Law Student Opportunities: Attorney General’s Office, California Department of Justice

Law Student Opportunities: Public Rights Division
Worker Rights and Fair Labor Section
(Los Angeles, Oakland and San Diego)

The mission of the Worker Rights and Fair Labor Section of the Office of the Attorney General is to protect the welfare of California workers and maintain a level playing field for legitimate businesses operating in the State. The Section is particularly focused on addressing systemic business practices that undermine the working conditions of California’s most vulnerable low-wage workers. The Section conducts both civil and criminal investigations and prosecutions to combat unlawful employment practices including wage theft, independent contractor misclassification, unsafe working conditions, payroll tax evasion, and workers’ compensation insurance fraud. Due to the broad legal powers of the Office of the Attorney General, the Section is also able to utilize the full panoply of state law to fill enforcement gaps that traditional labor enforcement agencies cannot address, and target third-party facilitators or other non-employer actors that contribute to the flourishing of unlawful employment practices. The Section also engages in legal advocacy to support legal and policy developments to advance worker protections and encourage employer accountability.

Specific areas of focus include:
– Engaging in multi-pronged enforcement of workplace violations in the underground economy, addressing misclassification, wage theft, payroll tax evasion, and workers’ compensation insurance fraud in diverse industries including port trucking, agriculture, car washes, and construction;
– Challenging business models and practices utilized by major corporations to evade their responsibilities to workers, including the use of multi-layered contracting models, contractor misclassification, and on-time staffing;
– Investigating employer policies and procedures that endanger the health and safety of workers, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic;
– Advocacy to defend against legal or policy developments that threaten to erode worker protections or
reduce the powers of the Attorney General to defend the rights of workers.

Law student externs will assist deputies by reviewing and assessing evidence in investigations and related projects and preparing written memoranda on a broad range of complex legal issues. Externs may also assist with witness interviews and may attend court hearings.

The Section will accept applications from law school students, as well as law school graduates willing to
volunteer their services. While it is not required, law students in their second year of law school are
especially encouraged to apply. Volunteer applicants must have excellent writing, research, and analytical skills. Language skills are preferred, but not required. Cover letters must indicate if the law student wishes to be considered for a position in Los Angeles, Oakland or San Diego. Applicants may apply to multiple cities. Fall 2021 positions may be conducted remotely or in-person.

How to Apply:
Please submit a single PDF that includes a cover letter, resume, writing sample (no more than ten pages), and two references, via email to:

Marisa Hernández-Stern
Supervising Deputy Attorney General
Worker Rights and Fair Labor Section
Office of the California Attorney General
300 S. Spring Street
Los Angeles, California 90013
marisa.hernandez-stern@doj.ca.gov