Assistant Attorney General (Federal & Interstate Water Unit)

Colorado Department of Law

Denver, CO, USA 🇺🇸

Department Information

Find a rewarding career making a difference: Join the Office of the Attorney General!

The Natural Resources and Environment Section, Federal & Interstate Water Unit is seeking an experienced attorney to join the hardworking and collaborative team that represents the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water Resources (the State Engineer’s Office), Compact Commissioners, and the State of Colorado. This attorney will lead on matters that protect Colorado’s significant interests in its interstate waters. The ideal candidate will have federal or state water law experience, a strong litigation background, and a real desire to work on challenging and important matters in a public service role. In addition to joining a highly skilled team, our newest attorney will also have a unique opportunity to work on federal and interstate water matters specific to the Colorado River Basin.


The Office of the Attorney General/Department of Law is the “People’s Lawyer”. The Attorney General, Phil Weiser, was elected by the people of Colorado and is the State’s chief lawyer and law enforcement official. Our vision for the Department of Law is: “Together, we serve Colorado and its people, advancing the rule of law, protecting our democracy and promoting justice for all.” Our core values and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, drive our actions and demonstrate our focus on being principled public servants who are innovative and better together.
Visit our website to learn more: Description of Job


The Federal & Interstate Water Unit in the Natural Resources Section of the Office of the Attorney General is seeking an Assistant Attorney General to assist in water law cases and negotiations involving, compact compliance, environmental permitting, and related matters.  

 In this role, you will have the opportunity to represent the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water Resources (the State Engineer’s Office), Compact Commissioners, and the State of Colorado in negotiations, state court, and federal court as necessary to protect and honor Colorado’s rights and obligations under interstate water compacts and the State’s sovereign interests over water administration within its borders.  

 The focus for the position will be the Colorado River Basin within Colorado and throughout the Basin, where the State is actively involved in federal litigation, as well as implementing and approving interstate drought contingency management programs, agreements, and plans to maximize use of the water supply in Colorado while maintaining compliance with the Colorado and Upper Colorado River Basin Compacts. The role may also entail interactions with water users, non-governmental organizations and Tribes, and include amicus briefing as needed on water matters of state interest.  

 The attorney will also assist other unit attorneys in managing the legal aspects of the State’s other interstate compacts and the intersection between federal reserved water rights or federal environmental programs and state water rights administration within Colorado.  

This recruitment may be used to fill more than one Assistant Attorney General position from this recruitment.

 Salary note: Although a salary range is listed, salary will be set commensurate with the successful candidate’s qualifications and in compliance with the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act.Minimum Qualifications, Substitutions, Conditions of Employment & Appeal Rights


At a minimum, applicants should meet the following criteria:

  • Admitted to the Colorado bar or be clearly eligible to waive into the Colorado Bar and be in good standing at the time of application. Candidates eligible to waive into the Colorado Bar will be required to submit proof of their completed application before the first day of employment.
  • Have litigation experience, and the ability to effectively handle all aspects of litigation.

Our ideal candidates will have many, or most, of the following skills and attributes:

  • Familiarity with Colorado water law, the Colorado River Compact, the Upper Colorado River Compact, and related law of the river
  • Experience with federal and state courts
  • Legal research skills and a natural curiosity or interest in investigating 
  • Excellent writing and oral advocacy
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Knowledge of and experience with Tribal law, federal environmental, water, and land use law
  • Ability to analyze complex legal and factual problems
  • Experience in negotiations and other transactional work
  • Ability to effectively work with stakeholders and enjoy dealing with complex issues
  • Ability to manage a heavy workload and thrive under tight deadlines
  • Self-starter, who can work independently, but also enjoys collaborating with a team

Conditions of employment:

  • Applicants must pass a thorough background investigation prior to appointment.
  • Requires in-state travel by state vehicle and occasional interstate travel as needed.
  • Effective September 20, 2021, employees will be required to attest to and verify that they are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, or, submit to twice-weekly serial testing. Upon hire, new employees will have three (3) business days to provide attestation to their status with proof of vaccination, or begin twice-weekly serial testing for COVID-19. 

Testing will be considered paid work time. Additional information regarding testing will be provided to those it applies to.   Note:  Fully Vaccinated means two (2) weeks after a second dose in a two-dose series of the COVID-19 vaccine, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two (2) weeks after the single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine, as defined by the State of Colorado’s Public Health Order and guidance issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment.  
The Office of the Attorney General offers challenging, interesting, and meaningful work. We are an equal opportunity employer and believe that a diverse work force adds quality and perspective to the services we provide to the public. Candidates with diverse qualities and backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

This position is non-classified and is not subject to appeal rights. Supplemental Information


We Embrace Flexibility
We aim to produce outstanding work product for our clients, be efficient with our time, and support each other as team members – which also means we embrace flexible working arrangements when and where possible.

We Are Committed to Diversity
At the Department of Law, we know that we are better together when our differences are valued and everyone is inspired and empowered to contribute. As such, we strive to provide a safe environment where individuals feel valued and respected for who they are; demonstrate a behavior and mindset where differences are welcomed and individuals are equally treated and empowered to do their best work; and promote growth and innovation through a diverse workforce that contributes to creative problem solving and delivers excellent work.
We Have Strong Core Values
Our core values drive our actions. At the Department of Law, we are: 1) principled, maintaining the highest ethical standards, rigorous legal analysis, and careful evaluation of facts; 2) public servants, who are always ensuring our work is not about us, but instead is about the people of Colorado; 3) innovative, by seeking to identify the best approach, make deliberate decisions, and look to improve; and 4) “better together,” by working to support each other and collaborate.
We are Committed to Developing our Attorneys

We are deeply invested in our talent and regularly provide meaningful opportunities for personal and professional growth through training and coaching. Further, our professional development and performance goal setting process is collaborative and ongoing, and aimed at helping our attorneys grow and succeed.
We Offer Excellent Benefits

In addition to the comprehensive State of Colorado benefits package including competitive medical and dental health plans, employer-paid life insurance, paid holidays, retirement plans with Colorado PERA, and vacation and sick leave earned each month, there are many other unique benefits that we offer, including:

  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness: As a state government employee, you might be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. A borrower may qualify for forgiveness by making 120 on-time payments while employed full-time in public service, if they have certain kinds of federal loans in a qualifying repayment plan
  • Free access to a recently renovated on-site fitness center
  • Excellent work-life programs, such as flexible work schedules, professional development opportunities, and an employee discount program
  • Employer-paid mental health and counseling services through Colorado State Employee Assistance Program
  • Employer-paid annual attorney registration dues
  • Employer-provided access to professional development training and CLE through PLI, Department of Law University and other entities.


Applicants must establish an account with and complete the online applications including the Contact Information section. Applicants are not required to complete the Work Experience, Education, or Additional Information sections of the online application.

Applicants must provide 1) a cover letter detailing their interest in the position and their relevant experience;  2) a resume; 3) a writing sample, and 4) three professional references. Use the “Attachments” feature of the online application to add documents.

ADAAA Requests

The Department of Law is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals. As part of this commitment, our agency will assist individuals who have a disability with any reasonable accommodation requests related to employment, including completing the application process, interviewing, completing any pre-employment testing, participating in the employee selection process, and/or to perform essential job functions where the requested accommodation does not impose an undue hardship. If you have a disability and require reasonable accommodation to ensure you have a positive experience applying or interviewing for this position, please direct your inquiries to our ADAAA Coordinator, Julie Christopher, [email protected].




IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development