Oakland City Attorney’s Office – Deputy City Attorney II/III

About The Company
The City Attorney’s Office provides counsel to the City Council, Mayor, City Administrator, and City boards and commissions, various City-wide task forces and City agencies and departments. Incumbents perform a variety of professional legal duties involving civil municipal law issues. The City Attorney is also empowered by state law to bring certain actions on behalf of the People of the State of California

Job Description/Duties
The Office of the City Attorney (“OCA”) seeks a well-qualified individual, as described below, for a Deputy City Attorney (“DCA”) II or III position in the Affirmative Litigation, Innovation and Enforcement Division. The position is available in the Housing Justice Initiative Unit of the Office of the City Attorney. Litigation experience is required for this position.

The ideal candidate for this position will have experience in affirmative litigation, such as civil rights, consumer, workers’ rights, environmental justice, housing justice, tenant protection and/or racial justice cases. Desirable knowledge and experience include a background in: litigation, including complex civil cases in state and/or federal court, writs, and appeals; policy work, including drafting proposed local legislation; community engagement, including working in coalition with nonprofits and community groups; and administrative procedure, including administrative remedies and rule-making. The DCA will work with other litigators and with advice and labor and employment attorneys in the Office.

The position is currently assigned to the Housing Justice Initiative Unit of the Affirmative Litigation, Innovation and Enforcement Division. The DCA may be supervised on different projects by a Deputy City Attorney V, Special Counsel, Chief Assistant City Attorney and/or the City Attorney. The City Attorney may assign the selected attorney to new, additional or different duties or practice areas in litigation, advice, or transactional work.

Attorneys in this diverse and exciting Office frequently work collaboratively with other attorneys and other City Departments on a wide variety of issues, and DCAs in the Housing Justice Initiative Unit frequently work with other City Attorney and County Counsel offices around the Bay Area, throughout California, and across the country.

Job Criteria
The Affirmative Litigation, Innovation and Enforcement Division includes three affirmative litigation units: (1) the Neighborhood Law Corps (“NLC”), (2) the Community Lawyering & Civil Rights Unit (“CLCR”); and (3) the Housing Justice Initiative (“HJI”).

The NLC is a longstanding community-facing unit that focuses on core life, health, and safety issues such as tenant protection, substandard housing, and public nuisance. There are five budgeted NLC attorneys; and they typically are relatively new to the practice of law. The NLC was established in 2002.

The Community Lawyering and Civil Rights Unit is dedicated to advancing systemic rights and opportunities for historically and presently marginalized communities in Oakland by enforcing, strengthening, and creating laws responsive to those communities’ needs, in furtherance of racial, economic, and environmental justice. CLCR was founded in 2016 and is typically staffed by at least two mid-level attorneys.

The HJI is dedicated to protecting marginalized Oakland tenants and preserving affordable housing in Oakland by enforcing tenants’ legal rights. HJI was founded in 2020 and typically is staffed by two mid-level attorneys.

This position requires handling a civil litigation caseload which includes, but is not limited to, case evaluation, conducting large-scale investigations, drafting complaints, engaging in motions practice, arguing motions, propounding and responding to discovery, taking and defending depositions, preparing for judicial proceedings (including settlement conferences, trials, and in appellate courts), and engaging in post-judgment or post-settlement compliance monitoring. The position may also require leading administrative enforcement of local ordinances, collaborating on or leading the drafting of ordinances and resolutions, developing strategies to engage local civil society partners, and working closely with attorneys in a variety of public law offices.

Detailed Job Description:

Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

· Participating in or leading affirmative litigation (including case evaluation, conducting investigations, drafting complaints, engaging in motions practice, arguing motions, propounding and responding to discovery, taking and defending depositions, preparing for judicial proceedings (including settlement conferences, trials, and in appellate courts), and engaging in post-judgment or post-settlement compliance monitoring);

· Communicating with, including as witnesses, City staff, community members, and stakeholders, in an intentional and trauma-informed manner, including across lines of difference;

· Participating in or leading administrative hearings, including citation appeals, administrative writs, and traditional writs;

· Working closely with City administrators, elected officials, and agency and department executives to develop or enforce City laws and policies;

· Developing or assisting in the development of local legislation to further the Units’, Office’s, and City’s priorities, which may also include reviewing staff reports and writing City Council reports;

· Creating or developing constructive, collaborative relationships with civil society groups;

· Working with other attorneys in the Office and in partner offices on various matters;

· Being a key player in cultivating a strong, thoughtful, cooperative, and dynamic team;

· Exercising sound judgment;

· Clearly explaining legal advice to attorneys and lay people; and

· Attendance at some evening and late-night meetings.


Any combination of experience and education that likely would provide the required knowledge and abilities will qualify an applicant for the position. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:


· DCA II: Two years of increasingly responsible work experience comparable to a Deputy City Attorney I in the City of Oakland.

· DCA III: Two years of increasingly responsible work experience comparable to a Deputy City Attorney II position in the City of Oakland.


· Graduate of accredited school of law.

License or Certificate:

· A member in good standing of the California State Bar.

· DCAs in this position are required to maintain a valid California Driver’s License during City employment or demonstrate the ability to travel to required locations in a timely manner, to the extent feasible depending on disability-related accommodations.

Ability to

· Investigate and litigate all aspects of a complex civil case in state and/or federal court (and, at minimum, demonstrated experience at the time of application in several key aspects of complex civil litigation);

· Negotiate and draft settlement agreements;

· Interpret and apply various government codes and ordinances;

· Conduct research on legal problems to prepare sound legal documents, including in litigation and in other contexts (e.g., legal opinions);

· Analyze and prepare a wide variety of legal documents, with demonstrated excellence in legal writing;

· Present cases in court and in administrative proceedings;

· Handle stressful and sensitive situations with tact and diplomacy, including across the spectrum of diversity;

· Provide professional leadership, guidance, and technical expertise to the Office and to City staff;

· Work independently and as part of a close-knit team;

· Form or work with a multidisciplinary team and/or with partners of different backgrounds;

· Manage multiple demanding programs, cases, and projects with competing deadlines;

· Communicate effectively and persuasively in both oral and written form with City officials, representatives of outside agencies and the public, and in litigation;

· Complete varied assignments in a well-organized fashion and with attention to detail within a narrow time frame;

· Establish and maintain effective working relationships with a wide variety of audiences;

· Inspire confidence and respect for legal analysis and advice; and

· Skillfully and professionally present legal advice to clients, including elected and high-level appointed officials.

Other Desirable Skills

· Language skills, especially in Spanish, Cantonese, and/or Mandarin;

· Working knowledge of municipal, state and federal laws, ordinances and codes affecting City government;

· Expert knowledge of and experience in federal and state court, administrative agency procedures, and municipal government law and procedures; and

· Litigation experience that is transferable.

Salary Range/Hourly Rate
$140,105.40 to $189,669.96 annually

Other Benefits and Perks
Benefits: Health, dental, vision, pension, potential telecommuting opportunities, and other competitive benefits

Job Category: Affirmative Litigation Innovation and Enforcement Division
Job Type: Full Time
Job Location: Hybrid Oakland