News & Updates

The Washington State Office of Public Defense (OPD) seeks a contract attorney
June 15, 2023 | Chinami Arai

RFQ Attorney Representation for Indigent Clients Committed NGRI under Ch. 10.77 RCW

Salary: $150,000.00 – $187,392.00 Annually
Location:   Multiple Locations Statewide, WA
Job Type:  Various Job Types
Job Number: 2023-OPD-RFQ23029
Department: Office of Public Defense
Opening Date: 06/14/2023
The Washington State Office of Public Defense (OPD) Forensic Civil Commitment Program currently provides state funded attorney representation to indigent clients with a right to counsel at State expense after being civilly committed pursuant to a finding of Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity, under Ch. 10.77 RCW.

OPD seeks to fill the equivalent of contract attorney positions. The contract will be for up to 100% of a full-time caseload.

Annual compensation for a full-time caseload is $187,392.00. Based on a vendor rate increase funded by the legislature, the compensation will be increasing, but the final rates are not yet available. Part-time contracts are pro-rated based on the percentage of a full-time caseload. Contractors are responsible for all overhead such as support staff, rent, and other costs of doing business. If interested, follow the application procedures below. 

QualificationsA qualified applicant must:

  • Be a licensed member of good standing with the Washington State Bar
  • Demonstrate a commitment to indigent defense.
  • Completed two to three felony jury trials.
  • Experience working with and using experts.
  • Willingness to learn and use civil and local court rules in Washington State.
  • Be responsive to and communicate clearly with clients living with disabilities, and/or mental health issues, and those with Limited English Proficiency (LEP).
  • Occasional travel to Eastern or Western State Hospitals.
  • Possess experience or interest in how race, gender, national origin, disability, and class intersect to create disparities for individuals experiencing state intervention in their lives, and a willingness to challenge the State on issues of bias and prejudice.

OPD will prefer applicants who:

  • Demonstrated high quality legal defense representation in civil commitment cases pursuant to Chapter 10.77, 71.05, or 71.09.
  • Completed two to three Class A felony jury trials.
  • Willingness to accept a full-time caseload, either per attorney or shared by a group practice or agency.
  • Willingness to accept case appointments in multiple counties.


Supplemental InformationApplication Procedure
Applications will be accepted until the positions are filled. To apply, email a letter of interest identifying your qualifications, and a resume, and a legal writing sample. Letters of interest should describe the applicant’s current contracts for public defense or other representation as well as existing caseload, specifying the number and type of cases currently carried, if any.

Email Materials to:
Lindsey Townsend at

Please address any questions to:
Shoshana Kehoe-Ehlers at

For more information, click here.