County Attorney

Albemarle County, VA | Full-time

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The Position

The County Attorney supervises the legal affairs of Albemarle County and serves as the legal counsel for the Board of Supervisors, Planning Commission, and other County Boards, Commissions, agencies, and departments. Appointed by the Board of Supervisors, the County Attorney performs complex professional and administrative work and manages the Office of the County Attorney. Reporting to the Board of Supervisors, the County Attorney oversees a team of eight in the following positions: Deputy County Attorney, four Senior Assistant County Attorneys, Legal Services Coordinator, and two Paralegals.

The County Attorney provides sound legal advice to the Board of Supervisors on significant policy, project, litigation, potential conflicts of interest, and financial matters through written opinions based on extensive institutional experience, legal research, and contract drafting. The County Attorney attends all Board of Supervisors meetings and drafts, or reviews, ordinances, orders, and resolutions issued by the County that come before the Board of Supervisors. The County Attorney routinely advises County departments on appropriate action for various legal issues, particularly those involving County-wide policies or politically sensitive issues. The County Attorney represents the County in legal matters, brings lawsuits necessary to be instituted by the County, and defends the County in lawsuits brought against it.

The County Attorney’s team carries a full litigation caseload that includes local government law, torts, contracts, civil rights, administrative process, and real property. The County Attorney prepares the departmental budget and oversees expenditures. The position is open due to a planned retirement.

Priorities

  • Continue providing expert legal advice and successfully defend the County in litigation.
  • Effectively partner with the County Executive and engage with department directors to understand operational issues that may have legal implications and where departments need legal assistance.
  • Assess and evaluate critical operations of the County Attorney's Office, including hiring needs, workload assignments and delegation, workflow management, use of outside counsel, and strategic office goals to ensure timely legal representation.
  • Provide legal advice and assistance on the comprehensive plan and zoning ordinance.

The Successful Candidate

The County Attorney will be a highly competent, strategic, solution-focused legal advisor and partner to the Board of Supervisors and the County Executive to help achieve the Board’s goals. The next County Attorney has a track record of establishing and maintaining relationships with County officials, court officials, attorneys, and the public. The successful candidate has comprehensive knowledge of local, state, and federal laws and court decisions affecting local governments and has worked in the Commonwealth of Virginia or another Dillon Rule state. The next County Attorney is well-versed in employment law, social services, land use and zoning, environmental, contracts, public information, and leading practices in local government law. The successful candidate will share the values of a progressive county and works closely with the Office of Equity and Inclusion, Police, and Human Resources to ensure equitable policies, practices, and laws.

The next County Attorney is politically astute while remaining apolitical and has unquestioned integrity and sound ethics. The successful candidate will be strong enough to stand up for the law and wise enough to focus on the outcome desired and assist in finding a way, if possible. The candidate can communicate complex ideas with succinct explanations, both orally and in writing, to professionals and laypersons. The County Attorney has substantial local government law experience and leverages that knowledge to anticipate issues and proactively identify risk and develop strategies for legally sound positions. The County Attorney is considered a thought partner dedicated to public service and always works in the County’s best interest, understanding the nuances between state and locality.

A strong manager, the County Attorney employs a leadership style inviting participation and input, and the ability to prioritize in order to achieve the County’s goals. The ideal candidate supports collaboration and successfully leverages the staff's in-depth knowledge and expertise to seek efficient, creative, and solution-oriented approaches while providing high-quality, timely work products. Dedicated to continuous improvement, the County Attorney will evaluate staffing needs, workloads, expertise, and practice gaps to ensure they are meeting the strategic goals and organizational objectives of the County.

Qualifications

Minimum requirements are a J.D. from an accredited law school, seven (7) years in the practice of local government law, ideally with a successful track record as a City/County Attorney, Deputy or Assistant City/County Attorney, or experience in a private law firm advising local governments with a full range of services. Applicants must also be a member in good standing of the Virginia Bar or be eligible to practice law in Virginia within six (6) months of employment. Must be admitted to practice before the Virginia Supreme Court and Federal District courts or be able to obtain admission within six months of employment.

Preferred qualifications include well-rounded experience in local government law, including land use, real property, tax, public meetings and records, public contracts, procurement, public safety, social services, employment law, and litigation. Experience managing staff and working in a high-growth locality is also preferred.

Residency within Albemarle County is encouraged after employment but not required.

Inside the County Attorney’s Office

The County Attorney's Office provides legal counsel and advice in all civil matters to the Board of Supervisors and all other boards, commissions, and committees appointed by the Board of Supervisors, as well as County officials and other public bodies. The Office provides services in land-use and zoning, taxation and finance, law enforcement, social services, contracts, real estate, employment, legislation, and litigation. The Office drafts ordinances and resolutions to implement policy decisions of the Board of Supervisors, prepares legislative proposals, represents the County in litigation, and enforces compliance with the Water Protection Ordinance, the Zoning Ordinance, and other County regulations.

Mission: To deliver quality legal services and ethical counsel.

Goals:

  • To support the Board of Supervisors in its efforts to achieve the County’s Mission and to realize the County’s Strategic Plan goals through County Departments.
  • To provide excellent service.
  • To provide proactive education and training and to avoid unnecessary litigation and legal conflicts.

The County Attorney’s Office has a total of nine (9) FTEs, including the County Attorney. The Office’s total FY 2022 budget is $1.15 Million.

LOVE WHERE YOU WORK

The County government, with an annual budget of approximately $467 Million planned in FY 2022, prides itself in sustaining responsive and accessible services to its residents while emphasizing professionalism and efficiency. Albemarle County is recognized for quality services and innovative programs while still maintaining a comparatively low tax rate. The County government takes pride in being One Organization Committed to Excellence, valuing partnership and teamwork opportunities.

One Organization Committed to Excellence

The idea of One Organization Committed to Excellence is meant to foster a sense of community through the organization. It underscores that we are all working together toward the betterment of our community through the sharing of knowledge and resources, collaboration with our colleagues, and working with our community partners and neighboring localities. Albemarle County is committed to a high-performing organization model. We value integrity, learning, stewardship, innovation, and a diverse and inclusive community.

Public Service

Albemarle County employees are passionate about and feel rewarded for their role in helping to build and support their community. Our employees are customer service oriented to all customers, both internal and external, and seek to provide every customer with an experience that is professional, empathetic, and responsive.

The Community

Albemarle County is one of the most desirable locations in Virginia and the nation, with an excellent school system, low taxes, low crime and unemployment rates, a skilled and educated workforce, and a wealth of cultural, historical, and recreational amenities in a beautiful setting. Our community is energized by entrepreneurship and invention fueled by the University of Virginia, one of the country’s most renowned research institutions. Our focus on innovation, ideas, and opportunity makes Albemarle an ideal place to live, work, and play. The County enjoys a strong economy, a healthy business presence, a school system among the top 10% in the state, thriving local arts, music and culture scenes, and parks and greenways that celebrate the County’s pastoral setting. The County’s wide variety of educational opportunities includes a public school system that has earned the VIP Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence, two of Virginia’s four charter schools, and higher education facilities such as the University of Virginia and Piedmont Virginia Community College. Albemarle embraces its vibrant local arts and agritourism scene, hosting the Crozet Music Festival each year, as well as showcasing its artisan breweries, wineries, and craft studios through the Monticello Artisan Trail. Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway touch the western frontier of the County, and Albemarle itself possesses over 4000 acres within its parks system. Welcome home.

Quick Facts

  • Population: 112,395
  • Median Household Income: $93,700
  • Median Home Value: $429,900
  • Median Age: 39.1

All demographic information was sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau and Albemarle County website.

Compensation and Benefits

The expected hiring range is $170,000 – $200,000, depending on qualifications, with excellent benefits. A relocation package and other amenities will also be part of total compensation in an employment agreement.

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted electronically by Raftelis. Applicants complete a brief online form and are prompted to provide a cover letter and resume. Open until filled with the first review of applications with a first review date of December 27, 2021.

Questions

Please direct questions to Catherine Tuck Parrish at ctuckparrish@raftelis.com and Carly Trimboli at ctrimboli@raftelis.com.

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