Local recruitment: First Assistant Attorney General (Water Resources Unit)

Colorado Department of Law

Denver, CO, USA 🇺🇸

Salary: $10,615.00 – $13,000.00 Monthly
Location: Denver, CO
Job Type: Full Time
Department: Department of Law
Job Number: LAA -09196-02/23
Closing: 3/13/2023 11:59 PM Mountain

Department Information

The Colorado Department of Law, Natural Resources & Environment Section is recruiting for the First Assistant Attorney General to lead the Water Resources Unit and to represent the Colorado Division of Water Resources. This is a rare opportunity for an attorney seeking high-level government experience leading a legal team in advising administrative agencies, adjudicating water rights in Colorado’s seven water courts, litigating water use issues of statewide importance, and enforcing judicial and administrative orders for water rights administration. For this position, we are looking for a leader with deep water rights experience, who is interested in developing and coaching the attorneys in the unit.  

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: https://coag.gov/.Description of Job

The Water Resources Unit represents the Colorado Division of Water Resources (DWR), including the State Engineer’s Office, Colorado’s seven Division Engineers, the Colorado Ground Water Commission (GWC), the Board of Examiners for Water Well Construction and Pump Installation Contractors (BOE), and DWR’s Dam Safety Section. The work focuses largely on representing the State and Division Engineers in the adjudication of water right matters in Colorado’s seven Water Courts; representing the GWC’s staff in designated groundwater proceedings before the GWC and District Courts; providing general counsel to DWR, the GWC, the BOE, and their staffs; and seeking administrative and judicial enforcement of orders of the water courts and the agencies relating to the use of surface water and groundwater, as well as dam safety and BOE’s licensing and regulation of contractors. This position requires frequent appearances before the GWC, the BOE, Colorado Water Courts, other District Courts, and the Colorado Supreme Court.


The First Assistant Attorney General (“First”) is responsible for leading a team in ways that are consistent with the values of the Department of Law that recognize that members of the Department of Law are public servants, principled, innovative, and better together. The First reports to the Deputy Attorney General for Natural Resources & Environment Section and participates in management and leadership teams for the Section and the Office.
The First facilitates the work and operations of the Unit, promoting collaboration, engagement, integrity, and exceptional legal service. The First assigns and oversees cases and other legal responsibilities, coordinates workflow, and carries an independent workload. In addition, the First has management responsibilities that include making hiring and salary recommendations; coaching and evaluating the attorneys and paralegal; providing professional development through mentoring; and reporting to senior management on legal, operational, and personnel matters. The First also leads the Unit in the development and maintenance of strong client partnerships; monitors legislative and legal developments related to client representation; and ensures the delivery of high-quality, cost-effective legal services to clients while maintaining the highest standards of professionalism.
As the First Assistant Attorney General in Water Resources Unit you will have the opportunity to:

  • Lead the Unit and supervise a staff of 6-9 employees, including assistant attorneys general, paralegals, administrative assistants, and temporary attorneys. 
  • Coach those staff members on professional development and perform annual goal setting and quarterly reviews.
  • Report regularly to Department of Law and Section leadership on significant matters; identify and report issues that may impact the work of other Units within the office and coordinate work with those Units.
  • Partner and collaborate with the First Assistant Attorneys General in the other water units in the Section.
  • Provide general counsel to the client agencies.
  • Represent the client agencies in administrative and judicial proceedings.
  • Draft and file pleadings in Colorado’s Water Courts, other District Courts, and the Colorado Supreme Court.
  • Work closely with the State Engineer, Deputy State Engineers, and Division Engineers, and other DWR staff as they administer all the waters of the state and carry out their statutory duties.

Firsts at the Department of Law ensure the unit consistently provides high-quality legal representation. The First is expected to handle a caseload which may include high profile or complex cases in the unit and to supervise other staff performing similar work. The First serves as a frontline leader and is responsible for employee performance management activities and assisting the Deputy Attorney General with personnel, budget, and various administrative duties affecting the work of the Unit and the Department of Law.

This recruitment may be used to fill multiple positions in the Department of Law.  

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

The First is part of the Office of the Attorney General/Department of Law leadership team. As such, the strongest candidates will demonstrate excellence in the following competencies.
 Communication & Listening â€“ Inspires confidence through active listening and effective communication with clients, leadership, colleagues, and staff.
 Flexible & Adaptable Management â€“ Accepts, adapts, and contributes positively to change; leads with new concepts and ideas; and encourages others to be equally adaptive and flexible.
 Coaching & Developing People â€“ Invests in our talent through coaching and sponsorship and by pushing individuals outside of their comfort zones to grow as professionals.
 Creative & Strategic Problem Solving â€“ Takes a result-oriented, open-minded, and innovative approach to overcoming challenges and dealing with crises.
 Enterprise & Growth Mindset â€“ Balances the goals of clients, leadership, colleagues, and staff with the broader interest of the enterprise.
 Client Service, Interpersonal Skills, and Emotional Intelligence– Demonstrates and models self- awareness, self-regulation, empathy, and sensitivity in working with clients, colleagues, and staff.
Applicants for the First Assistant Attorney General – Water Resources Unit position must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be 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 and application for Practice Pending Admission before the first day of employment. For more information about admission to the Colorado bar please review information on the Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel.
  • Demonstrated expertise in Colorado Water law.
  • Have outstanding writing and analytical skills.
  • Have outstanding oral communication skills.

 The ideal candidate will also have:

  • A minimum of 10 years of experience in water right adjudications and related litigation under Colorado’s Water Right Determination and Administration Act of 1969 and the Colorado Groundwater Management Act of 1965.
  • A minimum of 3 years of experience with the State Administrative Procedure Act and the Colorado Open Records Act.
  • Prior experience providing general counsel to public agencies.
  • Prior management or supervisory experience leading a diverse workforce.
  • Desire to coach and mentor employees in the unit.
  • Ability to collaborate and work as part of a team.
  • Commitment to and values diversity, equity, inclusion, and public service.

Conditions of Employment: 

  • The final candidates for employment must successfully pass a thorough criminal background investigation.

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 competitive medical and dental health plans, employer-paid life insurance, paid holidays, retirement plans, 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 governmentjobs.com 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; 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, julie.christopher@coag.gov or 720-508-6511.

If you have any questions regarding this position or other attorney opportunities at our office, please contact our Legal Talent Director, Karen Masciulli at karen.masciulli@coag.gov

Agency: State of Colorado

Department: Department of Law

Address: 1300 Broadway, 10th Floor, Denver, Colorado, 80203

Phone: 720-508-6000

Website: https://coag.gov/




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