Local recruitment: Attorney II 

New Mexico Office of the State Engineer

Santa Fe, NM, USA 🇺🇸

Agency: Ofc of the State Engineer

Posting End Date: 21/03/2023

Job Posting Type: Continuous Job Opening

Job ID: 129797

Location: Santa Fe

Full/Part Time: Full-Time

Regular/Temporary: Regular – PERM for State


$31.28 – $50.05 Hourly

$65,062 – $104,099 Annually

This position is a Pay Band LG

Purpose of Position


Why does the job exist?

This position will represent and provide legal counsel services to the Water Rights Division of the Agency’s WRAP in aggrieved and protested water right applications and administrative hearing proceedings, file and litigate enforcement actions against illegal water users, represent the State Engineer in appeals from OSE administrative hearings and enforcement actions, and provide general legal counsel to the State Engineer and WRAP in matters relating to water rights administration.

How does it get done?

1. Provide legal counsel services for the Water Rights Division of WRAP.
– Provide legal representation for WRD in OSE administrative hearings, including all pre-hearing, hearing and post-hearing activities, including negotiations of settlements;
– Communicate regularly with lead and managing attorneys and confer with same regarding legal strategy;
– Prepare pleadings, motions, memos and briefs in assigned cases;
– Provide draft pleadings in a timely manner for review;
– Coordinate with expert witnesses, lay witnesses, technical and administrative support staff for all pretrial, trial, and post-trial activities.
– Advise all divisions of WRAP on legal issues pertaining to water rights administration.

2. Provide legal counsel services for the State Engineer in enforcement actions against illegal water users.
– Research pertinent water rights files referred to the ALU to help determine whether an illegal diversion of water has occurred and whether enforcement action is appropriate;
– Assist with prosecution of selected enforcement matters, including all pre-trial, trial and post-trial activities;
– Prepare pleadings, motions, memos and briefs in assigned enforcement cases.

3. Provide legal counsel services for the State Engineer in appeals from OSE administrative hearings and enforcement actions.
– Represent the State Engineer in appeals in district court from OSE administrative hearings, including all pre-hearing and post-hearing activities;
– Represent the State Engineer in appeals to the appellate courts from district court proceedings in administrative hearing cases and enforcement actions.  Prepare appellate pleadings, motions, and briefs filed in assigned appeal;
– Communicate regularly with managing attorney and confer with same regarding legal strategy;
– Provide draft appellate pleadings and briefs in a timely manner.

4. Advise the State Engineer in other legal matters.
– Research complex and specialized areas of water law for administrative hearings.
– Assist with conducting research and legislative bill analysis, and provide legal advice on issues as requested for the State Engineer, General Counsel, Program Directors, and Bureau Chiefs.

Who are the customers?

Attorneys may represent the State of New Mexico, the State Engineer, and the Water Rights Division of the Office of the State Engineer.

Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate will have experience with:
Water rights and natural resource issues, especially New Mexico’s constitutional prior appropriation system;
Drafting and editing legal documents such as motions, interrogatories, and briefs, including performing needed legal research and analysis;
Working in cooperation with lawyers and non-lawyers to understand, articulate and implement pubic agency policy;
Working with technical, engineering, hydrological and other scientific experts.

Minimum Qualification

Juris Doctorate degree from an accredited school of law and two (2) years of experience in the practice of law.  Must be licensed as an attorney by the Supreme Court of New Mexico or qualified to apply for limited practice license (Rules 15-301.1 and 15-301.2 NMRA). For more information on limited practice licenses, please visit: http://nmexam.org/limited-license/

Substitutions may apply. See Substitution Table below.

Substitution Table

No substitutions. Must possess required licensure, certification or registration and required number of years of experience

Employment Requirements

Must possess and maintain a valid New Mexico Driver’s License. Must possess and maintain a current Defensive Driving Course Certificate from the State of New Mexico or must pass and receive Defensive Driving Course Certification as a condition of continued employment.

Working Conditions

State of New Mexico employees may be impacted by the Public Health Order dated August 12, 2022, which requires facilities licensed or certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”), including all hospital types, long-term care facilities, nursing homes, hospice facilities and rehabilitation facilities, as well as assisted living facilities and adult day care settings, to adhere to all COVID-related requirements prescribed by CMS, including, but not limited to masking and staff vaccination.

In addition, employees working in State correctional facilities who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to inmates are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Work is performed in the field and in an office setting with extensive exposure to computer and phone usage. May be required to travel with constant deadlines, ability to handle the pressures, multiple demands and stress associated with work requirements.

Supplemental Information


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Agency Contact Information: Simi Jain 505-372-8851Email

For information on Statutory Requirements for this position, click the Classification Description link on the job advertisement.

Bargaining Unit Position

This position is not covered by a collective bargaining agreement.





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development