Position Information

Position Information Message
Public Defense Mitigation Specialist II
The Public Defense Mitigation Specialist II assists attorneys in developing defense strategies by providing advice and recommendations to attorneys; they assess clients and their families, participate in case strategy and planning, and present relevant diagnostic social service needs of clients, particularly as it pertains to establishing the best possible legal defense and/or outcome, and coordinate and refer clients to relevant social services.
Job Duties


  • Perform assessments, make diagnoses regarding mental illness or addictions, conduct interviews to collect information, and gather records for mitigation/competency. Prepare comprehensive psychosocial histories as needed.
  • Provide testimony regarding mental health status, competence, or developmental issues.
  • Provide social services information/education to attorneys and clients. Coordinate, refer, and monitor relevant social services for clients.
  • Prepare and present accurate case information, and persuasive mitigation reports.
  • Advocate for clients in the criminal justice system by investigating, developing, and presenting information that supports an alternative sentencing or dispositional plan. Similarly, advocate for clients in the legal system who are responding to a dependency petition, Sexual Offender Commitment petition, and other proceedings affecting the client's liberty, or other constitutionally protected interest.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Who May Apply 
This recruitment is open to the general public and may be used to fill full-time current and/or future career service, term-limited temporary, and/or special duty positions in any of the Department's four divisions. DPD also intends to generate an eligibility pool for future vacancies in career service and temporary positions over the next six months.
Note: Special duty opportunities are open only to current King County career service employees who have completed their initial probation. Special duty applicants must have approval from their current supervisor to accept an assignment. Current employees selected for special duty will be compensated based upon the provisions of the collective bargaining agreement or Master Labor Agreement for their base assignment.
DPD Ethical Walls Policies and Procedures will apply to applicants, such that if you work or have worked for one of DPD's divisions, you may be ineligible for this position.
Work Locations 
Positions may be assigned to work at any of the following locations:  
  • Dexter Horton Building, 710 Second Avenue, Seattle;
  • Jefferson Street Building, 1401 East Jefferson, Seattle;
  • Meeker Street Building, 420 West Harrison Street, Kent.
Work Schedule
The typical workweek is 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This position is exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and is not eligible for overtime pay.
Position: Public Defense Mitigation Specialist II
Organization: Department of Public Defense (DPD)
Location: Seattle/Kent,  WA 
United States
Salary: $82,825.60 - $104,977.60 Annually
Posting Start Date:
Date Posted: 9/10/2021
Requirements Forms and Materials Required
  1. An online employment application completed at www.kingcounty.gov/jobs. The employment history should go back at least 10 years if you have 10 years of employment (or more to include all relevant experience). 
  2. A cover letter no more than two pages summarizing your experience and how you meet the required qualifications, knowledge, and skills for the position.
  3. A resume.
For more information, contact:
Elisha Mackey
Senior Human Resource Analyst
Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills


  • Master's degree in Social Work or a related behavioral science field. Criminal defense experience or familiarity with the populations that DPD serves is required. This education and experience should demonstrate an ability to work with clients who may be under pressure and in stress, helping them to navigate complex bureaucracies and access the assistance they need.
  • Demonstrated ability to keep up to date with changing work and practices in the social work/mitigation specialist field and to ensure compliance with the latest laws, regulations and techniques to support our clients.
  • Knowledge of the role of the attorney-mitigation specialist relationship and familiarity with the Washington State Bar Association Rules of Professional Responsibility and other ethical standards which govern Mitigation Specialists. This is necessary to support ethical and fair representation for each and every client we serve.
  • Knowledge of principles, methods and techniques of social services, including case management, assessment, coordination/referrals, research, mediation, report writing, and oral communications. This is vital to ensure accuracy, effective service delivery, and legal compliance.
  • Knowledge of the use of mitigation in criminal justice cases, to secure the best outcomes for those we serve.
  • Knowledge of criteria for reliable biopsychosocial assessment, to assure that those we serve receive appropriate assessment and subsequent care and to improve a client’s cognition regarding their circumstances.
  • Skill in handling confidential information to safeguard client privacy and identity.
  • Skill in identifying potential ethical issues and seeking advice/counsel when ethical issues arise or require clarification, to guarantee ethical and fair representation for each and every client we serve.
  • Skill in preparing detailed narrative reports, correspondence and other written materials to actively and progressively support a positive narrative and outcome for those we serve.
  • Skill in using office software programs including word processing, spreadsheet, database and email.
  • Ability to testify effectively at trial, sentencing or other hearings to promote positive representation, and garner best outcomes for those we serve.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and professionally, in person and in writing, to represent our clients in the best possible light.
  • Ability to work calmly and respond courteously when in stressful situations and to demonstrate confident and professional conduct.
  • Skill in working with a variety of individuals from diverse backgrounds to effectively serve vulnerable clients from all walks of life.
  • Regular, reliable and predictable attendance to support timeliness and follow-through on legal items and scheduling affecting our clients.
  • Valid Washington State Driver's License or the ability to travel reasonably quickly to multiple locations, in order to serve our clients regardless of their location.
  • Must be at least twenty-one years of age in order to enter facilities where our clients are being held.
Desired Qualifications:
  • Valid Washington State Social Work or Mental Health License.


Supplemental Information

Special Note Regarding COVID-19 
DPD is following Public Health and CDC guidance in regards to social distancing. Interviews for this position will be conducted remotely. Successful candidates may be required to telecommute and appear in court, the jail, or other areas as directed during the County's pandemic response.
Application Process
Interested individuals should submit a complete online King County application (all blanks must be filled out and may not direct the reader to reference an attached resume or other document. Answers that say "see resume" will be considered as incomplete), a cover letter (no more than two pages) summarizing how you meet the experience, qualifications, knowledge and skills for the job, and a resume.  

Selection Process 
Applications will be reviewed and screened for clarity, completeness, and competitiveness. Applicants may be required to demonstrate their qualifications at the time of the interview and/or skills assessment. All materials will be evaluated for spelling, grammar, and punctuation usage. The most competitive candidates will be invited to interview.

Offer of employment is contingent on:
The successful completion of references, ability to pass a Washington State Patrol Background Check, ability to pass a security clearance and/or background check to secure access to correctional facilities, and a division conflicts check.
Union membership 
Positions in this classification are recognized by Service Employees International Union, Local 925.  
Forbes recently named King County as one of Washington State's best employers. 
Together, with leadership and our employees, we're changing the way government delivers service and winning national recognition as a model of excellence. Are you ready to make a difference? Come join the team dedicated to serving one of the nation's best places to live, work and play.
Guided by our "True North", we are making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive. We value diversity, inclusion and belonging in our workplace and workforce. To reach this goal we are committed to workforce equity. Equitable recruiting, support, and retention is how we will obtain the highest quality workforce in our region; a workforce that shares and will help advance our guiding principles--we are one team; we solve problems; we focus on the customer; we drive for results; we are racially just; we respect all people; we lead the way; and we are responsible stewards. We encourage people of all backgrounds and identities to apply, including Native American and people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ+, people living with disabilities, and veterans.
Covid-19 Vaccination Requirement 
As of October 18, 2021, most* King County employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If hired, you will be required to submit proof of vaccination by October 18th. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine. Employees may make requests for a reasonable accommodation based on a medical disability or for sincerely held religious beliefs. Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to vaccination will not be considered for an exemption or accommodation.

This directive applies to employees in the Executive branch*, the Assessor’s Office, Elections, the King County Sheriff’s Office, and the Executive Office.   

King County is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Employer
No person is unlawfully excluded from employment opportunities based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy), age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or other protected class. Our EEO policy applies to all employment actions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, selection for training, promotion, transfer, demotion, layoff, termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation.
To Apply
If you are interested in pursuing this position, please follow the application instructions carefully. If you need this announcement in an alternate language or format, would like to request accommodation or assistance in the application or assessment process or if you have questions please contact your recruiter listed on this job announcement.

Apply here: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/kingcounty/jobs/3199864/public-defense-mitigation-specialist-ii

Status: This listing expires on: 9/23/2021
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Organization Information
Department of Public Defense (DPD)

Seattle/Kent,  WA 98104
United States
Elisha Mackey