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Staff Attorney's Office

A Message from the Chief Judge


The lawyers in the Staff Attorney's Office of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals provide objective legal advice to the judges of the court on all immigration cases, substantive motions (both pro se and counseled), and pro se appeals. These matters compose nearly one third of the court's docket, and are consequential to litigants, their families and the development of the law. In a given case, the assigned staff attorney drafts a single, neutral bench memo for all three members of the panel. Their work product thus ensures that the judges are, quite literally, on the same page.


By long tradition, the Second Circuit has hired recent law graduates to serve in the Staff Attorney's Office. Modeled on a clerkship, the post gives junior lawyers the unparalleled opportunity to write for all 22 judges of the court. Like our chambers law clerks, our staff attorneys handle a wide range of civil, criminal and agency cases, but they may also become experts in federal appellate procedure, habeas corpus, immigration or civil rights law. Many lawyers leave the Staff Attorney's Office for traditional clerkships; others go on to illustrious careers in government and private practice.


The judges of the Second Circuit appreciate the diligence and expertise of our staff attorneys, whose professional work is essential to the adjudicatory process of the court.


Hon. Debra Ann Livingston, Chief Judge


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