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City of Seattle Assistant City Attorney - Torts Section in Seattle, Washington

Position Description

The Civil Division of the Seattle City Attorney's Office is seeking an attorney for our Torts Section. This litigation position provides legal representation and advice to City department clients in matters relating to personal injury, property damage and other litigation. This attorney will be an integral member of the Division, a collegial team of over 60 attorneys and 20 staff, working collaboratively to provide the City of Seattle and its residents with excellent quality and cost-effective legal services under the broader office vision of advancing the public health, safety and welfare of the community.

The Torts Section litigates a wide variety of cases, from relatively streamlined mandatory arbitrations to more complex, multi-party and catastrophic injury lawsuits. Recent legal work in this section includes road design, roadway defects, automobile accidents, bicycle accidents, falls, sewage backups, fallen power lines, stormwater drainage, timber trespass, construction and ADA compliance. This person will be responsible for all aspects of litigation including pre-filing advice, discovery, depositions, motions practice, trial, appeals and settlement discussions. Attorneys in Torts typically manage a broad caseload and work both independently and collaboratively with other section attorneys and staff as needed. While most of the section's litigation work involves defending the City, section attorneys may also represent the City in plaintiff's litigation on select property damage cases.

Torts Section attorneys also regularly advise City departments and employees regarding risk management and avoidance as they develop programs, projects and policies. This advice can have a direct impact on life in Seattle. This attorney will also consult with the City's Risk Management division regarding pre-litigation claims filed against the City pursuant to RCW 4.92.100

The Torts Section is excited to add a colleague willing to share their experience, skills and viewpoints to further the important work of this office and the City. In addition to this opportunity to join a team that is dedicated to public service, the City Attorney's Office offers a generous benefit program which includes low cost health benefits, life insurance, paid leave benefits, paid parental and family leave, and the opportunity to participate in a defined benefit retirement program

Job Responsibilities

The attorney hired for this position will have the opportunity to thoroughly research legal issues and collaborate with dedicated colleagues and clients on a regular basis. The successful candidate will take a lead role on cases shortly after joining the office.

Job Tasks include:

  • Defending the City in civil litigation, including trials

  • Advising City departments regarding risk-related issues

  • Investigating claims and analyzing liability

  • Taking and defending depositions

  • Legal research regarding a wide variety of topics including torts, municipal law, premises liability, civil rights and other matters

  • Advising clients

  • Collaborating with colleagues and external stakeholders

  • Identifying and working with needed experts

  • Case valuation, including review of medical records

  • Developing expertise in new and developing areas of the law

  • Participation in the City’s Race and Social Justice Initiative to end institutionalized racism and race-based disparities in City government


To be successful in this role, the selected candidate will need the knowledge and skills gained by experience working as an attorney, including:

  • Excellent research, writing, and communication skills

  • Able to handle complex assignments independently and a wide variety of tasks simultaneously

  • Litigation experience with the demonstrated ability to take the lead role on cases

  • Experience with personal injury litigation, property damage litigation, the Washington Civil Rules or electronic discovery

  • Preparing expert and lay witnesses for deposition and trial

  • Civil motions practice or trial experience

  • Collaboration in finding creative solutions

This position requires membership in good standing with the Washington State Bar Association, or licensure in another state with the ability to complete the process of obtaining membership within two months of offer of employment.

Additional Information

The Civil Division of the City Attorney's Office uses objective criteria to set attorney salaries based on years of experience. For example, in 2020, the annual salary was $93,379 for someone with up to one year’s experience, $129,180 for someone with ten years’ experience, and $145,769 for someone with at least 20 years’ experience. For additional information about our pay structure, please contact our Human Resources team at Salaries are not subject to negotiation.

Our office is abiding by public health guidelines and maximizing telework arrangements for our employees, except for necessary in-person work, through July 5, 2021. The selected candidate will work with their direct supervisor on alternatives to meet workload requirements while considering public health guidelines during this time.

For your application to be accepted you must:

  • Complete the online City Application,

  • Attach a resume detailing your relevant experience,

  • Attach a cover letter describing your interest in the position and your relevant experience, and

  • Provide a legal writing sample that is less than 10 pages. This can be an excerpt from a larger sample.

For questions regarding the Seattle City Attorney's Office, this position, or the application process, please contact Bridget Lamp, HR Specialist, at 206-684-8228 or If you have trouble uploading the documents, please reach out with enough time to submit the required materials prior to the closing date and time.

Salary: $93,379.00 - $149,212.00 Annually

Location: Suite 2050 Seattle, WA

Job Type: Civil Service Exempt, Regular, Full-time

Department: Law Department

Job Number: 2021-00222

Closing: 3/16/2021 4:00 PM Pacific

Agency: City of Seattle

Address: Seattle Municipal Tower 700 5th Avenue, Suite 5500 Seattle, Washington, 98104