Defense Attorney I

Thurston County
$79,512 - $82,692 Per year WA 926 24th Way SW, Olympia, WA 98502, United States


**This regular full-time position is a funding agreement with Washington State Office of Public Defense Simple Possession Advocacy and Representation (SPAR) Program with an end date of June 30, 2025**
**This recruitment has been reopened, if you have previously applied for this position, your application is being considered and there is no need to reapply**
Additional information regarding future funding will be provided.

Thurston County Public Defense Mission:
"To Defend and Protect Our Clients' Constitutional Rights, One Person at a Time"

Thurston County Public Defense is currently recruiting for one (1) Defense Attorney I. A Defense Attorney practices with moderate to minimal supervision from a higher-level defense attorney. Immediate placement for this position will be in the District Court Unit consistent with the summary of duties outlined below:  
Responsibilities for the District Court Unit may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Manages a full caseload representing and assisting indigent clients facing charges or charged with simple possession or public use offenses under RCW 69.50.4011(1)(b) or (c), RCW 69.50.4013, RCW 69.50.4014, or RCW 69.41.030(1), or under local ordinances involving allegations consistent with  .
  • Reviews reports, interviews appropriate parties, works with the court and Prosecutor to resolve cases. Appropriately utilizes internal and external professional services.
  • Performs a variety of legal office work, prepares appropriate legal pleadings, does necessary research, maintains required statistical information.
  • Prepares cases for trial, pre-trial and post-trial hearings and/or please bargains the cases with the Deputy Prosecuting Attorney.
  • Assists other attorneys in matters of trial strategy, tactics and legal research and analysis.
  • Is knowledgeable of District Court rules and procedures. 
  • Handles miscellaneous calendar duties such as arraignment calendars, initial appearance calendars and interpreter calendars.
What we offer our employees:
  • Work-Life Balance: We are committed to ensure that our staff experience the reward of public service, while also sustaining a routine that suits each individuals’ lifestyle. 
  • Plan For Your Future: As a member of our team, you will enjoy great employee benefits, including a retirement plan, pre-tax savings accounts, as well as comprehensive health care and dental/vision care for you and your family. Please visit website for more information.  
  • Paid Leave: Full-time regular employees earn a minimum of 12 paid vacation days per year in addition to 11 paid 
  • Robust Training Program: Employees are encouraged to attend County paid training to help them further their career, learn new skill sets, and stay on top of emerging trends in our industry.  We also encourage our staff to participate in professional organizations and attend conferences.  
  • Flexible Work Schedules: Some of the options that employees may take advantage of include alternative or compressed schedules and/or remote working.
  • Deferred CompensationThe County offers 3 voluntary deferred compensation plans for employees who would like to set aside additional deferred tax dollars into a retirement savings plan. 
  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA): Employees can take advantage of Section 125 flexible spending accounts for out-of-pocket health care and daycare expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness:This is a federal program which allows full-time public service employees who have made 120 qualifying payments for certain loans, to get their student loans repaid. 
Why you’ll love it here
Thurston County is located between Seattle and Portland in Western Washington’s South Puget Sound Region. Perched in between the mountains and the ocean, the area boasts the perfect blend of year-round outdoor activities including boating, hiking, skiing, and more. The region is also home to the state capitol city of Olympia, known for its many restaurants, microbreweries, coffee shops, farmer’s markets, kids’ activities, history, and art events. Discover more about life in Thurston County at


  • Graduation from an ABA accredited school of law and must be a member of the Washington State Bar Association.
  • Knowledge of all criminal rules of Washington State, techniques of interviewing and preparation and defense of all variety of criminal cases, with emphasis on lower level felonies and all misdemeanors.
  • Knowledge of RCW 13.34, good communication with parents, legal custodians and guardians.
  • Ability to perform legal research; analyze and apply legal principles, facts, evidence, and precedents to legal problems.
  • Present law, facts, evidence and arguments clearly and logically in written and oral form.
  • Work harmoniously and maintain good public relations.