Principal Child Support Attorney (#RL2005)
$79.09-$96.14 Hourly / $13,709.51-$16,663.99 Monthly / $164,514.14-$199,967.96 Yearly


Under general direction from the Director of Child Support Services, plans, organizes, coordinates and manages the professional and support staff and operations of the Department of Child Support Services Legal Division; serves as the Child Support Services liaison between the department, courts, law enforcement, attorneys and other parties or public agencies on child support legal issues; provides complex support to the Director of Child Support Services and department management; and performs related or other work as required in accordance with Rule 3, Section 3 of the Civil Service Rules.


This is the management-level class in the Child Support Attorney series. This single incumbent classification is responsible for planning, organizing, and managing the staff, operations, and compliance with mandated rules, regulations and activities of the Child Support Services Legal Division. Incumbents are responsible for performing diverse, specialized and complex work involving significant accountability and decision-making responsibilities, which include legal program evaluation, and recommendation and implementation of policies, procedures, goals, objectives, priorities, and standards related to the delivery of legal services to the department’s clients. Incumbents serve as a professional-level resource to department management and division legal staff on all matters pertaining to the provision of child support legal services and maintains a workload of the most complex cases as needed. Performance of the work requires the use of considerable independence, initiative, and discretion within broad guidelines.


  • Plans, manages, and oversees the daily functions, operations, and activities of the Department of Child Support Services Legal Division; acts as the department’s Attorney of Record; serves as the department liaison between the department, courts, law enforcement, attorneys and other parties or public agencies on legal issues related to child support services. 
  • Participates in the development and implementation of goals, objectives, and priorities for legal services; recommends within departmental policy, appropriate service and staffing levels. 
  • Interviews, selects and coordinates staff training; may conduct in-service training; ensures that staff remain current on new legislation or other matters which impact their work, and that staff are properly trained on all aspects of mandated compliance including, but not limited to, the Rules of Professional Conduct. 
  • Plans, directs and supervises staff; evaluates staff performance; recommends and implements disciplinary action when appropriate.
  • Develops and standardizes procedures and methods to improve legal services to the department’s clients; continuously monitors the efficiency and effectiveness of assigned programs, service delivery methods, and procedures; ensures service needs are met in the courts.
  • Analyzes and interprets existing and proposed federal and state legislation, regulations, State Department of Child Support Services policies procedures and other directives to determine their legal impact on department operations; drafts proposed legislative policies within area of responsibility; collaborates with multiple parties to communicate these changes and/or new best management trends/practices; coordinates related training with department staff and other attorneys and stakeholders such as judges and their clerks.
  • Directs the work and activities of assigned case teams and provides direction regarding case staffing; determines legal approaches and strategy; advises staff on rules of evidence and points of law, and precedent decisions impacting cases; monitors staff cases and ensures that team members utilize ethical methods in the presentation and resolution of cases.
  • Serves as an expert in litigation for the department; provides consult and direction of the most complex cases, including guidance on preparation and presentation of evidence and arguments at hearings and in trials having complex legal and/or factual issues, serious consequences of error or a high degree of public interest; may oversee depositions and client preparation for court including training on court processes, procedures and testimony practices; reviews briefs, memoranda, opinions, resolutions, and pleadings as necessary.
  • Participates in the development, administration, and oversight of the Legal Division budget; determines funding needed for staffing, equipment, materials and supplies; ensures compliance with budgeted funding.
  • Performs other work as required.


Experience: Four (4) years of progressively responsible experience practicing family or civil law with emphasis in child support services issues, including two (2) years in a state or county legal office at a level equivalent to San Joaquin County’s Child Support Attorney IV and one (1) year of which included supervising attorneys.

License: Membership in the California State Bar is required. Possession of a valid California Driver’s License is required.


Principles and practices of management, supervision and training; leadership principles and practices; administrative law and procedures relative to family law and child support; federal and state regulations governing child support services programs; civil and criminal law related to California Family Law; ethical and professional standards of conduct; discovery practices; administrative law and the conduct of proceedings before administrative bodies; principles and practices of legal case management; rules of evidence and conduct of proceedings in California courts; principles and practices of legal research; principles and techniques of working with groups and fostering effective team interactions to ensure teamwork is conducted smoothly; budget principles; principles and practices of business and legal correspondence and/or document preparation; and technology practices as it relates to the use of computerized equipment and supporting applications.


Plan, direct, coordinate and manage the work of assigned staff; serve as the Attorney of Record for the Child Support Department; exhibit strong administrative, organizational, and management aptitude; analyze and apply legal principles and precedents to complex legal problems; effectively present and manage court cases; present statements of law, facts and arguments clearly, logically and forcefully, both in written and oral form; serve as the Department’s attorney in complex high profile and/or impactful cases in court and before administrative agencies; provide highly complex legal assistance to the Director of Child Support Services in the development and implementation of legal division goals, objectives, policies and procedures; evaluate legal services and determine optimal service delivery models; ensure staff are properly trained and compliant with all mandated rules and regulations; collaborate with the courts, judges, attorneys and other parties involved in litigation services to ensure the Department and its clients’ interests are properly represented and litigated; conduct extensive legal research; use tact, initiative, prudence and independent judgment within general policy, procedural and legal guidelines; and establish, maintain and foster positive and effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.


Mobility – operation of a data entry device; repetitive motion; sitting, standing, walking for extended periods of time; driving; occasional pushing, pulling, bending, squatting; Lifting - frequently 5 pounds or less; occasional 5 to 30 pounds; Visual - constant good overall vision and reading/close-up work; occasional use of depth perception and peripheral vision; Dexterity- reaching; grasping; repetitive motion; writing; Hearing/Talking- frequent hearing of normal speech, hearing/talking on the telephone, talking in person; Emotional/Psychological – frequent decision making, concentration, and public contact; public speaking; deal with emergency situations; Special Requirements –may require working weekends and nights; working alone; Environmental – 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: RL2005; EST: 10/26/2020 3:30:00 PM; REV: 10/26/2020 3:30:00 PM;