County Counsel (#HL1100)
$134.84-$163.90 Hourly / $23,373.10-$28,410.15 Monthly / $280,477.21-$340,921.80 Yearly


Under policy direction from the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors, and in coordination with the County Administrator, directs and administers the operations of the County Counsel’s office and serves as legal advisor to the County government and its affiliated jurisdictions, commissions, and agencies.


The County Counsel is a single-position class that is exempt from the San Joaquin County Civil Service system.  The incumbent is appointed by the Board of Supervisors in accordance with California Government Code section 27640.  The incumbent serves a four-year term and is subject to removal at any time by the Board of Supervisors in accordance with Government Code Section 27641.  The County Counsel is responsible for leading, managing, and administering the programs, functions, budgets, operations, and staff of the office of the County Counsel, as well as providing legal advice to, and civil legal work for, the County’s officials, boards, commissions, and agencies, and representing them in matters of County-related litigation.  The incumbent ensures that assigned programs and operations comply with all applicable laws and regulations, as well as with policies established by the Board of Supervisors and the County Administrator. The incumbent is expected to model a strong work ethic and leadership skills, including accountability for oneself and others.


This specification is a general guideline for the class. The statements below are not restrictive, and the responsibilities and duties assigned to a position in this class may expand beyond those identified in this specification.

  • Plans, organizes and directs the programs, functions, budgets, operations, and staff of the office of the County Counsel; directs operations to maximize efficiency, improve service levels, reduce administrative and service provision costs, and ensures effective utilization of available resources; exercises good judgment and makes sound business decisions in managing activities; provides strategic leadership through communication, demonstration, and accomplishment of the organizational mission, vision, and values.
  • Through subordinate managers and supervisors, manages the work activities and responsibilities assigned to staff; directs and administers personnel matters, including employee selection, assignment, and evaluation; directs disciplinary actions if needed; directs and oversees staff development and training.
  • Serves as legal advisor and attorney to the County Board of Supervisors as well as County officials, County special districts, commissions, and various affiliated agencies and jurisdictions, and provides legal representation for any County-related civil actions instituted by or brought against them; and submits opinions, when requested, on matters relating to their respective offices.
  • Directs the development and implementation of operational policies and procedures for the office of the County Counsel, and provides policy-related advice to County officials; analyzes and interprets existing and proposed legislation as well as various regulations, policies, procedures and other directives to determine impact on operations.
  • Directs the development and administration of the budget for the County Counsel’s office; determines appropriate levels of service; analyzes services to ensure cost effectiveness and superior customer service; confers with management staff to develop workload standards and direct operational changes as needed.
  • Attends meetings of the Board of Supervisors, as well as other County entities, and provides legal opinions and recommendations.
  • Directs staff in prosecuting all actions for the recovery of debts, fines, penalties, and forfeitures accruing to the County.
  • Prepares complex correspondence, reports, and other narrative and/or statistical documents, including legal opinions, election opinions, and other documents.
  • Within the County Counsel’s office, directs and manages the effective development and utilization of technology to improve systems and processes.
  • Develops and maintains cooperative and collaborative working relationships with state and county officials, outside agencies, community groups, and the public.
  • Performs related work as required.




Experience: Seven years of senior-level managerial attorney experience, conducting civil legal work in a public agency setting.




Special Requirement: Active membership in the California State Bar.


License: Possession of a valid California driver’s license.


The principles and practices of civil, constitutional, and administrative law; the responsibilities, powers, and statutory limitations of the county counsel’s office; judicial procedures and the rules of evidence; the principles, methods, materials, and practices of legal research; principles and practices of public administration, including effective organization, administration, fiscal management, and supervision; social, political, and economic issues influencing program administration; modern office automation technology and computer software programs relevant to assigned operations.


Plan and direct the operations and programs associated with a public agency legal office in a cost-effective manner while also ensuring excellent customer service; efficiently and effectively apply the principles, practices and techniques of civil law to assigned responsibilities; provide appropriate and effective leadership and management over diverse staff teams, including subordinate managers and supervisors; exercise good judgment and make sound managerial decisions; exercise analytical and critical thinking to analyze complex problems and recommend solutions; understand, interpret, and apply legal codes, regulations, and rules pertaining to a wide variety of county operations; research, appraise, and organize facts, evidence, precedents, legal documents, and instruments; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; prepare and deliver thorough and comprehensive written reports; draft legal instruments such as ordinances, resolutions, board orders, and contracts; give oral presentations to small and large groups; direct the utilization of complex automated systems and manage local area automation efforts, including the direction of systems development, maintenance, and operation; establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of the work, including other County departments, courts, external agencies, employees, and the general public.


Mobility—frequent sitting for long periods; frequent walking; occasional standing, pushing, pulling, bending, squatting, climbing stairs; frequent operation of a data entry device; Lifting—frequently 5 pounds or less; occasionally 5 to 30 pounds; Visual—constant good overall vision and reading/close-up work; frequent color perception and use of eye/hand coordination; occasional use of depth perception and peripheral vision; Hearing/Talking—frequent hearing of normal speech, hearing/talking on the telephone, talking in person; Dexterity—frequent use of normal dexterity with frequent writing and repetitive motion; Emotional/Psychological—frequent decision-making, concentration, and public contact; Special Requirements—may occasionally require working nights and weekends; Environmental—frequent work in an indoor office environment; occasional exposure to varied weather conditions.

San Joaquin County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and, upon request, will consider reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.

CLASS: HL1100; EST: 5/1/1958; REV: 8/26/2014;