Closing Date: 5th April, 2023


DSHS Claims Officer (Attorney)
The Virtual Legal Office (VLO) of the Division of Child Support (DCS) is seeking attorneys to join our team of Claims Officers (CLO) and other hard working and collaborative professionals. We are a virtual office because we have attorneys and staff working in various locations around the State and deal with parties and cases statewide.

Multiple openings are currently available. Official duty stations will be held in one of our DCS Field Offices in Spokane, Vancouver, Yakima, Wenatchee, Kennewick, Everett, Tacoma, or Olympia. However, the positions include the added flexibility of possible telework from home. Initial training of the successful candidates will be mostly completed via virtual training in a group environment. Committed/energetic attorneys with current admission to practice law in the State of Washington are encouraged to apply. No experience is needed.

What we're looking for:
  • A strong commitment to public service
  • Effective communication skills, particularly using telephonic or electronic methods
  • Attorneys who like to talk on the phone as DCS hearings are conducted by telephone
  • Sensitivity and cultural knowledge to work well with diverse populations
  • Competence to examine and analyze information to determine responsibility for support or debts
  • Proficiency in conducting legal research
  • Independent judgment to evaluate available judicial and administrative remedies to advise their use in specific support enforcement cases
  • Desire to work well with a legal team located throughout the State, sharing ideas and working collaboratively
  • Excellent time and case management skills

Advantages of working for the VLO include:
  • Potential opportunities for flexible work scheduling and teleworking
  • An informal work environment and relaxed dress code.
  • Collaboration and problem solving with peers within teams and statewide.
  • Annual statewide educational seminars providing CLE credit
  • Encouragement to join in statewide strategic workgroups and policy initiatives
  • Career advancement opportunities within DCS statewide

Some of what you'll do:
  • Represent the Department's interests in adjudicative and other legal proceedings which may include Tribal court duties. Use independent judgment to provide equitable relief, including charge-off of child support debts owed to the State of Washington
  • Negotiate with private attorneys, other representatives, or the parties directly prior to adjudicative proceedings with authority to settle the matter
  • Appear as the DCS representative/witness before an Administrative Law Judge; testify as a witness to the content of DCS's records, make opening statements, examine witnesses, make objections, present closing arguments, and seek correction or reconsideration of the decisions by the judge as needed
  • Draft and prepare legal documents
  • Provide legal advice and recommend procedures to support enforcement officers according to Federal and State statutory, administrative, and judicial laws regarding administration of support enforcement program
  • Maintain and conduct ongoing reviews of case law, statutes and regulations governing establishment and collection of child support or debts due the State
  • Maintain electronic government records providing an informative and contemporaneous record of all actions taken on a child support case
  • Safeguard sensitive, confidential and protected information

Who should apply?
Professionals with current admission to practice law in the State of Washington (someone who is qualified to practice law in the State of Washington).

This job may be filled at the Claims Officer 1 level in-training. Generally, candidates with no prior state service will be hired in at the first step of the salary schedule.

To apply:
In addition to completing an application and the supplemental questions, please attach the following:
  • A cover letter addressing the following:
    • Describe what skills and experience you have that will prepare you to work in the field of child support.
    • Explain why you want to be a Claims Officer/Attorney and which of the field office locations you would prefer to work in.
  • A current resume
  • Three professional references

Our Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) mission to Transform Lives requires that we come together with a sense of belonging, common purpose, shared values and meaningful work. It is crucial to our agency’s mission that you bring an equity, anti-racism and social justice commitment to your work with DSHS. We strive to create greater access and affirming representation of the communities we serve, including Black, Indigenous and People of Color, people with physical, behavioral health, and intellectual disabilities, elders, LGBTQIA+ individuals, immigrants and refugees, and families building financial security.

Questions? Please contact Grant Grady at and reference project number 01764

Employees of the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. Any offer of employment is contingent upon verification of your vaccine status. Please note medical or religious accommodation may be available once an offer of employment is made.

Supplemental Information
Prior to a new hire, a background check including criminal record history may be conducted. Information from the background check will not necessarily preclude employment but will be considered in determining the applicant's suitability and competence to perform in the job. This announcement may be used to fill multiple vacancies. Employees driving on state business must have a valid driver's license. Employees driving a privately owned vehicle on state business must have liability insurance on the privately owned vehicle.

Washington State Department of Social and Health Services is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in any area of employment, its programs or services on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, marital status, race, creed, color, national origin, religion or beliefs, political affiliation, military status, honorably discharged veteran, Vietnam Era, recently separated or other protect­ed veteran status, the presence of any sensory, mental, physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability, equal pay or genetic information. Persons requiring accommodation in the application process or this job announcement in an alternative format may contact the Recruiter at (360) 725-5810. Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call through Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6384.

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