Assistant County Counsel (#HL1110)
$108.16-$131.47 Hourly / $18,747.87-$22,788.16 Monthly / $224,974.52-$273,457.93 Yearly


Under general administrative direction from the County Counsel, assists with and participates in the administration of all activities of the County Counsel’s Office; serves as expert legal advisor to County Counsel and other staff; and does related work.


The Assistant County Counsel is a single-position class that is exempt from the San Joaquin County Civil Service system.  The incumbent is responsible for assisting the County Counsel in leading, managing, and administering the programs, functions, budgets, operations, and staff of the County Counsel’s Office, as well as providing legal advice to the County’s officials, boards, commissions, and agencies, and representing them in matters of County-related litigation.  The incumbent helps ensure that the programs and operations of the County Counsel’s Office 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.

  • Assists the County Counsel in planning, organizing and directing the programs, functions, budgets, operations, and staff of the County Counsel’s Office; assists in directing operations to maximize efficiency, improve service levels, reduce administrative and service provision costs, and assists in ensuring effective utilization of available resources; exercises good judgment and makes sound business decisions; provides strategic leadership through communication, demonstration, and accomplishment of the organizational mission, vision, and values.
  • Assists in managing the work activities assigned to County Counsel staff; assists in directing and administering personnel matters including employee selection, assignment, and evaluation; assists in directing disciplinary actions if needed; assists in directing and overseeing staff development and training.
  • Assists the County Counsel in the formulation, development, and implementation of departmental policies and procedures; provides policy 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 and recommend appropriate actions.
  • Makes recommendations to the County Counsel on the most complex legal matters; assists in preparing legal advice and recommendations for the County Board of Supervisors, County officials, County special districts, commissions, and various affiliated agencies and jurisdictions; assists in providing legal representation for any County-related civil actions instituted by or brought against them; advises subordinate staff on complex cases and legal matters.
  • Researches difficult and complex legal matters; writes opinions; prepares complex correspondence, reports, briefs, and other narrative and/or statistical documents.
  • Under direction of the County Counsel, develops and administers the budget for the County Counsel’s Office; recommends appropriate levels of service; analyzes services to ensure cost effectiveness and superior customer service; confers with other staff to develop and recommend workload standards; assists in implementing operational changes as directed.
  • Attends meetings of the Board of Supervisors, as well as other County entities, if assigned.
  • Assists in managing the effective development and utilization of technology to improve systems and processes within the County Counsel’s Office.
  • Develops and maintains cooperative and collaborative working relationships with state and county officials, outside agencies, community groups, and the public.
  • Acts for the County Counsel in his/her absence.
  • Performs related work as required.



Experience:  Five years of managerial attorney experience providing civil legal services to a public agency.



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.


Assist in planning and directing 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; assist in the development of complex automated systems and the management of 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: HL1110; REV: 11/15/2014;