News & Updates

Mountain Law Seeks Defense Attorneys
December 13, 2023 | Erin Stewart

2 Full-time attorney positions available – Those awaiting WSBA Bar Exam Results are encouraged to apply!

$5,000 sign-on bonus with $76,000 – $85,000 annual salary, (DOQ).

Full Position Description:

Mountain Law seeks skilled, committed attorneys to provide zealous legal representation to indigent clients. Representation may include work in Mount Vernon, Burlington and Sedro-Woolley Municipal Courts. Our Office represents adult and juvenile clients facing misdemeanor charges in municipal courts in Skagit County.

Our office takes work-life balance seriously! We are a collaborative office environment where we support each other while zealously serving our indigent clients. In addition to excellent “normal” benefits, we also offer some things you are not likely to find in any government office:

  • Costco Membership.
  • Panera Sip-Club Membership.
  • YMCA Membership.

Mountain Law strives to create a workplace culture that is inclusive, diverse, flexible, and supportive of our employees. Our attorneys work with in-house investigators, office assistants and Rule 9 Interns to provide client-centered representation. Attorneys are encouraged to go to trial and are supported by experienced supervisors. In keeping with state court rules and best practices, we remain within caseload standards for indigent defense and provide opportunities for in-house and outside continuing education.

Vaccination against COVID-19 is a required condition of employment with Mountain Law. Proof of vaccination is required for employees who attend court and directly interact with clients.

The successful applicant is required to live within Skagit County or an adjacent county (i.e., within about a 30 minute drive) as a condition of employment. Relocation assistance is available.

Office hours at Mountain Law are M-Th 8am-5pm, Fridays 8am-4pm (days before a 3 or 4 day weekend, we close at 3pm). Attorneys are expected to be physically present in the office to meet with clients, answer incoming calls, and be available for walk-ins, as well as go to the jail to see in-custody clients. Attorneys also rotate through a first-appearance (“Jail Rights”) a few times per month which requires that attorneys arrive at the office by 6:30am to prepare to see defendants at the jail before the court calendar at 8:30am. Because of the need to arrive early, attorneys are allowed to leave at 3pm on those days.

 Essential Functions:

Defend indigent individuals charged with a crime or other conduct that could result in a loss of liberty.

Communicate effectively with clients to obtain information that is relevant to the defense of their case, which may include obtaining information that is relevant to the issue of release from confinement or a reduction of bail; to determine the client’s goals of the litigation; to discuss possible defenses and trial strategy; and to provide legal information and advice. Attorneys maintain communication with clients in person in the office, by meeting with clients at the jail, by phone, by e-mail, by Zoom, or by mail throughout the course of the representation to keep their clients informed regarding the status of their case.

Conduct or direct investigation that is appropriate for each case, including, but not limited to, interviewing government and defense witnesses, obtaining records, consulting with expert witnesses, and visiting alleged crime scenes.

Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the cases assigned to him or her; develop an understanding of the possible sentences or outcomes of the litigation, including immigration and other collateral consequences; and develop an understanding of law relevant to the case through legal research. Engage in a robust motions practice involving research, writing, and arguing motions.

Engage in negotiations with prosecutors to develop creative resolutions to each case that are favorable for the client.

Appear in court at pre-trial hearings, trial, and post-trial hearings, including sentencing, restitution, and review hearings.

Schedule subsequent follow-up client meetings for clients after conducting their initial client meeting. Attempt contact with clients who fail to show up for meetings, and reschedule client meetings as needed. Attorneys are expected to be able to schedule their own appointments at times.

Keep abreast of developments in the law and attend training sessions to receive CLE credit and to enhance knowledge of the law in his or her practice area.

Work with social service agencies, schools, treatment providers, or other professionals.

Communicate with individuals who lack English proficiency.

Work with clients experiencing mental illness, drug addiction, trauma, or other issues.

Utilize an electronic case management system to maintain accurate and current client files.

Bilingual and biliterate in Spanish and English preferred. Additional compensation is available to employees who are proficient in Spanish or another non-English language and use the language regularly in their employment.

Maintain a professional standard of attire (courtroom attire during court calendars, business-casual during non-court days, and maintaining access to courtroom attire in case of a need for court appearance).

Be on-call 3 to 4 times per year, for one month at a time, to respond to urgent consultations with individuals under arrest who request to speak with an attorney. There is a $300 bonus for the month that attorneys have on-call duty.

 Supervisory:

May direct non-attorney staff on specific projects or cases, but does not have direct supervisory responsibilities.

 OTHER JOB FUNCTIONS:

May be tasked with performing related duties. Related duties as required are duties that may not be specifically listed in the position description.

 Requires knowledge of and the ability to:

Perform thoroughly and accurately the full scope of ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS for this position as listed above (*).

  • Computer-based legal research programs
  • Microsoft Office suite
  • Court docket systems
  • Washington law and statues relating to criminal offenses and select civil cases
  • Washington rules of evidence, criminal procedure, and civil procedure in select civil cases
  • Operation of standard office equipment, including printers, fax machines, copy machines, calculators, computers, and scanners
  • Work with people in a courteous manner
  • Maintain confidentiality and follow the code of ethics
  • Conduct bench and jury trials
  • Read, analyze and interpret legal documents
  • Effectively present information and respond to questions from judges
  • Define problems, collect data, establish facts and draw valid conclusions
  • Function in a self-directed capacity and collaborate well with others working as a team

*There will be obvious exceptions to some aspects of these requirements for Rule 9 interns.

Licenses and/or Certifications:
Member of the Washington State Bar Association in good standing (*), or the ability to become licensed with Washington State Bar Association within the probationary period.

WORKING CONDITIONS/PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:
Work is performed primarily in an office, jail, and/or courtroom environment. Job may require sitting at a desk for extended periods of time. Some bending, stooping, or light lifting may be required. Public defense by its very nature is demanding and stressful. However, staff members are professionals and strive to maintain close mutual support and the Mountain Law owner offers generous Paid Time Off (PTO).

Hazards:
Hazards are those present in an office, jail, or courtroom environment. A physical hazard may arise from hostile individuals, which may include verbal or physical threats, and threats with weapons. Hazards may also include exposure to germs from aspiration or physical contact with other persons and objects, including, but not limited to, documents, writing instruments, and writing surfaces.

 Job Types: Full-time and/or Internship

Salary: $76,00.00 – $85,000.00 per year ($5,000 sign-on bonus as well)

Benefits:

  • 401(k) matching
  • Dental insurance
  • Flexible schedule
  • Health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Professional development assistance
  • Relocation assistance
  • Vision insurance

Schedule:

  • 8 hour shift
  • Day shift
  • Monday to Friday

Supplemental pay types:

  • Bonus pay
  • Signing bonus

COVID-19 considerations:

All Mountain Law employees are expected to be vaccinated and receive booster shots as available.

Work Location: Multiple Locations

Please send resume and cover letter outlining why you’d be a good fit.  Send to:  mlaws@mountain.law