Assistant Attorney General (Water Resources/Water Conservation)

Colorado Department of Law

Denver, CO, United States 🇺🇸

The Water Resources Unit and the Water Conservation Unit of the Natural Resources and Environment Section are seeking an experienced attorney with a passion for Colorado water law and a desire to work on the appropriation, adjudication, administration, and protection of surface and groundwater water rights on behalf of the people of Colorado. Few law practices offer a comparable opportunity to work in partnership with the leaders of state agencies and water users across the state to optimize the beneficial use of Colorado’s water supplies in each of Colorado’s unique river basins and aquifers. The State of Colorado is a longstanding leader in prior appropriation systems of western states and a more recent leader in the integration and conjunctive use of surface and groundwater supplies that are vital to our livelihoods. Colorado is also a front runner in protecting the environment under the Colorado Water Conservation Board’s water rights for instream flows and natural lake levels.  

WHO WE ARE

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

WHAT YOU WILL DO

The Natural Resources and Environment Section is seeking a Water Rights attorney to work for either one or both of the following units: Water Resources and Water Conservation.
 
 The Water Resources Unit represents the Colorado Division of Water Resources (DWR), which includes the Office of the State Engineer, the seven Division Engineers, the Dam Safety Section, the Colorado Groundwater Commission, and the Colorado Board of Examiners of Water Well Construction and Pump Installation Contractors. The successful candidate will represent these clients in administrative and judicial proceedings. This attorney will represent DWR in various water matters, including applications for new water rights, changes of water rights, plans for augmentation, objections to well permit issuances and denials, enforcement of curtailment and other administrative orders, appeals of agency decisions, the promulgation of agency rules, and other water rights related matters.
 
 The Water Conservation Unit represents the Stream and Lake Protection Section of the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) in the acquisition, adjudication, and protection of instream flow water rights. The Unit also advises the Finance Section and the Watershed and Flood Protection Section of the CWCB in implementation of their programs, as well as represents other state agencies in the adjudication and protection of water rights.
 
 The Water Rights attorney will advise clients on a wide variety of programs and substantive and procedural legal issues and primarily represent DWR or the CWCB in administrative and judicial proceedings. This work will include handling water right matters, enforcement actions, and appeals of water court decisions or final agency actions, and providing advice and representation to our clients on rulemaking proceedings.

Minimum Qualifications, Substitutions, Conditions of Employment & Appeal Rights

WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR

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 before the first day of employment.
 
For the Water Rights position, we are most interested in candidates that have at least four years of experience in civil litigation (including two years of trial experience) and experience with Colorado water law, the State Administrative Procedures Act, rulemakings, negotiating settlements, and transactional work. We are also seeking candidates who have:
  • A genuine enthusiasm for water law
  • Excellent writing, analytical, and oral advocacy skills 
  • Keen attention to detail
  • Effective interpersonal skills
  • Ability to handle a heavy caseload and work well independently and as a team member
  • Desire and ability to be responsive and timely in all communications to clients and colleagues
  • Confidence to work well with technically- and legally-sophisticated clients
  • Eagerness to be resourceful and to take initiative to learn complex subject matter
  • Interest in growing professionally and in being a contributor to the Dept. of Law community
  • Willingness to periodically travel within the State.
All final candidates must successfully pass a thorough criminal background check.
 
This position is non-classified and is not subject to appeal rights.
 
Supplemental Information

WHY WORK FOR US

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, 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.

HOW TO APPLY

Applicants must establish an account with governmentjobs.com and complete the online applications including the Contact Information section and supplemental questions. 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 addressing how you meet the experience and desired skills outlined above;  2) a resume; 3) a writing sample, and 4) professional references. Use the “Attachments” feature of the online application to add documents.

If you have questions about your application contact Susie Esparza, [email protected].

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] or 720-508-6511.

POSITION TYPE

ORGANIZATION TYPE

EXPERIENCE-LEVEL

DEGREE REQUIRED

LANGUAGE REQUIRED