SF District Attorney

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Law Students

1Ls

The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office offers a volunteer law clerk internship program throughout the year to students who have completed at least one full year of law school. The internship positions provide invaluable experience to individuals interested in a career in the field of criminal law.

Interns have the opportunity to work closely with prosecutors in a wide variety of areas of prosecution. Interns may also attend our in-house trainings. Students who have completed at least their first year of law school are placed with units where they will be involved primarily in legal research-related assignments (subject to attorney approval and supervision), including:

  • Legal Interns may assist in the preparation of felony and misdemeanor prosecutions and be allowed to observe courtroom activities
  • Legal Interns will be responsible for a wide variety of both clerical and legal tasks including review of case files and production of discovery.
  • Legal Interns may be asked to review transcripts and listen to tapes and or CDs.
  • In addition, they may be asked to assist with any of the functions performed by high school, undergraduate, graduate or paralegal interns, depending on the needs of the office or unit.

Internships are unpaid, and while the office does not require a full-time commitment, a minimum commitment of 16 hours per week is required.

We are accepting submissions for Spring 2021. Please see the Summary of Application Deadlines for Law Students section for more information on upcoming Sessions.

All applicants must complete and submit the following materials in one combined .pdf file in the following order:

  1. Cover Letter—Please address to Arcelia Hurtado, Manager of Hiring and Training, and indicate the specific program(s) that you are interested in applying for. 
  2. Resume
  3. Adult Background Investigation Form (Type into the form, save it, print it, and sign it before including it in the .pdf file)
  4. A copy of photo identification
  5. Writing Sample – No longer than 10 pages in length
  6. Be advised of our outside employment disclosure policy

Email questions and application material to: SFDAInternship@sfgov.org

2Ls

The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office offers a volunteer law clerk internship program throughout the year to students who have completed at least one full year of law school. The internship positions provide invaluable experience to individuals interested in a career in the field of criminal law.

Interns have the opportunity to work closely with prosecutors in a wide variety of areas of prosecution. Interns may also attend our in-house trainings. Students who have completed at least their first year of law school are placed with units where they will be involved primarily in legal research-related assignments (subject to attorney approval and supervision), including:

  • Legal Interns may assist in the preparation of felony and misdemeanor prosecutions and be allowed to observe courtroom activities
  • Legal Interns will be responsible for a wide variety of both clerical and legal tasks including review of case files and production of discovery.
  • Legal Interns may be asked to review transcripts and listen to tapes and or CDs.
  • In addition, they may be asked to assist with any of the functions performed by high school, undergraduate, graduate or paralegal interns, depending on the needs of the office or unit.

Internships are unpaid, and while the office does not require a full-time commitment, a minimum commitment of 16 hours per week is required.

The Certified Legal Intern Program of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office offers volunteer positions to law students who are interested in a career in the field of criminal law. Interns are expected to answer defense motions, conduct legal research, and appear in court with a supervising attorney. All Certified Legal Interns work closely with Assistant District Attorneys in all phases of prosecution. Interns may be assigned to work in any one of a variety of divisions within the office, as well as to any of the locations served by the office, according to staffing needs.

In addition to the Hall of Justice, branch offices are located at the Juvenile Youth Guidance Center, the Special Operations Department and the Community Justice Court. In an effort to broaden the legal experience, the intern is given the opportunity to rotate into different assignments within the office to assist in their legal proficiency and expertise in particular practice areas.

Students who apply for this program must be prepared to spend a minimum of 20 hours per week in their assignments. While consecutive days are desirable, they are not mandatory.

Eligibility Requirements:

  1. Students must be completed with courses in Civil Procedure and Evidence.
  2. Must apply for and be certified by the State Bar of California. Certification allows interns to research, write, and argue motions, and present evidence at suppression motions and conduct hearings in the Superior Court under the direct supervision of an experienced prosecutor. Additionally, interns may gain valuable experience in preparation of high profile cases or assist in the preparation of serious felony cases including such crimes as rape, felony assault, kidnap or murder trials.

The District Attorney’s Summer Law Clerk Program is designed to recruit the most qualified 2L law clerks and train them for highly skilled legal work within the office. This program is only offered in the summer, and only 2Ls are eligible to apply.

The program is designed as an intensive 12-week training program to provide 2L clerks with exposure to the different units within the office and the practical experience necessary to become effective litigators. Through the program, our Summer Clerks are asked to tackle demanding legal research and writing assignments, litigate motions, conduct evidentiary hearings, and assist attorneys in case preparation for trial. Additionally, Summer Clerks will receive extensive training to assist in their legal proficiency and expertise in particular practice areas.

A limited number of Summer Law Clerks will be eligible to receive a stipend for successful completion of their duties.

Eligibility Requirements:

  1. Students must have completed courses in Civil Procedure and Evidence.
  2. Must apply for and be certified by the State Bar of California.* Such certification status allows those Certified Legal Interns to research, write, and argue motions, present evidence at suppression motions and conduct hearings in the Superior Court under the direct supervision of an experienced prosecutor. Additionally a Certified Legal Intern may gain valuable experience in preparation of high profile cases or assist in the preparation of serious felony cases including such crimes as rape, felony assault, kidnap or murder trials.

We are accepting Legal Internship submissions for Spring 2021 and Summer Law Clerk submission for Summer 2021 from eligible 2Ls and 3Ls only. Please see the Summary of Application Deadlines for Law Students section for more information on upcoming Sessions.

All applicants must complete and submit the following materials in one combined .pdf file in the following order:

  1. Cover Letter—Please address to Arcelia Hurtado, Manager of Hiring and Training, and indicate the specific program(s) that you are interested in applying for. 
  2. Resume
  3. Adult Background Investigation Form (Type into the form, save it, print it, and sign it before including it in the .pdf file)
  4. A copy of photo identification
  5. Writing Sample – No longer than 10 pages in length
  6. Be advised of our outside employment disclosure policy

Email questions and application material to: SFDAInternship@sfgov.org

3Ls

The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office offers a volunteer law clerk internship program throughout the year to students who have completed at least one full year of law school. The internship positions provide invaluable experience to individuals interested in a career in the field of criminal law.

Interns have the opportunity to work closely with prosecutors in a wide variety of areas of prosecution. Interns may also attend our in-house trainings. Students who have completed at least their first year of law school are placed with units where they will be involved primarily in legal research-related assignments (subject to attorney approval and supervision), including:

  • Legal Interns may assist in the preparation of felony and misdemeanor prosecutions and be allowed to observe courtroom activities
  • Legal Interns will be responsible for a wide variety of both clerical and legal tasks including review of case files and production of discovery.
  • Legal Interns may be asked to review transcripts and listen to tapes and or CDs.
  • In addition, they may be asked to assist with any of the functions performed by high school, undergraduate, graduate or paralegal interns, depending on the needs of the office or unit.

Internships are unpaid, and while the office does not require a full-time commitment, a minimum commitment of 16 hours per week is required.

The Certified Legal Intern Program of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office offers volunteer positions to law students who are interested in a career in the field of criminal law. Interns are expected to answer defense motions, conduct legal research, and appear in court with a supervising attorney. All Certified Legal Interns work closely with Assistant District Attorneys in all phases of prosecution. Interns may be assigned to work in any one of a variety of divisions within the office, as well as to any of the locations served by the office, according to staffing needs.

In addition to the Hall of Justice, branch offices are located at the Juvenile Youth Guidance Center, the Special Operations Department and the Community Justice Court. In an effort to broaden the legal experience, the intern is given the opportunity to rotate into different assignments within the office to assist in their legal proficiency and expertise in particular practice areas.

Students who apply for this program must be prepared to spend a minimum of 20 hours per week in their assignments. While consecutive days are desirable, they are not mandatory.

Eligibility Requirements:

  1. Students must be completed with courses in Civil Procedure and Evidence.
  2. Must apply for and be certified by the State Bar of California. Certification allows interns to research, write, and argue motions, and present evidence at suppression motions and conduct hearings in the Superior Court under the direct supervision of an experienced prosecutor. Additionally, interns may gain valuable experience in preparation of high profile cases or assist in the preparation of serious felony cases including such crimes as rape, felony assault, kidnap or murder trials.

Students attending participating law schools are eligible to apply for full-time internship positions during their respective Fall and Spring semesters. Internships are unpaid.

Fellows typically receive academic credit from their respective law schools in exchange for their work with the office.

The goal of this program is to further the student’s understanding of and ability to apply legal principles learned in the classroom to actual legal issues. Law School Fellows will be assigned to specific units within the office but will be required to work on other matters when the need arises.

Law School Fellows must be self-motivated, well organized and have the ability to efficiently manage a number of responsibilities. Law School Fellows are required to draft legal motions, conduct hearings, and help Assistant District Attorneys prepare cases for jury trial.

Eligibility Requirements:

  1. These positions require prior approval from the student’s law school.
  2. Must apply for and be certified by the State Bar of California. Such certification status allows those Certified Legal Interns to research, write, and argue motions, present evidence at suppression motions and conduct hearings in the Superior Court under the direct supervision of an experienced prosecutor. Additionally a Certified Legal Intern may gain valuable experience in preparation of high profile cases or assist in the preparation of serious felony cases including such crimes as rape, felony assault, kidnap or murder trials.

For law school graduates who have taken the California Bar Exam and are waiting results, we offer an intensive full-time clerkship. “Post Bars” assist attorneys in every aspect of case preparation and advocate on behalf of clients in court proceedings (subject to attorney approval and supervision). Depending on the office caseload, a strong effort will be made to provide our Post Bars with an opportunity to take a case to trial.

A limited number of Post Bar Clerks will be eligible to receive a stipend for successful completion of their duties.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Graduate from law school in Spring 2021
  2. Take the July 2021 Bar Exam
  3. “PTLS certified” by the California State Bar

We are accepting applications for the Spring 2021 Law School Fellowship Program and Legal internships as well as the Fall 2021 Post Bar Clerk Program. Please see the Summary of Application Deadlines for Law Students section for more information on upcoming Sessions.

All applicants must complete and submit the following materials in one combined .pdf file in the following order:

  1. Cover Letter—Please address to Arcelia Hurtado, Manager of Hiring and Training, and indicate the specific program(s) that you are interested in applying for. 
  2. Resume
  3. Adult Background Investigation Form (Type into the form, save it, print it, and sign it before including it in the .pdf file)
  4. A copy of photo identification
  5. Writing Sample – No longer than 10 pages in length
  6. Be advised of our outside employment disclosure policy

Email questions and application material to: SFDAInternship@sfgov.org

Application Deadlines

Spring 2020 Session Dates: January 6, 2020-May 15, 2020 

Application Deadline: Closed 

Fall 2020 Session Dates: September 7, 2020-December 11, 2020

Application Deadline: Closed

Fall 2020 Post Bar Dates: September 21, 2020 – TBD

Application Deadline: August 14, 2020 

Spring 2021 Session Dates: January 11, 2021-May 14, 2021

Application Deadline: December 18, 2020

Summer 2021 Session Dates: May 24, 2021-August 20, 2021 

Application Deadline: April 2, 2021. 

Outside Employment Disclosure

California Government Code §§1125 through 1127 prohibits local agency officers and employees from engaging in activities that are incompatible, inconsistent, in conflict, or inimical with their agency employment. As a volunteer intern with our office, interns are bound by these sections of the Government Code. Students selected for any of the intern programs are advised that they may not perform any work (paid or unpaid) for any criminal defense attorney during the pendency of their internship with this office. This applies even if the criminal defense work is in a different county. Students who have other outside employment/incompatible activity during the pendency of their internship must disclose this to our office for review prior to accepting the internship.

Should an intern engage in outside employment/incompatible activity after commencing the internship, the intern must immediately advise the Program Director, Deputy District Attorney Wade Chow. If the outside employment/incompatible activity is deemed to fall within the prohibitions of California Government Code §1125 through 1127, the intern will not be able to remain in our program. If an intern has any questions concerning other employment/incompatible activity, they should contact the Program Director.