OVERVIEW

The California Supreme Court, located in San Francisco, is accepting applications for the position of Supreme Court Attorney, level A – D or Senior Supreme Court Attorney, on the Capital Central Staff. Attorneys on the Capital Central Staff support the Court in its processing and deciding of appeals and habeas corpus and other writ petitions filed in the Supreme Court following the imposition of a judgment of death in a superior court. This 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 briefs, petitions, motions, and other documents including trial records and exhibits filed in death penalty appeals and habeas corpus proceedings, and prepares memoranda presenting the relevant facts, identifying the issues raised and the applicable law, analyzing the facts and law, and recommending the proper disposition of the issues.
  • Assists the Court in drafting appellate opinions in capital cases.
  • Consults with the justices and other court staff including members of the justices’ chambers, the Court’s other central staffs, and the Clerk’s Office.
  • Maintains current knowledge of various areas of criminal law through reviewing relevant decisions of the Court and other courts such as the United States Supreme Court.
  • Conducts special assignments as directed, including drafting or responding to recommended changes to the California Rules of Court or the Court’s published and internal policies and procedures, and preparing memoranda informing the Court of significant developments in the law such as proposed or recently enacted statutes.
  • Works with court externs on legal research and writing projects.             

QUALIFICATIONS

Must possess exceptional research, analytical, and writing skills, including superior knowledge of English grammar and legal writing style.  Must have familiarity with, or be able to learn, word processing and editing functions in Microsoft Word.  Must be able to work both independently and cooperatively with others, including accepting substantive and style editing of work.  Must be able to communicate orally and in writing in English in a professional and effective manner.  Must be able to organize own work, set priorities, work under pressure, and meet critical deadlines.  Must be able to exercise sound judgment and integrity consistent with representing the judicial branch, and to maintain the confidentiality of work product.

Minimum 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.

SeniorActive 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 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.

NOTES: Work experience as a law clerk to a state or 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

Broad and practical experience in criminal law, especially appellate, habeas corpus, and motion experience; familiarity with death penalty law; experience in drafting policies, letters, and similar documents; managerial/supervisory experience; editorial experience such as participation in Law Review or on an editorial board of a publication; familiarity with court procedures and rules; high academic achievement.

HOW TO APPLY

To ensure consideration 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 the 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# 5649.

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 work legally 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 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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