News & Updates

Washington State Office of public defense seeks a staff attorney
June 12, 2023 | Chinami Arai

Staff Attorney – Disproportionality Legal Training Unit

Salary: $123,490.00 Annually
Location:  Thurston County – Olympia, WA
Job Type: Exempt
Remote Employment: Flexible/Hybrid
Job Number: 032A
Department: Office of Public Defense
Opening Date: 06/07/2023
Closing Date: 6/23/2023 11:59 PM Pacific

OPD seeks an attorney who has proven litigation and trial experience developing effective equity-based legal arguments to address systemic racial and economic disproportionality in the legal system.   This attorney will understand how race, gender, national origin, disability, and class intersect to create disparities for individuals and families who are accused of crimes or otherwise face state intervention into their lives.

The successful candidate will report directly to the Disproportionality Attorney Legal Training Coordinator, work closely with OPD leadership, OPD managing attorneys, and external partners to develop and implement specialized legal training to help public defense attorneys throughout the state identify and successfully argue disproportionality issues in trial and appellate courts.



General Responsibilities

  • Professionally networking with external partners and stake holders to develop those relationships that strengthen our ability to promote social justice and system reforms applicable to indigent defense advocacy.
  • Exercise mature judgment in potentially sensitive, high-stress situations.
  • Participate in and foster a collaborative working environment at OPD, with statewide stakeholder groups, and in demographically diverse local court systems.
  • Diligently follow attorney and state employee ethics requirements.
  • Conduct all activities with the highest degree of professionalism in furtherance of OPD’s Mission, Vision and Values.




  • Licensed attorney of any state, in good standing with the respective bar association.
  • Five years in trial and/or appellate practice in criminal defense or child dependency/termination of parental rights, or practice in civil rights/social justice issues.
  • Demonstrated understanding of and experience advocating against the impact of race, bias, discrimination, and differential treatment of communities disproportionately composed of Black, Indigenous, and people of color, individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+ or other sexual minorities, individuals with disabilities, immigrants, limited English speaking persons, and others who have been historically disproportionately overrepresented in the child welfare and related law and justice systems.
  • Comfortable engaging with data and statistical research projects.
  • Possess strong legal writing and research skills.
  • Able to develop and sustain respectful professional relationships with stakeholders to include attorneys, courts, legislators, and others in communities throughout Washington.
  • Ability to think strategically, prioritize tasks, and to function independently as well as part of a team in a collaborative environment.
  • Proficient with computer use and have the ability to become proficient in the use of specialized case management tools.

For more information, click here.