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$43.41-$52.82 hourly / $7,524.00-$9,155.00 monthly / $90,292.80-$109,865.60 yearly


Under general direction, performs a broad range of professional legal representation services for the Public Defender’s Office, involving the defense, preparation, and presentation of criminal and/or some civil cases before the court on behalf of the Public Defender; and performs other related work as required.

Distinguishing Characteristics

  • Attorney I is the entry and first professional level. Incumbents gain experience related to court procedures, office policy and the application of laws and legal procedures in providing criminal/civil defense for clients and are assigned to routine cases under supervision and/or direction of a more experienced attorney while gaining criminal defense and trial experience. Incumbents may assist a more experienced attorney on routine cases.


Typical Tasks


·         Prepares and defends criminal cases by presenting opening statements, interrogating and cross-examining witnesses, introducing evidence, making relevant objections, arguing points of law, and presenting closing arguments.


·         Research questions of law and evidence and applies statutory and decisional case law, along with such other legal treaties as may be required in preparation of cases for hearing in court.


·         Attends other scheduled court hearings such as arraignments, pretrial hearings and motions, sentencings, and probation revocations.

·         Prepares legal briefs, motions, memorandum of points and authorities, documents, and pleadings.

·         Interviews victims, police officers, and witnesses.

·         Assemble, reviews, and prepares evidence for presentation in court.

·         Negotiates the appropriate disposition of criminal cases without going to trial.


·         Organizes facts and legal arguments and arrange witnesses in preparation for trial and other court proceedings.


·         Determines nature of follow-up investigations needed for trial.

·         Advises the public and law enforcement personnel on criminal matters.

·         Negotiates case dispositions as defense counsel.

·         Prepares opinions and other legal documents.

·         Prepares and submits documents regarding application for probation, appeal of court findings, writs, and other legal documents on behalf of defendants.

·         Conducts specialized legal research and prepares memoranda regarding the results of such research.

·         Confers with prosecuting staff, probation authorities and court officials to discuss pleas, modification of charges, presentation and examination of documents and materials prior to trials.

·         Acts as liaison between the work unit, related departments, and agencies on assigned cases.

·         May be assigned to supervise, train and/or serve as lead worker over less experienced attorneys.


Employment Standards


Attorney I

Some knowledge of:

  • Legal principles and their application.
  • Legal research methods.
  • Principles and practices of criminal law.
  • Analyzing and applying legal principles, facts, evidence, and precedents to legal problems.
  • Maintaining harmonious and cooperative relationships with fellow staff members, other personnel, and the public.



All Levels

  • Analyze and apply legal principles and precedents to legal problems.
  • Present statements of fact, law, and argument clearly and logically in written and oral form.
  • Act as an effective trial advocate.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted during the course of their work.
  • Adhere to ethical standards.

Education and Experience:

Any combination of education and experience which would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying unless otherwise specified. A typical way to obtain these knowledge and abilities would be:

  • Attorney I: Graduation from law school. Incumbents are required to be members of the California State Bar, but need no experience practicing law and will work under the direction of a more experienced attorney.




  • Membership in the California State Bar is required for all levels. (NOTE: For Attorney I, law school graduates who have taken the California Bar Exam and not yet received their results, may participate in a recruitment/examination process. Names of candidates who pass the County examination will be placed "inactive" on the eligible list until the County receives written confirmation of their passing the California State Bar Exam.)


Background Investigation: At a minimum, this process will include fingerprinting and is subject to additional background standards established by appointing authority.


 Bargaining Unit: 62

EEOC Job Category: 02
Occupational Grouping: 32
Worker's Comp Code: 0053

CLASS: JG1; EST: 2/1/2021;