Clerkships

Central to our mission is the education and training of law students interested in the practice of public interest law. Law students willing to work with intensity and focus will find a clerkship at the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center a rewarding learning experience.

Attorneys at LAS–ELC work with law students year-round.

Semester Clerkships

Semester clerkships are available to students in their second or third year of law school. Students assigned to litigation are supervised by one or two attorneys, and research and write on current and potential cases. Assignments may include litigation memos, pleadings, and collaborative briefs and motions. In addition, tasks related to discovery (deposition preparation, attendance and summarization; witness interviews; propounding and responding to interrogatories) and trial preparation may also be assigned. Students assigned to the Workers’ Rights Clinics will work directly with clinic clients, research legal issues arising in the clinics, and may edit the Clinic manual. All law clerks participate in bi-weekly program meetings and are regarded an important part of the team to which they are assigned.

Semester clerkships or externships are in conjunction with the law school calendar, and generally require a commitment of 15–20 hours per week.

Summer Clerkships

For summer positions, the LAS–ELC gives preference to students who will have completed their second year of law school when beginning their clerkship. Summer law clerks participate as employment counselors at weekly Workers’ Rights Clinics and may have the opportunity to directly represent workers who have been denied wages or unemployment insurance benefits. Summer clerks from many public interest organizations attend brown bag seminars sponsored by the LAS–ELC that provide insight and information on a wide range of legal topics. The summer calendar includes social events like a Giants game, literary events, outdoor concerts, and barbecues.

The full-time summer clerkship program runs for ten weeks, usually beginning the day after Memorial Day.

Our law clerks are funded by work/study or other grants, and may also work as externs for clinical credit under programs offered by their law schools. The LAS–ELC will match full-time summer and semester program grants in amounts up to $3,200.

The Application Process

The LAS–ELC interviews candidates in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and New York during the fall on-campus recruitment process organized by law schools. Applications from all interested students are welcome. The LAS–ELC actively seeks diversity and applicants with bi- and multi-lingual capabilities are particularly welcome. We try to assign each clerk to work in areas of interest to them and match them with supervising attorneys with experience relevant to their interests. The LAS–ELC values the contribution of law clerks and strives to provide a rewarding experience for each student.

To apply, include the following:

  • Cover letter detailing your interest in the LAS–ELC
  • Current resume
  • Legal writing sample
  • Transcript
  • Three references with telephone numbers

Send to:

  • The Legal Aid Society–Employment Law Center
  • 180 Montgomery Street, Suite 600
  • San Francisco, CA 94104
  • Fax: 415 593-0096
  • Email: hchen@las-elc.org

The Legal Aid Society-Employment Law center is an equal employment opportunity employer and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religious creed, sex (including pregnancy), gender, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, medical condition including genetic characteristics, mental or physical disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, (including transgender status), weight, height, linguistic characteristics (such as accent and limited English proficiency, where not substantially job-related), citizenship status, or any other basis prohibited by law. The LAS–ELC also prohibits discrimination based on a perception that an individual has any of the characteristics of the protected classes of race, color, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, mental disability, physical disability, medical condition, marital status, or sexual orientation, and further prohibits discrimination against an individual who is associated with a person who has, or is perceived to have, any of those characteristics. The LAS–ELC will also make reasonable accommodation for disabled applicants and employees, unless such accommodation would result in undue hardship. Applicants with disabilities may request accommodations by contacting the Vice President for Administration or his/her designee. This policy applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, selection, advancement, compensation, training, discipline, and termination.