Closing Date: 6th May, 2024


Land Use Attorney
Land Use Section, Civil Division
The Civil Division of the A Government Entity is in search of a collaborative and equity and social justice minded attorney to join our team in the Land Use Section. The Land Use Section provides legal representation to A Government Entity clients on a range of land use and environmental issues. Regular section clients include the Department of Local Services – Permitting Division, A Government Entity Executive's Office, the King County Council, and various other County agencies. The section advises on policy and code development, project review, and regulatory enforcement. Contemporary policy issues include climate change, urban development, transportation, and environmental protection. Attorneys in the section also represent the County in litigation in all levels of state and federal court and before various administrative agencies. While the section works together as a team, the successful candidate will focus on regulatory enforcement.

The Civil Division provides comprehensive legal services to A Government Entity government, including all County elected and appointed officials, department heads, and agency staff. Serving in its role as the in-house law firm for the County, the Civil Division works closely with its clients in solving a wide range of legal problems by providing legal advice and representing A Government Entity and its employees in lawsuits filed in state or federal courts. The Civil Division is comprised of about 65 lawyers organized into seven practice sections.

The Civil Division is currently working in a hybrid model of telecommuting and working from the office when business needs accommodate teleworking. The position will also require site visits and client meetings throughout unincorporated A Government Entity. A County-issued laptop will be provided, and telecommuting employees must maintain a workspace with an internet connection where they can reliably perform work and remain available and responsive during scheduled work hours.

We value diversity and strive to hire a workforce that reflects the community that we serve. It is essential to our mission that we create and maintain an office that is diverse and inclusive. All PAO employees are expected to participate in PAO equity work and attend equity trainings and discussions. PAO employees are expected to comply with equity and social justice principles and to work with PAO colleagues and management to identify opportunities for improvement.

Job Duties:
This position focuses on regulatory enforcement. The County Executive and Council place a high priority on obtaining compliance with environmental and land use regulations such as the zoning code, the building code, the critical areas code, and the clearing and grading code. Matters may also involve interaction with a wide variety of state and federal regulations, such as the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Shoreline Management Act, the State Environmental Policy Act, and the Growth Management Act. The increased emphasis and visibility on obtaining code compliance has led to an increased number of referrals to our office.

The county's primary goal is to remedy environmental and community consequences of code violations through a process that is fair to all involved parties. This position will include a significant focus on negotiations with code violators and require the ability to work closely with client representatives in creative problem solving.

When negotiations are unsuccessful, the attorney in this position litigates civil code compliance matters in superior court and Washington appellate courts. We also represent the county in administrative hearings and other federal and state court litigation. Matters potentially involve navigating a wide variety of subjects including bankruptcy, trusts and estates, and tort-related issues. The attorney in this position also advises the Permitting Division on a range of related legal issues.

Although there is no particular substantive-experience requirement for this position, candidates must have experience, or a demonstrated interest, in land use, environmental or municipal law. Candidates should demonstrate an aptitude for being strategic in crafting solutions to ambiguous situations. We are seeking candidates who are self-motivated to achieve results and who have a strong potential for long-term growth.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills:
Rather than focusing on specific substantive experience, we are seeking applicants with:
  • Strong potential for professional development.
  • Commitment to demonstrating respect and establishing rapport with a wide variety of individuals of different professional backgrounds.
  • Demonstrated commitment to equity, racial and social justice in daily decision-making.
  • Litigation related skills to include strong writing and research, oral advocacy, and adaptability

Special Requirements:
  • Member in good standing with the Washington State Bar.
  • Must submit to a criminal history check.
  • U.S. Citizenship (per RCW 36.27 and 29A.04 and Article VI of the WA Constitution).