I wanted to pass along an unusual set of job opportunities for readers in the Houston area who are interested in making a transition to appellate law — including new graduates who have just taken the bar exam.

The First Court of Appeals has three job postings up:

  • A law clerk position, open to new graduates and others. (( Update: This job listing says that a Texas license is required for this law clerk position, but I’ve been told that it is open to new graduates. I would not worry about that language. I suspect the court just recycled that part of the listing they normally use for staff attorneys. The application packet for 2011-2012 law clerks makes clear that “A license to practice is not a requirement, although applicants are encouraged to take the Texas Bar.” (PDF). There’s no reason this law clerk position should be any different. )) (PDF) The listing says “Ideally, the applicant will be available to begin training with other Law Clerks on August 31, 2010.” So if you’re a new graduate and the kind of person who reads this blog, you might want to send them a resume. Now.

  • A staff attorney position for an attorney with some experience (PDF). The term “staff attorney” is the Texas terminology for a more permanent, more senior law clerk. (( Much as Texas eventually changed the term “briefing attorney” to “law clerk,” they probably should change staff attorney to something more befitting the position. ))

  • A central staff attorney position, which would involve tasks for the Court as a whole more than any particular Justice (PDF).

I’ve written before about the benefits of a clerkship to start your legal career. And I have met quite a few attorneys that used used a well-timed stint as a staff attorney to shift the focus of their career toward appellate law.

I hope that three of my readers are about to do the same.

After I heard about these openings, I looked through the other court of appeals websites for similar postings. All I saw was a staff attorney position open in the Waco Court (PDF).