Public Defense Attorney

You are here

Job location
710 Second Avenue
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: 

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 therapeutic courts, providing diversion and support to clients who have entered the criminal justice system due to drug involvement, mental illness, or other issues.

The Department is looking for talented, committed, hardworking advocates with excellent trial, research, and writing skills, and an ability to work in a fast-paced environment. The successful applicant will have a passion for public defense and a demonstrated commitment to helping those who are less fortunate. He or she will also have a demonstrated ability to receive feedback and integrate that feedback into his or her practice. The scope of representation expected by an attorney is determined by the nature of the case assignment and in accordance with the Rules of Professional Conduct. Caseload standards established by the State Supreme Court and that foster excellence in legal representation are observed in accordance with Washington State Bar Association guidelines. Attorneys in the Department of Public Defense are expected to complete all required trainings and to actively advance their level of practice by seeking additional learning opportunities.

The Department is looking for candidates available to begin during the months of May and June 2017.


•Demonstrated commitment to advocacy for disadvantaged individuals and/or issues of economic, social and racial justice.
•Excellent demonstrated analytical, research, writing, and oral advocacy skills.
•Ability to manage a caseload in a fast-paced environment.
•Admission to Washington State Bar Association or licensing in other states qualifying for a license under Rule 8.
•A valid Washington State driver's license or the ability to travel throughout King County in a timely manner.
ALSO DESIRED: •Proficiency in languages other than English, particularly Spanish.
•Clinical training in public defense.
•Criminal defense experience.
Please note: An offer of employment will be contingent on the ability to successfully pass a Washington State Patrol Background Check.

To apply: 

Where to Apply: Interested individuals should submit an online King County application, cover letter, resume, and short writing sample. You can find the online application at:

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.

Equal Opportunity Employer
Salary range: 
Submission deadline: 
Sunday, May 7, 2017