Local Government Clinic

About the Clinic: The Local Government Clinic offers UC Hastings students a unique opportunity to extern at a City Attorney or County Counsel office, for credit, in the Bay Area while taking a UC Hastings course to support this work. Check out this exciting article all about the Clinic!

Prerequisites or Co-requisites: Constitutional Law I and either State and Local Government Law OR California Local Government Law. With the instructor’s permission one or both of the prerequisites may be satisfied by a course directly relevant to a specific placement, for example, Labor Law (for a placement with the Labor Team), Land Use or Environmental Law (for a placement with the Land Use team, for example) or Administrative Law (for a placement with a regulatory agency, like the PUC). 

Classroom Component: Meets for two hours weekly and covers advanced topics in state and local government law and ethics relevant to the placements, along with skills training that will enable students to perform outstandingly in their placements (e.g. advanced legal writing, applied legal research) and to maximize the externship’s educational value (critical reflection, learning from feedback, networking techniques, etc.) The classroom component requires regular reading assignments, several short writing assignments and a journal.

Fieldwork Component: For 4 fieldwork credit hours, the minimum requirement is 12 weeks at the placement site for 16 hours each week. For 5 fieldwork credit hours, the minimum requirement is 12 weeks at the placement site for 20 hours each week. (Please note that these are the Hastings minimums. Students are expected to work with their supervisors at their placement sites to agree upon the actual time expectations.) The placement must be at one of the approved placement sites (see below). The fieldwork component is graded pass-fail; a passing grade requires two individual meetings with the instructor and timely submission of timesheets and also factors in mid-semester evaluations, final evaluations and the student’s own assessment of their experience in the final placement evaluation. 

  • If your placement indicates that the duration of its externship program is fewer than 12 weeks, please contact Director of Externship Programs Nira Geevargis, geevargis@uchastings.edu.

Course Instructor: The course is taught by Virginia Dario Elizondo, a UC Hastings alumna, who works in the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office.

Open to: 4th, 5th, or 6th semester students.

Credit and Grading: 6-7 units:  2-unit graded, non-GPA class component and 4-or 5-unit fieldwork component, graded pass-fail.

To enroll:

  • Identify the offices where you are interested in externing. Each office has its own deadlines and requirementssome of which are described below. To help identify which offices you would like to apply to, you may also review placement surveys from previous students online by clicking here.
  • Apply to the office or offices where you are interested in externing.
  • If you are interested in an office not on the list, email Associate Dean Gail Silverstein, silverst@uchastings.edu, describing the office, potential supervisor, and potential projects or areas in which you hope to work.
  • Once you have accepted an offer from a placement, please email Theresa Hoskins-Ford, hoskinsf@uchastings.edu, for permission to enroll, identifying the relevant courses you’ve taken and the name and email address of your supervisor.
  • Please pose any questions to Associate Dean Gail Silverstein.

Approved City Attorneys Offices:

San Francisco 

Website:http://www.sfcityattorney.org/aboutus/internships/

Instructions: Send a cover letter, resume, and brief writing sample to CATintern.Applications@sfgov.org. Please read all instructions on the San Francisco City Attorney website.

Contact: Allie Saperstein, Allie.Saperstein@sfcityatty.org

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

Attorneys in the San Francisco 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:

  • Airport (located at SFO)
  • Child Protection and Family Services
  • Code Enforcement
  • Contracts & Construction
  • Complex Litigation
  • Energy and Telecommunications
  • Ethics & Elections
  • Finance and Real Estate
  • Government
  • Health & Human Services
  • Labor
  • Land Use
  • Litigation
  • Public Utilities
  • Transportation
  • Workers’ Compensation

Hayward

Website: https://www.hayward-ca.gov/your-government/departments/city-attorneys-office

Instructions: Email a resume and cover letter describing your interest in local government to Michael Lawson at Michael.Lawson@hayward-ca.gov

Contact: Mr. Michael Lawson, City Attorney, 510-583-4455.

Oakland

Website:https://www.oaklandcityattorney.org

Instructions: Submit a resume, cover letter, to Cynthia Andrada by email to csandrada@oaklandcityattorney.org

Contact: Ms. Cynthia Andrada, Executive Assistant to the Chief Assistant City Attorney, 510-238-3446.

San Jose

Websitehttps://www.sanjoseca.gov/your-government/departments/office-of-the-city-attorney/internship-program

Instructions: Email a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to LaVerne Washington at laverne.washington@sanjoseca.gov. Interns are required to work a minimum of 20 hours per week. 2Ls welcome to apply but 3Ls preferred.

Contact: Ms. LaVerne Washington, Senior Legal Analyst, laverne.washington@sanjoseca.gov

Approved County Counsel’s Offices

Marin

Website: https://www.marincounty.org/depts/cl

Instructions: Email a resume, cover letter and writing sample to Jeanine Michaels at jmichaels@marincounty.org

Contact: Ms. Jeanine Michaels, Administrative Assistant to Steven Woodside, 415-499-6117.

San Mateo

Website:https://countycounsel.smcgov.org/volunteer-law-clerk-program 

Instructions: Submit a cover letter, resumeand unofficial transcript to IIlana Parmer, imandelbaum@smcgov.orgPlease indicate which term you are applying for. 

Contact: Ms. IIlana Parmer, County Counsel, imandelbaum@smcgov.org 

Santa Clara

Website: https://www.sccgov.org/sites/cco/opportunities/Pages/internships.aspx

Instructions: Send a resume, cover letter (describing your interest in working with local government, any relevant experience, and the practice areas in which you are most interested), the names and telephone numbers of two references, and an unofficial law school transcript to internships@cco.sccgov.org

Contact: Mr. Robert M. Coelho, Deputy County Counsel, 408-299-6942