Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some common questions about our law school internship program.

Who is eligible?

  • Students currently enrolled in an accredited law school are eligible to participate in the City Attorney’s intern program.

How do I apply?

When is the application deadline?

  • Be sure to check the deadlines on our Internships Page. We will review applications upon receipt and will fill open spots on a rolling basis. Please consider submitting your application before our deadline so that our practice teams have sufficient time to consider your materials.

Can I participate remotely?

  • Our Program allows law student interns to adopt a hybrid schedule of in-person and telecommute work. Whenever possible, in-person participation is highly recommended for the best internship experience.  Full remote work is not allowed, but will be considered in special circumstances.

What types of internships do you have? Do I get paid? Do I get credit?

  • The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office offers clinical, volunteer and work-study internships to law school students during the spring, summer and fall.
    • Volunteer: The volunteer internship is unpaid.
    • Clinical: A clinical internship is also unpaid, if approved by their law school.
    • Work Study: Work-study the interns must have federal work-study funds available and the City must have a current work-study contract with the intern’s law school. The City may not be the employer of work-study students. Work-study students may not work more than 20 hours per week during the school year. They may not work more than 40 hours per week during the summer. No overtime is allowed. Work-study students must not exceed their work-study award. The amount of the award is determined by the student’s financial need and is unique to each student

Do you offer internships to law school graduates waiting for bar results?

  • No, the program is only open to current law school students.

What is the Internship Program Schedule?

  • Most internships run 10 weeks, but the Office can accommodate interns from 8-14 weeks. Generally, the spring internship begins mid-January and ends mid-April. The summer internship begins in early June and ends in early August. The fall internship begins in early September and ends in early November.  Be sure to see Internship Program Schedule below for important dates relating to the program.

What are the minimum requirements?

  • Applicants must be enrolled at an accredited law school and be able to work a minimum of 12 hours per week during the spring and fall. Applicants must be available to work a minimum of 20 hours per week in the summer.

How many interns does the office take?

  • The number varies from year to year based on the office’s need for interns. Typically, we host approximately twenty-five interns in the fall and spring and upwards of thirty-five in the summer.

Can interns work more than one semester?

  • Yes. We allow interns to participate in up to two semesters.

What type of assignments do interns perform?

  • Interns assist Deputy City Attorneys in drafting statutes and regulations, reviewing contracts, representing the City in court and before administrative agencies and advising the Mayor, the Board of Supervisors, and various agencies and departments of the City.  Work varies depending on the team on which a student interns.

What type of training will I receive?

  • All interns attend an office orientation, which explains our role in City government, office structure and procedures. Interns also receive training on how to use the computer network. Each team provides interns with training to complete their assignments. Additionally, the office’s continuing legal education seminars are open to interns.

What type of relationship can I expect to have with the Deputy City Attorneys?

  • The office encourages deputies to mentor interns and provide constructive feedback. Interns typically work closely on projects with at least two to three attorneys. Additionally, the team’s intern coordinator works to ensure the intern has a manageable workload, is learning from assignments, and is receiving feedback.

What type of supervision will I have?

  • Each team in the City Attorney’s Office has an intern coordinator. The intern coordinator runs intern meetings, distributes assignments and provides feedback. Additionally, interns will work directly for other deputies on the team.

What type of activities will I be able to participate in and observe?

  • When appropriate, interns are invited to Board, committee and client meetings, trials and depositions. Additionally, each season the office schedules lectures, events and tours for the interns. Events vary depending on the season and have included: a tour of Pacific Bell Park, a ride on a Fireboat, a tour of the Animal Care and Control facility, a tour of the Youth Guidance Center and an insider’s view of the courts.

What types of research materials will I have access to?

  • The City Attorney’s Office has an extensive legal library, a librarian, and a full range of electronic research materials.

What are the teams in the City Attorney’s Office?

  • Attorneys in the City Attorney’s Office are organized into teams based on practice areas. We encourage intern candidates to state a team preference in their cover letter, however, final assignments are based on office needs. Internships may be available on any of the following teams. Longer descriptions of each team are available here. (Asterisks * denote teams that handle litigation matters.)
    • Airport (located at SFO)
    • Child Protection and Family Services/Conservatorships*
    • Code Enforcement*
    • Complex and Affirmative Litigation*
    • Construction*
    • Data and Privacy Task Force
    • Energy and Telecommunications
    • Finance and Real Estate
    • Government*
    • Health & Human Services
    • Labor and Employment*
    • Land Use*
    • Litigation*
    • Public Contracting
    • Public Utilities
    • Transportation
    • Workers’ Compensation*

Will I be offered a job at the end of my internship?

  • Interns are not usually offered a position in the office immediately after their internship. The office typically hires attorneys with two to three years of experience.

What have past participants in the City Attorney’s Internship Program had to say about it?

  • Not only do our interns gain great legal experience while interning with our office, they have a great time too. Our past interns have had a lot of great things to say about our program.