Law Clerk to a U. S. Magistrate Judge Designee

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Job Specifications
Classification Level: 
JSP 11/01 – JSP 14/01
Salary Range: 
$67,845 - $114,268
Santa Ana
Opening Date: 
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Closing Date: 
Open until filled
Number of Positions: 
Vacancy Number: 
Job Type: 
Full Time
Position Overview: 

The United States District Court, Central District of California, invites applications for the position of Term Law Clerk to a United States Magistrate Judge. Two clerkships will be available upon the appointment of a new United States Magistrate Judge in Santa Ana. Length of clerkships will be from 12 to 18 months.

The expected start date for these positions will be mid-March to early April 2017.

Principal duties of the position include:

  • Research substantive issues of federal and state law;
  • Draft legal memoranda, opinions and orders;
  • Prepare for, and participate in, hearings, trials or mediations;
  • Perform basic administrative desk duties for the Judge;
  • Assist the Judge and Courtroom Deputy Clerk with docket and case management;
  • Generally provide legal counsel and support to the Judge; and
  • Exhibit the highest standards of excellence and integrity.


At the time of appointment, the candidate must possess the following minimum requirements:

  • Graduate of an ABA accredited law school with excellent academic credentials;
  • Exceptional research and writing skills;
  • Keen analytical ability and balanced judgment; • Proficiency in computer and word processing skills;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.


  • Bar membership, clerkship experience and/or post-JD legal work experience;
  • Prior litigation experience or significant motion practice.
  • Graduation from law school in the top 25% of class.
  • Strong interest in Habeas, Constitutional, Civil Rights, Prisoner Litigation and/or Criminal law.
Compensation and Benefits: 

Compensation will be set based on the experience and qualifications of the successful candidate, subject to the policies and guidelines set forth in the Judicial Salary Plan. Term Law Clerks qualify for federal employees’ group health insurance, life insurance, flexible spending accounts, dental and life insurance. Career Law Clerks are eligible for retirement benefits.

Information for Applicants: 
  • As a condition of employment, the successful candidate is required to undergo an FBI background check. The selectee may be appointed provisionally, with retention dependent upon a favorable suitability determination from the background check.
  • Applicants must be U. S. citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States currently seeking citizenship or intending to become citizens.
  • This position is subject to mandatory electronic fund transfer (direct deposit) participation for payment of net pay.
  • Applicants selected for interviews must travel at their own experience. Relocation expenses will not be reimbursed.
  • The United States District Court requires employees to adhere to the Code of Conduct for Federal Judicial Employees, which is available on the Court’s website:


Applications can be submitted by email: . Attached documents must be in PDF format and the email should reference the position title and Vacancy No. 17-14.  Complete application packets must include the following:

  1. A cover letter;
  2. A resume or curriculum vitae;
  3. Two recent writing samples;
  4. Law school transcripts;
  5. At least three references (preferably current or former employers);
  6. Two letters of recommendation; and
  7. An application for Federal Branch Employment (visit the court’s website at to download the job application).

Due to the volume of applications expected to be received, the U. S. District Court will only communicate with those individuals who may be interviewed.

The Federal Judiciary is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer