News & Updates

Washington State OPD Seeks Staff Attorney for Disproportionality Unit
April 7, 2022 | Scott Shoemaker

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. For a detailed job description with instructions on how to apply, click here.

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 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. The daily work site is at the OPD office in Olympia, periodic travel is required in Washington State, including occasional overnight travel. Out-of-state travel occurs infrequently.

Minimum Qualifications

• Licensed attorney in good standing with the Washington State Bar Association.

• Five years in trial and/or appellate practice in criminal defense, or child dependency/termination of parental rights, or 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. Desired Qualifications • Have an ability to create innovations in systemic litigation practices that will drive data research projects.

• Capability to conduct individualized consultation to attorneys statewide seeking technical assistance on specific criminal defense and parent representation /child welfare issues.

• Proven experience working with clients living in poverty and/or from diverse cultures. 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, 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.


$105,000 – $115,000 annually, DOQ. Compensation depending on qualifications. Washington State employees are offered a comprehensive benefit package that includes: paid holidays, vacation and sick leave, retirement and health, dental and life insurance coverage for self and family. There are also options for deferred compensation and pretax flexible spending accounts.

Application Process

Interested candidates should submit the following by email to

• Letter of interest.

• Current résumé and a list of at least three professional or lived experience references.

• A self-edited writing sample describing the outcomes of a specific project or program that the candidate has managed or been involved with as a principal

Application for State Jobs (Word file) (Rev. 6/4/19)