The mission of the Oregon Department of Justice is to serve state government and to support safe and healthy communities throughout Oregon by providing essential legal justice services. The Department has more than 1,300 employees in nine divisions, including over 300 lawyers, who are dedicated to the rule of law and serving the people of Oregon.
The Attorney General and our nine divisions are dedicated to:
- Providing ethical, independent and high-quality legal services to state government;
- Safeguarding consumers from fraud and unfair business practices;
- Fighting crime and helping crime victims;
- Advocating for vulnerable children and adults;
- Supporting families through the collection of child support;
- Enforcing environmental protections;
- Defending the civil rights of all Oregonians;
- Pursuing justice and upholding the rule of law.
Duties & Responsibilities
The Oregon Department of Justice is seeking outstanding, current first- and second-year law students to fill law clerk positions beginning May 2023. Positions are located in Salem, Portland, Eugene, Bend, Medford and, Pendleton and will be full-time summer positions with the hope that the successful candidates will consider continuing employment on a part-time basis throughout the following school year. Many clerks are able to stay on with the Department until graduation.
Law students are employed to provide legal support to Assistant Attorneys General. The volume and scope of our legal work allows us to entrust each law clerk with a significant and appropriate level of responsibility, which helps clerks work productively and facilitates growth and career development. Assignments can vary depending on division and section placement, business need, and the individual strengths and interests of a given law clerk. Attorneys-in-Charge or designated law clerk supervisors assign law clerks to work with individual attorneys on a case-by-case basis. A clerk may be tasked with:
- conducting library and legal research and delivering written legal analysis or oral briefing;
- assisting with civil, criminal, juvenile, or administrative litigation;
- appearing in court on behalf of a state agency (for court certified law students);
- investigating factual matters and producing a written product (The final result may be used by the supervising attorney as background, or it may be incorporated as part of an opinion, pleading, memorandum, or brief.);
- projects that take anywhere from minutes to months;
- assignments for one or multiple attorneys, sometimes simultaneously;
- case organization and strategy assessments; and,
- all manner of other assignments, as they come up in the Department’s work.
If court-certified, law clerks in some sections appear in court, argue motions, and present evidence including examination of witnesses. Pay for law clerks does not include benefits, except as required by law. The term of appointment usually is three months for summer and nine months for the school year, and is subject to renewal, but is statutorily subject to termination at any time without cause. Summer clerks are expected to work full, 40-hour weeks. Arrangements can be made to allow a vacation, but the Department expects a minimum commitment of at least ten weeks during the summer. Clerks generally are appointed for up to 20 hours per week during the school year, averaged out during the nine-month term of the appointment. Time off is allowed during finals, and those who remain in the geographic area during school vacations can work full-time to make up for time missed during finals. Exceptions can be granted to allow for more than 20 hours per week during the school year if a business need exists, budget allows, and the additional hours are not likely to impact the respective clerk’s studies.
Many summer appointments are made contingent upon continued availability of the clerk during the succeeding school year.
Depending on the assigned legal division, there may be opportunities for some remote work. Finalists must reside in the state of Oregon by the first day of employment.
2023 Law Clerk Recruitment Announcement
Scheduled to close on January 23, 2023 at 11:58 p.m.