Summary of Duties:
This employment opportunity will remain open until filled. The Thurston County Public Defense Department reserves the right to close this recruitment at any time.

Thurston County Public Defense Mission:
"To Defend and Protect Our Clients' Constitutional Rights, One Person at a Time"

Thurston County Public Defense is currently recruiting for three (3) Defense Attorneys. Depending upon qualifications, the successful applicants will be placed either at a Defense Attorney I, Defense Attorney II or Defense Attorney III level. Immediate placement for these positions will be in our Superior Court Unit for felony representation. The Defense Attorney classifications are distinguished by years of experience and the responsibility to handle both adult and juvenile felony and misdemeanor caseloads.

Responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Manages a full felony, misdemeanor, and gross misdemeanor caseload (depending on unit assignment).
  • Reviews police reports, interviews witnesses, works with the court and Prosecutor to resolve cases. Appropriately utilizes non-attorney professional services.
  • Reviews reports from DSHS, interviews appropriate parties, works with the attorney generals office, case workers, social workers, experts, court personnel to resolve cases.
  • Performs a variety of legal office work, prepares appropriate legal pleadings, does necessary research, maintains required statistical information.
  • Prepares cases for trial, pre-trial and post-trial hearings and/or please bargains the cases with the Deputy Prosecuting Attorney.
  • Assists other attorneys in matters of trial strategy, tactics and legal research and analysis.
  • Handles miscellaneous calendar duties such as arraignment calendars, initial appearance calendars and interpreter calendars.

What We Offer Our Employees:
  • Work-Life Balance: We are committed to ensure that our staff experience the reward of public service, while also sustaining a routine that suits each individuals' lifestyle.
  • Plan For Your Future: As a member of our team, you will enjoy great employee benefits, including a retirement plan, pre-tax savings accounts, as well as comprehensive health care and dental/vision care for you and your family. Please visit Benefits 2023 Thurston County Employee Benefit Plans website for more information.
  • Paid Leave: Full-time regular employees earn a minimum of 12 paid vacation days per year in addition to 11 paid holidays.
  • Robust Training Program: Employees are encouraged to attend County paid training to help them further their career, learn new skill sets, and stay on top of emerging trends in our industry. We also encourage our staff to participate in professional organizations and attend conferences.
  • Flexible Work Schedules: Some of the options that employees may take advantage of include alternative or compressed schedules and/or remote working.
  • Deferred Compensation: The County offers 3 voluntary deferred compensation plans for employees who would like to set aside additional deferred tax dollars into a retirement savings plan.
  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA): Employees can take advantage of Section 125 flexible spending accounts for out-of-pocket health care and daycare expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness: This is a federal program which allows full-time public service employees who have made 120 qualifying payments for certain loans, to get their student loans repaid. Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Why You'll Love It Here:
Thurston County is located between Seattle and Portland in Western Washington's South Puget Sound Region. Perched in between the mountains and the ocean, the area boasts the perfect blend of year-round outdoor activities including boating, hiking, skiing, and more. The region is also home to the state capitol city of Olympia, known for its many restaurants, microbreweries, coffee shops, farmer's markets, kids' activities, history, and art events. Discover more about life in Thurston County at

  • Graduation from an ABA accredited school of law and must be a member of the Washington State Bar Association
  • Knowledge of all criminal rules of Washington State, techniques of interviewing and preparation and defense of all variety of criminal cases, with emphasis on felonies.
  • Knowledge of RCW 13.34, good communication with parents, legal custodians and guardians.
  • Ability to perform legal research; analyze and apply legal principles, facts, evidence, and precedents to legal problems.
  • Present law, facts, evidence and arguments clearly and logically in written and oral form.
  • Work harmoniously and maintain good public relations.


Defense Attorney II- Two years of practice as an attorney with criminal trial experience or its equivalent.
Defense Attorney III - Ten years of practice as an attorney with a minimum of three years trial experience in the trial of criminal cases.

Other Position Related Information
Questions about this position?

For more information about this position, please contact Mia Pagnotta, (360) 786-5868.

This Position Is:
  • NOT represented by a Union
  • NOT eligible for overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  • Eligible for benefits

Items Required for Consideration:
  • Application
  • Letter of Interest
  • Resume
  • Supplemental Questionnaire (Question 1 and 2)
  • Applicant Disclosure Form (Pursuant to RCW Section 43.43.830) (Questions 4-8)