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 a Deputy City Attorney vacancy in the Public Services and Public Safety section. The Deputy City Attorney will be assigned in the Public Services Unit. The deputy will primarily advise the Purchasing and Contracting Department, which includes the Equal Opportunity Contracting Program, on day-to-day legal issues including Charter, Municipal Code, statutory, and constitutional law matters. The deputy will advise on contract formation and compliance matters and will appear in City Council and Committee hearings, as well as administrative hearings, as needed. This deputy also serves as a resource to other deputies regarding contract matters and may be asked to facilitate the Contracts Practice Group. Other job duties may include assisting with advice to the Department of Information Technology, Communications Department, Performance and Analytics Department, the Fleet Services Division of the Department of General Services, and the Compliance Department. The Deputy may be assigned Public Safety matters as needed.


Deputies in the Civil Advisory Division routinely:

  • Draft contracts, resolutions, and ordinances;
  • Review and draft department policies, procedures, and City Administrative Regulations;
  • Review and update contract templates;
  • 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 appear at board and commission hearings and administrative hearings as needed;

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.

The deputy is expected to work closely with Purchasing and Contracting management, and all levels of personnel both in the client department and in the City. The ideal candidate will have legal experience and knowledge or skills described below, however, attorneys with less experience will be considered:

  • Ralph M. Brown Act
  • California Public Records Act
  • Records retention laws
  • San Diego Charter
  • City government structure
  • Competitive bidding and other procurement requirements of public agencies
  • Contract compliance, including Equal Opportunity Contracting, Living Wage, and Prevailing Wage
  • Grants and grant assurances
  • Constitutional law
  • Intellectual property law (trademark and copyright)
  • Experience or skills in litigation are useful

The City Attorney’s Office encourages attorneys of all experience levels to apply.


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.

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.


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).

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 (or excerpt; 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.

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