FAQs - Attorney General's Honors Program

  1. What are the compensation and benefits for program participants?
    • Participants who have not yet been admitted to the California Bar will be hired into a limited term position as a Graduate Legal Assistant (GLA) at a salary of $5,075/month. Once admitted to the Bar and upon successful completion of the Attorney exam, GLAs will be appointed to a permanent position as a Deputy Attorney General (DAG) and will serve a 12-month probationary period at a salary of $7,737/month. All participants will also receive a variety of benefits as described on the Compensation and Benefits page. The salaries listed are the latest available from the State Controller's Office, but may not reflect the most recent salary adjustment.
  2. In what office and which Divisions/Sections will participants be placed?
    • Honors Program participants will work in either the San Francisco or Sacramento office of the California Attorney General's Office. The Geoffrey Wright Fellowship participant will work in the Office of the Solicitor General in San Francisco. We will make every effort to place you according to your Division/Section preference, but availability of placements will depend on staffing needs.
  3. What is the California civil service exam, and do I need to take it?
    • In order to be hired into any state civil service position, including the Attorney General's Honors Program, you are required to take a civil service exam. The civil service exam gauges your experience and educational credentials. You should consider all of your experience and education, in any capacity (student, volunteer, etc.), when completing the exam. Your exam will be scored and your name will be placed on a certification list. The certification list is ranked and you must score in one of the top three ranks in order to be appointed to a position. Participants who are admitted to the California Bar as of June 30, 2024 will need to complete the Attorney exam. Participants who have not been admitted to the California Bar by June 30, 2024 will need to complete the GLA exam and sit for the California Bar exam in July 2024.
  4. Can I apply for placement in both the Attorney General's Honors Program and the Solicitor General Fellowship Program?
    • Yes, if you meet the eligibility criteria for both programs. You will need to submit a separate application package for each program.
  5. Is this a permanent position?
    • As to the Honors Program, maybe. If you are selected for a Deputy Attorney General position in the Honors Program and you successfully complete a 12-month probationary period in the Deputy Attorney General classification, you will receive a permanent position at the conclusion of the probation period. Our hope in selecting Honors Program participants is that careers are created at the Department of Justice.

      The Geoffrey Wright Solicitor General Fellowship is a limited-term assignment.
  6. Can I rotate between divisions?
    • We expect that participants will remain in their assigned section for their first two years in the office.
  7. How do I submit my application package?
    • We recommend that completed applications and all required documents be submitted electronically through a CalCareers account at www.jobs.ca.gov. If you choose not to apply electronically, a hard copy application package may be mailed to the address listed below. We will not consider incomplete applications or applications submitted by email or fax. If you are applying for both the Honors Program and the Geoffrey Wright, you will need to submit two separate application packages.

      If mailing, please send your completed application package to:
      Department of Justice
      Attn: Attorney Hiring Unit
      Attorney General's Honors Program
      1300 I Street, 7th Floor
      Sacramento, CA, 95814
  8. How do I submit my letters of recommendation?
    • It is preferred that the required two letters of recommendation be submitted as part of your application package. If any of your recommenders have concerns about this process or would prefer to send their letters separately, they can email them directly to aghonorsapps@doj.ca.gov . The letters of recommendation should be addressed to "Honors Program Selection Committee." If letters are sent separately, it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure the letter of recommendation has been received.
  9. How will I know that my application was received?
  10. How and when will interviews be conducted? Will I be reimbursed for travel expenses?
    • Interviews will be conducted in December. Interviews will be conducted virtually. Telephonic conference interviews are also available in cases where a candidate cannot access the video conferencing system.
  11. What if I accept a judicial clerkship after I have submitted my application?
    • Please e-mail aghonorsapps@doj.ca.gov to withdraw your application. We hope you will consider re-applying the following year.
  12. What if I accept another position or change my mind about applying?
  13. Why will I be given a conditional offer of employment if I am selected for the Program?
    • If you are selected for the Program, you will receive a conditional offer of employment. Your acceptance into the Program is contingent upon successfully completing the civil service hiring process (see question #3) and obtaining fingerprint clearance. Failure to score high enough to be placed in the highest three ranks on a hiring eligibility (certification) list or failure to pass the security clearance will result in hiring ineligibility.
  14. If I am selected for a position, can I defer for a year?
    • Unfortunately we are not able to offer any deferrals. If you are still eligible in the next hiring cycle, we encourage you to apply again.
  15. Do I have to take the California bar exam?
    • Yes. Applicants must either be members of the California Bar, or must sit for the July 2024 Bar exam. We encourage applicants to sit for the earliest possible California State Bar exam. Failure to pass the California Bar exam within 12 months of employment may result in termination from the program.
  16. I'm taking the July 2023 Bar exam and won't get my results until November. Will I still be able to do legal work in the first few months of the program, and what happens if I fail?
    • You will be able to work on substantive legal projects under the supervision of another attorney while you are awaiting your results. You will not be able to sign briefs or appear in court. Participants who do not pass the Bar exam within 12 months from employment may be terminated from the program.
  17. Will I be reimbursed for Bar exam fees?
    • The program does not cover Bar exam fees or the cost of any Bar exam preparation courses.
  18. Do I need to be a U.S. Citizen to apply?
    • No, but all applicants must be eligible to work in the United States. Upon employment, applicants must submit verification of their legal right to work in the United States.
  19. Do Veterans preferences or any other hiring preferences apply?
    • Veterans preference will apply to applicants when determining their rank on a civil service exam (see question #3).
  20. I still have questions, whom should I contact?
    • First, please check with your career services office. If they are not able to resolve your question, please contact aghonorsapps@doj.ca.gov.