Defense Attorney

PLEASE NOTE: These positions have a current end date of December 30, 2023.

Thurston County Public Defense is currently recruiting for two (2) Defense Attorney positions. 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 these positions will be in the Superior Court Unit dedicated to representing clients affected by the COVID-19 backlog for felony 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.

Superior Court:
Manages a full or partial caseload of A, B, and C felonies. Prepares cases for trial, pre-trial and post-trial hearing and/or plea bargains the cases with the Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. Also, handles miscellaneous court hearings, including but not limited to, preliminary calendars, arraignment calendars and non-compliance 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.
  • function imgSecurityJs(){jQuery("img[tempsrc]").each(function(index, value){const tempSrc = jQuery(value).attr("tempsrc");jQuery.getJSON('/externalResourceProxy.cfm?endPoint='+tempSrc, function(data){if(data.status === 0 || data.status === 401){jQuery(value).remove();}else{jQuery(value).attr('src', tempSrc);}});});/* to allow video embedding in ckeditors */ jQuery("iframe[tempsrc]").each(function(index, value){jQuery(value).attr('src', jQuery(value).attr("tempsrc"));});}if(typeof jQuery=='undefined'){var headTag = document.getElementsByTagName("head")[0]; var jqTag = document.createElement('script'); jqTag.type = 'text/javascript'; jqTag.src = ''; jqTag.onload = imgSecurityJs; headTag.appendChild(jqTag);}else{jQuery(document).ready(function(){imgSecurityJs();});}


  • Defense Attorney I: Graduation from an ABA accredited school of law and must be a member of the Washington State Bar Association.
  • Defense Attorney II: Graduation from an ABA accredited school of law and must be a member of the Washington State Bar Association with a minimum of two (2) years of practice as an attorney with criminal trial experience or its equivalent.


  • 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.
  • 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)
- Applications Disclosure Form (Pursuant to RCW Section 43.43.830) (Questions 2-7)