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City Attorney

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Information about the position:

The City of Spokane Valley is seeking a tenured and experienced City Attorney for this family-friendly urban city of 107,000 located near the eastern border of Washington state. The city is known for its friendly people, natural beauty, business and retail services, and the beautiful weather that provides 260 days of sunshine a year. In 2020, Spokane Valley ranked in “top 35” most livable mid-sized cities by SmartAsset.

The City of Spokane Valley is a non-charter code city and operates under a Council-Manager form of government with total budget of $111 million. The City employs approximately 105.25 FTEs across nine departments and has adopted a “contract City” approach to providing many of the City’s services. The Office of the City Attorney is staffed with three attorneys, one paralegal, one administrative assistant, and from one to two legal interns.

Manages and oversees the Legal Department of the City to achieve goals within available resources:

  • Plans and organizes workloads and staff assignments; trains, motivates and evaluates assigned staff; reviews progress and directs changes as needed.
  • Assures that assigned areas of responsibility are performed within budget; monitors revenues and expenditures in assigned areas to assure sound fiscal control; assures effective and efficient use of budgeted funds, personnel, materials, facilities and time.
  • Selects, trains, evaluates and disciplines personnel, and resolves employee grievances. Determines work procedures, prepares work schedules, and expedites workflow. Issues written and oral instructions. Assigns duties and examines work for exactness, neatness and conformance to policies and procedures. Counsels employees to improve performance. Studies and standardizes procedures to improve efficiency of subordinates.
  • Provides leadership and direction in the development of short and long range plans; gathers, interprets and prepares data for studies, reports and recommendations; coordinates departmental activities with other departments and agencies as needed.
  • Participates on Senior Management Team; participates in discussions related to the creation and/or modification of general City policies and operations.

Position Description: City Attorney 2 Provides written and verbal advice to the City Manager, the City Council and City departments pertaining to all matters of municipal law associated with City policies, decisions and activities:

  • Reviews and researches federal, state and local laws, ordinances and court decisions; prepares interpretations and legal opinions.
  • Prepares or reviews for final drafting City ordinances, resolutions, contracts, deeds, leases, memoranda and other written legal documents and instruments.
  • May participate in negotiations with employee bargaining units and serve as the City’s advocate in various labor relations proceedings. May assist in the resolution of grievances and other sensitive personnel matters.
  • May participate in negotiations and administration of contracts with outside vendors and service providers.
  • Designs, prepares and conducts employee training sessions pertaining to legal matters.

Represents or oversees the representation of the City in civil litigation brought on behalf of or against the City:

  • Represents and defends the City in various courts and administrative proceedings.
  • Provides legal advice and defense pertaining to the City’s risk management program.
  • Consults with legal representatives of public, private and criminal justice agencies.

Communicates official plans, policies and procedures to staff, other agencies and the general public:

  • Attends and participates in County, regional and State-wide legal task forces, committees, associations and organizations on a variety of issues; provide legal counsel to local government associations on various issues as appropriate.
  • Directs the resolution of inquiries and complaints concerning legal matters potentially involving the City. Responds to the most sensitive or complex inquiries.
Education and Experience:

  • (A) Graduation from an accredited law school with a Juris Doctorate degree followed by admission to the Washington State Bar; and Position Description: City Attorney 3
  • (B) Minimum of ten (10) years of progressively responsible related experience in civil and/or criminal litigation including two years supervisory experience. Experience in a municipal environment preferred.
  • (C) An equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered.

Necessary Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • (A) Comprehensive understanding of modern policies and practices of Washington state municipal law, including torts, contracts, land use, solid waste, labor law, transportation, criminal law, constitutional law, government/administrative law, purchasing and municipal finance. Familiarity with prosecution of misdemeanors and operation of Municipal and District Courts.
  • (B) Effective experience in applying theory, structure and practice of municipal law, particularly as it applies to the Council-Manager form of government; understanding of the City’s political environment and sensitivities; ability to prepare and analyze comprehensive legal documents; ability to carry out assigned projects to completion;
  • (C) Ability to practice law in Washington state, identifying legal opportunities to accomplish the City’s objectives; ability to design and execute effective trial and appellate strategies in complex cases;
  • (D) Effective experience in managerial principles, techniques and practices; ability to efficiently and effectively administer a municipal legal department; skill in identifying emerging issues, developing and implementing new approaches and/or refining the department’s organization structure to generate desired results as efficiently as possible; ability to anticipate and resolve problems before a crisis ensues;
  • (E) Ability to effectively communicate complex legal issues verbally and in writing to a variety of audiences in a clear, comprehensive and professional manner; ability to resolve conflicts and gain cooperation among conflicting groups;
  • (F) A key value of the City is customer service. This position requires considerable knowledge, ability and skill in the principles and practices of excellent customer service as practiced in both the private and public sectors. It requires the ability to effectively meet and deal with the public; the ability to handle stressful situations; the ability to greet and respond to customers in a friendly, pleasant and professional manner using appropriate inflection, grammar and syntax; the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with employees, supervisors, and the general public; the ability to maintain a professional, courteous, and pleasant demeanor in difficult and stressful situations; and the ability to diplomatically deal with difficult people. A willingness to expend extra effort to help the public find answers or information relative to their inquiry or complaint is expected.


Member in good standing of Washington State Bar; must possess a valid State driver’s license or have the ability to obtain one prior to employment.

Compensation: $132,732 – $200,994 annually DOQ


This is a unique opportunity to lead the City Attorney’s office in the 7th largest City in Washington and the second largest City in
eastern Washington. Spokane Valley has a reputation for being a well-managed organization with an excellent team of department
directors serving a vibrant and diverse population in sunny eastern Washington. If you are looking for a friendly community with a great
quality of life, a stable Council-Manager form of government, and a City with solid financial reserves this may be the right opportunity.
View the full position profile and job description at

More Information:
GMP Consultants is assisting the City of Spokane Valley with this search. Learn more at The City of Spokane Valley is an
Equal Opportunity Employer. First Review is April 2, 2023.