News & Updates

Grays Harbor County Department of Public Defense seeks a full-time defense dedicated attorney
December 8, 2022 | Chinami Arai

Grays Harbor County Department of Public Defense is seeking to add a full-time defense dedicated attorney. The Department of Public Defense is making strides to transform the defense culture and increase defender diversity. The court and legal climate are changing.

This full time County employee will represent indigent clients in the courts of Grays Harbor County in all phases of criminal proceedings, including first appearance, arraignment, pretrial hearings, trial preparation and investigation, plea negotiations, trial, and sentencing.

This position includes training and advancement possibilities.

Salary  $85,152.00 – $116,040.00 Annually
Location  Montesano, WA
Job Type Full-Time
Department Public Defense Department
Job Number OPD-22-803


Position Summary: The attorney filling this position will act as court-appointed counsel representing indigent people in the courts of Grays Harbor County. The attorney will represent clients in all phases of criminal proceedings, including first appearance, arraignment, pretrial hearings, trial preparation and investigation, plea negotiations, trial and sentencing. The attorney may also represent clients on probation violations, post-sentencing violations, appellate court remands, and conditional release petitions NGRI. The attorney may represent indigent clients in involuntary commitment RCW 71.05, truancy, Youth at Risk, and civil contempt. The Department of Public Defense represents people charged with criminal law violations in Superior Court (both adult and juvenile) and in District Court.

This position has room for advancement and training.Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Interview defendants as assigned to determine the facts of the case. Review police reports and other materials to evaluate each case against the state of the law to determine its relative strengths and weaknesses in order to engage in plea negotiations, development of case strategy and trial preparation.
  2. Meet with clients to evaluate options and strategies. Keep clients informed of the status of their case and promptly respond to reasonable requests for information. Explain to clients all matters necessary for them to make informed decisions about their cases.
  3. Personally investigate cases and/or obtain and direct investigators in the investigation of cases, engage in pre-trial negotiations, prepare and argue pre-trial motions as needed, conduct bench and jury trials and any necessary hearings subsequent thereto.
  4. Coordinate and arrange for tests of physical evidence and the use of expert witnesses.
  5. Conduct all trial actions including selection of jury in criminal matters outside of juvenile court, cross and direct examination of witnesses, introduction of evidence and exhibits and make arguments on the law and interpretation of the evidence.
  6. Represent defendants in all legal proceedings including, but not limited to arraignments, pre-trial motions, trials, guilty pleas and post-trial matters, including but not limited to post-trial motions, sentencing hearings, restitution hearings, sentence reviews and the filing of appeals.
  7. Prioritize and plan cases and work activities while using resources efficiently.
  8. Act on a rotating basis to provide 24-hour access to counsel to individuals under arrest and or investigation for DUI.
  9. Cooperate with the courts in its electronic records project, which includes electronic receipt of hearing and trial notices, discovery, and other documents and information, and electronic filing of motions and other documents.
  10. Perform a variety of legal office work, prepares appropriate legal pleadings, and conducts necessary research.
  11. Maintain accurate and complete statistical information to be used for future needs and projections.
  12. Provide limited back-up defense coverage for District, and Juvenile Courts and is knowledgeable of District Court rules and procedures.
  13. Perform other duties as assigned by the Public Defender Administrator.
  14. Maintain appropriate level of confidentiality on all matters.
  15. Perform other duties or projects as assigned, including attending conferences/meetings on behalf of the Public Defender Office.
  16. Complete seven hours of continuing legal education within each calendar year in courses related to their public defense practice.


QualificationsKnowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of applicable Washington State and federal law relating to criminal and other assigned cases.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills including the ability to communicate effectively with diverse populations, engage in problem solving, work with upset or mentally ill people, negotiate with others and manage conflict.
  • High level of analytical ability and logic. Ability to gather and synthesize large bodies of information.
  • Experience with the use of personal computers, including internet resources and commonly-used office software
  • Experience and familiarity with standard and commonly-used office equipment and modern business administrative tools.
  • Ability to communicate clearly and concisely, orally and in writing.
  • Ability to assure that absolute confidentiality is maintained as required and sensitive information is handled appropriately.
  • Ability to maintain a high level of personal and professional integrity and honesty.
  • Ability to work effectively in a multi-task environment.
  • Ability to work independently.

Minimum Qualifications:

  1. Law degree from an accredited college or university.
  2. Admission to Washington State Bar Association.
  3. Qualified to represent Juvenile clients.
  4. Qualified to represent clients in compliance with Indigent Defense Standards, include “B” and “C” felonies.
  5. Possess and maintain a valid driver’s license.
For more information, click here.