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Defense Attorney

**This employment opportunity is open until filled. The Thurston County Public Defense Office reserves the right to close this recruitment at any time. To ensure consideration for this position, please submit your application as soon as possible.**

Thurston County Public Defense Mission:

"To Defend and Protect Our Clients' Constitutional Rights, One Person at a Time"

PLEASE NOTE: This position has a current end date of December 31, 2024.

Thurston County Public Defense is currently recruiting for one (1) Defense Attorney position. A Defense Attorney practices in either District Court, Juvenile Court, or Superior Court with moderate to minimum supervision and/or general direction from a higher-level defense attorney. Immediate placement for this position will be in the District Court Unit for misdemeanor representation consistent with summary of duties outlined below.

Depending upon qualifications, the successful applicant will be placed either at a Defense Attorney I or Defense Attorney II level. The Defense Attorney II is distinguished by years of experience and the responsibility to handle both adult and juvenile felony and misdemeanor caseloads.

District Court:
Manages a full misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor caseload. Prepares cases for trial, pre-trial and post-trial hearing and/or plea bargains the cases with the Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. Also, handles miscellaneous calendar duties such as arraignment calendars, initial appearance calendars, and interpreter calendars.

Other responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Reviews police reports, interviews witnesses, works with court and Prosecutor to resolve cases. Appropriately utilizes non-attorney professional services.
  • Reviews reports from DSHS, interviews appropriate parties, works with the Attorney General, case workers, social workers, experts, court and related court personnel to resolve cases.
  • Performs a variety of legal office work, prepares appropriate legal pleadings, does necessary research.
  • Maintains accurate and complete statistical information to be used for future needs and projections.
  • Assists other Defense Attorneys in matters of tactics, trial strategy and legal research.
  • Provides back-up defense for District and Juvenile Courts and is knowledgeable of District and Juvenile Court rules and procedures.
  • Defense Attorney I: Knowledge of all criminal rules of Washington State, techniques of interviewing and preparation and defense of all variety of criminal cases, with emphasis on lower level felonies and all misdemeanors.
  • Defense Attorney II: Two (2) years of practice as an attorney with criminal trial experience or its equivalent and knowledge of all criminal rules of Washington State, techniques of interviewing and preparation and defense of all variety of criminal cases, with emphasis on felonies.


  • Graduation from an ABA accredited school of law and must be a member of the Washington State Bar Association
  • Knowledge of RCW 13.34, good communication with parents, legal custodians and guardians.
  • Ability to perform legal research; analyze and apply legal principles, facts, evidence, and precedents to legal problems.
  • Present law, facts, evidence and arguments clearly and logically in written and oral form.
  • Work harmoniously and maintain good public relations.

Questions about this position?
For more information about this position, please contact Mia Pagnotta, (360) 786-5868.

This position is:

- NOT represented by a Union
- NOT eligible for overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
- Eligible for benefits

Items required to be considered for this position:

- Application
- Letter of Interest
- Resume
- Supplemental Questionnaire (Question 1 & 2)
- Applications Disclosure Form (Pursuant to RCW Section 43.43.830) (Questions 3-8)

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