What makes Sonoma County a great choice?
Working at the County of Sonoma offers expansive opportunities for growth and development, the ability to be a part of a challenging and rewarding work environment, and the satisfaction of knowing you’re working to better our communities. You can also look forward to a competitive total compensation package* including:
- An annual Staff Development/Wellness Benefit allowance up to $1,700 and ongoing education/training opportunities
- Competitive vacation and sick leave accruals, 12 paid holidays, and an additional 8 floating holiday hours per year
- Significant portion of health care premiums paid by the County and access to several health plan options
- County contribution to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement to help fund post-retirement employee health insurance/benefits
- Retirement fully integrated with Social Security
- May be eligible for up to 8 weeks (320 hours) of Paid Parental Leave after 12 months of County employment
- Eligibility for a salary increase after 1,040 hours (6 months when working full-time) for good work performance; eligibility for a salary increase for good performance every year thereafter, until reaching the top of the salary range
*Salary is negotiable within the established range. Benefits described herein do not represent a contract and may be changed without notice.
The Deputy County Counsel III position represents a great opportunity to work in beautiful Sonoma wine country and join a collegial team of attorneys and staff committed to public service and quality of life. In this exciting role, you will provide legal counsel to a variety of departments within the County. The successful candidate will regularly:
- Draft legal documents such as memoranda, briefs, writs, and appeals
- Appear in court on review calendars and contested hearing calendars
- Participate in settlement conferences
- Work collaboratively with other team members
- Study and apply new case law, statutory law, and legislative changes
- Attend trainings, and in turn, may train other attorneys
The Deputy County Counsel III Help may assist with other work performed by attorneys in County Counsel’s areas of responsibility. Interested candidates should be able to perform the following essential functions:
- Provide legal counsel and representation to County departments, special districts, and the Board of Supervisors pertaining to their powers, duties and the law respecting the exercise of such power and duties
- Study, analyze, interpret, and apply laws, court decisions, ordinances, and other legal authorities in order to advise County officers, department heads and political subdivisions on legal matters
- Research, formulate, present, and support legal opinions, written and oral, pertaining to County government
- Research, draft, and present legal briefs, petitions, ordinances, resolutions and/or court orders
- Review and prepare contracts, leases, purchase agreements, and/or employee service agreements
- Prepare and conduct litigation pertaining to County legal matters, including defending civil actions or proceedings involving the County, its officers and employees, or prosecuting litigation on behalf of the County and its agencies as plaintiff or petitioner
- Assist County Counsel in the preparation of the more complex litigation pertaining to County legal matters
- Provide guidance, instruction, and assistance to clerical support staff as necessary to secure an acceptable level of work product
- Maintain correspondence with County departments and various other agencies in matters pertaining to assigned work
THE IDEAL CANDIDATE
The Ideal Candidate will possess:
- Substantial public law experience
- Exceptional research and written communication skills
- Courtroom experience including trial advocacy is highly desired
- A demonstrated ability to creatively problem-solve
- Experience with complex and fast-moving projects
- The ability to effectively work independently and as part of a team
- An excellent academic record is highly desired
This recruitment is being conducted to fill one Deputy County Counsel III position in the Office of County Counsel. This employment list may also be used to fill future full-time, part-time, or extra-help (temporary) positions as they occur during the active status of the list. Qualified County employees who wish to be considered for future positions should consider applying to this recruitment.
IMPORTANT: The position will be filled at either the I, II, or III level. If you are interested in applying at the I or II level, you will need to apply to the separate, concurrent recruitment being conducted for those classifications.
THE OFFICE OF COUNTY COUNSEL
The Sonoma County Counsel’s Office is committed to providing the highest quality legal representation and advice, in a timely and responsive manner, to assist the County, its governing Board of Supervisors, and other clients to promote the public interest, achieve programmatic and strategic goals, and protect financial resources.
County Counsel is the primary provider of legal services to the Board of Supervisors, County departments, the Grand Jury, and over 25 special districts, including the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART), Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA), Sonoma County Employees’ Retirement Association (SCERA), Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), and Sonoma County Transportation Authority (SCTA). The Office provides legal staff to many County commissions, and its attorneys regularly provide counsel to the Board of Supervisors, Planning Commission, Civil Service Commission, and Board of Zoning Adjustments at public meetings and hearings.
County Counsel attorneys regularly appear in court on behalf of County departments and on such matters as juvenile dependency cases, code enforcement actions, bail recovery, and mental health competency hearings. County Counsel either directly handles, or coordinates outside counsel, in the defense of all claims filed against the County, and proactively works with departments to minimize risk and assist in policy development and implementation.
The Office of approximately 30 attorneys and 10 support staff places a high value on its collegial atmosphere and on its commitment to providing excellent legal services. It is structured into five practice groups: Health and Human Services; Infrastructure and Public Resources; Land Use; Litigation; and Natural Resources and Resiliency. Each Group is supervised by a Chief Deputy County Counsel and overall office supervision functions through the Assistant County Counsel and County Counsel. All staff is relied upon to work independently, meet client needs, and exercise sound judgment.
Experience: Any combination of training and experience which would provide the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and abilities listed. Normally, two years of legal experience practicing civil law as a licensed attorney, at least one year of which was with a public agency performing duties comparable to a Deputy County Counsel II; or comparable experience in private practice.
Professional License: Current active membership in the State Bar of California.
License: Possession of a valid drivers license at the appropriate level including special endorsements, as required by the State of California, may be required depending upon assignment to perform the essential job functions of the position.
Considerable knowledge of: written and oral communications, including language mechanics, syntax and English composition; the principles and application of civil law; legal research methods; the duties, powers, limitations and authorities of the Office of the County Counsel; trial and hearing procedures and rules of evidence; the organization, powers, and limitations of local governmental functions; the statutory and constitutional laws of the State of California.
Ability to: research, analyze and apply legal principles, facts, evidence and precedents to legal problems; prepare, present and conduct cases of law in court; present statements of law, fact and argument clearly and logically in written and oral form; develop and maintain effective relationships with other staff members, departmental representatives, county officials, members of advisory and policy-making bodies, the courts and the public; analyze and draft ordinances and regulations.
- Your application information and your responses to the supplemental questions are evaluated and taken into consideration throughout the entire selection process.
- You should list all employers and positions held within the last ten years in the work history section of your application. Be as thorough as possible when responding to the supplemental questions.
- You may include history beyond ten years if related to the position for which you are applying. If you held multiple positions with one employer, list out each position separately.
- Failure to follow these instructions may impact your competitiveness in this process or may result in disqualification.
Please visit Getting a Job with the County of Sonoma to review more detailed information about the application, examination, and department selection processes.
The selection procedure will consist of the following examination:
An Application & Supplemental Questionnaire Appraisal Examination (weight 100%) will be conducted to evaluate each applicant’s application and supplemental questionnaire for satisfaction of minimum qualifications (pass/not pass); and for educational coursework, training, experience, knowledge, and abilities which relate to this position. Each applicant will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Relevance of work history, related experience, and achieved level of education and/or training as described in the application and responses to the supplemental questions.
Candidates demonstrating possession of the minimum qualifications will be placed on an employment list in order of most qualified to least qualified based on the achieved score received in the Application & Supplemental Questionnaire Appraisal Examination. Scores may be adjusted based on such factors as number of candidates, anticipated vacancies, past practice, and natural breaks in the scores achieved by this group of candidates.
A background investigation is required prior to employment. Candidates referred to departments for a selection interview are typically required to sign authorization and release forms enabling such an investigation. Failure to sign prescribed forms will result in the candidate not being considered further for that vacancy. Reference information will not be made available to applicants.
Additional requirements, such as successful completion of a physical exam, drug screen, etc., may apply, depending on the duties and responsibilities of the position. If you receive a conditional job offer for the position, the requirements upon which the offer are contingent will be outlined in the conditional job letter. You may also review the Job Classification Screening Schedule to determine the requirements for this position.
HOW TO APPLY
Applications are accepted on-line at: www.yourpath2sonomacounty.org. Paper applications may be submitted by person, fax (707-565-3770), email, or through the mail. All applications and appropriate supplemental information as outlined in the job bulletin must be RECEIVED by the time and date specified on the first page of this job announcement. Applications received after the recruitment closes will not be accepted.
The County of Sonoma prioritizes and is committed to continuously providing a workplace where equal employment opportunity is afforded to all people. Please view the County’s Equal Employment Opportunity Policy for further information.
HR Analyst: DTS
HR Technician: RR