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Deputy County Counsel - Standard - Exempt

Contra Costa County, California, United States

The Position

Why join the Contra Costa County Counsel's Office?

Contra Costa County is seeking highly motivated, career-oriented attorneys, with strong academic credentials and excellent research and writing skills, to fill one or more Deputy County Counsel - Exempt positions in the General Law Division. Attorneys selected to work in the General Law Division are expected to handle all aspects of advising and representing a public agency and its departments, boards, and commissions. They may be asked to prepare formal legal opinions, ordinances, resolutions, and other documents; analyze and draft contracts, leases, and other legal instruments; prepare pleadings; serve as counsel to hearing bodies; handle civil trials, civil writ matters, and other litigation; and participate in mediations, negotiations, and administrative hearings. Attorneys applying for a position in this division should highlight their training and experience in one or more of the following areas: solid waste and/or hazardous waste law; business transactions, including contract drafting and negotiating; construction, procurement, and real estate law; land use law; public finance and taxation; employment and labor law; and general civil litigation, including civil writ matters.

The work of the County Counsel’s Office is diverse, fast paced, and high-profile, and requires the desire and ability to assume responsibility and build positive, long-term client relationships. The ideal candidate for the position will be articulate, energetic, and approachable, with exceptional analytical skills and professional judgment. Successful applicants must be able to relate well to colleagues, clients, and the courts, have the ability to think strategically and creatively, and have the ability to foster collaborative work relationships among stakeholders involved in negotiations.

In recognition of the possibility of conflicts of interest, Deputy County Counsels – Exempt are required to refrain from private law practice. Attorneys are required to furnish personal transportation and may seek mileage reimbursement for work-related travel in accordance with County policy.

The County Counsel’s Office currently has a staff of 37 attorneys. The positions may be filled at any level step appropriate to qualifications and experience. Promotional opportunities exist within the Deputy County Counsel-Exempt range, from Basic Level ($10,722.22 - $12,745.36), through Standard Level ($13,070.34-$15,536.52), to Advanced Level ($15,932.68 -$18,938.95). The Deputy County Counsel - Exempt classification is excluded from the County Merit System and are appointed by the County Counsel.

We are looking for someone who:
  • Can work in a fast paced, and high-profile environment
  • Has the ability to think strategically and creatively
  • Will be articulate and energetic
  • Possesses exceptional analytical skills and judgement
  • Can relate well to colleagues, clients, and the courts
  • Has the ability to assume responsibility and build client relationships
  • Has excellent writing skills
What you will typically be responsible for:
  • Participating in hearings and meetings
  • Presenting cases persuasively in both court and administrative proceedings
  • Offering and negotiating solutions consistent with applicable laws and policy direction
  • Drafting a variety of legal documents
  • Using good judgment in setting priorities and allocating time
  • Maintaining effective working relationships with staff and clients
  • Keeping supervisor informed of significant cases and assignments
A few reasons you might love this job:
  • We adhere to the highest standards of professionalism, ethics, and confidentiality, and we value diversity
  • You will have an opportunity to serve the public as you advise a wide variety of clients
  • The work is intellectually challenging and fast-paced
  • You will work in a team environment with supportive colleagues
  • You will enjoy a work-life balance, with the opportunity to accrue up to three weeks of vacation leave and other leave benefits
A few challenges you might face in this job:
  • Adjusting to County government functions and interplay of the departments
  • Becoming familiar with local Superior Court rules and procedures, and administrative agencies
  • Competing litigation, advisory, and transactional deadlines
Competencies Required:
  • Legal & Regulatory Navigation: Understanding, interpreting, and ensuring compliance with laws and regulations
  • Professional Integrity & Ethics: Displaying honesty, adherence to principles, and personal accountability
  • Critical Thinking: Analytically and logically evaluating information, propositions, and claims
  • Political & Organizational Savvy: Working skillfully with politics, procedures, and protocols across organizational levels and boundaries
  • Strategic Thinking & Perspective: Evaluating immediate actions in context of achieving long range objectives
  • Self-Management: Showing personal organization, self-discipline, and dependability
  • Negotiating: Reaching mutually satisfying agreements and compromise
  • Handling Stress: Maintaining emotional stability and self-control under pressure, challenge, or adversity
  • Innovation: Imagining and devising new and better ways of doing things
  • Building & Maintaining Relationships: Establishing rapport and maintaining mutually productive relationships
  • Valuing Diversity: Appreciating the benefits of varied backgrounds and cultures in the workplace
  • Writing: Communicating effectively in writing
To read the complete job description, please visit the website,

Minimum Qualifications

Registration: Active member of the State Bar of California

Standard Level: Four (4) years of full-time (or the equivalent of full-time) experience as a practicing attorney.

Desirable Qualifications:

  • Experience with solid waste and/or hazardous waste laws is highly desirable
  • Experience advising and representing public agencies
  • Experience with civil litigation and administrative hearings
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom

Selection Process

  • Application Filing and Evaluation: Applicants will be required to complete a Contra Costa County application and supplemental questionnaire at the time of application (please limit each response to no more than 300 words). Both submissions will be evaluated to determine which candidates will move forward in the next phase of the recruitment process. Along with your application, please provide the following:
    • Resume
      • Your resume should include:
        • State Bar of California membership number and admission date
        • Undergraduate college/university and graduation date
        • Law school and graduation date
    • TWO writing samples only
      • Preferably a substantive pleading and an advisory letter or memorandum, of no more than fifteen (15) pages and five (5) pages in length, respectively.
    • List of professional references
      • Please indicate whether we may contact your current employer.
    • A cover letter
  • This is an exempt recruitment, which means candidates are not guaranteed an interview. Only the most qualified candidates will be invited to a hiring interview. Candidates invited to the interview may be asked questions in areas such as training and experience relevant to the position, and the knowledge of and ability to apply legal principles. References will be required.

For recruitment specific questions, please contact Lashun Fuller at [email protected]. For any technical issues, please contact the GovernmentJobs’ applicant support team for assistance at +1 855-524-5627.


After you receive a conditional job offer, you will be fingerprinted, and your fingerprints will be sent to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The resulting report of your conviction history (if any) will be used to determine whether the nature of your conviction conflicts with the specific duties and responsibilities of the job for which you have received a conditional job offer. If a conflict exists, you will be asked to present any evidence of rehabilitation that may mitigate the conflict, except when federal or state regulations bar employment in specific circumstances. Having a conviction history does not automatically preclude you from a job with Contra Costa County. If you accept a conditional job offer, the Human Resources department will contact you to schedule a fingerprinting appointment.


All Contra Costa County employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state and local law. Employment with the County requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect. Employees are required to complete all Disaster Service Worker-related training as assigned, and to return to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.


It is the policy of Contra Costa County to consider all applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, ancestry, medical condition, genetic information, military or veteran status, or other protected category under the law.

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