The Department of Law fellowship program is an opportunity for exceptionally talented new attorneys to join a strong team of appellate and trial practitioners and gain broad experience and insight into the diverse public sector work of the Attorney General’s and District Attorney's offices.
The Civil Division of the Department of the Law provides counsel to the executive branch of state government in all civil actions, handles legal matters for and provides advice to the Office of the Governor and executive branch agencies, and prosecutes and defends civil litigation on behalf of the state. Each spring, the program will select one fellow to serve for a two-year term in the Anchorage office of the Department of Law. Over the course of the two-year program, the fellow will have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of department work.
The fellow will be assigned to the Opinions, Appeals, & Ethics section, which oversees all civil division appeals and attorney general opinions, provides appellate advice to other sections on appellate matters, and coordinates the department’s work on Alaska Native matters. The fellow will report to the Solicitor General and will also be assigned a mentor who specializes in appellate practice. In the first year of the fellowship, the fellow will participate in a full range of work handled by the appellate section, including drafting appellate briefs, evaluating potential appeals, participating in moot courts, and presenting at least one oral argument. In the second year, the fellow will have the opportunity to partner with attorneys in other section areas and expand their range of practice experience.
Applicants for the Civil Division fellowship program must be law graduates with strong qualifications who are currently serving or who have very recently served as full-time judicial clerks; law graduates participating in government, academic, or public-interest fellowships that will be completed prior to the start date of the Department of Law’s fellowship; and exceptionally qualified law students in their final year at an accredited law school (including LL.Ms).
The Criminal Division works to assure safe and healthy communities by prosecuting and convicting criminal offenders throughout Alaska. Each fall, the program will select one fellow to serve for a two-year term in the Anchorage office of the Department of Law. The position is split between the District Attorney's Office and the Office of Criminal Appeals. Over the course of the two-year program, the fellow will have the opportunity to experience a broader range of legal work than would ordinarily be allowed in a permanent position with the Department.
The first year is a trial rotation within the Anchorage District Attorney’s office where the fellow would be exposed to a wide range of felony and misdemeanor criminal litigation, from motion work to trial practice. This is not an assignment limited to covering one class of hearings. The expectation is that the fellow would be able to independently manage a criminal trial caseload of misdemeanors and B and C level felonies, to include first-chairing trials. The fellow will also have the opportunity to work on higher level felony cases under the mentorship of experienced prosecutors.
In the second year, the fellow will be assigned to the Office of Criminal Appeals where they will apply the training gleaned in the district attorney’s office to representing the state in appellate matters filed in the court of appeals and federal district court. Primary responsibilities will include drafting appellate briefs, potentially participating in oral argument, evaluating potential appeals, litigating federal habeas corpus petitions, and assisting with special department projects.
Candidates should be law graduates currently serving as full-time judicial clerks or who have recently completed a judicial clerkship; law graduates participating in government, academic, or public-interest fellowships that will be completed prior to the start date of the Department of Law’s fellowship; and exceptionally qualified law students in their final year at an accredited law school.