Closing Date: 29th July, 2024


The Position:
We are seeking a creative, dynamic, personable, energetic, and experienced public defense attorney to serve as our Eastern Washington Managing Attorney for the Recruitment & Retention Team. You will work collaboratively with other members of the Recruitment & Retention Team (the Western Washington Managing Attorney, a Program Analyst, your Supervisor, and other OPD staff) to design and launch a program aimed at improving public defense in Washington State by attracting and retaining excellent professionals to serve as public defenders and enabling them to create long-term careers in public defense. You will work with outside partners from the broader public defense and education communities, to draw law school grads and practicing attorneys into public defense. Additionally, in collaboration with your team members, the Eastern WA Managing Attorney will design, implement, and manage a multi-county internship program which will help place Rule 9 interns into remote and underserved jurisdictions and provide funding for compensation and housing stipends as well as some reimbursement for mentor attorneys. Specific tasks will include:
  • Actively engage with city and county public defense administrators in Eastern Washington to track their contracting and staff recruitment needs.
  • Create a Rule 9 internship program by collaborating with city and county public defense administrators and local leaders in public defense. Administer funding to support the program.
  • Promote public defense as a profession at law schools, universities, and high schools located in Eastern Washington. Work collaboratively with students and faculty to foster interest public defense as a profession particularly among communities underrepresented in the legal field.
  • Connect interested students and attorneys to public defense job and internship opportunities throughout the state on an ongoing basis.
  • Research and provide technical assistance on loan repayment assistance and loan forgiveness programs for public defense.
  • Develop resources to encourage nontraditional attorneys and law students to engage in public defense work.
  • Identify and build on factors that attract law students and practicing attorneys to public defense; identify and guard against factors that cause attorneys to leave the field.

Minimum Qualifications:
  • A member in good standing of the Washington State Bar Association.
  • At least five years' experience as a public defense attorney, whether as an employee of a public defense agency, or a private contractor.
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills, including ease with networking, making public presentations, and engaging in active listening.
  • A demonstrated commitment to social and racial justice issues, and a fundamental understanding of the historical context underlying current challenges in the judicial system faced by communities of color, people with disabilities, immigrant communities, and individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+.
  • A demonstrated ability to discuss issues and topics of racism, anti-Black racism, social justice, disability justice, and other areas of oppression.
  • Willingness and ability to travel as part of job duties.
  • Have the ability to prioritize tasks, and to function independently as well as part of a team in a collaborative environment.
  • Proficient with computer use and have the ability to become proficient in the use of specialized case management tools.
  • Attention to detail and excellent writing and proofreading skills.
  • Experience in working with people from different racial and ethnic groups and marginalized communities.
  • Your home office is located Eastern Washington.

Desired Qualifications:
  • Demonstrated experience working with law school, university, or high school students, or regular communication with young adults.
  • Experience providing public defense services (as an attorney or as an intern or support staff) in more than one jurisdiction.
  • Felony-level attorney trial experience.
  • Experience hiring, supervising and/or mentoring misdemeanor-level attorneys.

General Responsibilities:
  • Exercise mature judgment in potentially sensitive, high-stress situations.
  • Participate in and foster a collaborative working environment at OPD, statewide stakeholder groups, and in demographically diverse local court systems.
  • Diligently follow attorney and state employee ethics requirements.
  • Conduct all activities with the highest degree of professionalism in furtherance of OPD's Mission, Vision and Values.

Regular travel is required in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, including occasional overnight travel. While you will have the flexibility over setting your travel schedule, you will prioritize visiting Eastern Washington and Idaho schools, and Eastern Washington public defense work locations in-person to develop stronger connections. Travel expenses are reimbursed in accordance with state policies.