The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit invites applications for externships with its central legal staff, the Office of Staff Attorneys in San Francisco, for the summer of 2021. The externs, like the staff attorneys, work for the court as a whole and for panels of judges, rather than for individual judges. Staff attorneys conduct legal research and analysis in order to explain the facts, questions presented, and recommended disposition of cases, to monthly three-judge panels.

Externs can expect to learn a wide variety of practical legal skills through research and writing supervised by staff attorneys and, most uniquely, through presentations to two to three panels of circuit judges.

To be eligible, students must:

  • be enrolled in good standing at an accredited law school;
  • have completed the equivalent of at least two full semesters of law school by the time they begin working for the court, with a strong preference for completion of three full semesters;
  • be able to work 40 hours per week; and
  • not engage in legal employment for compensation during their tenure with the court.

The Summer 2021 externship is expected to last approximately 12 weeks, beginning in May 2021 (the length of the externship and the start date are somewhat flexible). It is anticipated that part or all of the externship will be conducted remotely.

To apply, students should send:

• a one-page resume;
• a cover letter specifically explaining their interest in the Office of Staff Attorneys;
• an analytical writing sample that
o is no more than 8 pages (excerpt as necessary) and
o either has not been edited by others or attaches a description of how and to what extent it has been edited by others;
• a transcript of law school grades; and
• two references with telephone numbers and email addresses.

The application will not be considered complete, and will not be reviewed, until all materials are received. Applications will not be reviewed until the application deadline. Please submit a single PDF application packet to Lynn Ng, Extern Recruitment Coordinator, through the Career Portal at

The United States Court of Appeals is an equal opportunity employer and actively recruits minority applicants as well as those applicants with disabilities that can be reasonably accommodated.