About the 2020 Honors Program:
The Washington State Attorney General’s Office (AGO) is pleased to invite you to apply to our 2020 Honors Program. The Honors Program is a yearly opportunity for third-year law students and judicial clerks of the appellate and federal courts to apply for permanent, entry-level positions. This years program will culminate in offers of an Assistant Attorney General (AAG) position to 2 or 3 applicants. Those who receive offers will be placed into AAG positions starting in August of 2021. Offers are contingent upon passing the July 2021 Washington State Bar examination or, for judicial clerks not yet members of the Washington State Bar Association, admission to the Washington State Bar by one’s start date.
Specific placement decisions are made based upon one’s geographic and divisional preferences as communicated during this application process (see “supplemental questions” section).
Regardless of one’s specific placement, the Office offers the opportunity to hit the ground running with meaningful work, collegial colleagues and a strong infrastructure to build a successful legal career in public service. New AAGs can expect to receive immediate responsibility for case or client representation in an environment with ample training, mentorship and guidance.
For feedback from other attorneys who have joined the office through the Honors program check out this site.
About the AGO:
In furtherance of its mission to deliver the highest quality professional legal services to officials, agencies, and people of the state of Washington, the AGO covers a diverse legal landscape, including but not limited to protecting children, vulnerable adults, and injured workers; consumer protection; civil and administrative litigation; environmental law; torts; tribal law; labor law; appellate practice and criminal prosecution. The majority of AAGs provide litigation and client advice in support of assigned clients, the full scope of which includes more than 230 state agencies, boards, commissions, colleges and universities, as well as the Legislature and the Governor. The AGO has over 650 attorneys working in approximately two dozen offices in the following locations: Olympia, Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane, Everett, Bellingham, Vancouver, Yakima, Kennewick, Wenatchee, Port Angeles and Pullman.
All staff in the AGO are guided by the following core values:
- We will deliver high quality legal services and remember that we serve the people of Washington.
- We will conduct ourselves with integrity, professionalism, civility and transparency.
- We will promote a collegial, inclusive and diverse workplace that values, respects and supports our employees.
The Office appreciates the benefits of a healthy life-work balance as well as a respectful, inclusive and diverse workplace. Successful candidates will join an Office in which every person is committed to providing exceptional legal services and where individual professional development is encouraged and supported. The exceptional benefits of joining the AGO include:
- A competitive benefit package that includes affordable medical plan options, dental benefits and retirement plans
- Vacation Leave, Sick Leave, Military and Civil Leave and Paid Holidays
- Transparent salary schedule
- An infant in the workplace policy
- A formal AAG mentoring program that complements the AGO’s inherently collegial and supportive environment
- Wellness program
- Training and development program that is recognized for its excellence and efficacy by AGOs nationwide
If you share our vision and have a desire to do important work that makes a difference for our community, then we invite you to apply.
Although every position is unique, typical duties of AAGs include:
- Researching legal issues;
- Consulting with clients and providing option-based advice as necessary;
- Developing litigation strategies;
- Identifying and preparing witnesses and exhibits;
- Crafting necessary pleadings and briefs; and
- Litigating cases before administrative entities or various levels of state and federal court.
To be eligible, one must be a third-year law student attending a school accredited by the ABA, or a judicial clerk of an appellate or federal court, who received a JD from a law school accredited by the ABA.
The following qualifications are highly desirable:
- Superior verbal and written communication skills that allows one to convey accurate and sometimes complex information in a clear, concise and understandable manner;
- Interest in litigation and the ability to work both independently and in teams to successfully prioritize and manage one’s own caseload;
- Strong interpersonal skills including being a team player and being able to work with people of diverse backgrounds with respect and professionalism at all times;
- An interest in the work of the AGO and a demonstrated commitment to public service;
- A diverse background in terms of education, experience and perspective;
- Interest and self-motivation to learn new areas of the law and develop new skills; and
- Divisional and geographic preferences that can be reasonably satisfied via the Honors Program’s timing and placement process.
To be considered for this opportunity, hit the “apply” button and in addition to fully completing a profile and responding to all supplemental questions, you must upload all required documents, preferably as PDFs. Additional information such as writing samples and additional letters of recommendation will be accepted, but are not required. Required documents are:
- A letter of interest;
- Law school transcript (unofficial copy is acceptable); and
- Letter of recommendation (This is the ONLY document that can be provided separately, however it must be received by the deadline date. The letter can be e-mailed to Linda Nakamura at Linda.Nakamuraatg.wa.gov. If you have ever served as an AGO law clerk, it is required that you provide a letter of recommendation from your AGO supervisor.)
The deadline to apply is September 15, 2020. Upon the posting’s close, applications will be reviewed and invitations to interview will be extended. Only applications that are complete and timely will be considered. The process involves as many as two rounds of interviews, with first interviews scheduled to occur in October. Please note that the health and safety of AGO staff and our community is of paramount importance to the AGO. Accordingly, at this time, we envision all interviews to be conducted by means other than in-person. Although subject to change, we anticipate making offers no later than January 1, 2021.
For questions about the AGO’s Honors Program, you are encouraged and welcome to contact Attorney Recruitment Administrator Linda Nakamura at (206) 464-6446 or Linda.Nakamuraatg.wa.gov.
Most Assistant Attorney General positions are represented by the Association of Washington Assistant Attorneys General/Washington Federation of State Employees (AWAAG/WFSE); thus the terms of one’s employment must comply with the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Entry-level AAG salaries start at $69,396. Ultimately, AAG salaries are set in accordance with the AWAAG/WFSE CBA.
A few positions within the AGO have exposure to information that requires staff be screened and pass a fingerprint-based background check. Although unlikely, an Honors Program candidate could be placed into one of the affected positions and thus this provides notice that you may be subject to a fingerprint background check and be subject to additional background checks as a condition of employment every five (5) years thereafter.
Honoring diversity, equity and inclusion means that as an agency, and as individuals, we are committed to ensuring that all employees and volunteers enjoy a respectful, safe and supportive working environment. Only by fostering the inclusion of people from all backgrounds, cultures and attributes, can AGO employees and volunteers achieve their fullest potential and best advance the goals and mission of the AGO.
The AGO is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation/gender identity, age, disability, honorably discharged veteran or military status, retaliation or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Persons requiring reasonable accommodation in the application process or requiring information in an alternative format may contact Tracy Robinson at 360-586-7693. Those with a hearing impairment in need of accommodation are encouraged to contact the Washington Relay Service at 1-800-676-3777 or www.washingtonrelay.com.