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Assistant Attorney General - Social & Health Services in Olympia

Tumwater, WA
Full Time
Job #: 2020-03254
All employees and volunteers of the Washington State Attorney General's Office serve a crucial role in the protection of the state, its people and resources, thereby providing an incomparable degree of job satisfaction. The AGO is composed of diverse, collegial and supremely talented legal professionals who are resolute in their commitment to public service and share the common goal of advancing the public interest. For more information about the AGO, we encourage you to review the Office's Annual Report which can be found HERE (Download PDF reader) and view THIS VIDEO.

Tumwater is a beautiful, thriving and affordable community immediately south of the state capital of Olympia. Living and working here offers unparalleled opportunities to pursue a rewarding career while living in a historically rich and vibrant area. It is ideally situated between the northwest's two largest cities (Seattle and Portland) and exploring either is but a short drive away. If exploring Washington State's natural features is your passion, you will appreciate that hiking, skiing and sailing opportunities are easily accessible. But you needn't stray from home for an adventure, as Tumwater/Olympia offers lush parks and trails, walkable neighborhoods, and exceptional dining, shopping and cultural experiences. Families and individuals will benefit from Tumwater/Olympia's excellent schools, from elementary through college.

The Mental Health Section of the Social and Health Olympia Division has an opening to work with the Special Commitment Center (SCC) and Western State Hospital (WSH) Teams. The division represents the Department of Social and Health Services, the Health Care Authority and the newly created Division of Children, Youth and Families and all attorneys handle a range of client advice and litigation. This position is in the Mental Health Section. This is an opportunity for enthusiastic and motivated attorneys to work in a collegial, fast-paced work environment and to develop skills in federal practice, civil rights law and state jury trials. Does institutional, involuntary commitment and health law interest you? This position involves frequent travel to McNeil Island located in Puget Sound, and to the state's largest in-patient mental hospital near scenic and historic Steilacoom, WA.

This position will perform a variety of work, which, depending on experience, may include:
  • Handling civil commitment hearings in Pierce County Superior Court (both bench and jury), including felony cases;
  • Representation of SCC in federal and state litigation concerning the conditions of confinement at SCC;
  • Providing client advice to senior managers at the SCC on issues ranging from constitutional law to real estate practice;
  • Handling contempt hearings in state and municipal courts in western Washington;
  • Representing the SCC's interest in state court SVP commitment cases throughout the state;
  • Providing client advice to WSH on issues ranging from health care, federal financial reimbursement, constitutional law, and patient rights;
  • Handling guardianship cases in state courts;
  • Handling public records litigation in state courts;
  • Handling appeals in both state and federal courts; and
  • Assisting on federal class action and/or complex litigation.

This full-time position is located in Tumwater and involves travel, mostly to Pierce County, but also to courthouses throughout western Washington.

  • The successful candidate will have the following skill set:
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills;
  • Ability and interest in working in a team setting;
  • Ability to thrive in a fast paced environment with competing demands;
  • Ability to multitask and willingness to provide coverage for others;
  • Comfortable working in settings around people with mental illness; and
  • Respect and collegiality toward support staff and attorneys, contributing to our highly-valued positive work environment.

This position can involve litigation in a variety of settings, as described above. As a result, some litigation experience is desired, but it is not required. If you do not have litigation experience, but are enthusiastic about getting this experience, we encourage you to apply.

Applicants must have graduated from a law school accredited by the ABA or completed the WSBA's Rule 6 Law Clerk Program and be licensed to practice law in Washington state. The AGO seeks applicants who are committed to public service as demonstrated by an applicant's background, talents, attitude, and enthusiasm for public law practice. The AGO greatly encourages, celebrates and values diversity, appreciating that a workforce composed of those from different backgrounds and experiences creates an inclusive environment, strengthens positive relationships with the local community and brings new perspectives and approaches to fulfill its mission of providing excellent, independent and ethical legal services to the State of Washington and protect the rights of its people.

Supplemental Information
The Assistant Attorney General position is represented by the Association of Assistant Attorneys General (AWAAG) / Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) AFSCME Council 28, AFL-CIO.

Starting salary for AAG positions for entry level positions start at sixty-three thousand dollars a year. Ultimately, AAG salaries are based on experience and qualifications, and are commensurate with comparable positions in the AGO. A competitive state benefits package is also offered which includes a choice of medical/dental insurance plans, retirement, life and basic long-term disability insurance. In addition, there are non-financial benefits that include working in a collaborative and supportive work environment where professional development and work-life balance are highly valued.

Closing Date: 20th April, 2020

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