Law Clerk to a U.S. Magistrate Judge

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Job Specifications
Classification Level: 
JSP 11/01 - JSP 13/10
Salary Range: 
$80,015 - $148,255
Santa Ana
Opening Date: 
Wednesday, December 20, 2023
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 the Honorable Autumn D. Spaeth, United States Magistrate Judge. One law clerk position is available beginning June 2024 and ending December 2025. The length of the clerkship will be eighteen months.

Representative Responsibilities: 

Principal duties of the position include:

  • Research substantive and complex issues of federal and state law;
  • Draft legal memoranda, opinions and orders;
  • Prepare the Judge for hearings, settlement conferences and trials;
  • 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
  • At least one year of post-JD legal work experience
  • Bar membership


  • Prior clerkship experience
  • Prior litigation experience with significant written motion practice at a top-tier law firm or public agency
  • Law review or any significant legal writing experience•Interest in the habeas corpus law, constitutional law, 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 Guide to Judiciary Policy. Benefits include federal employees’ group health insurance, life insurance, dental insurance, and flexible spending accounts. Commuter subsidies are available to employees who utilize public transportation to and from work.

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.
  • The successful candidate must be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the United States currently seeking citizenship or intending to become a citizen as soon as they meet the eligibility requirements.
  • This position is subject to mandatory electronic fund transfer (direct deposit) participation for payment of net pay.
  • Applicants selected for interview must travel at their own expense. 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:


Interested applicants should apply through OSCAR:

Due to the volume of applications 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.