City Attorney

06/05/2019 8:04 PM | WWL Admin (Administrator)

City Attorney

Class Title

City Attorney

Class Code



$11,668.00 - $15,196.00 Monthly

Nature of Work

Under the direction of the Mayor, serve as chief legal advisor to the city as provided by the City Charter.  Responsibilities include analyzing and representing the city in litigation and participating in short and long-range planning for the city to assure proper consideration of legal issues, as well as oversight of the city's risk management program, oversight of the city's Prosecutor's Office and directing a variety of legal services for all departments and divisions of the city, including City Administration and the City Council.  Work is reviewed through conferences and on the basis of results obtained.  Supervision is exercised over a staff of legal professionals and administrative employee

Illustrative Examples Of Work

Provide legal advice to guide city policies, decisions and activities; prepare or direct the preparation of ordinances, resolutions, deeds and contracts; prepare other legal documents for the city.

Attend City Council meetings and give advice upon request; review legal propriety of documents under consideration by City Council or city administrative officials.

Direct or participate in litigations affecting the city, including damage suits by or against the city, suits for back pay or wages, suits affecting the city's municipal authority to zone and proceedings before judicial and quasi-judicial bodies.

Attend and participate in city, county, regional, state and national legal task forces, committees, associations and organizations on a variety of issues; provide legal counsel to local government associations on various issues as appropriate.

Direct or participate in the drafting and review of letters, ordinances, contracts, resolutions, policies, real estate documents and other legal documents enacted by the city to ensure proper wording, compliance with applicable laws, the carrying out of the city's intent, the limitation of the city's liability and the protection of the city's interest; issue opinion letters as required or requested.

Evaluate and award legal contracts to outside counsel; assign, direct and manage outside counsel work to assure compliance with specifications, city policies, time lines and legal requirements.

Direct and oversee district court and criminal matters; provide technical and legal advice in more complex criminal and prosecution matters; assure representation of the city in litigation, ranging from prosecuting city traffic and criminal ordinances to litigating major civil lawsuits at trial and appellate levels.

Track legal and policy issues of importance to the city; read legal journals and network to establish contacts and sources of information relevant to the city.

Draft and review proposed and enacted state and federal legislation for impact upon the city; recommend appropriate responses where necessary to protect the city's legal interests; analyze legal trends and developments impacting the city and recommend appropriate responses to actions.

Prepare annual and special budgets to enable the department to achieve its objectives; monitor and control budgets.

Direct or participate in proceedings for the vacation of street condemnation of lands for municipal purposes, for land acquisition and for related legal transactions.
Hire, train, assign, supervise and evaluate the work of professional and administrative legal staff; distribute work to assure proper and efficient work flow; review documents prepared by legal staff to assure adherence to proper legal principles and procedures and to assure that legal advice given to city clients is accurate, responsive and sensitive to political and policy issues.
Oversee the preparation and administration of departmental budgets; present annual budget estimates and work programs; monitor and approve expenditures; approve consultant and contractor payments in accordance with contract guidelines; review financial and performance data; present departmental, division and program expenditure requests; seek and secure financial resources.
Perform related work and special projects as assigned.
Knowledge, Skills & Abilities 
Knowledge of:

  • Comprehensive municipal law, including torts, contracts, land use, solid waste, labor law, transportation, criminal law, constitutional law, government/administrative law and municipal finance.
  • Theory, structure and practice of municipal law, particularly as it applies to municipal government.
  • Civil and criminal litigation and appellate techniques.
  • Budget preparation and control.
  • Principle methods, materials and practices of legal research and investigation.
  • Judicial procedure and rules of evidence.
  • City organization, operations, policies and objectives.
  • Modern office practices, procedures, equipment and software applications.
  • Applicable federal, state and local laws, codes, regulations, policies and procedures.
Skill Level:
  • Excellent interpersonal skills for establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with employees, other departments and city staff, city officials and the public.
  • Management and team building skills including supervisory, instruction, problem analysis and decision making, planning and organizing, adaptability/flexibility, stress tolerance and time management.
  • Superior client/customer service skills required including a positive customer service orientation, with both internal and external contacts.
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills with the ability to apply appropriate communication techniques to varying audiences.
  • Proficient research and documentation skills.
  • Proficient in the use of all office equipment including personal computers and related software applications.

 Ability to:

  • Exercise a high degree of independent judgment and conceptualize, influence and develop objectives, goals and guidelines for assigned department.
  • Work with elected officials on complex legal and policy issues in a public setting where different objectives and/or adversarial viewpoints may exist.
  • Hire, train, assign, supervise and evaluate the work of professional and administrative legal staff.
  • Provide legal advice to guide city policies, decisions and activities.
  • Represent the city at various court levels and tribunals in criminal and civil litigation.
  • Draft and interpret city ordinances and resolutions.
  • Practice law and identify legal opportunities to accomplish city objectives.
  • Communicate complex legal issues orally and in writing to a variety of audiences in a clear, comprehensive, effective and professional manner.
  • Read, interpret, explain and apply legal and technical language.
  • Resolve conflicts and gain cooperation among conflicting groups.
  • Design and execute effective trial and appellate strategies in complex cases.
  • Understand the city's political environment and sensitivities.
  • Establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships with co-workers, supervisors, other city staff, and the public.
  • Relate to others in a professional, courteous and respectful manner.
  • Maintain a work environment free of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.
  • Proactively address potential employee issues.
  • Promote diversity and multi-cultural understanding in the workplace and the community.
Minimum Education And Experience Requirements

The experience requirements for this position are covered in the City Charter; education and licensing requirements are:

  1. Law degree and
  2. Member of the Washington State Bar Association
Physical Demands/Working Conditions
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
  • Work is performed primarily in an office environment under pressure and requires the ability to quickly adjust to changing priorities and demands.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit and use a keyboard.
  • Travel by various modes of private and commercial transportation within the region is required.
  • Occasional fieldwork may be required.
  • Attendance and participation at evening meetings may be required on a frequent basis.
Supplemental Information

The statements contained in this class specification reflect general details as necessary to describe the principle functions of this class, the level of knowledge and skill typically required, and the scope of responsibility, but should not be considered an all-inclusive listing of work requirements.  Individuals may perform other duties as assigned including work in other functional areas to cover absences or relief, to equalize peak work periods or otherwise to balance the work load.

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