Attorneys in the Office of Legislative Counsel practice law in a collegial, intellectually challenging environment that permits them to make important contributions to the legislative process. Their expertise as legislative lawyers directly contributes to the quality of state laws affecting more than 39 million Californians.
OLC Lawyers Provide Legal Services to Members of the California Legislature on a Confidential, Nonpartisan BasisServices include:
- Drafting legislation
- Preparing analyses of legislation
- Providing advice on matters of California or federal law, including constitutional, novel, and complex issues, informally or through formal oral and written legal opinions
- Providing legal representation and preparing contracts
- Attending legislative committee hearings
- Consulting with legislators and their authorized representatives
Other Highly-Skilled Professionals Support Our Legislative LawyersDelivering additional services, such as:
- Intake of legislative requests by paralegals
- Preparation of comprehensive indices and digests of legislation and statutes
- Writing commendatory resolutions
- Responding to law library reference requests
Career Track for Legislative Lawyers
The typical career track for Legislative Lawyers is as follows:
- Graduate Legal Assistant (GLA): Entry level law graduate waiting for State Bar results
- Deputy Legislative Counsel: State Bar membership level
- Deputy Legislative Counsel III
- Deputy Legislative Counsel IV
Classifications and compensation levels are based on the number of years of practice of law after admission to the Bar. Promotion up through the Deputy Legislative Counsel III level may occur through an examination process after not less than six years of practice of law. A senior attorney may apply for promotion to the Deputy Legislative Counsel IV position, or to a Principal Deputy position as a legal supervisor or manager.
Work Environment and Culture
Attorneys at the Office of Legislative Counsel draft legislative proposals, and provide legal guidance to legislators, on novel and complex legal matters, with respect to every subject area of California law, including the issues that are currently of greatest public concern.
OLC legislative lawyers put more than a century of agency experience to work for their clients. Every attorney is part of a team with in-depth subject matter knowledge, providing context and continuity for policy initiatives across the spectrum.
The Office of Legislative Counsel has an attorney-client relationship with each Member of the Legislature and their staff, as well as with the Governor. The work of the office is nonpartisan.
What We Do
Within the office’s Legal Division, approximately 80 attorneys draft legislation and provide legal guidance to Members of the California Legislature. Attorneys also assist the Governor and other state officers by providing legal services relating to the legislative process.
Our attorneys prepare the drafts of virtually every legislative proposal that is considered by the Legislature, including bills, constitutional amendments, resolutions, and amendments to those measures. The drafting of legislation involves legal research, constitutional analysis, and knowledge of the statutory context within which the legislation is to operate.
Operating as an independent unit within the OLC, the Workplace Conduct Unit (WCU) investigates reports of inappropriate workplace conduct by legislative employees, legislative Members, or third parties based on a person’s protected class. The WCU staff includes attorney investigators, paralegals, and other professionals.
Interested in starting an exciting new career with Office of Legislative Counsel?