Job Details

Departmental Counsel for the Oakland Police Department

Company name

City of Oakland, California

Organization Type


Job Type


Posted on

Sep 18,2019

Years of Experience

Min 10 yrs required


Oakland, CA, United States


Practice Area
Government and Government Relations >> Government and Government Relations
Municipal Law >> Municipal Law
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The Position

The City of Oakland is committed to providing its citizens with the most effective, professional and accountable police force in the nation. The Oakland Police Departmental Counsel ("Departmental Counsel") is a high-level and and critical position in providing top notch advice and counsel to OPD and City leaders in fulfilling this commitment. The Departmental Counsel provides advice and counsel on a day-to-day basis on complex, sensitive and high-profile matters in coordination with the City Attorney, Office Division heads and colleagues.

The Departmental Counsel provides legal services and advice on policies, laws related to the police department, uses of force, civil rights and constitutional policing and the City's compliance with the settlement agreement in Delphine Allen v. City of Oakland.

The position requires effective management skills, a strong work ethic and sound judgment. The Departmental Counsel works closely with OPD commanders, officers and civilian personnel, the City Administrator, Mayor, other attorneys within the Office and others.

Examples of duties include:

  • Evaluating police policies and practices and identifying opportunities for improvement.
  • Preparing and reviewing legal opinions and advice on a wide range of issues.
  • Collaborating with outside counsel and in-house attorneys in labor & employment, litigation and other areas.

The Ideal Candidate Will Have

  • Working knowledge of municipal, state and federal laws, ordinances and codes affecting City government.
  • Strong work ethic and commitment to excellence.
  • Ability to foresee and anticipate potential issues, questions and repercussions of work matt ers.
  • Strong leadership ability and skill.
  • High-level verbal and written communication skills.
  • Sound legal judgment and analytical ability, high level of integrity and ethics.
  • Attention to detail in written product that will withstand high levels of scrutiny.
  • Experience handling complex litigation and jury trials.
  • Language skill s, especially in Spanish, Cantonese and/or Mandarin.


Key attributes

  • Analytical Thinking

Ability to perform complex legal analysis, craft legal opinions, write legal briefs at an exemplary level.

  • Skilled Communicator

Aptitude to effectively communicate with high profile City employees, elected officials and a diverse stakeholder community .

Demonstrate skills in oral and written communications to consistently provide comprehensive, cohesive and persuasive, clear presentations and arguments.

  • Effective Collaborator

Act as a facilitator amongst departments and City officials with varying interests.

Demonstrate high level of judgment, leadership skills, attention to detail, proactive initiative and ability to  work with and provide needed counsel/guidance to the OPD and other City clients, and on a consistent basis.

  • Leadership

Lead an organization with strength, integrity and sound judgment while under high pressure and public scr utiny. Demonstrate high level leadership and management skills, expertise and judgment to inspire confidence of Police Chief, OPD commanders, elected and appointed officials, community leaders and members and others.



Applicants must have any combination of education and experience that is equivalent to the following minimum qualifications:

Education and Licensure: Hold a degree from an accredited School of Law; member of good standing with the California State Bar.

Experience: A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible professional experience in relevant areas of law. A background in law enforcement. Extensive knowledge of all laws applicable to local, state, and federal governments, local court rules and procedures, including:

  • 42 U.S. Code § 1983
  • Brown Act
  • State Conflict of Interest laws
  • Public Records Act



The annual salary range for the Departmental Counsel position is $167,567 to $205,728 annually, depending on qualifications and depth of experience.

The City of Oakland offers an attractive benefits package including health, dental and vision, life insurance, professional development allowance, management, vacation &  sick leave, a deferred compensation plan and participation in the California Public Employees' Retirement System.

Position open until filled.

Additional information about the position and to direction to apply.






Company info

City of Oakland, California

Company Profile

The City of Oakland The City of Oakland is a vibrant and diverse urban environment located in the Oakland- San Francisco Bay Area ("Bay Area" ). The City includes eclectic neighborhoods, rapidly growing commercial districts, international sea and airports, outstanding natural recreational ameni ti es, professional sports teams and a rich cultural scene of performing and fine arts . The City is rapidly growing as an economic and housing hub for the Bay Area . Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) serves large areas of the City allowing accessible transportation for residents and non-residents alike . Oakland is the eighth largest City in California with approximately 430,000 residents. The local government is a strong mayor-council model with a City Administrator appointed by the Mayor subject to City Council confirmation. The City Attorney is elected while the Police Chief is appointed by the Mayor from a list of candidates recommended by the City's Police Commission .

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