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 Criminal Division of the San Diego City Attorney’s Office is seeking applications from attorneys who are interested in a position as a Deputy City Attorney. Our deputies prepare and prosecute misdemeanor criminal cases in the City of San Diego by handling a variety of motions, misdemeanor jury trials, and conducting legal research. Strong preference will be given to applicants with some courtroom experience who have tried cases to jury verdict. These are entry level positions (Deputy City Attorney I & II) as well as positions for applicants with experience prosecuting criminal cases and/or handling complex civil litigation matters (Deputy City Attorney III, IV and V). Those hired will be assigned initially as prosecutors in our General Trial Unit, the Domestic Violence & Sex Crimes Unit, or assigned as needed to strengthen the teams within the Criminal and Community Justice Divisions.
See the Supplemental Information section below for compensation and benefit package.
EXAMPLE OF DUTIES
Deputies in the Criminal Division routinely:
- Provide effective prosecution of misdemeanors and infractions occurring within the City.
- Review citations, arrest reports and other law enforcement documents for legal sufficiency and constitutional compliance to determine whether misdemeanor charges should be filed based on the facts and evidence.
- Represent the People of the State of California in pre-trial, trial, post-trial, and appellate matters.
- Independently manage assigned cases; confer with witnesses and victims of crime, negotiate plea agreements with defense counsel; anticipate problems and pursue solutions; and formulate a trial strategy.
- Conduct legal research; draft complaints; analyze and draft accurate and complete legal documents such as pleadings, legal responses, affidavits, memoranda, and briefs as required.
- Identify and subpoena witnesses, records and other information required to present the case; and prepare discovery responses.
- Coordinate follow-up investigations by City Attorney investigators, law enforcement personnel, and regulatory agency personnel.
- Independently conduct jury and bench trials; competently examine witnesses; develop and present jury instructions; demonstrate excellent oral advocacy skills from jury selection to closing argument.
- Handle a variety of court appearances including sentencing hearings.
- Perform other related duties as assigned.
Applicants are required to:
- Possess a J.D. degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association.
- Be licensed to practice law, and an active member in good standing with the State Bar of California at the time of hire.
- 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:
- 1+ years criminal law experience at a prosecutorial agency, which may include work as an intern, law clerk, or volunteer attorney for DCA I & II positions
- 4+ years of experience practicing criminal or municipal law for DCA III & IV positions
- Strong criminal justice background.
- Strong legal writing and oral presentation skills; and exceptional organizational skills.
- Any combination of training and experience that would provide the required knowledge, skills, and abilities may also be considered.
Attorneys in this position must be able to travel to locations outside the office for court hearings, depositions, or meetings; therefore, possession of a valid California Class C driver’s license and personal vehicle or other means to travel are required. Successful applicants must pass a criminal background and reference checks. Employment is contingent upon completion of the above-mentioned process.
Compensation and Benefits:
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).
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
• 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, resume and unofficial law school transcript.
- A writing sample (no more than 5 pages; can be an excerpt of a document) that demonstrates their legal writing skills and reflects their own original work product.
- List of three references (professional and personal).
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. 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 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 www.governmentjobs.com.