Staff Attorney

  • City of Palo Alto
  • Palo Alto, California
  • Mar 16, 2021
Full Time Legal Services
  • Salary: $143,936.00 - $215,883.20 Annually USD

Job Description


We encourage you to apply at your earliest convenience!
First screening of applications will be on February 15, 2021.

The City Attorney's Office

The Palo Alto City Attorney's Office is a full service in-house municipal legal office, consisting of 9 attorneys, one administrator and 2 support staff.

To be considered for this opportunity, click apply at the top of this page, complete the application, answer the supplemental questions (under the "supplemental questions" tab above), and upload a cover letter, resume, and sample of your legal writing. Applications will not be considered unless ALL of these items have been submitted: application, cover letter, resume, supplemental questions, and writing sample.

The Position

The City Attorney's Office is seeking to add an experienced staff attorney to our team. The attorney will be hired at the Assistant City Attorney or Deputy City Attorney level, depending on qualifications and experience.

The attorney will provide a wide variety of general advice and legal support in one or more areas, including: human resources, public safety, municipal finance, and litigation support.

The attorney will research issues and advise the City Manager's Office, Department Directors, and project managers on procedural and regulatory requirements; review, draft and negotiate transactional documents; draft legislation; and counsel clients to mitigate risk and resolve disputes pre-litigation.
The attorney may be assigned to provide legal advice at public meetings of the City Council, Council Committees, or advisory boards or commissions.

Experience with litigation, arbitration and internal investigations is also a plus. While the attorney will not be assigned as primary litigation counsel, he or she may be tasked with overseeing investigations, coordinating with outside litigation counsel and City clients, and representing the City in mediations and settlement negotiations.

Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate will have experience advising cities, either in-house or at a firm, and have substantive knowledge and practice experience in one or more of the following key areas: public safety; public sector labor and employment; litigation, arbitration and investigations; and public contracting. Candidates should be familiar with municipal ethics laws, open meeting and public records requirements, and due process requirements. Knowledge and experience with municipal taxes, fees, and debt and election law are also a plus.

Minimum Qualifications

A Juris Doctorate and membership in the California Bar are required. In addition, the position requires sufficient education, training or work experience to demonstrate possession of the knowledge and skills described in this announcement, which would typically be acquired through eight years of directly-related legal experience. Candidates must have a minimum of four years of practice, with at least one year representing public entities. Candidates must have strong oral and written communication skills, be practical problem solvers, and work effectively as part of a team.

Compensation & Benefits

The salary for the position is competitive. The Deputy City Attorney position is compensated in the low to mid $100,000's. The Assistant City Attorney is compensated from the mid $100,000s to low $200,000's. Final determination of salary will be based on experience and qualifications. The position is at-will, reporting to the City Attorney.

In addition to salary, Palo Alto offers a competitive benefits package through its Management & Professional Compensation Plan, including:

  • Retirement - CalPERS 2% @ 60 formula for Classic employees; 2% @ 62 formula for New Members
  • Medical Plan -90% paid plan for employee and dependents (up to the second most expensive plan offered)
  • Vacation -120-200 hours annually depending on years of service
  • Management Leave - 80 hours per calendar year
  • Other Leave -96 hours of sick leave per year; 12 paid holidays
  • Life and AD&D Insurance - fully paid up to annual salary
  • Additional Benefit - annual contribution of $2,500 for IRS Section 125 compliant uses such as Flexible Spending Accounts, Non-taxable Professional Development Spending Account, deferred compensation or health club membership.
Most professional employees in Palo Alto work a 9/80 work schedule. Other flexible scheduling options may be available. To see more details, click on the "Benefits" tab.

Application & Selection Process

The position is open until filled. Applications will be reviewed beginning on February 15, 2021. To be considered for this opportunity, click apply at the top of this page, complete the application, answer the supplemental questions, and upload a cover letter, resume, and sample of your legal writing.

This is a confidential process and will be handled accordingly throughout the various stages of the process. Qualified applicants will be invited to participate in a series of interviews that may include outside reviewers, members of the City Attorney's Office, and key clients. Finalists will be asked to provide professional references. References will not be contacted until mutual interest has been established. Inquiries are welcome and should be directed to: Tricia Hoover, Legal Administrator, .
Closing Date/Time: Continuous

Job Address

Palo Alto, California United States View Map