Under direction, provides professional legal services to Human Services Agency Child Protective Services staff for matters dealing with the welfare and protection of children who become Agency clients.
This is the experienced level class in this series. An employee in this class is assigned to the Office of the County Counsel and is primarily responsible for providing legal services to the County in matters of adoption, child custody and placement and related civil issues where the chief goal is the protection of children who have become clients of Child Protective Services staff. Employees in this class exercise some independent judgment and initiative in representing their assigned clients and may be assigned some of the more complex cases as special projects.
Renders legal advice to Human Services social workers and other staff regarding a variety of civil matters where the custody and protection of children becomes a legal issue; trains social service staff in the proper preparation of cases for court.
Researches and analyzes existing laws and regulations, court decisions, pending legislation and a variety of other legal material related to wardship, dependency, adoption, placement and related issues.
Prepares and reviews briefs, memoranda, opinions and pleadings in a variety of civil matters involving children.
Represents Human Services Agency in court and before administrative bodies; examines and cross-examines witnesses; presents oral arguments.
Attends public agency meetings as legal representative; explains legal requirements and restrictions to agency members.
Coordinates with the District Attorney's Office on cases involving children to ensure cases are handled appropriately and that civil matters are not handled as criminal matters; may negotiate dropping of potential criminal charges against a child where the severity of the charge and the welfare of the child permit.
May supervise clerical staff or lead other attorneys.
Membership in the California State Bar.
Experience: Two years in practicing civil law, with emphasis on child protective issues.
Legal principles and their applications; legal research methods, court procedures; rules of evidence and procedures; administrative law and the conduct of proceedings before administrative bodies; and laws applicable to child protective services cases.
Analyze legal principles and precedents and apply them to legal and administrative problems; present statements of fact, law and argument clearly and logically in written and oral form; draft opinions, pleadings, rulings, regulations and legislation; and present cases in court and before administrative agencies.