News & Updates

Whatcom County Public Defender Seeks Deputy I or II Public Defender
October 21, 2021 | Alison Pagan
Deputy I or II Public Defender (ARPA funded) – 2 positions

Closes On: November 1, 2021 at 11:59 PM PST

Location: Public Defender’s Office, Bellingham, WA 98225
Department: Public Defender
Job Status: Full-Time
Days Worked: Mon., Tue., Wed., Thu., Fri.
Status: Accepting Applications


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Job Summary

Whatcom County Public Defender’s Office is seeking several new attorneys to fill Deputy I or II, DOQ positions. 

These positions are funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) through 2024, subject to ongoing Council approval. Anticipated longer term employment opportunities may be available through attrition and future County Council funding decisions. 

Primary Duties:

·         Acts as court-appointed counsel representing individuals accused of misdemeanors or felonies in superior, district and juvenile courts.

·         Represents appointed clients in all phases of criminal proceedings, including arraignment, pretrial hearings, trial preparation, plea negotiations, trial and sentencing.

·         Responsible for the investigation and preparation of each case assigned.

·         Assists management and other staff, as directed. Complies with legal standards and requirements.

Visit the Job Description Page to view more details about each job.



Must be a current member in good standing of the Washington State Bar Association, OR must be a current member in good standing of another State Bar Association AND must become a member of the Washington State Bar Association by passing the next Washington State Bar exam.

Deputy II also requires 3 years experience as a successful practicing attorney with a trial background in criminal law that satisfies the Washington Supreme Court’s Standards for Indigent Defense to handle felony cases.

Spanish language fluency is desired.

Background Check must meet County Criteria for criminal justice positions.

Must have a driving record that meets County standards and possess a valid driver’s license at time of hire and throughout employment.



Deputy I

Range 335 for AFSCME Public Defenders

Hiring Range: $5,643 – $6,101 per month, depending on qualifications
Full Salary: $5,643 – $7,607 per month

Deputy II

Range 355 for AFSCME Public Defenders

Hiring Range: $6,671 – $7,209 per month, depending on qualifications
Full Salary: $6,671 – $8,985 per month

This position receives annual pay increases to the next step in the associated salary range.

Excellent Whatcom County Benefits:
NO COST Medical, dental, and vision coverage for employees and their family. Generous paid leave program, an average of 13 paid holidays per year, short and long-term disability. WA State Retirement System plus two additional deferred compensation programs with County match. A $50,000 Life Insurance policy is also provided for employees with the option to purchase family coverage.  Additional benefit information is available online.

Application Special Instructions

Please attach a resume and cover letter to your online application using the document upload area within the application.