Closing Date: 19th January, 2024
The Office of Corporation Counsel (OCC) provides legal services to the City and County through its three main divisions. First, OCC represents the City, County agencies, and City-County employees in litigation, handling a diverse docket that ranges from tort and contract matters to constitutional law. Second, through its counseling division, OCC provides legal advice to City and County agencies, officials, and oversight bodies to ensure that public entities remain compliant with the law and standards of ethical conduct, to safeguard public funds, and to promote the efficient functioning of local government for Marion County taxpayers. OCC's third division is the Office of the City Prosecutor, which is responsible for enforcing City-County ordinances. OCC also oversees the Office of Equal Opportunity, which administers the City's human rights ordinance, protecting against discrimination in employment and other contexts. In exercising these crucial legal functions, OCC cultivates a productive, collaborative, and compliant work environment that prioritizes the needs of our clients and the residents of Indianapolis and Marion County.
The holder of this position will be a senior attorney who will handle a wide range of civil ordinance enforcement litigation matters on behalf of City agencies, with a focus on more complex or high-stakes matters that require significant professional experience and/or subject-matter expertise. The position holder will serve as an assistant corporation counsel within Office of the City Prosecutor, a division of OCC.
All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran, or disability status. We value diversity in perspectives and experiences among colleagues and the residents of this city of whom we serve.
The primary responsibility of a Senior Assistant City Prosecutor is to represent the City and related agencies in civil litigation matters involving ordinance enforcement in state court and in administrative hearings. The position may, on occasion, require the Assistant City Prosecutor to assist an OCC litigator on federal litigation resulting from a state court ordinance enforcement matter.
Senior Assistant City Prosecutors handle all facets of complex code enforcement prosecution. On most cases, the holder of this position will assume the role of the primary attorney. This role representing our public agency clients includes preparing complaints, answers, and other pleadings; researching and filing motions and briefs; handling discovery and depositions; court and administrative hearings; settlement negotiations; and trial advocacy. As a senior attorney, this position holder will take responsibility for lawsuits that are highly sensitive in nature, implicate complex legal issues, or involve complicated discovery and case management challenges.
On other matters, the senior attorney will play a “second chair” role, handling some aspects of a case while another attorney occupies the lead role. In such cases, the senior attorney's role may be to provide high-level guidance to a more junior attorney who is handling the day-to-day aspects of a case. This high-level guidance includes strategic direction, client communications, review of the junior attorney's work, and communications with opposing counsel. In some other cases, the senior attorney may assist another senior attorney in handling certain discrete aspects of the case, in-depth legal research of issues presented by a case, communicating with client agencies and employees as part of the discovery process, assisting in the drafting of pleadings, briefs, and other court filings, and other essentials of diligent case management.
As a senior attorney, the position holder will have opportunities to carve out areas of expertise and specialization but will still handle a diverse caseload.
The senior attorney position also involves the following additional responsibilities:
- Providing advice to client agencies with regard to litigation strategy and settlement negotiations.
- Keeping clients, including senior agency staff, fully informed on matters affecting their agencies.
- Representing City-County agencies in administrative hearings or similar settings.
- Keeping apprised of relevant legal developments at the state and federal level.
- Overseeing the work of more junior attorneys with whom the senior attorney is working, including review and guidance on legal writing.
- Overseeing the support work of the support staff team.
- Performing other duties as assigned by the City Prosecutor or the Corporation Counsel.
Strong independent judgment. Successful senior attorneys must be willing to take individual responsibility for weighty matters that affect the lives and livelihoods of others. While support from other staff and department leadership is available, senior attorneys must have the confidence and good judgment to make decisions independently in a variety of settings.
In-depth knowledge of litigation practice. Senior attorneys, unlike more junior front-line attorneys, are expected to be proficient in all aspects of the litigation process, including legal writing, discovery, civil procedure, and substantive areas of the law that are frequently implicated by the office's work, including trial procedure, constitutional law and government practice.
Leadership ability. This position often involves managing the work of more junior attorneys and other staff members. Senior Assistant City Prosecutors must be able to provide useful guidance, meaningfully delegate responsibility, and promote a collegial, respectful work environment.
Analytical ability and intellectual curiosity. This position faces a wide variety of legal issues and fact patterns. While Senior Assistant City Prosecutors are encouraged to develop areas of expertise over time, the position requires rapidly digesting new information, integrating it into an existing body of knowledge, and adeptly using legal research tools to acquire mastery of all the issues raised by each enforcement matter as it arises.
Proficiency at legal writing and other written communication. This includes more formal work product like summary judgment briefs, motions to dismiss, and memoranda. Senior Assistant City Prosecutors must also be skilled at more informal communications, including messages to clients, communications with opposing counsel, and summaries of legal research.
Oral communications skills. Our attorneys will have immediate opportunities to argue cases, whether in administrative proceedings, pre-trial hearings before judicial officers, or bench trials. Senior Assistant City Prosecutors must concisely and effectively communicate their arguments, be adept at improvising and thinking on their feet, and be able to adapt their tone and messaging to the needs of different audiences in different settings.
Zealous advocacy. Many of the enforcement matters handled by this position will be higher profile. Senior Assistant City Prosecutors must keep in mind that their client is ultimately the public, and must treat their work with the attention and seriousness that it deserves.
Time management skills. Senior Assistant City Prosecutors will be responsible for considerable caseloads. Success in the position requires efficiency, strong time management, and the ability to prioritize the most pressing or important tasks.
Ethics and professionalism. Holders of this position are public servants, and so are their clients. All attorneys at the Office of Corporation Counsel are expected to uphold the highest standards of professional ethics and responsible advocacy.
Minimum Job Requirements and Qualifications
- Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) from an ABA-accredited law school.
- Valid license to practice law in Indiana.
- Admitted to practice in the Southern District of Indiana.
- Proficiency in legal research tools, including Westlaw, and familiarity with electronic filing and records management systems.
- At least two (2) years of full-time experience in the practice of law as a licensed attorney (may include a judicial clerkship).
- Subject-matter expertise or significant work experience in litigation or government practice.
Preferred Job Requirements and Qualifications
- Five (5) or more years of full-time experience as a practicing attorney in Indiana.
- Significant professional experience (as an attorney or non-attorney) in local government, law enforcement, public service, or administrative procedure.
- Significant individual experience in conducting complex discovery, authoring dispositive motions, oral advocacy, or trials.