OVERVIEW

The California Supreme Court, located incSan Francisco, is accepting applications for the position of Supreme Court Attorney, level A – D or Senior Supreme Court Attorney, on the Civil Central Staff. The Civil Central Staff is composed of 16 attorneys and serves the court in preparing conference memoranda analyzing petitions for review, writ petitions, proposed amendments to the Rules of Court, and other civil and State Bar of California matters filed in the Supreme Court. The Court seeks an experienced attorney to join the staff. The position will be staffed at a level commensurate with the qualifications of the selected individual.

THE SUPREME COURT

The California Supreme Court is the state’s highest court. Its decisions are binding on all other California state courts. The court conducts regular sessions in San Francisco, as well as in Los Angeles and Sacramento; it may also hold special sessions elsewhere.

The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in proceedings for extraordinary relief in the form of mandamus, certiorari, and prohibition. The court also has original jurisdiction in habeas corpus proceedings. The state Constitution gives the Supreme Court the authority to review decisions of the Courts of Appeal. This reviewing power enables the Supreme Court to decide important legal questions and to maintain uniformity in the law. The court selects specific issues for review, or it may decide all the issues in a case. The Constitution also directs the high court to review all cases in which a trial court has pronounced a judgment of death. Under state law, these cases are automatically appealed directly from a trial court to the Supreme Court. In addition, the Supreme Court reviews the recommendations of the Commission on Judicial Performance and the State Bar of California concerning the discipline of judges and attorneys for misconduct. The court may also review the decisions of the Public Utilities Commission.

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Reviews, evaluates, and analyzes briefs, petitions, motions, and other pertinent documents filed in a particular case in order to determine factual accuracy, legal issues on review, and scope and complexity of issues raised.
  • Prepares written statements of fact pursuant to rules of appellate review.
  • Analyzes legal issues raised by parties.
  • Reads and applies cases, statutes, constitutional provisions, and rules cited by parties.
  • Conducts independent research for relevant cases, statutes, rules, and secondary sources not cited by parties.
  • Researches legislative history and intent of particular statutes.
  • Drafts conference memoranda and orders.
  • Consults with other attorneys and professional staff regarding issues on review.
  • Conducts special legal research and assignments when requested, including editing of work prepared by court externs.

QUALIFICATIONS

Licenses and Certifications:

Active membership in the State Bar of California.

Education and Experience:

Level A:  Active membership in the State Bar of California.

Level B:  Active membership in the State Bar of California and the equivalent of two 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 Equivalent to two years of post-bar legal experience in a legal setting as described above, including one year of experience as an appellate attorney, Level A, with the judicial branch.

Level C:  Active membership in the State Bar of California and the equivalent of three 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 B, with the judicial branch.

Level D: Active membership in the State Bar of California and the 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: Active membership in the State Bar of California and the equivalent of six years of post-bar legal experience, including substantial appellate experience, in a legal setting such as a private 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.

NOTES: 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.

For external candidates for the Senior Supreme Court Attorney class, the Chief Justice must certify that the candidate possesses “substantial appellate experience.” 

Desirable Qualifications:

Knowledge of: 

  • Substantive and procedural legal principles and applications.
  • Scope and character of California and federal statutory and case law and provisions of the United States and California Constitutions; California Rules of Court; the legislative process; statutes and constitutional provisions governing the organization, duties, powers, procedures, management, and conduct of the work of the trial and appellate courts.
  • Effective legal research methods.
  • Principles of administrative and constitutional law.
  • Rules of evidence and procedure in California trial and appellate courts and administrative proceedings.
  • Principles and techniques of effective oral communication.
  • Principles and techniques of preparing a variety of effective written materials. 

Ability to:

  • Perform complex legal research and apply legal principles and precedents to particular sets of facts.
  • Analyze legal issues and present statements of facts, law, policy, and arguments clearly, concisely, and logically in both written and oral form.
  • Interact successfully with justices and court staff.
  • Exercise sound judgment and integrity consistent with representing the judicial branch; maintain confidentiality of work product.
  • Work independently as well as under supervision.
  • Organize own work, set priorities, work under pressure, and meet critical deadlines.
  • Operate personal computers and computer applications such as word processing.
  • Communicate effectively in English, orally and in writing.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of the work.

HOW TO APPLY

To ensure consideration of your application for the earliest round of interviews, please apply by Monday, August 22, 2022 however, this position will remain open until filled. This position requires the submission of our official application, cover letter, resume, response to supplemental questions, list of references, and a writing sample. Only those applicants invited to attend interviews will be contacted.

To complete the online application, please visit our website at https://www.courts.ca.gov/careers.htm and search for Job ID #5650.

The Judicial Council 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.

OTHER INFORMATION

Please note, if you are selected for hire, the Supreme Court of California will require verification of employment eligibility or authorization to legally work in the United States.

PAY AND BENEFITS

(Starting level and salary commensurate with experience)

Level A Supreme Court Attorney Salary: $6,323 per month

Level B Supreme Court Attorney Salary: $7,651 – $9,722 per month

Level C Supreme Court Attorney Salary: $8,413 – $10,690 per month

Level D Supreme Court Attorney Salary: $9,685 – $12,923 per month

Senior Supreme Court Attorney Salary: $10,960 – $14,628 per month

Some highlights of our benefits package for qualifying employees include:

  • Health/Dental/Vision benefits program
  • 13 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
  • Long Term Disability Program (employee paid/optional)
  • Group Legal Plan (employee paid/optional)

To apply for this job please visit www.courts.ca.gov.

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