Assistant County Counsel – Land Use – Ventura

  • Full Time
  • Ventura

Ventura County

Ventura County’s Office of County Counsel provides legal advice and representation to County departments, officers and related entities in all civil law matters. The County Counsel’s Office is distinguished from the District Attorney’s Office and the Public Defender’s Office, which handle criminal matters.

The Office of County Counsel employs approximately 25 attorneys and 12 support personnel.

The working title for line-assigned attorneys is Assistant County Counsel, although the formal Civil Service classifications for the position are Civil Attorney I/II/III and Senior Civil Attorney. Four attorney positions are assigned to management of the Office, including the County Counsel. The individual assignments of Assistant County Counsels are varied, reflecting the breadth of functions performed by the County, and can include litigation, advisory or transactional duties.

An Assistant County Counsel position is available in the Civil Attorney II, Civil Attorney III or Senior Civil Attorney classification, depending upon candidate experience. Applications are sought from motivated attorneys with subject matter familiarity and experience in land use law in areas such as planning and zoning, oil and gas development, surface mining, housing, telecommunications, development project review, and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance. Ideal candidates will also have experience drafting and interpreting land use ordinances, plans and policies; preparing and presenting cases before state and federal courts; and a solid understanding and knowledge of the Brown Act, Public Records Act, conflict of interest laws and general public law.

Civil Attorney II: $8,360.72 – $11,705.01
Civil Attorney III: $10,287.17 – $14,402.04
Senior Civil Attorney: $11,956.31 – $16,740.47

Civil attorneys receive management benefits and are exempt from overtime compensation.Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Act as legal adviser to County officers, departments, boards and commissions;
  • Advise County officers, departments, and staff regarding land use matters, CEQA, interpretation and application of County zoning ordinances, plans and policies;
  • Draft land use ordinances, plans, policies and other legislative matters;
  • Prepare litigation documents including complaints, answers, demurrers/motions to dismiss, and appellate briefs;
  • Prepare formal written legal opinions to County officers and staff on legal questions;
  • Prepare and review contracts, leases and other instruments for legal sufficiency;
  • Perform other related duties as required.

These are entrance requirements to the recruitment process and assure neither continuance in the process nor placement on an eligible list.

All levels require graduation from law school and active membership in the State Bar of California.

Civil Attorney II – A minimum of two (2) years of professional legal experience.

Civil Attorney III – A minimum of four (4) years of professional legal experience.

Senior Civil Attorney  A minimum of six (6) years of professional legal experience.

Knowledge of and experience with land use law and CEQA compliance.

Legal experience in the public sector or with public sector clients.

Thorough knowledge of: land use law and CEQA compliance; legal principles and their application; rules of professional conduct; rules of evidence; and legal research methods.
Thorough skill and ability to: analyze difficult and complex legal problems; utilize legal research to find principles of law, statutes and cases on point; present statements of fact and argument clearly and persuasively in writing and orally; draft legal instruments and opinions; and obtain the confidence and respect of members of the legal profession, public officials and other persons.

The County of Ventura Personnel Rules and Regulations prohibit County attorneys from engaging in the private practice of law for compensation.

Pursuant to the Political Reform Act of 1974, the Assistant County Counsels must file a financial disclosure statement within thirty (30) days of appointment.

FINAL FILING DATE: This is a continuous recruitment and may close at any time; therefore, apply as soon as possible if you are interested in it. Your application must be received by County of Ventura Human Resources in Ventura, California, no later than 5:00 p.m. on the closing date.

To apply on-line refer to web site: If you prefer to fill out a paper application form, please call (805) 654-5129 for application materials and submit them to County of Ventura Human Resources, 800 S. Victoria Avenue, L-1970, Ventura, CA 93009.

INFORMATION FOR TRANSFER CANDIDATES: If presently permanently employed in another “merit” or “civil service” public agency/entity in the same or substantively similar position as is advertised, and if appointed to that position by successful performance in a “merit” or “civil service” style examination, then appointment by “Lateral Transfer” may be possible. If interested, please clickhere (Download PDF reader) for additional information.

NOTE: Sufficient information must be provided under the Education/Work experience portion of the application and supplemental questionnaire, if applicable, to thoroughly and accurately demonstrate your qualifications in order to determine eligibility. A resume may be attached to supplement the information in the above sections; however, it may not be submitted in lieu of the application.

APPLICATION EVALUATION  qualifying: All applications will be reviewed to determine whether or not the stated requirements are met. Those individuals meeting the stated requirements will be invited to continue to the next step in the screening and selection process.

A first review of applications will occur on or around the week of April 26, 2021.

SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONNAIRE  qualifying: All applicants are required to complete and submit the questionnaire for this examination AT THE TIME OF FILING. The supplemental questionnaire may be used throughout the examination process to assist in determining each applicant’s qualifications and acceptability for the position. Failure to complete and submit the questionnaire may result in the application being removed from consideration.

TRAINING and EXPERIENCE EVALUATION: A Training and Experience Evaluation (T&E) is a structured evaluation of the job application materials submitted by a candidate, including the written responses to the supplemental questionnaire. The T&E is NOT a determination of whether the candidate meets the stated requirements; rather, the T&E is one method for determining who are the better qualified among those who have shown that they meet the stated requirements. In a T&E, applications are either scored or rank ordered according to criteria that most closely meet the business needs of the Department. Candidates are typically scored/ranked in relation to one another; consequently, when the pool of candidates is exceptionally strong, many qualified candidates may receive a score or rank which is moderate or even low resulting in them not being advanced in the process.

NOTE: The selection process will likely consist of an oral examination, which may be preceded or replaced with the score from a T&E, contingent upon the size and quality of the candidate pool. In a typical T&E, your training and experience are evaluated in relation to the background, experience and factors identified for successful job performance during a job analysis. For this reason, it is recommended that your application materials clearly show your relevant background and specialized knowledge, skills, and abilities. It is also highly recommended that the supplemental questionnaire within the application is completed with care and diligence.

ORAL EXAMINATION  100%: All qualifying applicants, or those selected for further examination if there is a high number of qualified applicants, will be invited to an oral examination. Those applicants invited to the oral examination may be required to bring their law school transcripts and a writing sample showing their ability to research, analyze and apply the law. A panel of three persons will conduct the oral examination to evaluate and compare participating candidates’ knowledge, skills and abilities in relation to those factors determined to be essential for successful performance of the job.

ELIGIBILITY LIST: Candidates who score seventy percent (70%) or higher on the oral examination will be placed on an eligible list for one (1) year. If there are three (3) or fewer qualified applicants, an oral examination will not be conducted. Instead, a score of seventy percent (70%) will be assigned to each applicant, and each applicant will be placed on the eligible list. The eligible list established from this recruitment may be used to fill existing and future regular, temporary, fixed-term, intermittent and extra-help positions within the office only. There is currently one (1) Regular vacancy.

BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION: A thorough pre-employment, post-offer background investigation, which may include inquiry into past employment, education, criminal background information and driving record, may be required for this position.

For further information about this recruitment, please contact Monika Maine by email to or phone (805) 654-2629.

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