Position Information

Position Information Message
Attorney - 3rd Year Law Student & Fellow/Clerk
The Department of Public Defense (DPD) is now actively recruiting 3rd year law students, judicial clerks, and fellows to begin employment after August 2021. The successful applicant will have a demonstrated commitment to social justice and advocacy on behalf of indigent persons. She or he will also have a demonstrated ability to engage in thoughtful legal analysis, accept feedback on writing and other legal skills, and engage with marginalized communities. The scope of representation expected of an attorney is determined by the nature of the case assignment and the Rules of Professional Conduct. Caseload standards are established in accordance with the State Supreme Court’s Standards for Indigent Defense, union bargaining agreements, and the Washington State Bar Association Guidelines. Attorneys in the Department of Public Defense are expected to participate in ongoing training to improve their level of practice.  

We will be holding a remote open house on September 15, 2020, for those who would like to learn more about our program. Please click here to register for the open house.  

DPD provides legal representation to indigent clients in several practice areas, including felonies, misdemeanors, juvenile defense, family defense, involuntary commitment, sex offender commitment, and contempt of court. The department also works to address racial disproportionality, and other structural and/or systemic issues that undermine the rights of our clients. It employs not only attorneys, but also skilled investigators, mitigation specialists, paralegals, and other support staff. Expert services are regularly funded, in keeping with state court rules. The department offers attorneys the support and training needed to provide the highest quality legal representation. 

Job Duties: 

Based on assignment, include the following:

  • Provide legal representation and advocacy to indigent clients.
  • Handle all aspects of representation.
  • Research, write, and argue pretrial motions.
  • Conduct plea negotiation and mitigation.
  • Conduct jury or bench trials.
  • Locate, work with, and prepare experts in various fields.
  • Work with clients struggling with mental illness, drug addiction, lack of English proficiency, or other barriers.
  • Work with youth and children.
  • Work closely with and in some instance lead a team of investigators, mitigation specialists, and paralegals.
  • Handle on-call 24 hour coverage, which currently is approximately one week a year or two Saturday calendars.
  • Other duties as assigned. 

Supplemental Information:

Who May Apply: 

Attorney - 3rd Year Law Student: This recruitment is open to 3rd year law student candidates graduating between December 2020 and June 2021, and may be used to fill current and/or future career service and term-limited temporary positions in any of the Department's four divisions and/or office locations in King County. Applications will be screened at the end of the recruitment period and the most competitive candidates may be invited to participate in interviews beginning on or about October 19, 2020.

Fellow/Clerk: This recruitment is open to attorney applicants engaged in legal fellowships or clerkships, and may be used to fill future career service and term-limited temporary positions in any of the department's four divisions and/or office locations in King County. 

Work Schedule: The normal work schedule is Monday through Friday, with some night and weekend work. This position meets the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and is not eligible for overtime.

Rotation Requirement and Locations:
Rotation of staff practice area and/or work location occurs based on business need.

These positions will initially be assigned to work in any of the following Seattle and/or Kent work locations:

  • Dexter Horton Building, 710 Second Avenue, Seattle;
  • Jefferson Street Building, 1401 East Jefferson, Seattle;
  • Meeker Street Building, 420 West Harrison Street, Kent, or
  • 908 Jefferson St. Seattle.

If assigned to the civil commitment unit, assignments are to hospitals/treatment centers throughout the county.

Union MembershipPositions in this classification are recognized by Service Employee's International Union, Local 925.

Where to Apply:  Interested individuals should submit an online King County application, cover letter, resume, and short writing sample. You can find the online application at: http://www.kingcounty.gov/audience/employees/careers.aspx.

Electronic submission is preferred. For inquiries, please feel free to contact Susan Eddy at susan.eddy@kingcounty.gov or via phone at 206-477-6003

Note: Online applications are preferred. However, if you cannot apply online, go to www.kingcounty.gov/jobs for other options.  

If you need an accommodation in the recruitment process or an alternate format of this announcement, please inquire directly with the contact listed on the job announcement or the department's Human Resources Service Delivery Manager. 

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.

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.
Position: Attorney - 3rd Year Law Student & Fellow/Clerk
Organization: King, County, Department of Public Defense
Location: Seattle,  WA 
United States
Salary: $70,773.87 Annually
Posting Start Date:
Date Posted: 8/25/2020
Requirements Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills:

Attorney - 3rd year Law Student/Clerk/Fellow: 

  • JD from an accredited law school by December 2020 through June 2021. 
  • Demonstrated commitment to advocacy on behalf of marginalized communities. 
  • Excellent demonstrated analytical, research, writing, and oral advocacy skills. 
  • Ability to manage a caseload in a fast-paced environment. 
  • Plans to take the Washington State Bar Examination in July 2021 or, for clerks and fellows, admission to the bar in another state that would enable qualification under Rule 8.
  • Agreement to become qualified to practice in the State of Washington as a Rule 9 until successful bar admission in 2021. 
  • A valid Washington State driver's license or the ability to travel throughout King County in a timely manner. 

Desired qualifications: 

  • Proficiency in languages other than English, particularly Spanish.  
  • Clinical training in public defense. 
  • Criminal defense experience. 

Please note: Candidates will be offered positions based upon performance in the selection process and the needs of the work unit. All offers are contingent upon receipt of acceptable references and background screening results. 

Status: This listing expires on: 11/23/2020
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Organization Information
King, County, Department of Public Defense

Seattle,  WA 98104
United States
(206) 477-6003
Susan Eddy