motions, as assigned. An appropriate candidate must be able to work independently, perform assigned duties efficiently and manage a large and diverse number of responsibilities. The attorney must be able to organize his or her own work, set priorities, and meet critical deadlines. The ability to interact courteously and professionally with justices and court staff is also required.


Applicants should have appellate court experience, or experience in either appellate litigation or trial litigation with substantial writing experience. They should also have exceptional research, analytical, and writing skills; broad and practical knowledge of the law; familiarity with appellate practice; mature and sound judgment; attention to detail; good time-management skills; and ability to work both independently and cooperatively with other members of the court staff. Applicants should welcome supervision and editing of their work product. Experience with computerized legal research, word processing skills, and knowledge of software applications are also essential.

In addition to the foregoing minimum qualifications, a candidate with at least three years’ experience as a judicial staff attorney, as an appellate practitioner, or in a position involving a comparable legal writing and analysis focus and the exercise of adjudicatory (as opposed to solely advocacy) skills is desirable. A broad and practical knowledge of the law, familiarity with appellate practice, mature and sound judgment and the ability to work cooperatively with others are also important, as is the ability to accept editing of one’s work product.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Applicants must have at least the following: Active membership in the State Bar of California and:

Level D: Equivalent of four years of post-bar legal experience in a legal setting such as a private law practice, corporation, government agency, law school, court, or legal publishing company; OR One year of experience as an appellate attorney, Level C, with the judicial branch.

Senior Level: Equivalent of six years of post-bar legal experience, including substantial appellate experience, in a legal setting such as a private law practice, corporation, government agency, law school, court, or legal publishing company; OR two years of experience as an appellate attorney, Level D, with the judicial branch.

Please Note: Work experience as a law clerk to a federal judge after passing a state bar but prior to formal state bar admission will be considered equivalent to post-bar legal experience.


To ensure consideration of your application for the earliest round of interviews, please apply by 5:00 P.M. on May 24th, 2024. The position will remain open until filled.

To complete an online application, please click the APPLY FOR JOB button.

Include ONLY the following items in your application packet:

  • Cover Letter
  • Job Application
  • Current Resume
  • Recent Writing Sample (no longer than 20 pages double spaced)
  • Completed Supplemental Questions

The Fourth District Court of Appeal provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities who request such accommodation. Reasonable accommodation needs should be requested through Human Resources at (415) 865-4260. Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (415) 865-4272.


LEVEL D: $ 9,936- $13,261 per month
SENIOR: $11,247 – $15,011 per month
Salary is based on qualifications and experience.

Highlights of our benefits package include:

  • Health/Dental/Vision benefits program
  • 14 paid holidays per calendar year
  • Choice of Annual Leave or Sick/Vacation Leave
  • 1 personal holiday per year
  • Up to $130 per month reimbursement for qualifying commuting costs
  • CalPERS Retirement Plan
  • 401(k) and 457 deferred compensation plans
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Basic Life and AD&D Insurance
  • FlexElect program

To apply for this job please visit

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2024 International Law Symposium: Call for Papers

The humanitarian crisis for the ethnic Armenian community of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) [as a result of Azerbaijan’s complete military encirclement, months-long blockade, and, ultimately, the entire Armenian population’s forced migration out of Nagorno-Karabakh] raise oft-ignored questions about the universality and effectiveness of non-derogable international human rights norms. This Call for Papers seeks submissions of abstracts for papers exploring the relationship between human rights and unrecognized or partially recognized States (viz, countries), particularly in connection with the live issues in Nagorno-Karabakh.

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