Job Summary
The director is responsible for the administration and operation of the public defense delivery system in Clark County. This position performs a high level of complex administrative, supervisory, and participatory legal work in directing the staff, policy, and operations of the office of Public Defense.

Examples of Duties

Performs duties related to the direction and administration of the department, including effective personnel, financial and resource planning, and management.

Develops, implements, and continuously evaluates related strategic short- and long-term planning; develops and implements programs.

Manages the department’s professional and administrative staff, including selection, training and development, assignment of work, supervision, evaluation, and discipline accordance with county policy. Establishes, develops, implements, and monitors office polices, standards and guidelines.

Advises professional staff on complex issues, defense strategies and procedures; monitors and evaluates work, ensuring performance is consistent with professional standards, applicable statutes, and county policies. Assigns, tracks, and reviews caseloads. Oversees arrangement of training and practice updates for attorneys, as required or needed.

Prepares and advocates annual budget, adequate to meet current standards for indigent defense; monitors expenditures; provides financial reports to grantors. Ensures operations and expenditures are within public defense budget. Annually apply for and manage state funds awarded to the county by the Washington State Office of Public Defense.

Responds to and resolves sensitive and complex inquiries and concerns; meets with community groups, businesses, and members of the press to provide information and answer questions; provides assistance to outside agencies and organizations. Coordinates response to public records requests.

Represents the office of Public Defense on relevant local and state committees, professional organizations and to community group or agencies. Advocates for the public defense perspective to judges, prosecutors, law enforcement, government leaders and social service agencies in meetings and committees that guide local policies and procedures.

Develops and maintains a positive working relationship with all county department, judicial, and all other law and justice partners.

Identifies cases which present an ethical conflict of interest for the office of Public Defense and administers contracts with outside counsel.

Maintains and updates a case management system to track caseloads, individual assignment and ensure adequate data collection and transparency.

Performs other related duties as assigned.

Careers ( Qualifications Education and Experience: Any combination of experience and training that would likely provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be: A Juris Doctorate degree and extensive experience in the practice of law, in a relevant area of practice. Significant management and/or supervisory or equivalent experience is preferred. Membership in the State Bar of Washington or become a member within one year after hire. Ability to successfully pass Clark County background investigation. Valid Washington State driver’s license. Knowledge of: organization and management practices as applied to the analysis and evaluation of programs, policies and operational needs; operational characteristics, services and activities of a public defense office; legal principles and practices, including civil, criminal, constitutional, and administrative law and procedure; legal research, terminology and procedures; organization, duties, powers, limitations, and authority of County government and a public defense office; pertinent Federal, State and local laws, codes and regulations; principles of supervision, training and performance evaluation; principles and practices of budget preparation and administration; and so forth. Ability to: analyze and apply legal principles; manage and coordinate the work of supervisory, professional, and technical personnel; interpret and explain public defense standards, policies and procedures; organize, interpret, and apply legal principles and procedures; prepare and present difficult cases in court; conduct research on complex legal problems and prepare sound legal opinions; prepare and administer a budget; select, supervise, train and evaluate staff; interpret and apply Federal, State and local policies, procedures, laws and regulations; communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing; establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work including County and other government officials, community groups, and the general public; and so forth.