Civil Externships

The City Attorney’s Office (CAO) is committed to making Seattle an empowered and thriving community for all. We believe working innovatively and collaboratively with community partners is necessary to promote equity and accountability. Every City employee and volunteer must play a role in ending institutional racism.

The Civil Division provides legal counsel and representation to the City’s elected and appointed officials, and departments, and consists of eight sections specializing in an area of practice. To learn more about our practice areas of practice, please visit the Civil Division. Seven sections participate in our externship program.

When is the earliest opportunity in each section?

  • Civil Enforcement - Summer/Fall 2024
  • Complex and Constitutional Litigation - Summer/Fall 2024
  • Contracts & Utilities - Winter/Spring 2025
  • Employment - Summer/Fall 2024
  • Government Affairs - Summer/Fall 2024
  • Land Use - Summer 2025
  • Torts - Summer 2025

Our Civil Enforcement, Complex and Constitutional Litigation, Contracts and UtilitiesEmployment, Government Affairs, Land Use, and Torts sections continuously recruit student externs. Click on the section of interest to learn more about a specific externship. For updated information on available upcoming opportunities, contact

What are the requirements for a student externship in the Civil Division?

  • Completion of at least one year of law school by the time your externship starts.
  • Availability during regular business hours to volunteer in our downtown Seattle office. Externs may also explore a hybrid schedule in consultation with their supervisor.
  • Commitment to at least 14-20 hours per week (depending on the section) during one full school quarter or semester. Full-time externships are available, and immersion provides the greatest opportunity for learning. Though positions are unpaid and ineligible for employee benefits, externs may earn credit to the extent allowed by the student’s law school.
  • Excellent writing and legal research skills.

How do I apply?

Our goal is to provide law school students with the opportunity to experience the practice of law in a local government setting. The CAO values diverse perspectives and life experiences, and all qualified applicants are considered. We encourage people of all backgrounds to apply and are particularly interested in candidates traditionally underrepresented in the legal profession.

  1. Complete a Volunteer Application.
  2. Collect additional materials:
    • Letter of interest, including experience in diversity, equity, and inclusion;
    • Resume emphasizing relevant coursework in the section(s) of interest;
    • Professional references;
    • Writing sample; and
    • Law school transcript.
  3. Email, fax, or mail the completed application with additional materials to:

    Seattle City Attorney's Office
    Attn: Belen Johnson
    701 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2050 
    Seattle, WA 98104-7097
    Fax: (206) 684-8284

City Attorney

Ann Davison, City Attorney
Address: 701 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2050 , Seattle , WA , 98104-7095
Mailing Address: 701 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2050 , Seattle , WA , 98104-7095
Phone: (206) 684-8200
Contact City Attorney

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The City Attorney heads the Law Department and is responsible for supervising all City litigation. In addition, the City Attorney supervises a staff of Assistant City Attorneys who provide legal advice and assistance to the City's management and prosecute violations of City ordinances.