Defense Attorney at Thurston County Public Defense

THURSTON COUNTY invites applications for the position of:

 Defense Attorney

OPENING DATE:   03/03/20

SALARY:  Depends on Qualifications

CLOSING DATE:    Continuous


Thurston County Public Defense Mission:

“To Defend and Protect Our Clients’ Constitutional Rights, One Person at a Time”

Thurston County Public Defense is currently recruiting for one full-time Defense Attorney position. A Defense Attorney practices in either District Court, Juvenile Court, or Superior Court with moderate supervision from a higher-level defense attorney. Immediate placement for this position will be in Superior Court for felony representation consistent with Superior Court summary of duties below.

Depending upon qualifications the successful applicant will be placed at a Defense Attorney II or

Defense Attorney III level. The Defense Attorney III is distinguished from the Defense Attorney II classification by years of experience and the ability to handle a full priority felony caseload. A Defense Attorney III also assists other attorneys in matters of trial strategy, tactics and legal research and analysis, and regularly exercises independent judgment in decision-making.

District Court:

  • Manages a full misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor caseload. Prepares cases for trial, pre-trial and post-trial hearing and/or plea bargains the cases with the Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. Also, handles miscellaneous calendar duties such as arraignment calendars, initial appearance calendars and interpreter calendars.

Superior Court:

  • Manages a full or partial caseload of A, B and C felonies. Prepares cases for trial, pre-trial and post trial hearings and /or plea bargains with the Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. Handles miscellaneous court hearings, including but not limited to, preliminary calendars, arraignment calendars and non-compliance calendars.

Juvenile Court:

  • Manages a full caseload of parents in dependency and termination cases, including representation at all statutorily required hearings, conferences and family treatment court. Performs case evaluation, additional investigation, trial/hearing preparation, settlement negotiations, motions and trials.

Other responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Reviews police reports, interviews witnesses, works with court and prosecutor to resolve cases. Appropriately utilizes non-attorney professional
  • Reviews reports from DSHS, interviews appropriate parties, works with the Attorney General, case workers, social workers, experts, court and related court personnel to resolve
  • Performs a variety of legal office work, prepares appropriate legal pleadings, does necessary research, maintains required statistical
  • Maintains accurate and complete statistical information to be use for future needs and projections.
  • Performs other legal work as required.**The screening process for this position is ongoing and will continue until the position is filled. Thurston County Public defense reserves the right to close this recruitment at any time. To ensure consideration for this position, please submit your application as soon as possible.


    The first review of applicants will begin on March 24th, 2020.


    • Graduation from a ABA accredited school of law and must be a member of the Washington State Bar Association.
    • Knowledge of all criminal rules of Washington State, techniques of interviewing and preparation and defense of all variety of criminal cases, with emphasis on lower level felonies and all misdemeanors.
    • Knowledge of RCW 13.34, good communication with parents, legal custodians and
    • Ability to perform legal research; analyze and apply legal principles, facts, evidence, and precedents to legal problems.
    • Present law, facts, evidence and arguments clearly and logically in written and oral
    • Work harmoniously and maintain good public



    For more information about this position, please contact Mia Pagnotta, (360)786-5868.

    T his position is:

    • NOT represented by a Union
    • NOT eligible for overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
    • Eligible for benefit

Items required to be considered for this position:

  • Application
  • Letter of Interest
  • Resume
  • Supplemental Questionnaire (Question 1)
  • Applications Disclosure Form (Pursuant to RCW Section 43.43.830) (Questions 2-7)


Thurston County

2000 Lakeridge Drive SW Olympia, WA 98502

(360) 786-5498

Position #24R00577 DEFENSE ATTORNEY



Heather LigtenbergDefense Attorney at Thurston County Public Defense