Law Clerk (Law Clerk)
Judicial Department - State Courts - Salem, OR

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Job Information

This recruitment is for law clerk positions with the Oregon Supreme Court , the Oregon Court of Appeals , and the Oregon Tax Court for the two-year period starting in August 2014 and ending in August 2016. Interviews for these positions are tentatively scheduled to be held from June 10 through June 21, 2013.

The Oregon Supreme Court consists of seven justices, elected statewide. Since 1977, its primary function has been the discretionary review of Court of Appeals' decisions. It also decides direct appeals in death penalty, Tax Court, bar disciplinary, and certain other cases, and has original jurisdiction over mandamus, habeas corpus, and other special proceedings.

Each Supreme Court justice employs one law clerk to work directly with the justice. The Supreme Court employs between one and three additional clerks who work on a rotating basis for all seven judges. Law clerks in the Supreme Court generally are hired for a two-year period. Occasionally, and only by the express agreement of the hiring justice, clerks are hired for a one-year period. Renewal beyond the two-year period is at the hiring justice's discretion.

The Oregon Court of Appeals, the intermediate appellate court, was established by statute in 1969 and now consists of 10 judges, elected statewide. It is the court for first appeal by right from Oregon trial courts and most administrative agencies.

Law clerks in the Court of Appeals are generally hired for a two-year period. Occasionally, and only by the express agreement of the hiring judge, clerks are hired for a one-year period.

The Oregon Tax Court was established by statute in 1961 and consists of one judge and three magistrates. The Tax Court has exclusive jurisdiction over all questions of law or fact arising under the state tax laws.

The Tax Court employs two law clerks, one who works directly with the judge of the Regular Division and one who works primarily with the three magistrates.

These courts sit regularly in Salem and occasionally in other cities in Oregon.

Duties & Responsibilities:
Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Research legal issues that arise in the course of cases on appeal; report findings and conclusions to the judge, orally or in writing.
Draft and edit opinions or memoranda to be used in preparing opinions.
Evaluate petitions for review requesting consideration of cases by the Supreme Court; prepare memoranda on recommendations.
Prepare preargument case summaries or memoranda.
Prepare summaries of opinions; proofread and check citations in opinions.
Discuss legal issues with judges and others as appropriate.
Perform related duties as assigned.

Qualifications & Desired Attributes:
Minimum Qualifications
You must have a Juris Doctor degree (or equivalent) from an ABA-accredited law school by the date this position begins.
Application Processing
Applications MUST be submitted through the State of Oregon E-Recruit System (
You MUST fill out, as completely as possible, the work history and education sections of your application, including which law school you attend(ed) and related information.
You MUST attach to your application the following, in the order listed:

A cover letter with a brief response to this question: "Why are you interested in working as a law clerk for the Oregon Supreme Court, Oregon Court of Appeals, or Oregon Tax Court?"
A resume, including academic highlights, honors, and extracurricular activities in college and law school. Also include grade point average and class rank for college AND law school (please indicate if your school does NOT rank).
An undergraduate transcript.
A law school transcript, complete to the time of your application.
A writing sample, not to exceed 15 pages, that you certify to be your own work.
At least three letters of recommendation. These MUST be attached as one large PDF in the order listed above. Please see our " PDF Creation Tips " document.

Technical Support
Contact the Oregon Judicial Department Human Resource Services Division if you have questions regarding the application process or technical questions or issues regarding submission of your application.
Telephone: (503) 986-5930

Additional Information:

The Judicial Department's practice is to begin employees at the first pay step. However, a higher starting pay rate may be considered depending upon the applicant's current salary and benefits, education, and experience. For current non-temporary OJD employees, JDPR 4.03(3)(d) states that upon promotion an employee shall normally receive a one-step pay increase from the employee’s current pay rate (not including differentials under JDPR 4.07) to the next higher rate in the salary range to which the employee is promoted. JDPR 4.03(3)(e) states that upon transfer to another position with the same salary range, the transferring employee retains the same pay rate.

Click here for additional information regarding furloughs, salary increases, and cost of living adjustments for the 2011-2013 biennium.

Conduct Expectations

Because of the Oregon Judicial Department's role in providing justice and upholding the rule of law, employees of the Department are required to meet the highest standards of professional conduct and ethics while on the job, and also to maintain those same high standards when taking actions in their personal lives that could reflect on the Department.
Criminal History Check

The selection process includes a criminal history check using the Law Enforcement Data System (LEDS). Felony convictions may be an automatic bar to employment. Misdemeanor convictions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and may be a bar to employment if the circumstances of the crime are directly related to the duties and responsibilities of the position for which application is made.
Depending on the job, in addition to the criminal history check described above, you may be required to pass an Oregon State Police/Federal Bureau of Investigation background check and consent to finger printing by the Oregon State Police. This is necessary due to the access level and handling of sensitive and confidential data required of some jobs.
Visa Sponsorship

The Oregon Judicial Department does not offer H1-B Visa sponsorship. Within three days of hire, you will be required to complete the United States Department of Homeland Security's I-9 form confirming authorization to work in the United States.
Bilingual Pay Differential

Some employees may be assigned to use bilingual skills in the regular performance of the employee's duties. An employee who, as assigned in writing by the administrative authority, uses bilingual skill(s) (including American Sign Language) in the performance of assigned duties and who passes the bilingual skill proficiency test(s) approved by the State Court Administrator, shall receive a monthly pay differential equal to an additional step for the duration of each assignment as determined by the administrative authority.

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