King County Department of Public Defense (DPD) seeks skilled, committed, creative advocates who will fight for clients while working to dismantle a harmful and racially disproportionate system.DPD seeks attorneys who want to be a part of the fight on behalf of our clients. Our attorneys work in teams that include skilled investigators, mitigation specialists, paralegals, and other support staff to provide client-centered representation. DPD encourages trial with the support and assistance of experienced supervisors. DPD attorneys employ robustly funded expert services/witnesses, in keeping with state court rules. Our training program provides frequent in-house trainings and opportunities to participate in the best national trainings. Attorneys enjoy flexible work schedules and may telecommute when they do not have court or client-related obligations. Successful candidates will be dedicated, hard-working advocates, with excellent trial, research, and writing skills. Candidates must be dedicated to serving the racially and socioeconomically marginalized and contributing to an anti-oppressive workplace environment.DPD intends to fill multiple Career Service and/or Term-Limited Temporary (TLT) roles and to generate an eligibility pool for future vacancies in career service and temporary positions over the next six months.ABOUT THE DEPARTMENTDPD provides vigorous legal representation to indigent clients in felonies, misdemeanors, juvenile defense, family defense (dependency cases), involuntary commitment (mental illness), sex offender commitment, and inquests. We work with the community to dismantle the systems that oppress our clients, to make the traditional systems that remain as restorative as possible, and to advocate for pathways that will allow our clients to succeed. We also advocate to reduce the harm and reach of the criminal legal system, of civil legal systems that restrict our clients’ liberty and to address systemic racism. We strive to create a flexible workplace culture that is inclusive, respectful, and supportive, premised on a shared anti-oppression framework. To learn more about DPD, visit our website at: https://kingcounty.gov/depts/public-defense.aspx SCOPE OF JOB DUTIES: To be considered minimally qualified for this position, you must demonstrate knowledge, skill, and ability to perform the following:
Depending upon assignment, detailed specifics of job duties are assigned by practice area and agency. WE ARE LOOKING FOR CANDIDATES WHO:
- Provide competent legal representation to and advocacy for indigent clients including with individuals who lack English proficiency.
- Handle all aspects of representation, from arraignment through trial; conduct plea and other negotiations and mitigation; sentencing, and post-trial.
- Engage in motions practice involving research, writing, and arguing pretrial motions. including working with and preparing experts in various fields.
- Work with a diverse client base who may be experiencing traumatic mental illness, drug addiction, or other societally issues.
- Develop and implement legal strategy and to properly assess and address client needs which may include partnering with investigators, mitigation specialists, and paralegals.
In addition, it is highly desirable if you:
- Can provide client-driven representation that includes frequent and detailed communication with the client, choosing the most effective medium for the client.
- Champions Equity & Social Justice; understand pervasive, systematic racism and its long-term effects; feels comfortable engaging in candid and sincere conversations with all interested parties about race and equity in our work.
- Possesses excellent communication skills. Can effectively communicate to all interested parties their analysis either spoken or in writing.
- Can manage a high caseload in a fast-paced environment.
- Feels comfortable working with diverse clients (race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion, and national origin).
WORK SCHEDULEDPD employees enjoy a flexible, hybrid in-office/telecommute workplace structure, and attorneys should expect to work both in the office and remotely, while being required to report to other locations, such as court, jail facilities, and hospitals/treatment centers throughout the county.DPD prioritizes frequent and robust client contact and in-person court presence. DPD maintains physical offices in Downtown Seattle, First Hill and in Kent.Rotation of staff practice area and/or work location occurs based on business need.The normal work schedule is Monday through Friday, with some night and weekend work.WHY KING COUNTY?At King County, our work is guided by our True North and values. Our True North is what we aspire to: Making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive. King County offers great benefits, to include a pension plan, holidays, transit pass, plus training and education opportunities to promote growth and development. Our focus is to provide our employees with work life balance
- Have proficiency in languages other than English, particularly Spanish.
- Possess clinical training in public defense.
- Have lived experience involving the criminal legal system shared by DPD’s clients.
ARE YOU READY TO APPLY?This opportunity to join an amazing public defense organization is open to all applicants. DPD ethical walls policies and procedures will apply to applicants.The following items are required to process your application:
- 100% premium paid healthcare plans
- Paid new admittee and annual renewal fees for Washington State Bar Association
- Paid Orca Card allowing multiple transportation options to/from the office
- On-Site exercise facilities and bike storage
- Paid vacation time (in addition to paid holidays)
- Twelve paid holidays and Two Additional personal holidays
- Paid sick leave
- Paid parental leave
- Deferred compensation plan
- Employer Contributions to state pension plan
- Awesome Employee Giving Program
Positions in this classification are recognized by Service Employees International Union, Local 925.For more information, or if you have questions about this position or process, please contact: Falisha Forgash at email@example.comSUPPLMENTAL INFORMATION To accept this role, you must:
- King County application. www.kingcounty.gov/jobs or click apply.
- Cover letter addressing the following topic: What does being a public defender means to you. How does your experience and background assist you in achieving results for your clients.
- Legal writing sample, such as a brief, motion, letter on behalf of a client, etc.
DPD Policies DPD Ethical Walls Policies and Procedures will apply to applicants, such that if you work or have worked for one of DPD's divisions, you may be ineligible to work in another division. Outside Work Policy for Attorneys will apply to applicants, such that you must receive approval from your supervisor and Managing Attorney before being permitted to engage in outside employment for compensation or volunteer.Forbes recently named King County as one of Washington State's best employers.Together, with leadership and our employees, we're changing the way government delivers service and winning national recognition as a model of excellence. Are you ready to make a difference? Come join the team dedicated to serving one of the nation's best places to live, work and play.Guided by our "True North", we are making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive. We value diversity, inclusion and belonging in our workplace and workforce. To reach this goal we are committed to workforce equity. Equitable recruiting, support, and retention is how we will obtain the highest quality workforce in our region; a workforce that shares and will help advance our guiding principles--we are one team; we solve problems; we focus on the customer; we drive for results; we are racially just; we respect all people; we lead the way; and we are responsible stewards. We encourage people of all backgrounds and identities to apply, including Native American and people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ+, people living with disabilities, and veterans.COVID-19 Vaccination RequirementKing County Executive Branch employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are the successful candidate for the position you applied for, the County will send you a conditional offer letter.As a condition of employment, prior to a final offer of employment, you will be required to:
- Possess a J.D. from an accredited law school. (Current law students must apply through a separate posting designated for those who intend to take the bar. This posting will be available in August 2023).
- Be admitted to Washington State Bar Association or licensing in other states qualifying for a license under Rule 8.
- Be at least 21 years old to enter facilities where our clients are being held at time of hire.
- Handle on-call 24-hour coverage – which, per attorney, currently occurs approximately one week a year – or two Saturday calendars.
- Maintain a valid Washington State driver license or the ability to travel throughout King County in a timely manner.
People are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after receiving the final dose of a vaccination approved by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).The Executive Branch includes employees in the Executive branch, the Assessor's Office, Elections, the King County Sheriff's Office, and the Executive Office.King County is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) EmployerNo person is unlawfully excluded from employment opportunities based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy), age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or other protected class. Our EEO policy applies to all employment actions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, selection for training, promotion, transfer, demotion, layoff, termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation.To ApplyIf you are interested in pursuing this position, please follow the application instructions carefully. If you need this announcement in an alternate language or format, would like to request accommodation or assistance in the application or assessment process or if you have questions please contact the recruiter listed on this job announcement.
- submit proof of vaccination, or
- have an approved request for medical or religious exemption and an approved accommodation. Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to vaccination will not be considered for an exemption or accommodation.