See NOTES below for future wage increases and/or additional compensation opportunities.

The San Diego City Attorney’s Office protects the people of San Diego by serving as chief legal counsel to the City of San Diego’s elected officials and operational departments; prosecuting and defending civil cases involving the City; and as the City’s prosecutor on behalf of the People of the State of California, by holding accountable those who commit crimes against the public health and safety and violate other local and state laws. Our municipal law firm employs over 175 lawyers and approximately 220 support staff, dedicated to providing legal services to the City of San Diego.

The Civil Advisory Division is recruiting to fill future Deputy City Attorney vacancies. The Civil Advisory Division provides advice to the City and each of its departments, including the City Council and Mayor’s Office. The Advisory Division is divided into five sections: Environment & Land Use, Government & Finance, Infrastructure, Neighborhood Services, and Public Services & Public Safety. The selected candidate will report directly to the Chief Deputy City Attorney of the respective section.


Deputies in the Civil Advisory Division routinely:

  • Draft contracts, resolutions, and ordinances;
  • Review department policies, procedures, and City administrative regulations;
  • Conduct legal research and analysis;
  • Prepare legal correspondence, memoranda, and opinions;
  • Perform a general counsel role for City departments;
  • Work closely with City staff on programs and specific projects;
  • Respond to California Public Records Act requests;
  • Work with litigation counsel on certain matters;
  • Appear and address legal questions at City Council and Committee meetings, and may appear at board and commission hearings and administrative hearings;

Deputy City Attorneys must become familiar with City operations to identify and address legal issues in a proactive manner, and continually manage and adjust their workload to accommodate changing needs and priorities of City staff.


Applicants are required to:

  • Be an active member in good standing with the State Bar of California;
  • Possess strong analytical, research, writing, and oral presentation skills; be a practical problem-solver and team player; have good time management skills; and demonstrate effective communication and conflict resolution skills.

Ideal candidates will have two or more years of municipal law experience.

Attorneys in this position must be able to travel to locations outside the office for legal proceedings or meetings. Therefore, possession of a valid California Class C driver’s license and personal vehicle, or the ability to travel to various locations throughout the City in a timely manner, is required.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement: All candidates for employment must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of their full vaccination or have been approved for a medical or religious exemption from the vaccination requirement, and have been provided an accommodation, before their start date. “Fully vaccinated” means a person has received, at least 14 days prior, either the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or a single dose COVID-19 vaccine. Acceptable COVID-19 vaccines must be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or authorized for emergency use by the FDA or the World Health Organization.

Exemption Requests: Candidates with a disability or medical condition that makes it medically inadvisable for them to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, as verified by their health care provider, or those with a sincerely held religious belief, observance, or practice that prevents them from receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, may request an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement and reasonable accommodation. Candidates who wish to make a such a request will be provided with more information. The City will review requests for medical and religious exemption and accommodation on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. A candidate’s start date may be adjusted to allow for the accommodation process. You may request a medical or religious exemption from the vaccination requirement, and an accommodation, by sending an email to indicating your desire to make such a request.


Work-life balance is important to us! The City Attorney’s Office generally supports remote teleworking and the position may allow for a hybrid schedule with a mix of in-office and remote work after the introductory and probationary period. Please refer to the Office’s teleworking policy.

Compensation and Benefits:

The successful candidate’s annual salary is based on the Deputy City Attorney salary table and dependent on qualifications and level of relevant legal experience. For further salary information, refer to the Deputy City Attorney Salary Table (Download PDF reader).

NOTE: An additional 2% general wage increase will be effective January 1, 2023.

In addition to a competitive salary, the City of San Diego offers a comprehensive benefits package including:

  • Participation in the City’s Flexible Benefits Plan which offers several optional benefit plans or a taxable cash option;
  • $50,000 in City-paid life insurance;
  • Paid annual leave accruing at 22 days per year for the 1st through 15th year of service;
  • Retirement – San Diego City Employees Retirement System (SDCERS) defined benefits plans;
  • Voluntary Defined Contribution Plans;
  • Retiree Medical Trust Plan;
  • Holidays – Ten (10) paid holidays are provided annually and one (1) Floating Holiday in a fiscal year.

Other Miscellaneous Benefits:

  • City Awarded Discretionary Leave;
  • Parental Leave – Up to 4 weeks of paid leave;
  • Jury Duty – Paid time off to serve as a juror in Court;
  • Bereavement Leave – Up to 40 hours of paid leave each fiscal year;
  • Tuition Reimbursement up to $2,000 for the cost of professional tuition and equipment purchases per each fiscal year;
  • Employee Assistance Program

To learn more about all the employee benefits, please review the Benefits Summary for DCAA Employees (Download PDF reader). Some benefits currently offered to employees may be modified in the future.

For further information, please contact the Risk Management Department at (619) 236-6600. Retirement benefits for this unclassified position depend on the candidate’s eligible status (new hire, rehire, etc.).

Pre-Employment Requirements:

Employment offers are conditional pending the results of all screening processes that are applicable to this job, which may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Reference checks.
  • Proof of citizenship or legal right to work in the United States.
  • Fingerprint checks: fingerprints will be submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the California Department of Justice for a conviction record report.
  • Medical evaluation: A City medical examination including drug/alcohol screening and documentation of medical history may be conducted following a conditional offer of employment or promotion.
  • Certain positions may require additional screening processes that may include a polygraph examination and/or background investigation.

All of these processes must be successfully completed before employment begins. A positive test for alcohol, illegal drugs, including marijuana, or inadequately explained prescription drugs, misrepresentation, falsification, or omission of pertinent facts in any step of the screening/selection process may be cause for disqualification and/or termination of employment. The City of San Diego is committed to a drug and alcohol-free workplace.

How to Apply: The San Diego City Attorney’s Office accepts online applications. To apply, select the position title of the job opportunity and click the “Apply” link. If you need assistance, please refer to our online employment application guide:

To be considered for this position, applicants will need to submit the following by the closing date:

  • San Diego City Attorney employment application, including supplemental questions;
  • Cover letter and resume;
  • A writing sample (no more than 5 pages) that demonstrates their legal writing skills and reflects their own original work product.

Following the closing date, resumes will be screened according to the qualifications outlined above. Only the most qualified candidates will be invited to a departmental interview for future vacancies. If a job has an extended deadline, applications will be considered during the extension period; however, a job may be filled before the extended date is reached. This interview process may be used to fill additional future vacancies.

Individuals must be able to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodations. If you have any questions or concerns related to the recruitment process and the Americans with Disabilities Act, you may contact (619) 533-5811. The City of San Diego has an active Equal Opportunity/ADA Program for employment and vigorously supports diversity in the workplace.

Nothing in this job posting constitutes an expressed or implied contract for employment with the City of San Diego.

To apply for this job please visit

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