Local recruitment: Assistant Attorney General - Federal & Interstate Water Unit

Colorado Department of Law

Denver, CO, USA 🇺🇸

  • Salary: $83,292.00 – $120,000.00 Annually
  • Location: Denver, CO
  • Job Type: Full Time
  • Job Number: LAA-09416-09/23
  • Department: Department of Law
  • Division: Natural Resources & Environment
  • Opening Date: 09/20/2023
  • Closing Date: 10/4/2023 11:59 PM Mountain
  • Primary Physical Work Address: 1300 Broadway, Denver CO 80203
  • FLSA Status: Exempt; position is not eligible for overtime compensation.

Department Information

NOTE! This position is open to resident and non-residents of Colorado. Please disregard the statement above saying the posting is only open to Colorado residents.

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 help protect Colorado’s significant interests in its interstate waters by leading federal and interstate water matters in Colorado’s major interstate river basins. The ideal candidate will have experience with western water law and federal environmental law, federal regulatory law, and have a genuine desire to work on challenging and important matters in a public service role.


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 Federal & Interstate Water Unit within the Natural Resources Section of the Office of the Attorney General seeks an Assistant Attorney General to assist in research, drafting, litigation, and negotiations involving compact compliance, environmental compliance, 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, the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB), and the State of Colorado in state and federal court, as well as in negotiations with other states, the federal government, and Indian Tribes. The purpose of that work is largely to protect and honor Colorado’s rights and obligations under interstate water compacts, and to uphold the State’s sovereign interests over water rights administration within its borders.
This position will assist other attorneys within the unit in managing the legal aspects of the State’s interstate water compacts. The position will also assist those attorneys and the clients in navigating issues of federal reserved water rights, federal environmental programs, and state water rights administration within Colorado.  The position will include legal and legislative research, brief and memo drafting, and discovery management.  In addition to representing the State of Colorado in litigation and negotiations with other states, the position will require the candidate to interact with water users, federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, and Indian Tribes.  Some travel may be required.  

This recruitment may be used to fill more than one Assistant Attorney General position in the Department of Law.

Salary Note: The Department of Law uses a wage progression compensation model. 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.
Attorneys with less than 3 years of experience as a practicing attorney will be hired as an Assistant Attorney General I (AAG I). The salary range for an AAG I is $83,292-$92,400/annually.
Attorneys with more than 3 years of experience practicing as an attorney will be hired as an Assistant Attorney General II (AAG II). The AAG II salary range is $96,420-$120,000/annually.

Salary will be paid on a biweekly basis for any new employees starting after July 1, 2023.
Minimum Qualifications, Substitutions, Conditions of Employment & Appeal Rights


Applicants 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.

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

  • Demonstrated experience with Western Water Law, Colorado water law preferred, or federal regulatory experience. Familiarity with interstate compacts is also beneficial.
  • Aptitude for legislative, legal, and historical research.
  • Excellent writing and oral advocacy skills.
  • Demonstrated litigation experience in federal or state courts.
  • Demonstrated experience in negotiations and other transactional work.
  • Familiarity with litigation discovery and document management.
  • Familiarity with federal environmental and endangered species law.
  • Familiarity with Tribal law.
  • Ability to effectively work with stakeholders on complex issues.
  • Superior skills in legal research and a natural curiosity to investigate issues.
  • Strong problem-solving skills and a demonstrated ability to analyze complex legal and factual problems.
  • 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.
  • 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 website.

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 BenefitsIn 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 governmentjobs.com and complete the online applications including the Contact Information section. Applicants are not required to complete the Work Experience or Education 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 at [email protected].

Agency: State of Colorado

Address: See the full announcement by clicking the “Printer” icon located above the job title
Location varies by announcement, Colorado, —

Website: https://careers.colorado.gov/




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