Becoming a City Attorney

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Becoming a City Attorney

Postby lackys » Sat Jul 19, 2008 2:58 pm

How difficult is it to become a City Attorney in Los Angeles? Do they only look to big schools with high GPAs like Big Law? Furthermore, how competitive is it? Any ideas?

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Re: Becoming a City Attorney

Postby esqprep » Sun Jul 20, 2008 12:27 am

I've worked for one city attorney and have known several. In the case of the persons that I knew, one had a poor GPA in law school, almost flunked out and went to a pretty good, but not great, law school.

In fact, this same person is a founding (named) partner at a large firm with over 200 attorneys.

Thus, I doubt your grades will matter little, if they matter at all. The school that you go to will likely not matter much either. Instead its whether you are likable, you have a good reputation in the community, and whether you have a strong network.

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Re: Becoming a City Attorney

Postby Skeptical2L » Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:40 pm

I assume you don't mean actually being elected Los Angeles City Attorney, right? You're talking about an assistant city attorney position?

eqprep's anecdotal evidence notwithstanding, you will need good grades from a top school to work for the city attorney's office in L.A. (or in any other major city). You'll also need connections. Thus you'll want to try to land an internship there while you're a student, during the school year or summer.

Working for the city attorney's office is anything but a fall-back option. I suspect you'll find the positions are harder to get than biglaw, not easier.

Positions with the city attorney in L.A., San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, etc. are in very high demand. In S.F., for instance, lawyers in the office come from Boalt, Stanford, Yale, Harvard, etc.--and I can't imagine the situation is too terribly different in L.A.

To get a sense of what I'm talking about, look at the résumé of the current L.A. City Atty, Rocky Delgadillo: Harvard undergrad, Columbia Law School, O’Melveny & [deleted], etc.
I think you'll find that the other attorneys in his office have similarly glittering résumés.

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Re: Becoming a City Attorney

Postby GordonBombay » Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:48 pm


What about a city smaller than LA? Or for the state? I would assume similar resume requirements apply?

Go to a top school in that state, do well, intern with the city?

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