Skip to Main Content
Capital Fellows Judicial Fellowship Program logo

Capital Fellows Judicial Fellowship Program

About Capital Fellows Judicial Fellowship Program

The Capital Fellows Programs are public policy fellowships in California state government, administered by the Center for California Studies at California State University, Sacramento.

Judicial Fellowship Program

Since 1997, Judicial Fellows have worked in courts across California, gaining direct experience in a complex and changing court environment. Courts do more than adjudicate. Court employees accept filings, ready cases for the courtroom, create and maintain information systems, run self-help programs, oversee jury operations, manage multi-million dollar budgets and perform myriad other tasks. The special challenge of court administration is to manage these tasks in ways that preserve judicial independence and ensure the efficient and fair administration of the law.

The Judicial Fellowship is a 10-month graduate level fellowship that places fellows in the largest single court system in the world; educates in the multidisciplinary field of court administration; inspires ethical leadership and public stewardship; builds professional relationships; and provides mentorship by seasoned court executives and judicial officers.

Office Placement

Full-time professional staff placements include California trial and appellate courts throughout the state and the Administrative Office of the Courts. A key component to the program is the strength of the mentorship opportunities that exist for fellows in each of the placements.

Graduate Students

The fellowship program is both academic and professional. Upon acceptance into the program, fellows are enrolled as graduate students in Public Policy and Administration at Sacramento State, and attend regularly scheduled academic seminars. Upon successful completion of the fellowship, Judicial Fellows earn 6 graduate units and receive a Graduate Certificate in Applied Policy and Government.


Fellows receive a monthly stipend of $2698/month; medical, dental and vision benefits; and student loan deferments.


The only prerequisite for the programs is a bachelor’s degree in any major and a demonstrated interest in state government and public service. Applicants must be at least 20 years of age or older by September 1 of the fellowship year and all qualified applicants are welcome to apply. Fellows come from all economic, cultural, career and educational backgrounds, and no previous legislative or political experience is required. Applicants from outside of California are welcome to apply. Fellows are not required to be U.S. citizens, but they must provide proof of appropriate immigration status. The Capital Fellows Programs do not meet the requirements for F-1 or J-1 visas.

Members of the selection committee look for a commitment to public service; effective communication and analytical skills; demonstrated interest in justice and administration; professionalism and integrity; ability to maintain confidentiality; an independent, entrepreneurial spirit; willingness to step out of their comfort zone; and an interest and curiosity about broad policy issues.

Capital Fellows Judicial Fellowship Program

Megan Thorall, Director
Center for California Studies, Sacramento State
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819-6081
Phone: 916-278-6906


Number of Interns: 10 to 20
Compensation/Benefits: Academic Credit, Stipend
Duration: 6 to 12 months
Academic Level: Recent College Graduates, Graduate Students, Business School Students, Law School Students


Los Angeles, CA
Oakland, CA
Sacramento, CA