News & Updates

Thurston County Public Defense Seeks Defense Attorneys
January 27, 2022 | Alison Pagan
PLEASE NOTE: On August 24, 2021, the Board of County Commissioners adopted a Resolution requiring COVID-19 vaccination OR weekly testing for county employees. This position will be required to be either fully vaccinated or submit weekly testing results as a condition of employment.  For more information, please contact the recruitment contact listed below. 
Thurston County Public Defense Mission:
“To Defend and Protect Our Clients’ Constitutional Rights, One Person at a Time”

PLEASE NOTE:  These positions have a current end date of December 30, 2023.

Thurston County Public Defense is currently recruiting for two (2) Defense Attorney positions. A Defense Attorney practices in either District Court, Juvenile Court, or Superior Court with moderate to minimum supervision and/or general direction from a higher-level defense attorney. Immediate placement for these positions will be in the Superior Court Unit dedicated to representing clients affected by the COVID-19 backlog for felony representation consistent with summary of duties outlined below.

Depending upon qualifications, the successful applicant will be placed either at a Defense Attorney I or Defense Attorney II level. The Defense Attorney II is distinguished by years of experience and the responsibility to handle both adult and juvenile felony and misdemeanor caseloads.

Superior Court:
Manages a full or partial caseload of A, B, and C felonies. Prepares cases for trial, pre-trial and post-trial hearing and/or plea bargains the cases with the Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. Also, handles miscellaneous court hearings, including but not limited to, preliminary calendars, arraignment calendars and non-compliance calendars.  

Other responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Reviews police reports, interviews witnesses, works with court and Prosecutor to resolve cases. Appropriately utilizes non-attorney professional services.
  • Reviews reports from DSHS, interviews appropriate parties, works with the Attorney General, case workers, social workers, experts, court and related court personnel to resolve cases.
  • Performs a variety of legal office work, prepares appropriate legal pleadings, does necessary research.
  • Maintains accurate and complete statistical information to be used for future needs and projections.
  • Assists other Defense Attorneys in matters of tactics, trial strategy and legal research.
  • Provides back-up defense for District and Juvenile Courts and is knowledgeable of District and Juvenile Court rules and procedures.


  • Defense Attorney I: Graduation from an ABA accredited school of law and must be a member of the Washington State Bar Association.
  • Defense Attorney II: Graduation from an ABA accredited school of law and must be a member of the Washington State Bar Association with a minimum of two (2) years of practice as an attorney with criminal trial experience or its equivalent.

  • Knowledge of all criminal rules of Washington State, techniques of interviewing and preparation and defense of all variety of criminal cases, with emphasis on felonies.
  • Knowledge of RCW 13.34, good communication with parents, legal custodians and guardians.
  • Ability to perform legal research; analyze and apply legal principles, facts, evidence, and precedents to legal problems.
  • Present law, facts, evidence and arguments clearly and logically in written and oral form.
  • Work harmoniously and maintain good public relations.

Other Position Related Information

Questions about this position?
For more information about this position, please contact Mia Pagnotta, (360) 786-5868.

This position is:
– NOT represented by a Union
– NOT eligible for overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
– Eligible for benefits

Items required to be considered for this position:
– Application
– Letter of Interest
– Resume
– Supplemental Questionnaire (Question 1)
– Applications Disclosure Form (Pursuant to RCW Section 43.43.830) (Questions 2-7)


For more information, including how to apply, click here.