Staff Attorney


U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

San Francisco, CA

Position Summary
$102,489 (CL 28)

San Francisco, CA

Applications will be accepted through October 31, 2023

One-year term position, renewable up to a maximum of five years depending on performance and budget.

The Office of Staff Attorneys (OSA) seeks attorneys who are dedicated to supporting the federal Judiciary’s mission of ensuring equal justice under the law. We are excited to welcome team members who have excellent judgment and a high level of personal integrity, thrive on independent work and are open to feedback, adapt easily to new work assignments and legal developments, and embrace new challenges in response to court needs.

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. Staff attorneys report to a team supervisor and the Chief Staff Attorney.

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. Applicants who are hired for this position will be placed in a subject area team within OSA, depending on staffing needs and applicant experience and interest. Current needs are in the civil and criminal realms.

Representative Duties and Responsibilities

Processing motions and cases entails:

• Reviewing the parties’ filings and the record;

• Independently researching the legal issues;

• Identifying the strongest recommendation(s) for resolving the matter;

• Orally presenting recommendations to monthly panels of judges;

• Drafting orders and non-precedential decisions;

• Effectively managing a docket of cases; and

• Promptly and accurately performing 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 and Prior Experience

• 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.

• 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.

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.

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.

Job Bank Sponsorship Opportunity

Each quarter, one law firm and one company will have the opportunity to show their support for diversity in the legal profession and help advance the careers of attorneys of color by becoming a CMCP Job Bank Sponsor.