Website LinkedIn U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

$97,490 (CL 28)
San Francisco, CA
Applications will be accepted through September 9, 2022.
One-year term position, renewable up to a maximum of five years depending on performance and budget.
The Office of Staff Attorneys (OSA) is looking for dedicated, detail-oriented attorneys to support the federal Judiciary’s mission of ensuring equal justice under the law. We are excited to welcome team members who exercise excellent judgment, demonstrate a high level of personal integrity, are open to feedback, thrive on independent work, and adapt easily to new work assignments and legal developments.
About the Office of Staff Attorneys
OSA is the central legal staff for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and is a highly collegial environment. OSA has subject area teams of attorneys who focus on civil, immigration, criminal, or habeas matters. Each team handles motions and fully briefed cases. Staff attorneys report to a team supervisor and the Director of OSA.
We value diversity and are committed to equity and inclusion in our workplace. We encourage applications from all qualified individuals and seek a diverse pool of applicants in terms of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, languages spoken, veteran’s status, disability, religion, and socio-economic circumstance.
For more information, please visit:
About the Position
Staff attorneys are responsible for the substantive, procedural, and administrative processing of motions and fully briefed cases. This position will foster your legal research, writing, and oral presentation skills. We currently have openings on the civil and habeas teams.
Representative Duties
Staff attorneys are responsible for
• Conducting a comprehensive review of the parties’ filings and the record;
• Researching legal issues;
• Determining the strongest recommendation for how the court should resolve the motion or case;
• Orally presenting recommendations to monthly two- and three-judge panels in a clear and concise manner;
• Drafting orders and non-precedential decisions; and
• Managing their docket of cases and timely completing all administrative tasks. Staff attorneys may also be called upon to respond to public inquiries and requests for information, and to process emergency motions on an expedited basis outside of regular work hours. With increased experience, staff attorneys may handle a higher volume of assignments, conduct peer review of cases, mentor legal externs, and work on increasingly complex matters.
Position Qualifications
• J.D. from an accredited law school.
• At least two (2) years post-J.D. legal work experience consistent with the duties and responsibilities of this position. This hiring round, preference will be given to candidates with significant habeas or civil litigation experience.
• Proof that you are licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the laws of any State, territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia, and an active member of the bar in good standing.
Supplemental Questions
Please answer each of the following questions in a paragraph or two. Responses will be evaluated to assess an applicant’s ability to write clearly and concisely.
1. How would a limited-term staff attorney position at the court support your career goals?
2. Describe a situation where you displayed strong oral communication skills.
3. Describe a situation where you were persuaded to change your mind.
Our tentative plan is to conduct interviews via Zoom during the week of September 19, 2022. If selected for an interview:
• You will be asked to provide three references and a copy of your law school transcript.
• You will receive contact information for staff attorneys who have offered to answer questions about their experience at the court through optional, informal conversations that are not part of the hiring process.
• You will receive instructions and case materials for a performance exercise. During the interview, you will give a brief presentation about the materials and we will ask you questions.
Next Steps
Only candidates selected for an interview will be notified. Unsuccessful candidates will not receive notice. Applicants scheduled for interviews should advise the Human Resources department if any accommodation is needed for the interview. Travel and relocation expenses will not be reimbursed. More than one position may be filled from this announcement.
Total Rewards
• Salary: Depending on locality* $97,490 (CL 28) • Time Off: 13 vacation days; 13 sick leave days; 11 paid holidays
• Benefits: Employer subsidized health and life insurance plans. Dental, vision, flexible spending account, long-term care plans available. Employer sponsored pension plan and supplemental retirement contribution plans with employer match.
• Other Perks: Telework opportunities, eligibility for Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, mass transit subsidy, reasonable work hours, team environment, creative people, and enhanced tenure-based vacation accrual.
*OSA is headquartered in San Francisco, California and most staff attorneys are based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Opportunities to work from other courthouses in the Circuit (including Pasadena, California; Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington) are sometimes available.
Conditions of Employment
To be employed by the judiciary, an applicant must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in the process of applying for citizenship. Successful applicants are provisionally hired pending results of a background investigation and fingerprinting. Positions with the U.S. Courts are at-will, excepted service appointments, and may be terminated with or without cause by the Court. Employees are required to adhere to the Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees. Direct deposit of pay is required.
The Court reserves the right to modify the conditions of this job announcement, or to withdraw the announcement, for any reason including, but not limited to, budgetary issues. Any modifications may occur without prior written or other notice. The court requires all its employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 absent an exemption from the requirement based on a documented medical reason or a sincerely held religious belief.
Equity Focused Employer
We value diversity and are committed to equity and inclusion in our workplace. The Ninth Circuit encourages applications from all qualified individuals and seeks a diverse pool of applicants in terms of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, languages spoken, veteran’s status, disability, religion, and socio-economic circumstance.
How to Apply
Please submit a single pdf application packet through the Career Portal that includes:
• A cover letter describing your interest in and qualifications for the position,
• A current resume showing your education, work experience, and other relevant experience, and
• Responses to the supplemental questions below.