Oregon Judicial Department is implementing a new human resource information system, Workday, and the process is delaying recruitment of these positions. For this reason, the department will begin accepting law clerk applications effective Monday, February 11, 2019. No applications will be accepted prior to this date.
Potential applicants should review the following information about which materials and information will be required as part of this application process, once it is open to the public.
Please begin to assemble your application materials and request letters of reference now.
The Oregon Supreme Court has seven justices, elected statewide. Since 1977, the court's primary function has been the discretionary review of decisions made by the Oregon Court of Appeals. The Oregon Supreme Court also decides direct appeals in death penalty cases, Tax Court cases, bar disciplinary cases, and certain other cases, and has original jurisdiction over mandamus, habeas corpus, and other special proceedings.
- Each justice works with one law clerk. The Oregon Supreme Court employs between one and three additional clerks, who work on a rotating basis for all seven justices. Generally, law clerks work for a two-year period. Occasionally, and only by the express agreement of the hiring justice, clerks may work for a one-year period. A justice renews any additional time beyond the two years at his or her discretion.
The Oregon Court of Appeals is Oregon's intermediate appellate court. The court was established by statute in 1969 and has 13 judges, elected statewide. With the exception of a limited number of appeals that go directly to the Oregon Supreme Court - most notably, death penalty cases, ballot title cases, lawyer discipline matters, and tax court cases - the Oregon Court of Appeals receives every appeal or judicial review taken from Oregon's trial courts and administrative agencies.
- Generally, law clerks work for a two-year period. Occasionally, and only by the express agreement of the hiring judge, clerks may work for a one-year period.
The Oregon Tax Court was established in 1961 as the nation's first judicial branch court for state tax appeals. The judge of the tax court hears appeals from the court's Magistrate Division and has original jurisdiction over certain other actions. Most cases on the judge's docket proceed on summary judgment or other dispositive motion, but the court also occasionally holds complex trials involving expert witnesses. By statute, the court writes a written opinion in each case; opinions are published in the Oregon Tax Reports. Appeals are sent directly to the Oregon Supreme Court.
- The Oregon Tax Court employs one law clerk, who works primarily for the judge. Generally, law clerks work for a two-year period. Occasionally, and only by the express agreement of the hiring judge, a clerk may work for a one-year period.
All three courts sit regularly in Salem and occasionally in other cities in Oregon.
Duties & Responsibilities
Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Legal Research
- Research legal issues that arise in the course of cases on appeal and judicial review and report findings and conclusions to the judge, orally or in writing.
- Evaluate petitions for review requesting consideration of cases by the Supreme Court.
- Discuss legal issues with judges and others as appropriate.
- Legal Writing
- Draft and edit opinions or memoranda to be used in preparing opinions.
- Prepare memoranda on recommendations.
- Prepare pre-argument case summaries or memoranda.
- Prepare summaries of opinions.
- Proofread and check citations in opinions.
- Other writing tasks as assigned.
Perform related duties as assigned.
Qualifications, Required & Requested Skills
You must have a Juris Doctor degree (or equivalent) from an ABA-accredited law school by the start date of employment.
No applications are being accepted until February 11, 2019.
You must complete and submit your electronic application through state of Oregon's updated jobs webpage effective February 11, 2019 through April 2, 2019.
You will need the following to apply and qualify for a law clerk position:
- A cover letter, not to exceed two pages, which explains your interest working for the Oregon appellate courts, and how your education and work experience has prepared you for this position.
- A resume that includes academic highlights, honors, and extracurricular activities in college and law school, in addition to any relevant accomplishments in a business or professional setting.
- Also include your grade point average and class rank for both undergraduate and law school (please indicate if your school does not rank).
- Undergraduate transcript (unofficial is acceptable).
- Law school transcript, complete to the time of your application (unofficial is acceptable).
- A writing sample which is not to exceed 10 pages; a length between 5 - 7 pages is encouraged. The sample may be an excerpt from a longer piece and should demonstrate substantive analysis. You must certify that the writing sample is your own work.
- At least 3 letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation sent by the applicant must be attached to these application materials.
- Oregon Judicial Department accepts letters of recommendation directly from their authors, or from authors' institutions. However, letters must still be received or postmarked by the closing date of the announcement.
You must demonstrate in your application materials how your work experience and education meet the minimum qualifications, special qualifications, and requested skills and attributes, listed above.
You will be subject to a criminal background check if you are a finalist. Adverse results are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and may result in disqualification if the circumstances are directly related to the duties and responsibilities of the position.
Newly hired employees are required to complete and sign the Employment Eligibility Verification (Section 1 of the Form I-9) no later than the first day of employment and provide evidence of identity and employment authorization to work in the United States within three (3) business days. See Form I-9 for questions about acceptable verification documents. The Oregon Judicial Department does not offer visa sponsorships.
Apply now if you are interested in this/or future vacancies. This job announcement may be used to fill future vacancies in this class of work.