2L, 3L, 4L Honors Program

Legal Internship – Second, Third or Fourth Year (part-time) Students and February/July Post Bar Exam Students

Students who are in their second, third or fourth (part-time/evening) year of law school or who are awaiting State Bar (Post Bar) results are eligible for State Bar certification. In order for a Post Bar to be eligible for certification, the Post Bar student must sit for the State Bar Exam the first time the student is eligible to take it.

These law clerks are assigned to a division of the office. Depending on the assignment, these law clerks will have the opportunity to observe court hearings, conduct routine felony preliminary hearings, present evidence at suppression motions and handle matters that appear on both the felony and misdemeanor motions calendar.

There are some divisions within the office which by their nature have limited opportunities for a certified law student to appear in court, such as the Homicide, Gang, and the Sexual Assault Units. Law clerks assigned to these divisions will gain valuable experience in the behind the scene preparation of high-profile cases and may be asked to assist other divisions.

In addition to their primary division, these volunteer law clerks may be asked to assist other divisions of the office. This internship is unpaid.


2L Honors Program-Summer Only 

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office 2L Honors Program was inaugurated in 2012 with the purpose of recruiting the most qualified 2L law clerks and training them for highly skilled legal work within the office. This program is only offered in the summer, and only 2L law clerks are eligible to apply. The application process is highly competitive, and only up to ten students are selected for the 2L Honors Program. There is no other program available to 2L law clerks in the summer other than the Honors Program. 2L Honors Law Clerks are paid for ten weeks. This is the only paid internship at the District Attorney’s Office.

2L law clerks hired through the Honors Program are assigned to challenging positions, offering valuable legal experience and substantial individual responsibility. In an effort to broaden the 2L law clerk’s legal experience, each Honors Program clerk is given the opportunity to rotate or “detail” into different assignments within the Office, including the Misdemeanor Unit where there may be an opportunity to conduct a jury trial under the supervision of an attorney. 

In addition, 2L Honors Program law clerks receive extensive training to assist in their legal proficiency and expertise in particular practice areas.

Law clerks will receive mock trial experience, which includes presenting opening statements and closing arguments to a panel of experienced prosecutors. Law clerks will be trained in the legal skills of research, analysis and writing; oral advocacy; case and time management; and professional demeanor.

2L honors clerks who do well will be invited back for a paid 2L Honors Post Bar clerkship.

While our Office cannot make specific commitments for future jobs once the 2L Honors Program clerk passes the Bar, the Honors Program students are evaluated for future employment based on experience, summer clerkship performance, availability, need for attorneys and budget constraints. Strong preference will be given to 2L Honors Program Law Clerks who excel and successfully complete the program for future employment. Many current deputy district attorneys gained valuable experience through our 2L Honors Program.

A minimum 2.5 GPA is required in order to participate in the 2L Honors Program.

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