Public Defense Mitigation Specialist II

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Job location
710 Second Avenue
Suite 1000
Seattle, WA 98104
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
King County, Department of Public Defense
Street address: 
710 Second Avenue, Suite 1000
Job type: 
Legal - Defender
Position Description: 

Public defense in King County has earned a national reputation for excellent legal representation, commitment to meaningful caseload standards, use of therapeutic courts, and other client-centered services.

The Department of Public Defense (DPD) provides legal representation to indigent clients in several practice areas, including felonies, misdemeanors, juvenile offenders, dependencies, involuntary commitment, civil commitment of sexually violent predators, and contempt of court. The department also works to address racial disproportionality in the criminal justice system, the collateral consequences of justice involvement, and other structural and/or systemic issues that undermine the rights of the criminally accused. It employs not only attorneys, but also skilled investigators, mitigation specialists, paralegals, and other support staff. Expert services are regularly funded, in keeping with state court rules. King County public defense has also been a leader in the development of diversion alternatives to support clients who have entered or are at risk of entering the justice system due to drug involvement, mental illness, or other issues. The Public Defense Mitigation Specialists assists attorneys in developing defense strategies by providing advice and recommendations to attorneys in assessing clients and their families, participating in case strategy and planning, and presenting relevant diagnostic social service needs of clients, particularly as it pertains to establishing the best possible legal defense and/or outcome.

DPD is currently accepting applications to fill a Public Defense Mitigation Specialist II position in The Defender Association Division. The practice area of the position is yet to be determined and positions can be rotated based on business needs.


•Master's degree in Social Work or a related behavioral science field and a minimum of two years' experience within the last five years in either social work or social service experience. Experience working with clients who have been charged or convicted with a sex offense is highly desired.
•Knowledge of the role of the attorney-mitigation specialist relationship and familiarity with the Washington State Bar Association Rules of Professional Responsibility and other ethical standards which govern Mitigation Specialists.
•Knowledge of principles, methods and techniques of social services, including case management, assessment, coordination/referrals, research, mediation, report writing, and oral communications.
•Knowledge of the use of mitigation in criminal justice cases.
•Knowledge of protocols and methodology for assessment, evaluation and documenting physical, psychological, and mental development.
•Knowledge of criteria for reliable diagnosis and assessment of mental disorders.
•Skill in handling confidential information.
•Skills in identifying potential ethical issues and seeking advice/counsel when ethical issues arise or require clarification.
•Skill in preparing detailed narrative reports, correspondence and other written materials.
•Skill in using office software programs including word processing, spreadsheet, database and email.
•Ability to testify effectively at trial, sentencing or other hearings.
•Ability to communicate effectively and professionally, in person and in writing.
•Ability to work calmly and respond courteously when in stressful situations.
•Skill in working with a variety of individuals from diverse backgrounds.
•Valid Washington State Driver's License or the ability to travel reasonably quickly to multiple locations.
•Valid Washington State Social Work or Mental Health License preferred.
•Must be at least twenty one years of age.
Please note: An offer of employment will be contingent on the ability to successfully pass a King County Jail Clearance and a Washington State Patrol Background check.

To apply: 

Where To Apply: Interested individuals should submit an online application, resume, a self-authored writing sample and a letter of interest. The letter of interest should describe how you meet the qualifications of the position. You can find the online application at:

Electronic submission is preferred. For inquiries, please feel free to contact Irma Van Buskirk at [email protected] or 206-263-9002.

King County is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity/ Affirmative Action employer and we encourage people of color, women, veterans and people with disabilities to apply.
Salary range: 
$74,883.33 - $94,919.34 Annually
Submission deadline: 
Thursday, August 17, 2017