Solicitor General

Office of the Attorney General
Department of Justice


San Francisco or Sacramento
Salary Range - $150,000 - $200,000
Salary commensurate with experience

(Subject to CalHR approval)
Application Deadline is February 22, 2019

About the Organization

Attorney General Xavier Becerra is the state’s chief law officer, responsible for ensuring that state laws are uniformly and adequately enforced. The Department of Justice includes over 4,500 employees who provide legal and law enforcement services to the state, including representing the People of California in civil and criminal matters before trial courts, appellate courts and the supreme courts of California and the United States, and law enforcement activities such as criminal investigations, apprehending criminals, and exchanging criminal intelligence using state-of-the-art technology. More information is available at

The Office of the Solicitor General has authority and responsibility for ensuring the excellence of the Attorney General’s appellate practice. OSG participates in discretionary appellate litigation decisions, such as whether to seek review by the U.S. or California Supreme Court; prepares or oversees the preparation of petitions, briefs, and other papers filed in the supreme courts and other appellate courts; and takes a lead role in the briefing and argument of selected appeals in both state and federal courts, including in many of the Department’s most complex or sensitive appellate matters. Other functions include fostering consultation and consistency on important legal issues and promoting excellence in appellate practice throughout the Department. The Solicitor General also oversees the Department’s statewide Opinion Unit.

About the Position

The Solicitor General is appointed by the Attorney General and serves as the chief appellate lawyer for the Department of Justice. The Solicitor General oversees all civil and criminal appeals to ensure quality and consistency and becomes personally involved in selected cases, including many of the Department’s most complex and sensitive matters. These may include cases in the U.S. and California Supreme Courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit or other federal courts of appeals, or the California Courts of Appeal. Along with other Department leaders, including the Chief Assistants for the Civil, Criminal, and Public Rights Divisions, the Chief of Legal Affairs, and the Chief Deputy to the Attorney General, the Solicitor General advises the Attorney General concerning discretionary appellate litigation decisions such as whether to seek review by the U.S. or California Supreme Court, whether to file or join amicus curiae briefs, and what legal arguments to advance in matters handled by the Department. The Solicitor General may determine the staffing, direct the briefing process, and make or assign the oral argument for any matter in any appellate court. The Solicitor General is expected to argue some important matters personally, but may also assign any argument to any other Department attorney. The Solicitor General also oversees the development of appropriate forms, templates, styles, training materials, and other resources for appellate litigation. In conjunction with the leadership of the legal Divisions and litigating Sections, the Solicitor General works to promote close collaboration on appellate matters and to foster excellence in appellate practice throughout the Department. In discharging these functions, the Solicitor General is directly supported by an office that presently includes a Principal Deputy and Supervising Deputy, ten additional full-time attorney positions, and related staff.

The Solicitor General also oversees the Department’s statewide Opinion Unit, currently led by a Senior Assistant Attorney General and including six full-time attorneys. The Opinion Unit leads and manages the discharge of the Attorney General’s responsibilities under Government Code Section 12519 to provide written opinions to designated public officers on questions of law, and may also provide other legal analysis or advice for the Attorney General and the Department. It also manages the Attorney General’s review of quo warranto applications filed by private attorneys under Code of Civil Procedure Sections 803-810 and supervision of related litigation.

Minimum Qualifications

Experience with matters in the United States Supreme Court; experience presenting oral arguments before the United States Supreme Court, the California Supreme Court, the highest courts of other States, or the United States Courts of Appeals; and at least seven years of experience practicing law. Active membership in the California State Bar is required within 12 months of appointment.

Desirable Qualifications

  • Experience personally arguing cases in the United States and/or California Supreme Courts; substantial experience handling significant matters in the federal and/or state supreme courts and in other appellate courts.
  • Demonstrated professional recognition for outstanding written and oral advocacy; and the ability to develop and enhance those skills in others, including through the editing of appellate briefs and other written work, guiding the work of other lawyers, and designing and implementing policies and procedures.
  • Experience representing government clients; experience representing private clients in regulatory or otherwise government-related matters; experience working as part of a large public or private legal office.
  • Experience with a variety of areas of the law of importance to state government parties, such as criminal law and habeas corpus, federal preemption, federal and state administrative law, complex statutory and regulatory systems, and common grounds for constitutional challenges to state laws; familiarity with state constitutional, statutory, and decisional law relevant to the work of the Attorney General and other state officers and agencies; practical familiarity with principles of constitutional and administrative law, rules of evidence, and the conduct of proceedings in trial and appellate courts in California and the United States and before administrative bodies; knowledge of the State’s criminal justice system.
  • Leadership ability, planning, and supervisory skills, including the ability to envision, lead, and manage change in a large organization.
  • Ability to foster communication among different organizational components and lead or coordinate the development of organizational positions on broadly significant or recurring legal issues; and ability to interact positively and effectively with a wide variety of colleagues and stakeholders, including other senior Department leaders, other Department employees in all functions and at all levels, senior lawyers in client agencies and the Governor’s office, and representatives of other States, the courts, and groups such as the National Association of Attorneys General or bar organizations.
  • Apply Now

    To apply, please submit a resume and a cover letter addressing your interest in and qualifications for the position to

    Office of the Attorney General
    Department of Justice
    1300 I Street, 17th Floor
    Sacramento, CA 95814
    Attn: Laura Stuber, Policy Director