City of Kirkland
Kirkland, Washington, United States
Spotlight Preferred Member Company
13 days ago
Job Type
$174,955.00 - $228,277.00
Salary - Type
Yearly Salary
Job Function


Why Work for Kirkland?

Ranked as one of the most livable cities in America, Kirkland is an attractive and inviting place to live, work, and visit. We have big city vision while maintaining a small-town, community feel. If you are a candidate with the desire to join an organization looking to innovate into the future, the City of Kirkland is the place for you!
If you ask our employees why they love where they work, they’ll tell you about the great people, work environment, supportive management and City Council, and fearless innovation.

We also invest in you!

Competitive Wages:
We strive to maintain competitive compensation packages and work to provide wages that meet the knowledge, skills, and abilities of our employees.  

Awesome Benefits:
The City offers benefits that are unmatched by most other employers. Please click on the benefits tab above to view more details.

Childcare Programs:
To help address the challenge of finding reliable childcare, the City of Kirkland has reserved spots for City employees at local and regional service providers, available at a discount. New employees gain access to Kirkland’s reserved spots as soon as they start employment. 
Learn more

Training and Career Development: The City of Kirkland believes in developing its employees. You will have access to training opportunities designed for career development and advancement based on your position, skills, and interests.         

Job Summary
The City Attorney advises all elected and appointed officials, City employees and Boards and Commissions in all legal matters pertaining to the business of the City. Leads, plans, directs, and reviews the activities of the City Attorney’s Office Department which provides general municipal law services to the City. Serves as a member of the City’s Executive Team under the direction of the City Manager.
Principal Accountabilities: 

  • Provides and oversees the City’s general legal services and manages contracts for outside legal services.
  • Advises the City Manager on legal and policy matters as part of the Executive Team.  
  • Serves as chief legal advisor to the City Council.
  • Maintains a cohesive legal department and creates a positive, productive, and progressive team environment.
  • Develops and adheres to Department budget.
  • Ensures department goals and objectives are achieved and City policies are implemented.
  • Provides effective leadership to Department staff.
  • Makes timely responses to community member requests, concerns, and/or complaints.

Essential Functions: Essential functions, as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act, may include any of the following representative duties, knowledge, and skills. This is not a comprehensive listing of all functions and duties performed by incumbents of this class; employees may be assigned duties which are not listed below; reasonable accommodations will be made as required. The job description does not constitute an employment agreement and is subject to change at any time by the employer. Essential duties and responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, the following:

 1. General Management

  • Directs the activities of the Department and provides general supervision, leadership, and guidance to staff of the Department. Carries out the City’s vision, mission, and values. Creates a positive work environment emphasizing teamwork, creative problem-solving, and collaboration. Supervises, hires, trains, evaluates, and disciplines Department staff.
  • Prepares, presents, administers, and controls the budget for the Department.
  • Fosters a positive and supportive work environment; promotes diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in the workplace, contributing to an environment of respectful living and working in a multicultural society.

2. Legal Counsel

  • Provides legal counsel to City officials and employees on all municipal law matters with the objective of protecting the City’s interests and avoiding litigation when possible. Attends all City Council meetings and meetings of other City bodies, as needed. Serves as parliamentarian and advisor on Council policies and procedures during Council meetings. Prepares and approves City ordinances and resolutions as to form.
  • Advises the City staff and City Council on legal issues related to public records and open public meetings and serves as a member of the Public Disclosure Steering Team. 
  • Reviews and researches federal, state and local laws, ordinances and court decisions, preparing interpretations and legal opinions for City departments and officials.
  • Retains specialized outside legal services as needed to supplement City staff expertise or resources. 
  • Reviews liability risk situation to manage and reduce City exposure to adverse claims.
  • Encourages education and best practices for conduct of City business that balances reasonable risk with protection of City assets.
  • Performs duties having broad discretion on matters of law and operates within organizational guidelines without close, daily review. 
  • Reviews proposed and enacted county, state, and federal legislation for impact to the City.

3. Policy Development

  • Reviews and prepares legal documents including ordinances, resolutions, code provisions, contracts, interlocal agreements, and a variety of other legal instruments. Approves as to form and content all City legal documents prior to execution by the Mayor, City Manager, or other approving authority. 
  • Oversees the preparation and updating of the City Municipal and Zoning Codes and related documents.
  • Develops, recommends, and oversees the administration of City policies and guidelines. 
  • Tracks legal and policy issues of importance to the City and utilizes networks to establish contacts and sources of information relevant to the City.

4. Litigation

  • Ensures that the City is appropriately represented in each lawsuit. When the City Attorney’s Office is lead counsel or associated counsel, coordinates claims between trial counsel and City officials as to litigation strategy or appropriate settlement negotiations.
  • Represents the City in civil actions by or against the City and/or coordinates with outside counsel retained by the Washington Cities Insurance Authority to defend the City in civil actions.
  • Represents the City, as needed, before the City Hearing Examiner and other administrative tribunals such as the Growth Management Hearings Board and Shorelines Hearings Board.
  • Responsible for the filing of court cases by the City when necessary, such as for condemnation or nuisance abatement.

5. City Prosecutor

  • Negotiates, prepares, and administers contracts with outside counsel for prosecution services. 
  • Works cooperatively with law enforcement agencies to address patterns of criminal activity and code violations. Recommends code provisions to address nuisance, disruptive, or criminal behavior in the City.

6. Personnel Management 

  • Provides advice, legal memoranda, and policy drafts related to employee discipline and termination matters, state and federal regulations affecting employment issues, personnel policy issues, and all aspects of collective bargaining.
  • Ensures compliance with Citywide and department policies and local, state, and federal laws and regulations.

Peripheral Duties:

  • Performs functions as assigned in the City’s emergency response plan in the event of an emergency.
  • May serve as Acting City Manager or Risk Manager and can be called upon to represent the City in contacts with the media, other agencies, and citizens.
  • Assists other Departments with code enforcement, public disclosure requests, and with preparation of letters or reports. 
  • Responsible for developing measurable strategies that achieve the City’s initiatives in the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) Roadmap.
  • Performs other functions as requested by the City Manager.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Operate in an ethical, professional, and respectful manner, remain objective when providing services given competing demands/points of view of elected and appointed officials, and the public.
  • Establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships with elected officials and staff, law enforcement, legal and court officials, and stakeholders, both internal and external.
  • Thorough knowledge of Washington municipal law and understanding of legal issues for a municipal government. 
  • Skilled at complex negotiations involving multiple stakeholders.
  • Strong communication skills both verbal and written.
  • Skilled in preparing briefs and other legal documents.
  • Ability to work with elected officials on complex legal and policy issues in a setting where different objectives and/or adversarial viewpoints may exist.
  • Understanding of the City’s political environment and sensitivities.
  • Well-developed problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to communicate complex legal issues orally and in writing to a variety of audiences in a clear, comprehensive, effective, and professional manner.
  • Ability to establish and maintain cooperative, effective working relationships within the organization and with external customers and contacts.
  • Ability to effectively supervise staff and to prioritize and delegate work.
  • Ability to attract, retain, and motivate competent and professional staff.
  • Ability to use discretion in handling very high-level confidential information ranging from personnel issues, litigation strategy, negotiations, and strategic planning for projects or acquisitions being considered by the City.
  • Proficiency with personal computer and ability to coordinate technology applications pertinent to the Department’s operations and management systems. 


Minimum Qualifications:

  • Education: Juris doctorate or equivalent degree.
  • Experience: 10 years legal experience, including 3 years representing a municipal, county, or other governmental agency and 5 years in a management or supervisory capacity.  
  • Or: In place of the above requirements, the incumbent may possess any combination of relevant education and experience which would demonstrate the individual’s knowledge, skill, and ability to proficiently perform the essential duties and responsibilities listed above.

Licenses and Other Requirements:

  • Member in good standing of the Washington State Bar Association.
  • Must have a valid Washington State Driver’s license and ability to remain insurable under the City’s insurance to operate motor vehicles.


Physical Demands and Working Environment:  
Work is performed in a typical office environment. Requires occasional work off-site or outside of regular office hours. Requires sitting for extended periods of time performing keyboard operations.

Selection Process
Position requires a resume and cover letter (letter of interest) for consideration of application. Please note how you meet minimum qualifications within the cover letter. This position is open until filled, with a first review date by the 15th day of initial posting. 

The City of Kirkland is a welcoming community where every person can thrive and grow. We value diversity, inclusion, belonging, and work together to support our community. We do this by solving problems, focusing on the customer, and respecting all people who come into the City whether to visit, live, or work.  As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we are committed to creating a workforce that does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, color, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, marital status, genetic information, veteran status, disability, or any other basis prohibited by federal, state or local law. We encourage qualified applicants of all backgrounds and identities to apply to our job postings.  Persons with a disability who need reasonable accommodations in the application or testing process, or those needing this announcement in an alternative format, may call 425-587-3210 or Telecommunications Device for the Deaf 425-587-3111.

Job ID: 73493729

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