Public Defense Attorney

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Job location
401 5th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
King County, Department of Public Defense
Street address: 
401 5th Avenue
Job type: 
Legal - Defender
Position Description: 

The Department of Public Defense (DPD) is renowned nationally for its excellent legal representation to indigent clients in King County. Governed by a voter-approved amendment to the County Charter that made DPD a permanent, independent department within county government, the Department of Public Defense is overseen by a chief Public Defender with support and guidance from an advisory board comprised of regional leaders in 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 therapeutic courts, providing diversion and support to clients who have entered the criminal justice system due to drug involvement, mental illness, or other issues.


• JD from an accredited law school.
• 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.
• 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: 

Work Schedule: The normal work schedule is Monday through Friday, with some night and weekend work. This position meets the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and is not eligible for overtime.

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:

Equal Opportunity Employer
Salary range: 
$62,581.38 - $94,351.30