Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Fellowship: 2015-2017 Legal Fellow, Palo Alto City Attorney's Office (deadline: ongoing/open until filled, Palo Alto, CA)

There is additional information, including salary, available at the job posting on the Palo Alto city website:  http://agency.governmentjobs.com/paloaltoca/default.cfm?action=viewjob&JobID=1000199&headerfooter=1&WDDXJobSearchParams=

Start date for the position is not until summer/fall 2015, but the application review seems to be active and ongoing now.

The Fellowship is open until filled, and the term will begin late summer or fall 2015.

The Palo Alto Office of the City Attorney invites third year law students, recent graduates, and current judicial clerks graduated in the past two years from accredited law schools. For the 2015-2017 term, the Legal Fellow will focus on the areas of Sustainability, Land Use and Transportation. The ideal candidate will have strong writing and speaking skills, a commitment to public service, and a willingness to engage in practical problem solving in a fast-paced environment.
Palo Alto, like many communities in the San Francisco Bay Area, faces complex issues related to population and job growth, increasing traffic, and stresses on the environment and quality of life. With the population of Santa Clara County expected to grow as much as 36 percent by 2040, Palo Alto is already committed to promoting transit-oriented development, affordable housing, and transportation demand management. Palo Alto is also a pioneer in the fields of sustainability and climate change. One of the few cities in California to own and operate all of its utilities, Palo Alto provides 100% carbon neutral electricity and is exploring additional initiatives including a waste-to-energy program, green gas, distributed generation, rooftop solar and recycled water. The City also aims to be the nation’s most bicycle-friendly city within the next decade.

The 2015-2017 Legal Fellow will provide advice to the City Council, City Manager, and City departments in their efforts to guide the City on a path to sustainable, equitable, and responsible development.  Current and future projects that may be assigned to the Legal Fellow include:
  • Formation of a Transportation Management Association to assist small and medium-sized businesses to promote alternative transportation modes for their workers
  • Preparation and implementation of the City’s Sustainability and Climate Action Plan
  • Preparation of an Environmental Impact Report for the City’s General Plan Update, a document that will serve as the constitution for land use in the City through 2030
  • Development and implementation of green gas, distributed generation, rooftop solar, waste-to-energy, and recycled water initiatives with the City’s utilities department
  • Updates to the City’s development impact fees
  • Negotiation and implementation of a major flood control and wetlands restoration project
  • Litigation defending the City’s affordable housing program and other municipal land use and environmental initiatives
As part of a small team of attorneys, the Legal Fellow will also be expected to analyze legal issues throughout the diverse fields of local government law, which may include constitutional law, utilities regulation, public contracting, labor and employment law, government tort liability, government ethics, misdemeanor criminal prosecution and airport law. The Office of the City Attorney is committed to providing Legal Fellows with the training, experience, and professional development opportunities necessary to launch a successful career in public service.

The Legal Fellow assists City Attorney’s Office staff in the performance of duties and responsibilities as the legal counsel of the City.

This is two-year, limited-term position for recent law school graduates.  Applicants must be law students in their final year at an accredited law school or joint degree program, current judicial clerks recently graduated from an accredited law school, or attorneys in their first year of practice.  Legal Fellows are expected to conduct routine professional legal tasks both under the supervision of an attorney and independently, including drafting legal documents, assisting in the preparation and representation of the City in litigation, prosecuting City codes and regulations, conducting research and providing advice to City personnel.
 Essential Duties:
 Essential and other important responsibilities and duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Drafts ordinances, charter amendments, resolutions, contracts, deeds, leases, permits, licenses and other legal instruments.
  • Assist in the preparation and provision of legal advice to City Council, Boards, Commissions and Committees and City staff, and reviews and interprets Federal, State, County and City constitutions, charters, statutes, ordinances, rules, regulations, court decisions, laws and other legal authority.
  • Assist in the representation of the City and its officers and employees in all litigation including preparation of dockets, anticipating defense, presenting evidence, developing case theory, pleadings, briefs, motions and other documents, preparation and trial of legal matters and handling of appeals. Appears before all Federal and State courts and administrative agencies.
 Minimum Qualifications:
Sufficient education, training and/or work experience to demonstrate possession of the following knowledge and skills, which would typically be acquired through:
  •  Juris Doctorate. Applicants must be law students in their final year at accredited law schools or joint degree programs, current judicial clerks recently graduated from accredited law schools, or attorneys in their first year of practice.
  • Member in good standing with the California Bar or willingness to seek admission to the California Bar within one year of appointment.  Failure to gain admission to the California Bar within one year of appointment may result in termination.

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