Deputy County Counsel — San Mateo County Counsel’s Office

Deputy County Counsel — San Mateo County Counsel's Office

Deputy County Counsel II, III, or IV

$10,918 – $19,210 /Month


The County Counsel's Office of the County of San Mateo is seeking a well-qualified candidate for the position of Deputy County Counsel II, III, or IV.


The County Counsel's Office is the general counsel for the County of San Mateo and all of its departments, as well as for many school districts and special districts. As a large company might utilize its in-house counsel, our clients rely on our office for the full range of legal services, covering a broad spectrum of practice areas. The office's 31 attorneys handle nearly all of the County's civil litigation, including employment, contract, personal injury, probate matters, civil rights, taxation, and environmental law matters. In addition, our attorneys provide the kind of day-to-day legal services expected from any in-house attorney, ranging from advice and counsel regarding how to navigate emerging areas of law to the negotiation and drafting of legal agreements. We also provide legal counsel to all 24 school districts in the county, as well as the County Office of Education, with respect to both general education and special education issues. As public law attorneys, our work covers a wide array of policy matters that impact the 770,000 residents of San Mateo County, allowing our clients to further the public interest.


We're hiring for one attorney position. The position will be a Deputy County Counsel II, III or IV, depending on the selected candidate’s experience and qualifications. The starting salary ranges from $131,019 to $230,526 depending upon the level of each position, but the job description and duties remain the same.


  • At least a minimum of two (2) years of experience as a practicing attorney is required and six (6) years of experience as a practicing attorney is preferred;
  • Must be a member in good standing with the California Bar;
  • A demonstrated history of hard work, dedication, and academic excellence;
  • Ability to prioritize and manage several simultaneous projects under deadlines;
  • As some of the work done in the County Counsel's office will undoubtedly be new to any candidate, the ideal candidate will be flexible and show an eagerness to learn;
  • Must be a self-motivated person willing to take ownership of any matter;
  • Must work well with others. Our office is a collegial and supportive environment in which employees willingly pitch-in to help one another;
  • Must have exceptional legal research and writing skills;
  • Must have strong communication skills. Our attorneys must be able to explain complex legal issues to judges, arbitrators, a diverse range of clients, and, occasionally, members of the public;
  • The ability to establish and maintain excellent working relationships with clients;
  • Our attorneys are expected to practice the highest level of ethics and professional responsibility.


Deputy County Counsel positions are unclassified (i.e., not subject to Civil Service Rules) and all attorneys are "at-will" employees, serving at the pleasure of the County Counsel. All applications containing the required materials are reviewed and, typically, multiple rounds of oral interviews are conducted with selected applicants. Selection of a candidate for the position will be made following oral interviews and reference checks.


Applications may be obtained at counsel-positions or by calling (650) 363-4250.

Combine the application materials into one PDF file and submit to:

Application materials include:

– Resume, including educational and employment history, bar admission(s), listing bar number and dates of admission, scholastic and professional honors, and publications.

– Two Writing Samples (preferably one substantive legal pleading and one advice memorandum).

– List of references, including at least one supervisor from the last two years and one peer attorney or client who has worked extensively with you.

– Cover Letter and/or attachment addressing the following:

  1. Why are you seeking a position with the Office of the County Counsel? What aspects of our practice are of specific interest to you?
  2. What are your short-term and long-range goals regarding the practice of law?
  3. What is the general nature of your practice?
  4. Summarize any experience you may have practicing on behalf of public entities over the last five years.
  5. Summarize your experience in court, administrative hearings, and/or arbitrations over the last five years.
  6. Describe the non-litigation aspects of your practice that may be relevant to this position.
  7. Please provide the name of your supervisor for each legal position held, and indicate whether we may contact him or her at this time. If so, please provide their preferred contact information.
  8. Have you ever been fired or resigned after being requested to do so? If so, please explain.
  9. Please tell us how you learned of this opening.

All application materials must be received by 11:59 p.m. on May 22, 2019. Late or incomplete entries will not be considered. A resume alone will not be accepted as a substitute for the application responses.


General Information: Benefits include health, vision, and dental plans, as well as vacation, sick leave, and administrative/management leave time.

Other Benefits Include:

  • Employee Health and Wellness Program
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Dependent Care Assistance Plan
  • Voluntary Time Off
  • Tuition Reimbursement Program
  • Continuation of Coverage Program
  • Basic and Additional Life Insurance
  • Deferred Comp Plan
  • Payment of State Bar Dues
  • Payment of San Mateo County Bar Dues

Additional information concerning all of the available employee benefits may be obtained in the 2019 Active Employee Benefits Guide and the 2019 Retiree Benefits Overview.

County of San Mateo is an Equal Opportunity Employer