Office of the Oakland City Attorney – Deputy City Attorney III or IV Labor and Employment

Oakland City — California Open until it's filled

The Oakland City Attorney’s Office seeks a well-qualified individual with expertise in labor & employment law. The incumbent will work on a wide range of personnel matters across a variety of City’s departments, including an ongoing opportunity to work on matters directly impacting police accountability and public-safety reform.

The Oakland City Attorney’s Office seeks a well-qualified individual with expertise in labor & employment law. The incumbent will work on a wide range of personnel matters across a variety of City’s departments, including an ongoing opportunity to work on matters directly impacting police accountability and public-safety reform.

Duties will include, but will not be limited to: working collaboratively with other attorneys, City staff, and City leadership to analyze labor and employment issues and resolve disputes; advising City investigators and Department heads on employee-misconduct, due process, and related grievances, including advising on police-officer investigations and discipline; representing the City in administrative hearings to resolve labor and/or employment disputes; drafting and reviewing opinions, legislation, contracts and other legal documents which require the application of labor law and/or employment law.

The incumbent may receive general supervision from a Deputy City Attorney V, Special Counsel, Chief Assistant City Attorney 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.

Job Duties

Duties may include but are not limited to:

• Performing legal research, interpret and apply laws and court decisions; preparing opinions for departments, programs, boards, commissions and officials.
• Preparing, reviewing and revising legal opinions, ordinances, resolutions, employment contracts, MOU’s, settlements and other legal documents; revising such documents as necessary to meet legal standards.
• Advising on investigations of labor and employment claims and complaints against the City and recommending actions to be taken.
• Advising assigned clients, including the City Administrator, Employee Relations Director, Human Resources Director, and Chief of Police, on employment matters to help them comply with laws and policies and to help them identify various risks and manage them accordingly.
• Preparing cases for hearings, administrative proceedings, and related writs, including labor arbitration hearings, Civil Service Board hearings, and hearings before the Public Employee Relations Board.
• Advising the City Administrator, Employee Relations Director and other designated labor negotiators in preparation for and during labor-contract bargaining and other labor negotiations.
• Developing training materials and providing training to staff on relevant legal issues.

Minimum Requirements for Application

Any combination of experience and education that would likely provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:

• For DCA III position: Four years of increasingly responsible work experience in one or more relevant areas of law.
• For DCA IV position: Two years of increasingly responsible work experience comparable to a Deputy City Attorney III position in the City of Oakland.
• The ideal candidate will be experienced in one or more of the following areas: litigating and/or advising on state and federal laws related to employee protection, welfare and safety; workplace investigations and employee due-process; and collective bargaining and labor-dispute resolution.
• Candidates must have excellent writing and oral presentation skills.

License or Certificate:

• A member in good standing of the California State Bar.
• Selected individuals will be 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. Due to assignments and hours or work, public transportation may not be an efficient method for traveling to required locations.

Additional Desirable Skills:

• Working knowledge of municipal, state and federal laws affecting City governance, particularly laws related to open meetings and public records.
• Language skills, especially in Spanish, Cantonese and/or Mandarin.

Ability to:

• Interpret and apply various government codes and ordinances.
• Conduct research on legal problems and prepare sound legal opinions.
• Analyze and prepare a wide variety of legal documents.
• Present cases in court or administrative proceedings.
• Handle stressful and sensitive situations with tact and diplomacy.
• Provide professional leadership, guidance and technical expertise to assigned staff.
• Work independently or as part of a team.
• Form or work with a multidisciplinary team.
• Manage multiple demanding programs, cases and projects with competing deadlines.
• Communicate effectively in both oral and written form with City officials, representatives of outside agencies and the public, and in litigation.
• Complete varied assignments within a narrow time frame.
• Establish and maintain effective working relationships with clients and other contacts in the course of work.
• Inspire confidence and respect for legal advice.
• Skillfully and professionally present legal advice to clients, including the elected and high-level appointed officials.


Submit a cover letter and resume by email to:

Candidates selected to proceed in the hiring process will be asked to submit additional information (e.g., a writing sample, references, answers to supplemental questions, and a formal City of Oakland employment application).

About the Office

The City Attorney’s Office provides advice and counsel to the Mayor, City Council, and all City departments, boards and commissions in a wide variety of areas including land use, real estate, personnel, elections, conflicts of interest, municipal finance, retirement, housing, public contracting and economic development. The City Attorney’s Office also advocates for the City’s interests in claims and lawsuits litigated in state or federal court, including high-value personal injury cases, complex civil rights actions, breach of contract, personnel disputes, eminent domain actions, inverse condemnation and alleged Constitutional violations.

The Office has approximately 80 employees and three legal divisions: Advisory Division; Affirmative Litigation, Innovation & Enforcement Division; and General & Complex Litigation Division (Defense). The work is high profile, dynamic, collaborative, and complex. And the work is of vital importance to the City’s realization of its progressive and cutting-edge policies and programs, and to the City’s delivery of services to Oakland’s residents and businesses.