Closing Date: 29th March, 2023


The Superior Court of California, County of Alameda is accepting applications for the position of Legal Research Attorney. Under general direction, a Legal Research Attorney performs a variety of complex professional legal work, including research and consultation for judicial officers, court staff and litigants; provides legal support related to the work of the Legal Research Attorney Unit and programs within the Superior Court of Alameda County; and performs other related duties as assigned.

While the primary assignment of the current opening will be supporting judges in Criminal departments, particularly in the handling of writs, the Legal Research Attorney may be assigned to support other departments, e.g. Family, Probate and Civil, as the needs of the Court dictate. Experience in criminal law with Penal Code section 995 motions to dismiss and proceedings for extraordinary relief in the form of mandamus, certiorari, prohibition, and habeas corpus petitions is desirable.

The Legal Research Attorney position is in the Legal Research Attorney Unit. The Court expects the position to be located initially in Oakland. However, depending on the needs of the Court, Legal Research Attorneys can be reassigned to other courthouses in Alameda County such as Alameda, Berkeley, Dublin, Fremont, or Hayward.

*The application packet must include a resume, writing sample (not to exceed 10 pages), completed application form and supplemental questionnaire.

Example of Duties
Note: The following are duties performed by employees in this classification. However, employees may perform other related duties at an equivalent level. Each individual in this classification does not necessarily perform all listed duties.
  • Gathers information regarding legal matters presented to the Court (e.g., motions, petitions and ex parte applications) by reviewing case files, legal documents and exhibits, and conferring as needed with litigants and the public.
  • Identifies, researches and analyzes legal issues and conflicting legal opinions; reviews legal authority cited by litigants; and conducts self-directed independent research as may be needed to further clarify issues and reach sound judicial decisions.
  • Prepares comprehensive memoranda detailing relevant legal issues, addressing arguments' strengths and weaknesses and recommending judicial action.
  • Briefs judges in writing and orally; on behalf of judicial officers, drafts rulings, statements of decision and judgments.
  • Confers with judges, attorneys, court services staff and the public on procedural and operational matters; advises the Court on legal aspects of administrative and operational issues; and prepares memoranda summarizing legislative/judicial action or trends and other matters not directly related to caseload.
  • Serves as legal counsel to the court, providing legal advice and guidance to court leadership on a variety of issues pertaining to judicial branch, and court operations and administration.
  • Advises the Court Executive Officer and the Supervising Attorney on legal aspects of administrative and operational issues; and prepares memoranda analyzing legislative, judicial and operational policies and other matters.
  • Assists self-represented litigants and responds to questions about Court or legal processes and procedures.
  • Updates law library materials and performs other collateral services in support of judges and the court; and participates in the development of team resources and services.
  • Prepares a variety of reports and correspondence.
  • Maintains proficiency through continuing education in specific areas of procedural and substantive law.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications
Possession of a Juris Doctorate degree from an accredited college or university.
Equivalent to three years of full-time civil or criminal litigation experience, and/or professional-level legal research experience in support of the judicial branch. Experience with civil law and motion matters is desirable.

License Requirement:
Current active membership and good standing with the State Bar of California.

Experience with criminal law and motion, particularly Penal Code section 995 motions to dismiss and proceedings for extraordinary relief in the form of mandamus, certiorari, prohibition, and habeas corpus petitions.
Professional-level legal research experience in support of the judicial branch at the trial or appellate level.

Knowledge of principles of civil and criminal law; the California judicial system; California codes, statutes and other authorities applicable to civil, criminal, and/or family law matters; rules of evidence and procedure in trial, appellate and United States courts; legal research methods; judicial ethics; word processing and other office software.

Ability to communicate effectively and diplomatically with judicial officers, court users, counsel, staff and others; identify legal issues; perform legal research; prepare and present oral and written legal analyses and recommendations; apply legal principles to case facts and arrive at specific conclusions; use initiative and independent judgment within general policy guidelines; apply problem-solving and conflict-resolution methods and techniques; work effectively with internal and external committees; uphold judicial ethics; work independently and as part of a team; coordinate work with others; recognize and respect limit of authority and responsibility; operate modern office equipment and personal computers, and use specified computer applications, including word processing and spreadsheets; attend meetings outside of normal working hours; work evening and weekend hours as necessary; and travel throughout the county and statewide as necessary.

This position includes a one-year probationary period. Employment is contingent upon successful completion of fingerprint check and the provision of appropriately identifying documents to certify eligibility to work in the United States.

Hiring Process
The hiring process will include the following components:
  • An initial screening of all application materials received including a completed application and supplemental questionnaire. A resume does not substitute for completing the application. An incomplete or partial application or supplemental questionnaire will result in disqualification.
  • A review of the completed application and supplemental questionnaire to select the best-qualified candidates for the oral panel interview process.
  • An oral interview that will be weighted as 100% of the candidate's final score. The oral interview may contain situational exercises.

The Court reserves the right to change the components of the examination process and may limit the number of candidates invited to the oral interview process to include only the best-qualified candidates should there be a large applicant pool.

The application and supplemental questionnaire are used to evaluate the candidate's qualifications. If you are interested in the opportunity, it is recommended that you submit your application and supplemental questionnaire as soon as possible since this recruitment may be closed at any time should the Court receive a sufficient number of qualified applicants.

If you require accommodation in the examination process because of disability, please call (510) 891-6021 to discuss.

Job Posting End Date
March 28, 2023