Public Defense Coordinator

King County   Seattle, WA   Full-time     Management
Posted on August 26, 2021
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This posting is being extended through 9/23/21. If you previously applied, there is no need to reapply.

The Department of Public Defense (DPD) provides high-quality legal representation to indigent clients. DPD practices in several areas, including felonies, misdemeanors, juvenile defense, family defense (dependency cases), involuntary commitment (mental illness), sex offender commitment, and contempt of court. The department also works to address racial disproportionality in the criminal legal system, the collateral consequences of system involvement, and other structural and/or systemic issues that undermine the rights of our clients and their communities. DPD employs attorneys, skilled investigators, mitigation specialists, paralegals, and other support staff. Expert services are regularly funded, in keeping with state court rules.
To learn more about DPD, please visit our website at:
About the Position
The Public Defense Coordinator is responsible for helping to monitor and coordinate case flow and daily case assignments for the four DPD divisions and the assigned counsel panel. This position helps to monitor case flow to ensure a balance among the divisions. Prior to assigning clients to a division, the Coordinator completes a conflicts check of databases to avoid potential client/attorney conflicts, maintain vertical representation when possible, and maintain accurate assignments based on capacity instructions. During the County’s COVID-19 pandemic response, this position is primarily functioning remotely. This position is based out of the central DPD office downtown Seattle.
Who May Apply
This recruitment is open to the general public and may be used to fill full-time current and/or future career service, term-limited temporary, and/or special duty positions. DPD also intends generate an eligibility pool for future vacancies in career service and temporary positions over the next six months.
Note: Special duty opportunities are open only to current King County career service employees who have completed their initial probation. Special duty applicants must have approval from their current supervisor to accept an assignment. Current employees selected for special duty will be compensated based upon the provisions of the collective bargaining agreement or Master Labor Agreement for their base assignment.
Due to Covid-19, all client screenings are currently being done telephonically; in the future, on-site, in person screenings may occur at any of the following locations:
  • Dexter Horton Building, 710 Second Avenue, Seattle
  • King County Courthouse, 516 3rd Ave., Seattle WA 98104 
  • Mealeng Regional Justice Center, 401 4th Ave N, Kent, WA 98032
Work Schedule
The typical workweek is 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. depending on assigned workflow.  This position is non-exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and is eligible for overtime pay with approval from the supervisor.

Forms and Materials Required
  1. An online employment application completed at The employment history should go back at least 10 years if you have 10 years of employment (or more to include all relevant experience). 
  2. A cover letter no more than two pages summarizing your experience and how you meet the required qualifications, knowledge, and skills for the position.
  3. Resume.  
As a part of the evaluation process the most competitive candidates will be invited to undergo a virtual skills assessment.  
For more information, contact: 
Cassandra Montgomery
Human Resource Analyst

Job Duties

  • Per case distribution instructions, assign eligible clients to one of DPD's legal divisions or to a conflict panel attorney 
  • Review DPD's and multiple proprietary database records to determine if client has a legal conflict of interest with any of DPD's legal divisions. Establish, maintain, code, modify, track, and/or retrieve information and compile data, which may require information searches.
  • Reassign cases based on reported conflicts of interest and other administrative policies per case distribution instructions.
  • Compile, distribute, and enter accurate and complete data into the DPD information system database.
  • Respond to inquiries from coworkers and persons external to DPD within assigned area of specialization.
  • Interview and screen individuals requesting a public defender via phone and in person and make a determination of financial eligibility based on the screening criteria Send and track the documents required to be signed by eligible clients.
  • Provide information and referral resources to clients and callers.
  • Investigate and verify information provided as needed.
  • Work closely and communicate well with team members to manage all tasks assigned for that team.
  • Operate standard office equipment, including photocopier and multi-line telephone.
  • Perform job duties using Homer, Judicial Access Browser System (JABS), Excel, SharePoint, and other proprietary databases as needed.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

  • Minimum of two years of experience working in a criminal law and/or court environment.
  • Knowledge of the organizations that make up the King County legal system.
  • Knowledge of legal terminology and the case flow process of criminal, juvenile, child dependency, or civil proceedings.
  • Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer service, particularly to customers who have noticeable language and literacy needs or who are in distress.
  • Skill in interviewing, interacting with, or providing professional assistance to a diverse clientele.
  • Intermediate skill in using a variety of computer programs to enter data or process information, including, Microsoft Outlook, Excel, Word, Adobe Pro, Microsoft Teams, standard internet browsers, King County District and/or Superior Court Script, and SharePoint.
  • Skill in processing information, which includes the accurate and consistent gathering, entering, distributing, and analyzing of data to make routine decisions and to determine whether events or processes comply with policy guidelines.
  • Skill in establishing and maintaining cooperative working relationships with coworkers, defense attorneys, paralegals, prosecutors, judges, and other court personnel.
  • Skill in active listening. Demonstration of a service orientation that includes actively looking for ways to help people and care about client satisfaction.
  • Ability to communicate, both verbally and in writing, information and ideas so that others will understand.
  • Demonstrated ability to work under pressure with tight timelines and changing priorities.
  • Demonstrated ability to understand and execute complex verbal and written instructions.
  • Demonstrated regular, reliable, and predictable attendance.
  • Ability to learn Office 365, SharePoint and Teams.
  • Skill in using case management systems, JABS, and King County District and/or Superior Court Script Portals.
  • Knowledge of King County Department of Public Defense.


Supplemental Information

Special note regarding COVID-19 
DPD is following Public Health and CDC guidance in regard to social distancing. Interviews for this position will be conducted remotely. Successful candidates may be required to telecommute and come into the office on a periodic basis; frequency could vary based on business and operational needs.
Employees will be provided with a County issued laptop and must maintain a workspace with an internet connection (access may be supplemented in some situations) where they can reliably perform work and remain available and responsive during scheduled work hours. Please note that when an employee conducts work that is likely to bring them in contact with another individual, safety precautions are required, including the wearing of masks in office. King County is doing its part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and remains committed to reducing our carbon footprint.
King County has a robust collection of tools and resources to support working remotely. The individual selected for this opportunity will be joining an innovative and progressive team that is redefining how we work as we transition to the department's hybrid environment.  

Application Process
Interested individuals should submit a complete online King County application (all blanks must be filled out and may not direct the reader to reference an attached resume or other document. Answers that say "see resume" will be considered as incomplete), a resume, and a cover letter (no more than 2 pages) summarizing how you meet the experience, qualifications, knowledge, and skills for the job.

Selection Process  
Applications will be reviewed and screened for clarity, completeness, and competitiveness. As a part of the evaluation process the most competitive candidates will be invited to undergo a virtual skills assessment. All materials will be evaluated for spelling, grammar, and punctuation usage. The most competitive candidates will be invited to interview.
Offer of employment is contingent on:
The successful completion of references and or a records review.  
Union Membership
Positions in this classification are recognized by Service Employees International Union, Local 925.

Forbes recently named King County as one of Washington State's best employers. 
Together, with leadership and our employees, we're changing the way government delivers service and winning national recognition as a model of excellence. Are you ready to make a difference? Come join the team dedicated to serving one of the nation's best places to live, work and play. 
Guided by our "True North", we are making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive. We value diversity, inclusion and belonging in our workplace and workforce. To reach this goal we are committed to workforce equity. Equitable recruiting, support, and retention is how we will obtain the highest quality workforce in our region; a workforce that shares and will help advance our guiding principles--we are one team; we solve problems; we focus on the customer; we drive for results; we are racially just; we respect all people; we lead the way; and we are responsible stewards. We encourage people of all backgrounds and identities to apply, including Native American and people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ+, people living with disabilities, and veterans.
Covid-19 Vaccination Requirement 
As of October 18, 2021, most* King County employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If hired, you will be required to submit proof of vaccination by October 18th. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine. Employees may make requests for a reasonable accommodation based on a medical disability or for sincerely held religious beliefs. Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to vaccination will not be considered for an exemption or accommodation.

This directive applies to employees in the Executive branch*, the Assessor’s Office, Elections, the King County Sheriff’s Office, and the Executive Office.  
King County is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Employer
No person is unlawfully excluded from employment opportunities based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy), age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or other protected class. Our EEO policy applies to all employment actions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, selection for training, promotion, transfer, demotion, layoff, termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation.
To Apply
If you are interested in pursuing this position, please follow the application instructions carefully. If you need this announcement in an alternate language or format, would like to request accommodation or assistance in the application or assessment process or if you have questions please contact your recruiter listed on this job announcement.

King County offers a highly-competitive compensation and benefits package designed to meet the diverse needs of our employees and support our employees' health and well-being.  Eligible positions receive the following benefits and have access to the following programs:

  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage: King County pays 100% of the premiums for eligible employees and family members
  • Life and disability insurance: employees are provided basic coverage and given the opportunity to purchase additional insurance for both the employee and eligible dependents
  • Retirement: King County employees are eligible to participate in a pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems and a 457(b) deferred-compensation plan
  • Transportation program and ORCA transit pass
  • 10 paid holidays each year (plus 2 personal holidays)
  • Generous vacation and paid sick leave
  • Paid parental leave, family and medical leaves, and volunteer leave
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Wellness programs
  • Onsite gyms and activity centers
  • Employee giving program
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Flexible schedules and telecommuting options, depending on position
  • Training and career development programs
For additional information about employee benefits please visit our Benefits, Payroll, and Retirement Page.

This is a general description of the benefits offered to eligible King County employees, and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy.  If any information on this document conflicts with the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the CBA prevails.  Also, in the event of any incorrect information in this document, applicable laws, policies, rules, CBAs, or official plan documents will prevail.
NOTE:  Benefits for Term Limited Temporary (TLT) or Short Term Temporary (STT) positions, including leave eligibility and/or participation in the pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems, will vary based upon the terms and details of the position. Short Term Temporary positions are not eligible for an ORCA transit pass.
For inquiries about the specifics of this position, please contact the recruiter identified on this job posting.

Are you a current and/or former King County, Department of Public Defense employee?
  • Yes
  • No
If yes to the above, in which division(s)? Otherwise, please indicate N/A.
  • Associated Counsel for the Accused
  • The Defender Association
  • Northwest Defenders
  • Society of Counsel Representing the Accused Persons
  • Director's Office
  • N/A
Which of the following best describes your response to the following question: Are you applying to this position as a Priority Placement Program Participant and is this position the same or lower percentage of full-time and do you possess the skills and abilities to qualify for this position?
  • Yes, I was given a layoff notice from my role at King County AND I am within two years of the effective date of my layoff. AND The position I was laid off from was the same or a higher percentage of FT status when compared to this one.
  • No.
If you answered yes to the question above and you are applying for this position as a Priority Placement Participant, to be considered, you must provide the following three pieces of information in the space provided: 1. The title you held when you received your layoff notice 2. The department you worked in 3. The effective date of your layoff.
How many years of experience do you have successfully working in the criminal legal system and or/court environment?
  • Less than two years
  • Two to four years
  • Four or more years
For Question #5 above, please indicate where you obtained this experience, your job title, and a brief summary of your job responsibilities. (if none, enter N/A)
Please indicate below which system(s) you have working experience with. Select all that apply.
  • Case management system
  • King County District and/or Superior Court Script Portals
  • Judicial Access Browser System (JABS)
  • Electronic Court Records (ECR)
  • Office 365
  • SharePoint
  • Microsoft Teams
  • None of the above

Required Question