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Managing Attorney - Ch. 10.77 RCW (Post-NGRI) Program

About the Washington State Office of Public Defense (OPD)
We are an independent judicial branch agency mandated to implement the constitutional and statutory guarantees of counsel and to ensure the effective and efficient delivery of indigent defense services funded by the state.

Mission: Upholding the rights of all people who are facing the loss of liberty or family by providing statewide leadership, administration, and support to the multidisciplinary public defense profession.
Vision: Public defense clients, everywhere in the state, receive truly equitable and client-centered representation from fully supported professionals.
Values: Justice  *  Service  *  Equity  *  Excellence  

OPD administers a variety of programs, including systemic improvement programs and programs providing direct representation. To learn about our programs click here. We are dedicated to excellence in public law and indigent defense, and we seek talented candidates who share this commitment to client-centered service. We value employees who bring diverse backgrounds in education, employment, community activities, and life experiences to enhance our office.

The NGRI Civil Commitment Representation Program 
Pursuant to Substitute Senate Bill 5415, the 2023 state legislature directs OPD to administer all state-funded services related to the representation of indigent persons acquitted by reason of insanity and committed to state psychiatric care at either Eastern or Western State Hospital. These individuals have a statutory right to counsel as soon as the court commits them. OPD must contract with attorneys across the state to provide representation, until legal termination of commitment and final unconditional release.


The Role of the NGRI Managing Attorney
As Program Managing Attorney you will collaborate with your fellow Indeterminate Civil Commitment Representation Team members (fiscal assistant, program analyst, and contractors) to develop and administer the statewide public defense representation of individuals civilly committed pursuant to a finding of Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity under Ch.10.77 RCW. This position is a unique opportunity for an experienced public defense attorney to step out of the courtroom and work behind-the-scenes to improve the statewide response to delivering effective and highly skilled representation to individuals committed to Eastern or Western State Hospital. Specific responsibilities will include:

  • Providing technical assistance to contract attorneys and social workers.
  • Developing caseload and practice standards for post-commit NGRI representation.
  • Building relationships with key interested parties, including DSHS-Behavioral Health Administration, Office of Forensic Mental Health, Department of Corrections, Disability Rights Washington, Superior Court Judges, county prosecutors, community mental health treatment providers, and housing providers.
  • Investigating patient (client) complaints.
  • Recruiting expert service and professional service providers for defense to use in case preparation and court proceedings.
  • Observing and evaluating contract attorneys in the courtroom or during depositions.
  • Compiling and analyzing program data for caseload analysis, reports, and fiscal or policy requests to the legislature.
  • Drafting periodic reports to the legislature.
  • Testifying before the Washington State Legislature.
  • Facilitating or conducting trainings for contract attorneys and social workers.

Periodic travel is required in Washington State, including occasional overnight travel. Out-of-state travel occurs infrequently.

Questions about this position are welcome, and should be directed to the Lead Managing Attorney, or 360-586-3164 ext. 110.


Minimum Qualifications

  • A member in good standing of the Washington State Bar Association.
  • Experience as a trial attorney representing indigent adults in the Washington State criminal legal systems including the use of forensic expert witnesses and risk actuarial tools.
  • Experience using the Washington Civil and Criminal Rules of Procedure
  • Able to develop and sustain respectful professional relationships with a diverse community of state and county government officials, judges, defense attorneys, professional associations, community representatives, and others.
  • Demonstrate understanding of and experience advocating against the impact of race, bias, discrimination, and differential treatment of communities disproportionately composed of Black, Indigenous, and people of color, individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+ or other sexual minorities, individuals with disabilities, immigrants, limited English speaking persons, and others who have been historically disproportionately overrepresented in the criminal justice system.
  • Have the ability to prioritize tasks, and to function independently as well as part of a team in a collaborative environment.
  • Proficient with computer use and have the ability to become proficient in the use of specialized case management tools.
  • Attention to detail and excellent writing and proofreading skills.

Desired Qualifications

  • Strong background representing indigent individuals living with mental illness in the civil and criminal justice systems.
  • Experience representing individuals with developmental, intellectual, and physical disabilities.
  • Experience representing individuals committed under Ch.10.77 to state behavioral health hospitals or institutions.
  • Familiarity with forensic risk actuarial tools.
  • Experience supervising public defense staff or managing attorney contracts.
  • Experience promoting systemic change in the criminal legal system.
  • Experience presenting at training programs.

General Responsibilities

  • Exercise mature judgment in potentially sensitive, high-stress situations.
  • Participate in and foster a collaborative working environment at OPD, statewide stakeholder groups, and in demographically diverse local court systems.
  • Diligently follow attorney and state employee ethics requirements.
  • Conduct all activities with the highest degree of professionalism in furtherance of OPD’s Mission, Vision and Values.


$118,740 to $129,336 annually.

Compensation depending on qualifications. Washington State employees are offered a comprehensive benefit package that includes: paid holidays, vacation and sick leave, retirement and health, dental and life insurance coverage for self and family.  There are also options for deferred compensation and pre-tax flexible spending accounts.


Application Requirements

  • To be considered you must apply online at Link to the job bulletin below. You must complete the entire online application to be considered for this position.
  • Provide three professional references with contact information - you may attach a document, use the References text field in the online application or include with resume. Applicants will be notified before references are contacted.
  • Attach a letter of interest describing how your experience and qualifications relate to the position profile.
  • Attach a current résumé.
  • If you have problems navigating the online application process or uploading the required documents, please contact and/or send your attachments to

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
We vigorously pursue diversity in the work force. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons over 40 year of age, LGBTQIA+, persons with disabilities, formerly incarcerated, prior child welfare involvement, and military veterans are encouraged to apply. Pursuing diversity, equity and inclusion means that as an agency, and as individuals, we are committed to ensuring that all employees enjoy a respectful, safe, and supportive working environment.

Our offices are in Olympia, Washington. We have teleworking options available by policy, and will be considered on an individual basis depending on the needs of the position and the availability of adequate equipment.

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