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Public Defense Paralegal

The Department of Public Defense (DPD) provides high-quality legal representation to indigent clients. DPD practices in several areas, including felonies, misdemeanors, juvenile defense, family defense (dependency cases), involuntary commitment (mental illness), sex offender commitment, and contempt of court. The department also works to address racial disproportionality in the criminal legal system, the collateral consequences of system involvement, and other structural and/or systemic issues that undermine the rights of our clients and their communities. DPD employs attorneys, skilled investigators, mitigation specialists, paralegals, and other support staff. Expert services are regularly funded, in keeping with state court rules.  

To learn more about DPD, please visit our website at:

About the Position
Public defense paralegals work in a fast-paced environment as part of a client-centered defense team advocating for the client’s objectives. Their duties vary, depending on the needs of the client, but often include researching the law, reviewing cases, analyzing data, and organizing evidence. Paralegals also draft correspondence, pleadings, and motions; prepare case files; assemble trial binders; obtain documents by subpoena; communicate with clients, family members, and others; and coordinate parties and witnesses in advance of hearings and trials.

Who May Apply
This recruitment is open to the public. DPD Ethical Walls Policies and Procedures will apply to applicants, such that if you work or have worked for one of DPD's divisions, you may be ineligible for this position. Applicants for special duty must be current King County employees who have passed their initial probationary period. Special duty applicants must have approval from their current supervisor to accept an acting assignment.

This recruitment will be used to fill vacancies that occur over the next six months across all divisions in career service, special duty, and term-limited temporary capacities.

Work Schedule
This position is covered by the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and is overtime eligible with pre-approval from the supervisor. The work week is normally 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Rotations of work location between our four office locations in Seattle and Kent can occur based on business need, and initial placements may be made to any of the following Seattle and/or Kent work locations:

  • Dexter Horton Building, 710 Second Avenue, Seattle
  • Jefferson Street Building, 1401 East Jefferson, Seattle
  • Meeker Street Building, 420 West Harrison Street, Kent


Forms and Materials Required

  1. An online employment application completed at The employment history should go back at least 10 years if you have 10 years of employment (or more to include all relevant experience).
  2. A cover letter no more than two pages summarizing your experience and how you meet the required qualifications, knowledge, and skills for the position.
  3. A resume.
  4. A short self-authored writing sample (in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format) prepared for this selection process.


For more information, contact:
Falisha Forgash
Human Resource Analyst

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