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Internships

The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office’s Internship Programs offer students an opportunity to work in an award-winning municipal law office, which has been nationally recognized by the American Bar Association for outstanding excellence. Our internship programs reflect an important priority for the City Attorney’s Office—to give back to the legal community in meaningful and important ways.

The City Attorney’s Office currently offers two internship programs:

We believe that diversity in our office is crucial to successfully performing the variety of work we are entrusted with as the City’s attorney. Being able to draw on different perspectives allows us to be at the forefront of legal issues both locally and nationally. We recognize that much work remains to be done to celebrate diversity in the legal profession, and are committed to continuing our role in contributing to that effort, starting with our internship programs. The City Attorney’s Office encourages a diverse applicant pool, welcomes qualified applicants of all backgrounds, and awards positions based on fair and open competition. Read more about our efforts to address racial equity and enhance diversity at the City Attorney’s Office.

Law School Internship Program

City Attorney David Chiu joins interns during their orientation.

City Attorney Chiu chairs an application evaluation committee that seeks to identify prospective interns based on their promise to emerge as leaders and difference-makers in government and public-interest law. Once accepted, interns work closely with deputy city attorneys who are designated mentors on a meaningful (yet manageable) caseload. Each team also has an internship coordinator, who works to ensure that program participants benefit from their assignments, team and client interactions, and have full access to resources like the city’s law library and electronic research materials. Interns typically work with at least two to three attorneys, who provide ongoing professional feedback and keep interns involved as team members and part of the office’s broader attorney-client relationship with city departments, commissions and officials. Depending on their assignments, interns can take part in client meetings with department staff and elected officials; trials, court hearings, and depositions; public meetings and closed sessions with city commissions and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors; and even press conferences related to the office’s work. City Attorney interns also benefit from events, tours and lectures that the office schedules for interns every season. Special programming offers an inside-view of important and sometimes surprising work required of lawyers for a city as innovative, fast-growing and unique as San Francisco. Past programming has included:

  • Tours of Oracle Park, home of our World Champion San Francisco Giants, which the City Attorney’s Office helped to develop, and where legal issues still figure prominently in a rapidly-developing corner of the city.
  • Fireboat tours by the S.F. Fire Department, which highlight its preparedness for modern maritime emergencies and its historical role in major disasters like the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes.
  • Animal Care and Control facilities tours, which reflect some of the unique challenges and innovative approaches of the City of St. Francis—where dogs actually outnumber children.
  • Tours of San Francisco’s Youth Guidance Center, which offers progressive-minded educational, medical, mental health, socialization and counseling services to youth in short-term detention.
Tour of the Bay with the SFPD Marine Unit.
Obama Portraits exhibit at the de Young Museum.
San Francisco City Hall dome tour.
City Attorney’s Office Pride contingent.

Accepting Applications: Summer 2023

    • Applications due: December 2, 2022
    • Orientation (mandatory): June 5, 2023
    • Program: June 5 to August 11, 2023

How to Apply

To apply, email a cover letter, resume, and brief legal writing sample to CATintern.Applications@sfcityatty.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

For common questions about the program, click here.

Hear from recent interns about their experience working with us, click here.

Legal Teams

Descriptions of the legal teams are available here.

Law School Internship Program Schedule

The following is the most up-to-date schedule of deadlines and other key dates for the San Francisco City Attorney Internship Program. All interns must attend the orientation for their session. However, the office can be flexible as to the program length depending on individual student needs.

The Office accepts applications on a rolling basis and will consider late applicants until all positions are filled.

Spring 2023 Program

  • Applications due: Accepting applications until all spots filled
  • Orientation (mandatory): January 9, 2023
  • Program: January 9 to March 17, 2023

Summer 2023 Program

  • Applications due: December 2, 2022
  • Orientation (mandatory): June 5, 2023
  • Program: June 5 to August 11, 2023

Paralegal Internship Program

Paralegal mentors provide ongoing professional feedback and keep paralegal interns involved as team members and part of the office’s broader attorney-client relationship with City departments.

The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office is offering opportunities to paralegal students who want to learn and work in local government and public-interest law. Paralegal interns work closely with paralegal mentors who provide legal support to deputy city attorneys. Mentors provide ongoing professional feedback and keep paralegal interns involved as team members and part of the office’s broader attorney-client relationship with City departments. Additionally, paralegal interns will attend trainings and field trips with interns from the Office’s law school internship program. City Attorney paralegal interns benefit from legal practice at the local government level, which is not something that is often taught in paralegal programs, provides important insight into the Office, and sparks an interest in a career in government.

Paralegal interns will have the opportunity participate in and assist with a wide variety of activities and tasks, including:

  • team meetings
  • meetings with clients and social workers
  • litigation hold processes
  • document collection and review, including video review
  • cite checking briefs;
  • attending various court hearings including .26 Hearing intake matters and trial
  • drafting notices of hearings and other pleadings
  • requesting investigator services
  • gathering and tracking materials for experts

Accepting Applications: Spring 2023

  • Applications due: January 27, 2023
  • Orientation (mandatory): To be determined
  • Mentorship period: January 9 through April 28, 2023
  • Program Length: Based on school requirements

How to Apply

Applicants must be enrolled in an ABA approved paralegal program, and have completed their core requirements in Civil litigation and Legal Writing and Research. To apply, email a cover letter, resume, and brief legal writing sample to Beverly.Tovio@sfcityatty.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

For common questions about the program, click here.

Legal Teams

Attorneys in the City Attorney’s Office are organized into teams based on practice areas, and have completed their core requirements in Civil litigation and Legal Writing and Research. Paralegal internships may be available on any of the following teams.

  • Child Protection and Family Services*
  • Code Enforcement*
  • Complex Litigation*
  • Government*
  • Labor*
  • Litigation*
  • Workers’ Compensation*

* Teams that handle litigation matters.

Paralegal Internship Program Testimony

Gene O'Brien“One of the most enriching courses I took during my paralegal studies was an elective internship at the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office.  It gave me the opportunity to practice and apply skills learned in the classroom in a real legal office, learn new skills, and work on interesting cases.  In turn, the real-life experience I gained in my internship enhanced my classroom learning and helped propel me into my career today as a paralegal.”

–Gene O’Brien, Paralegal, Office of City Attorney David Chiu