FVAP is seeking 1-3 law clerks to join our dynamic California office for Fall 2023, Spring 2024 and Summer 2024. The Fall and Spring clerkships are for the school semester for a minimum of 16 hours per week, though 20 hours is strongly preferred. The Summer clerkship is 10 weeks at 37.5 hours per week. Starting and ending weeks are flexible based on a clerk’s academic semester, quarter, or year. Our California office is in Oakland, California. FVAP staff are primarily remote. There are hybrid options for clerks who want to use the office and opportunities for in person check-ins with supervisors, meetings and events with staff.
We value diverse experiences and backgrounds. FVAP’s clientele is diverse, and we serve individuals and advocates throughout the state, including rural, suburban, and urban populations. The ideal candidate will bring skills and experiences enabling the candidate to serve these diverse populations well in the context of domestic violence and appellate litigation. FVAP is an equal opportunity employer. In furtherance of social justice principles and to best serve our clients, FVAP is committed to supporting a diverse staff and providing culturally responsive services. Individuals of all races, ethnicities, national origins, religions, ages, sexes, sexual orientations, and gender identities, as well as differently abled persons, survivors of domestic violence, candidates from traditionally underrepresented communities and historically oppressed groups, bilingual and bicultural candidates, and those who are the first in their family to complete college or graduate school, are encouraged to apply.
Family Violence Appellate Project is the only organization in California and Washington states dedicated to appealing cases pro bono on behalf of survivors of domestic and other forms of interpersonal violence. We are dedicated to shaping California and Washington law to meet the needs of survivors and their children to make choices that are best for them. We are also committed to supporting the statewide network of domestic violence and legal aid service providers. FVAP’s work includes:
- Representing clients’ pro bono in the California and Washington Courts of Appeal,
- Submitting amicus curiae briefs in cases of statewide importance,
- Monitoring unpublished cases daily and requesting publication of important domestic violence cases,
- Engaging in legislative and systems change advocacy efforts,
- Providing trainings, technical assistance, and written informational materials, and
- Facilitating information exchange among statewide stakeholders supporting survivors.
If you are interested in being part of this exciting social justice organization and resource for domestic violence survivors and advocates across California and Washington, this is the place for you! You can learn more at www.fvaplaw.org.
Duties may include the following (other duties may be assigned):
- Assisting with an active pipeline of case referrals, including:
- completing an initial case analysis, which includes but it not limited to reviewing the trial court record, analyzing the legal issues in the case, and
- making a preliminary recommendation on whether FVAP should accept the case for appeal
- Conducting legal research and writing
- Assisting FVAP’s work with pro bono co-counsel to file appellate and amicus curiae briefs
- Analyzing and presenting social science literature in the field of domestic violence
- Assist with updating and improving FVAP’s written materials and trainings
- Contributing overall to FVAP’s work to achieve its organizational mission
Required Qualifications and Experience:
- Completion of at least one year of law school at an accredited university
- Excellent communication and writing skills
- Strong organizational skills
- Strong ability to work independently and as part of a team
- Significant understanding of issues specifically facing clients in crisis and low‐income clients
- Strong to adapt to and work in environment and complete time-sensitive assignments thoroughly and on time
- Strong legal research skills
- Knowledge of the dynamics of domestic violence, domestic violence law and/or family law strongly preferred, either through course work or work experience or other experience. (Work in other areas of interpersonal violence may qualify)
Strongly Preferred but not Required Qualifications and Experience:
- Experience with civil trial or appellate court documents and procedure, particularly family court
- Experience working directly with clients in crisis
- Litigation or appellate experience
- Completion of a course or clinical work in Evidence, Domestic Violence Law or Family Law
- Experience with writing legal concepts in plain language for non-lawyers
Law clerks are unpaid but may be eligible for funding or course credit through their law school. We can provide support letters and other documents as needed if you are offered the clerkship.
To Apply: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Students are encouraged to apply early in the process, but at this time we do not have a cutoff date for applications nor a deadline by which we will have a decision. If you must know by a certain date for credit registration or funding purposes, please clearly state that in your email and cover letter.
Please email a cover letter, resume and a copy of the classes you have taken and registered for or a transcript (unofficial is fine). Please write in the subject line that you are applying for the California office and what position your are applying for e.g. 2023 Fall Law Clerk, 2024 Spring Law Clerk. 2024 Summer Law Clerk.
All applicant emails: firstname.lastname@example.org
Attn: Arati Vasan, Senior Managing Attorney (California)
Family Violence Appellate Project, 449 15th St. Suite 805, Oakland, CA 94612
Your cover letter should speak to:
1) why you are interested specifically in working at FVAP
2) how your background or experiences, educational or otherwise, have prepared you to contribute to our work and perform the required duties and any preferred qualifications, and
3) how your background or experiences, educational or otherwise, have prepared you to contribute to our commitment to diversity and cultural humility amongst our team of staff and interns. Feel free to think broadly about your response to these questions, applying various aspects of your life and personal experience.
Thank you for your interest in FVAP!