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Career Opportunities

The federal Judiciary seeks talented and motivated individuals to help in its mission of ensuring equal justice under law. Attorneys, IT and Financial experts, interpreters, and many other skilled professionals can find their path in the Judiciary.



  • Current Opportunities
  • Law Clerk/Extern Application
Clerk's Office
Job Position Date Posted
 Court Interpreter 10/11/2019
 Case Administrator 9/10/2019

Judicial Staff
Job Position Date Posted
 Law Clerk to U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara L. Major 9/16/2019
 Law Clerk to U.S. District Judge Michael M. Anello 8/13/2019

Other Career Opportunities
Job Position Date Posted
 Chief United States Probation Officer 7/19/2019


  Federal Judiciary Careers
Learn more about working for the Federal Judiciary including Benefits and Compensation, Career Possibilities and how to Apply for Judiciary jobs across the country.

Externships

Externships are for summer, fall and spring. These programs are coordinated through the individual law schools; however, applicants may submit their application packet directly to the chambers of the judge(s). It is preferred that the packet for an externship include the following:

  1. Cover letter
  2. Resume
  3. Undergraduate grades and law school grades (if applicable)
  4. Writing sample (under ten pages recommended)
Applications are accepted up to six months in advance of the semester for which the student is applying. Interviews may then be scheduled.

If an applicant has interviewed with a judge and is offered a position by another judge, they should contact the chambers where they are under consideration, by telephone, or by letter, and advise the judge that they have accepted a position and are withdrawing their application.


Pro Se Law Clerks

​These positions are usually full-time permanent positions and become available only upon the departure of the law clerk currently holding that position or through the allocation of new positions by the Administrative office of the U.S. Courts due to an increase in workload. The salary for these positions vary according to experience. Applications for these positions are made through the Human Resources Department of the U.S. District Court.

Refer to the Federal Law Clerk Information System at https://oscar.uscourts.gov for nationwide clerkship vacancies.

We offer an excellent benefit package.


Judicial Law Clerks

Judicial law clerks are usually selected up to 12 months before the actual clerkship begins. Some of these positions are full-time permanent. Therefore, these positions become available only upon the departure of the law clerk holding the position. The remainder are term law clerks. Appointments range between 1 and 2 years.

Interested applicants should send their application packet directly to the chambers of the judge(s). The materials in the packet are not returnable to the applicant. It is preferred that the packets for a clerkship position include the following:

  1. Cover letter
  2. Resume
  3. Law school transcripts - sealed and certified
  4. Writing sample (preferably not longer than 10 pages)
  5. Three letters of recommendation
Applications are accepted at the discretion of each judge, no sooner than the day after Labor Day. Interviews are scheduled and held by each judge no sooner than the second Thursday after Labor Day. The law clerks selected at that time begin their clerkships in August or September of the following year.

If an applicant has interviewed with a judge and is offered a position by another judge, they should contact the chambers where they are under consideration, by telephone, or letter, and advise the judge that they have accepted a position and are withdrawing their application.

For more information about judicial law clerkships or to see which judges are currently recruiting, please go to https://oscar.uscourts.gov.

We offer an excellent benefit package.

Human Resources Department

The Human Resources Department for the Southern District of California recruits for all vacancies for the U.S. District Court Clerk’s Office. We only accept applications when a position vacancy exists. Please follow the application procedures when submitting application materials.

Divisional Offices

San Diego is the main office for the Southern District of California. A divisional office is located in El Centro, CA.

Citizenship Requirements

Applicants must be United States citizens or eligible to work in the United States. All individuals appointed by a judiciary office must complete the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Form I-9) certifying their eligibility to work in the U.S. (this includes unpaid volunteers).

Employment Dispute Resolution Policy

For details, see General Order #452-J (Amended).

Highlights of Employee Benefits
  • Annual Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Leave Sharing Program
  • Federal Holidays
  • Health Benefits (large selection of plans available)
  • Life Insurance
  • Long Term Care Insurance
  • Flexible Benefits
  • Federal Employee Retirement Plan
  • Family Medical Leave Act Provisions
  • Thrift Savings Plan (tax-deferred & Roth option savings plans)
Other Information

Employment with the U. S. District Court is considered excepted service. Please note that final candidates will undergo a background check. Employees are required to adhere to the Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees.

Additional Links
Employment Opportunities in the Federal Judiciary for employment opportunities outside of the Southern District of California.

Understanding the Federal Courts