LinkedIn San Francisco City Attorney's Office

The City Attorney’s Office is an innovative, nationally recognized municipal law office working to protect and advance the rights and interests of the City and County of San Francisco and its residents. With just over 300 talented and dedicated employees, the Office provides the highest quality legal services to the City’s Mayor, Board of Supervisors, officials, boards, commissions, and departments. Our work empowers City leaders with effective, responsive, and creative legal solutions and representation so they can deliver critical public services for the betterment of the San Francisco community and our affirmative advocacy enhances the lives and well-being of the City’s residents and visitors.

The Office recognizes that diversity in the backgrounds, identities, ideas, and lived experiences of our employees enriches our workplace and enhances our work. We aspire to recruit, employ, retain, and promote talented individuals representing the full spectrum of our community, and welcome all candidates, including candidates of any race, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, and age, and candidates with disabilities. We have a clear vision: to be the place where a diverse mix of people want to come and stay, grow professionally, and find purpose and engagement, and where all employees feel welcomed and respected for their full authentic selves, and valued for their work and contributions to the Office and the City.

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Position Summary:

The Land Use Team is a collaborative and dynamic group of 12 attorneys, two paralegals and legal assistants, and one legal secretary. The Land Use Team’s practice includes advice work, drafting and advising on legislation, and litigation. All attorneys handle both advice work and litigation. The Team serves as general counsel for the City’s Planning, Public Works, and Building Inspection departments, and advises the oversight commissions for those departments.

The Team works on public and private project land use entitlements. Attorneys advise City agencies on projects that involve planning and zoning laws; housing requirements and application of State laws and restrictions, inclusionary and affordable housing issues; environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA); building permits and Building Code matters; subdivision and condominium maps; streets and sidewalks, including encroachments, street closures and vacations; takings law and eminent domain; development impact fees and nexus studies; and historic preservation. Attorneys also draft legislation that addresses these kinds of land use issues for the Board of Supervisors as well as specific client departments, as requested.

Attorneys on the Land Use Team are assigned a caseload of both civil litigation and administrative matters, defending legal challenges in state and federal courts and before administrative bodies to City land use decisions, including amendments to City codes, CEQA determinations, and project approvals. They handle all aspects of their cases and assignments, including legal assessments and strategies, client communication and coordination, any motion practice, settlement evaluation and negotiation, trial and appeal.

The responsibilities listed below are representative of the range of duties assigned and are not intended as an exhaustive list.
• Provide fair and consistent advice to City departments and officials about land use matters.
• Draft and review legislation and engage with clients in the legislative process.
• Review CEQA documents, answer questions, provide advice, negotiate final documents, and prepare required findings.
• Manage assigned litigation, including engaging with clients, drafting and filing all motions and briefs, and appearing in court or before administrative bodies.
• Draft and review agreements, policy documents, and State legislation.
• Work with other Team members, as well as other attorneys in the Office, to solve problems and provide guidance on complicated legal questions regarding land use.
• Remain current with land use law; conduct on-going research for accurate advice.
• Attend City commission hearings to provide information and answer legal questions, including the Planning, Historic Preservation, and Building Inspection Commissions.
• Attend Board of Supervisors hearings to answer questions and provide information about legislation and land use issues.
• Perform other duties as assigned.

Desired Qualifications:
• Three years’ experience as a land use attorney or in a closely related field, including general government advice.
• Ability to assume responsibility quickly and work independently and efficiently.
• Ability to manage and appropriately balance multiple assignments and litigation matters, meet deadlines, and adjust to fluctuations in workload.
• Ability to work collaboratively with colleagues and clients, with a positive attitude.
• Commitment to valuing diversity and contributing to an inclusive working and learning environment.
• Demonstrated good judgment, adaptability, and self-awareness.
• Excellent oral and written communication and legal analytical skills.
• Excellent drafting and negotiating skills.
• Ability to litigate claims against and on behalf of the City.
• An interest in and commitment to public service.
• Understanding of government operations and regulations.

Minimum Qualifications
• Licensed to practice law in California.

How To Apply:

To apply for this position, please submit your resume and cover letter to by Friday, July 1, 2022. Applicants who advance in the selection process must submit two references and one writing sample.

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