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Senior Attorney

Organization Description

The Public Defender Association, one of the most dynamic justice system reform organizations in Seattle/King County, seeks a Senior Attorney to supervise our small legal staff, lead impact litigation projects, and represent PDA in a variety of fora and on a variety of policy and advocacy projects.

PDA's diverse staff includes five attorneys and public interest legal fellows, as well as organizers, public health and human services experts, formerly incarcerated people and survivors of serious crime. We work in an inter-disciplinary fashion and provide an integrated vision of a health-based response to problematic behaviors caused by addiction, mental illness and/or extreme poverty.

Requirements / Qualifications

The successful candidate will have extensive impact litigation and individual representation experience, deep knowledge of the criminal justice system, a strong understanding of PDA's unique approach to justice system reform advocacy, strong legal and non-legal writing skills, and strong administrative skills. 10 years of directly relevant experience required. Ability to work outside of normal business hours on occasion required.

Also strongly desired: recent practice experience as a criminal defense lawyer or prosecutor; existing knowledge of justice system, law enforcement, public safety and/or public health issues in Seattle-King County; previous supervisory or lead attorney experience; familiarity with harm reduction and restorative/transformative justice practices and principles.

Minimum Education Required



The starting range is $118,269 - $154,315 annually, depending on experience and an annual cost of living increase at Board discretion. Benefits include up to 4% 401k match after six months employment, plus annual profit sharing of (typically) 2% more in office 401k contribution; generous medical and dental benefits for employees and family members; three weeks vacation accrued annually to start, increasing over time to 4 weeks annually; an unlimited Orca card; and other benefits. 

This is an FLSA-exempt, at-will position; continuation in the position depends on both performance and funding.

Equal Opportunity Statement

The Public Defender Association is an equal opportunity employer. People of color and people who are formerly incarcerated or homeless, or frequently subject to law enforcement focus, HIV-positive, women and/or LGBT are strongly encouraged to apply.

How to Apply

If not already familiar with PDA, please review our areas of current work at, and then send a letter of interest, a resume, brief legal and non-legal writing samples unedited by others, and the names of three references to Lisa Daugaard, .

The position will remain open until filled. Only candidates under serious consideration will receive a response, due to workload constraints; apologies in advance.

Intern, Extern & Volunteer Opportunities

PDA has various volunteer or intern opportunities available on an ongoing basis.

  • For current or recent law students interested in a fellowship, legal externship or internship, please contact both Lisa Daugaard and Patricia Sully.
  • If you are interested in general, LEAD, VOCAL-WA or other open-ended opportunities, please complete the survey found here. Once complete, someone from the PDA office will follow up with you regarding your application.