Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office Accepting Externship Applications

February 3, 2020
by Michelle M. Hugard

Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office Accepting Externship Applications

The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office is currently accepting applications for its Summer and School Year Law Student Externship Program.

The City Attorney’s Office advises the City Council, City Manager, and City staff on the legal aspects of City actions, seeking to guide the City in achieving its objectives legally, ethically, and effectively. It also conducts litigation on behalf of the City, seeking to vigorously, ethically, and justly advance the interests of the people of Santa Monica and the State of California. The Office’s precedent setting work has included asserting the rights of local governments to regulate technology platforms; obtaining a consent decree allowing the City to close the Santa Monica Airport; and recovering more than $350 million from major oil companies following contamination of the City’s drinking water supply. The office has been recognized as an outstanding public law office of the year by the American Bar Association and our lawyers have been honored with the California Lawyer of the Year Award.

The City Attorney’s Office Externship Program offers law students hands-on experience in the various areas of law practiced in such a dynamic municipal law office. During the Externship Program, externs rotate between the Civil Liability, Municipal, Public Law, and Criminal Divisions of the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office. In each rotation, externs are provided an overview of the work conducted in that division (litigation, transactional, advisory, criminal, etc.), assigned projects arising from the areas of law specific to that division, and given the opportunity to gain practical experience by shadowing and participating in activities central to that division’s practice.

Garen Bostanian, a 2019 graduate of UCLA Law and a Spring 2019 extern notes about the program:

“I hoped that as an extern, I’d gain a better understanding of what being an attorney really meant, and the program exceeded my expectations. In just a short span of time, I had drafted motions, sat in on depositions, attended court and administrative hearings, watched a trial, prepared research memos, and even presented my findings to government agencies.  The program was immersive and exciting, and it gave me a first-hand look at the inner workings of being an attorney.”

Interested applicants should submit a single .pdf containing a cover letter, resume, writing sample of no more than ten pages, and the names of two references by email to CAO.Opportunities@smgov.net with the subject line: “Application – Externship.” A background check may be required prior to beginning the externship.

  • Applications for Summer 2020 externships are due February 14, 2020.
  • Applications for Fall 2020 externships are due April 17, 2020.

Externs must abide by the highest ethical and professional standards. Candidates will be considered based on qualifications, including excellence in oral communication and writing skills, proficiency in legal research, and interest in public service. Start and end dates are flexible. Externs should be available a minimum of 10 hours per week.

More information is available at https://www.santamonica.gov/CAO-Jobs.

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