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Attorney Positions

JOB OPPORTUNITIES IN
THE OFFICE OF THE COUNTY COUNSEL

I.                   The Office of the County Counsel

The Office of the County Counsel is the general counsel for the County of Santa Clara, including the Board of Supervisors and all County agencies and departments, as well as certain school districts and special districts within the county.  Just as a large company utilizes its in-house counsel, our clients rely on our office for the full range of legal services, covering a broad spectrum of practice areas.  The Office's 105 attorneys handle nearly all of the County's civil litigation, including employment, personal injury, child welfare, breach of contract, civil rights, taxation, probate/conservatorship, environmental law, workers' compensation, and social justice and impact litigation.  We also provide all of the day-to-day legal services expected from any in-house attorney, including advice and counsel regarding how to navigate emerging areas of law, and negotiation and drafting of contracts and other legal agreements.  As public law attorneys, our work covers a wide array of policy matters that significantly affect the health, safety, and well-being of the County's 1.9 million residents.  The Office is committed to providing the highest quality legal service, to advancing the County's mission to support and protect all County residents, and to being a national leader in public-sector law practice, as demonstrated by the Office's 2019 receipt of the American Bar Association's Hodson Award.

II.                The Open Positions

The Office of the County Counsel has added several new attorney positions over the last few months.  We are seeking talented, highly-motivated attorneys to fill open positions on the following teams.  Prior public-sector experience is desirable, but not required for any of the open positions.  Salaries vary based on experience and qualifications.  For attorneys with five or more years of experience, the annual salary range is $200,715 to $249,818.

Health and Hospitals Team

The Health and Hospitals Team provides legal advice to the County's health care delivery system.  This team of attorneys provides in-house legal counsel to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC), a 731-bed acute care hospital and Level 1 trauma center and 50-bed psychiatric hospital; O'Connor Hospital, a 358-bed acute care hospital; and Saint Louise Regional Hospital, a 95-bed acute care hospital serving the southern portion of the County; as well as a network of eight health centers and four urgent care clinics.  The County runs one of the nation's largest public health and hospital systems.  Attorneys in the Health and Hospitals Team also serve as in-house legal counsel to the Behavioral Health Services Department; Public Health Department; Custody Health Services Department; and Valley Health Plan, the only locally based commercial health plan in Santa Clara County.  The attorneys on this team have broad experience providing advice on a wide array of cutting-edge issues to healthcare providers and administrators on matters of importance in the healthcare industry, including Affordable Care Act implementation, regulatory compliance, contracting, quality improvement and risk management, certification and licensing, pharmacy services, policies and procedures, health information privacy and data security, medical ethics, health care finance, and health care IT.  We are particularly interested in candidates with experience with health plans and managed care.

Labor and Employment Team

The Labor and Employment Team advises County departments and managers regarding a wide array of labor and employment matters, including hiring, training, and disciplining employees; reasonably accommodating employees and complying with employee-leave laws and policies; negotiating and finalizing labor contracts; drafting personnel policies; and complying with the County's Merit System Rules and state and federal labor, employment, and equal opportunity laws.  Team attorneys also represent the County and its departments in cases before the County's Personnel Board, labor arbitrators, the Public Employment Relations Board, the EEOC, the DFEH, and other state and federal administrative agencies.  The Team's goal is to support the County's commitment to being an employer of excellence that values and supports all of its employees.  We are particularly interested in candidates with experience in labor relations and employee benefits, including retirement plans, health and welfare plans, and benefits-related policies and contracts. 

Public Safety and Justice Team

The Public Safety and Justice Team provides legal advice to the departments and agencies that make up the County's criminal justice and emergency response systems including the Probation Department, Office of Pretrial Services, Office of Reentry Services, County Fire Department, Office of Emergency Management, Sheriff's Office, District Attorney's Office, Public Defender's Office, and Department of Correction.  Public Safety and Justice attorneys assist these agencies in addressing a wide array of legal issues related to law enforcement, criminal adjudication, juvenile justice, jail operations, probation, reentry services, 911 services, fire protection, disaster preparedness and response, and related services.  In advising the County's public safety departments and agencies, our attorneys research and analyze many areas of law, craft policies, draft and negotiate contracts, facilitate the release of records to the public, comment on legislation, contribute to significant reform efforts, and assist the departments they advise in addressing significant and challenging issues.

Finance, Government Operations, and Environment Team

The Finance, Government Operations, and Environment (FGOE) Team provides legal advice to the Board of Supervisors, the County Executive, and various County departments and agencies to fulfill the public service mission of the County.  FGOE attorneys research and analyze many areas of law, craft ordinances and policies, negotiate contracts, comment on legislation, and help solve challenging problems for the County departments and officials they advise.  Attorneys on the FGOE Team also participate in highly significant litigation related to property taxation and election-related matters, and provide advice on programs of significant importance to the County's Board of Supervisors and the broader community.  The Team's practice is grounded in various areas of public law, including the Brown Act, the Public Records Act, and the Political Reform Act.  Attorneys also practice in specialized areas including land use, sustainability, public contracting, finance, property taxation, transportation (including roads and airports), affordable housing, ethics and conflicts of interest, real property, and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). 

III.             General Qualifications

  • Must be a member in good standing with the State Bar of California;
  • Must have a demonstrated history of hard work, dedication, and academic excellence;
  • Must have the ability to prioritize and manage several simultaneous projects under deadlines;
  • As some of the work done in the Office of the County Counsel will undoubtedly be new to any applicant, the ideal candidate will be flexible and show an eagerness to learn;
  • Must be self-motivated and willing to take ownership of any matter;
  • Must be a team player.  Our Office is a collegial and supportive environment in which employees willingly pitch-in to help one another;
  • Must have exceptional legal research and writing skills;
  • Must have strong communication skills.  Our attorneys must be able to explain complex legal issues to judges, arbitrators, elected officials, a diverse range of clients, and, occasionally, members of the public;
  • Must be able to establish and maintain excellent working relationships with other County staff; and
  • Our attorneys are expected to practice the highest level of ethics and professional responsibility.

IV.              Salary and Benefits

Salaries vary based on experience and qualifications.  For attorneys with five or more years of experience, the annual salary range is $200,715 to $249,818.

The County offers comprehensive medical, dental, and vision plans for all attorneys and their dependents.  Attorneys also receive substantial pension benefits, long-term disability insurance, life insurance, and related coverage. 

Other Benefits Include:

  • Significant paid vacation and sick time
  • 12 paid County holidays
  • 457 Deferred Compensation Plan
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Dependent Care Assistance Plan
  • Employee Wellness Program
  • Tuition Reimbursement Program
  • Payment of State Bar Dues​
Additional information regarding benefits is available here.

V.                 How to Apply

Applicants interested in any of the above positions should send a résumé, list of five references, and brief cover letter to Chief Assistant County Counsel Greta Hansen via hiring@cco.sccgov.org.  Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, and interested applicants are encouraged to apply promptly.  Initial application review will begin on December 16, 2019.​

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Last updated: 12/2/2019 11:16 AM