Law Students

We believe Rutan offers excellent opportunities for successful law students and new lawyers with a strong desire for professional and personal achievement and a sincere interest in contributing to the continuing growth of one of California’s most interesting and successful law practices.
Administratively, Rutan’s attorneys are organized in seven Sections or departments:
  • Corporate and Tax
  • Employment
  • Government and Regulatory
  • Intellectual Property
  • Land Use and Entitlement 
  • Litigation and Trial
  • Real Estate
Attorneys within each Section specialize in one or more substantive areas of law that fall generally within that Section’s jurisdiction.

Many of the firm’s attorneys are also members of practice groups that may include attorneys from more than one Section. Areas of specialization within the firm include business and commercial litigation, public entity representation, creditors’ rights and bankruptcy, communications law, zoning and land use regulation, products liability, environmental law and toxic torts, real property finance, municipal finance, securities, mergers and acquisitions, eminent domain, redevelopment, and construction law, among others. This website includes more detailed descriptions of each of the firm’s five Sections and eight interdisciplinary practice groups and the individual resumes of our attorneys.

Client matters are typically staffed with a partner and one or more associates, based upon such criteria as the size and complexity of the matter, the expertise required to handle the matter in the most cost-effective manner, and attorney availability.  Associates are encouraged to assume significant responsibility for formulation and implementation of transaction and case strategy and management. Each associate customarily maintains significant responsibility for a wide variety of matters within his or her Section’s practice area.

Partners and senior associates are responsible for providing guidance, advice, and training to the associates working with them. This approach to case management and associate development necessarily involves significant contact between the associate and the firm’s clients, as well as contact with counsel for adverse and associated parties.

Associates also participate in firm management, including the firm’s Business Development Committee, Recruiting Committee, Associates Committee, Library/MCLE Committee, Technology Committee, and Pro Bono Committee.

We are headquartered in the Orange County city of Irvine, in the heart of Southern California’s Tech Coast. Our offices offer state-of-the-art workplace design and technology, and are just minutes from some of Southern California’s best beaches and shopping and a short drive from the desert resort communities and local mountains.  Our Palo Alto office is located at the hub of the Silicon Valley business community and the San Francisco office is located in the City’s Financial District. 

All offices are designed to provide a comfortable, congenial, and efficient working environment. Individual attorneys’ offices in the Orange County office are situated to preserve the close working relationships and camaraderie often associated only with small firms and to encourage interaction and sharing of knowledge and experience on an informal basis. Secretaries, paralegals, word processors, law librarians, and other support personnel are stationed in close proximity to attorneys’ offices to expedite our work. The firm maintains a state-of-the-art computer system, integrating the latest server and client platforms available today. An in-house Information Systems Department provides technical assistance and expertise for users at all levels of technical proficiency. The firm maintains a dedicated Training Facility and a full-time, in-house Application Training Specialist to provide ongoing training.  Laptops are available for traveling attorneys and are configured for free Internet access from virtually anywhere in the world. Remote access to the firm’s network is available to all attorneys “24/7”.

Rutan & Tucker is strongly committed to applying technology to the practice of law in ways that maximize efficiency. Various legal research services are available online which allow for effective comprehensive legal research. The applications used for document creation and management are consistently updated and are among the very latest, most efficient available. In addition, “back office” programs such as the firm’s accounting and firm-wide document management systems utilize the latest database technology. Our attorneys come from diverse educational and geographic backgrounds. We believe Rutan & Tucker offers excellent opportunities for successful law students and new lawyers with a strong desire for professional and personal achievement and a sincere interest in contributing to the continuing growth of one of California’s most interesting and successful law practices.

2017 Summer Associates

Pre-Bar Associate to begin September 2023

Position: Pre-Bar Associate to begin September 2023
Section: Government Law
Salary: Government Law Section-Specific Starting Salary: $165,000 (different and separate from other departments at Rutan & Tucker, LLP)
Billing Requirement: 2,000 hours (different and separate from other departments at Rutan & Tucker, LLP); 50 hours pro bono counted toward billables

Government/municipal law attorney sought by Rutan & Tucker, LLP, one of California’s largest full-service law firms with a long-standing and expanding government practice. Rutan’s Government Law section is dedicated to providing comprehensive advice and creative solutions to our clients. We are also committed to public service and ensuring we develop well-rounded attorneys. This means taking time for our families, ourselves, and our communities.

The successful applicant will work in a collaborative environment with our highly experienced team of government and municipal law attorneys, representing a diverse group of reputable and well-established public (and private) clients. Rutan attorneys support one another and partners and senior associates are available for guidance and mentoring. As such, we seek attorneys who thrive in a team-oriented atmosphere. This position will provide an excellent opportunity for responsibility, learning and career growth, including a realistic prospect of partnership, and consideration for flexible work location arrangements from within Southern California (i.e., working remotely). The ideal applicant will be an individual committed to public service and public entities.

Duties and Responsibilities:      

First-year associates receive assignments from all attorneys in the Government Law section covering a wide variety of topics related to, among other things, municipal law, land use, elections law, and constitutional law. Associates are responsible for legal research, tracking and interpreting new legislation, providing advice and counsel to clients, writing memoranda and litigation briefs, crafting policy documents drafting and reviewing contracts, and reviewing documents for discovery and public transparency matters. Associates have direct contact with clients early and often, handling matters as the client’s point of contact. As associates mature, the Government Law section strives to help the associate develop expertise in their preferred area(s) of practice.

Required Qualifications
Applicants must:

  • Intend to take the California Bar in July 2023.
  • Have an interest in public agency practice, municipal law, and/or land use.
  • Have a demonstrated commitment to government and/or public service.
  • Have strong analytical and reasoning skills and a strong work ethic.
  • Be a problem-solver, a creative thinker, and team player.
  • Have good organizational and logistical skills, especially with remote working conditions.

Preferred Qualifications
The following qualifications are desirable:

  • Experience in local government, legislative drafting, real estate, and other public agency-related matters are a plus.
  • Ability to deal directly with clients such as public officials, departmental personnel, and members of the public.
  • Strong oral communication skills.

Application: Applicants are required to submit their resume, law school transcript, and one writing sample in which they are the primary author.

Deadline: Open until filled.

Contact: If you have the necessary qualifications and the desire to advance your career in an exciting and sophisticated legal practice, please contact Jena Cree (jcree@rutan.com), Recruiting Manager with the e-mail subject title: 1st Year Government Law Associate Position.

Location: Irvine, California; remote optional

Rutan & Tucker, LLP is an equal opportunity employer.

Recruiting Information

Our 2023 Summer Associate position has been filled.  Please check back in the spring of 2023 for information on our 2024 Summer Associate position. 

Rutan & Tucker, LLP will be participating in OCI interviews/resume collects at the below law schools in 2023:

  • ASU
  • Berkeley
  • Chapman
  • The University of Chicago Law School
  • Columbia
  • UC Davis
  • Duke
  • Georgetown
  • Harvard
  • Loyola
  • Northwestern
  • Stanford
  • Texas
  • UCI
  • UCLA
  • USC
  • Washington, St. Louis

The firm is pleased to announce its 2023 New Associate Class:

Isaac Abginesaz, Chapman University, Fowler School of Law
Liam Healy, Washington University, St. Louis School of Law
Cameron Patel, Columbia School of Law
Erika Paulan, Berkeley School of Law
Gabby Wong, Chapman University, Fowler School of Law

If you have any questions, Jena Cree (Recruiting Manager) may be contacted at jcree@rutan.com.

Associate Mentoring Program

Associates represent the future of our firm. Therefore, developing associates is critical to the long-term success of Rutan & Tucker. The purpose of the firm’s mentoring program is to assist associates in transitioning into the firm and developing skills that will assist them to be successful partners with Rutan & Tucker.

New associates (both from law school and laterals) will be assigned a peer mentor. This assignment will formally remain in place for two years with the expectation that an informal relationship would continue indefinitely. All associates will also be assigned a partner mentor. Both the peer mentor and the partner mentor will be identified from a pool of people who have volunteered to serve as a mentor. A peer mentor should be at least a third year associate who has been with the firm for at least two years. The role of a peer mentor is to provide new associates with someone near their experience level to whom the new associate will be comfortable bringing questions or issues. Those responsibilities will include setting goals for the relationship; establishing time commitments and logistics related to the relationship; providing practical information about day-to-day life as an attorney at Rutan &Tucker. The peer mentor will also act as a resource to answer questions regarding the firm and work assignments and will discuss the traditions and culture that make Rutan & Tucker special.

The role of the partner mentor is to provide an associate with someone who is more experienced in the practice of law and with the firm who can provide insight, context and perspective regarding an associate’s legal career. The primary role of the partner mentor is to help the associate understand the bigger picture and clearly understand his or her path to partnership and success in the legal profession. The partner mentor is also to guide the associate on effective techniques for beginning a plan for developing business through the use of building networks and becoming involved in the community.

The program also has a Mentor Program Champion who is a senior partner and is respected throughout the firm and recognized as an excellent mentor of associates. The Mentor Program Champion is responsible for developing a process for pairing mentors with associates, developing any training for mentors, tracking success of the mentor program and recognizing and rewarding successful mentors.

At Rutan, our commitment to diversity is inseparable from our commitment to excellence.

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