Judicial Branch Careers

The Judicial Branch offers a wide range of opportunities for prospective and existing employees. Benefits are transferrable from one agency to the next, including the accrual of years of service. View postings and apply for jobs with the following courts and agencies:

The Judicial Council is not a court, but its role in the statewide administration of justice touches every aspect of judicial branch policy and operations. The Judicial Council collaborates with the courts and justice system partners in shaping branchwide policy in order to create innovative programs essential to advancing the administration of justice, and to provide direct services to the appellate and trial courts.

Under the direction of the Judicial Council and leadership of the Administrative Director, the Judicial Council’s staff is responsible for a variety of statewide programs and services to further the council’s goal of ensuring access to justice.

Learn more about the organizational structure of the staff to the Judicial Council of California.

Located in San Francisco, the Supreme Court of California is the state’s highest court. Its decisions are binding on all other California state courts.  The court conducts regular sessions in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sacramento; it may also hold special sessions elsewhere.

The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in proceedings for extraordinary relief in the form of mandamus, certiorari, prohibition and habeas corpus proceedings.  The state Constitution gives the Supreme Court the authority to review decisions of the Courts of Appeal.  This reviewing power enables the Supreme Court to decide important legal questions and to maintain uniformity in the law.  The court may selects specific issues for review, or it may decide all the issues in a case.  The Constitution also directs the high court to review all cases in which a trial court has pronounced a judgment of death. Under state law, these cases are automatically appealed directly from a trial court to the Supreme Court.  In addition, the Supreme Court reviews the recommendations of the Commission on Judicial Performance concerning the discipline of judges and the State Bar of California concerning the discipline of attorneys for misconduct.  The court also reviews the decisions of the Public Utilities Commission.

The California Courts of Appeal are divided into six appellate districts, based on geography. Some of the appellate districts are further divided into divisions.  The California Courts of Appeal review the vast majority of appealable orders or judgments from a superior court.  The primary exception arises following a judgment of death, which is automatically appealed directly to the California Supreme Court. Courts of Appeal also do not ordinarily review decisions that are within the jurisdiction of the appellate division of the superior court, such as misdemeanor convictions and limited civil cases.

The Courts of Appeal decide questions of law, such as whether the superior court judge applied the law correctly in a case. The Courts of Appeal do not hear testimony or retry cases. An appeal from a superior court judgment is decided based on the record from the original trial or proceeding. Issues brought to a Court of Appeal for review commonly include claims such as an incorrect ruling on admissibility of evidence, incorrect application of a law or regulation, unconstitutionality of a law or regulation, improper jury instructions, and insufficient evidence to support the verdict.

Learn more about the Court of Appeals.

The California Judicial Center Library (CJCL) serves all members of the Supreme Court of California and the Court of Appeal First District and is open to the Judicial Council of California.  The CJCL is located in San Francisco and its mission is to provide outstanding and innovative information services by creating, developing, preserving, and supporting appropriate current and historical resources; promote the dissemination of information; and serve as a gateway to educating users about information sources in, and beyond, the scope of its collections.

Located in San Francisco, the Commission on Judicial Performance is the independent state agency responsible for investigating complaints of judicial misconduct and for disciplining state court judges. 

Located in San Francisco, Habeas Corpus Resource Center provides counsel to represent indigent men and women under sentence of death in California. The HCRC's mission is to provide timely, high-quality legal representation for indigent petitioners in death penalty habeas corpus proceedings before the Supreme Court of California and the federal courts, to recruit and train attorneys to expand the pool of private counsel qualified to accept appointments in death penalty habeas corpus proceedings, and to serve as a resource to appointed counsel, thereby reducing the number of unrepresented indigents on California's death row.

Established in 1998, the center is actively engaged in providing representation in capital cases, providing training for private attorneys appointed in capital cases, and assisting the Supreme Court of California in recruiting attorneys to accept capital habeas appointments.

Go to their website to find job postings and Law Internships specifically for HCRC.

Are you looking for a work environment where you can share fresh ideas and innovative viewpoints while committed to the highest standards of excellence? Then the judicial branch is the place for you! We are always looking to hire employees with diverse backgrounds and experience, ranging from attorneys, human resources analysts, media producers, architects, systems administrators, application developers, and so much more. No matter your field of study or experience level, we can help you find a starting point from which to build a career filled with success.

The services that our employees provide demonstrate their ability to innovate and respond to the ever-changing needs of the courts. This allows the judicial branch to continue to evolve as California’s most dynamic court system while providing truly essential services to the public.

Take a moment to look through our various job classifications where you will find information regarding duties and responsibilities for each classification, earning potential and minimum qualifications. Thank you for your interest and good luck!