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The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office is an innovative, nationally recognized municipal law office working to protect and advance the rights and interests of San Francisco and its residents. With just over 300 talented, dedicated, and diverse attorneys and support staff, the Office provides the highest quality legal services to the City’s Mayor, Board of Supervisors, officials, 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.

The Office recognizes that diversity in the backgrounds, ideas and experiences of our employees enriches our workplace and enhances our work. We aspire to recruit, employ, retain and promote capable 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, age and candidates with disabilities. We have a clear vision: to be the place where a diverse mix of talented people want to come and stay, and where employees feel engaged and valued for their work and contributions to the Office and the City.

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 litigation and advice work.

The Land Use 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.

Attorneys on the Land Use Team defend legal challenges in state and federal courts to all City land use decisions, including amendments to City codes, CEQA determinations, and project approvals.
Duties and Responsibilities
Attorneys on the Land Use Team are assigned a caseload of both civil litigation and administrative matters. 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. Attorneys provide land use advice to specific client departments, and draft legislation for the Board of Supervisors as well as specific client departments, as requested. 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.
• Draft and review agreements, policy documents, and State legislation.
• Work with other Land Use Team members, as well as other attorneys in the Office, to solve problems and provide guidance on complicated legal questions.
• 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.
Skills and Competencies
• Ability to assume responsibility quickly and work independently and efficiently.
• Excellent oral and written communication and legal analytical skills.
• Ability to work collaboratively with colleagues and clients, with a positive attitude.
• Ability to manage and appropriately balance multiple assignments and litigation matters, meet deadlines, and adjust to fluctuations in workload.
• Ability to litigate claims against and on behalf of the City.
• Excellent drafting and negotiating skills.
• Ability to exercise good judgment, multi-task, and meet deadlines.
• An interest in and commitment to public service.
• Understanding of government operations and regulations.
Qualifications and Prior Experience

• Licensed to practice law in California; 3 years’ experience as a land use attorney or in a closely related field.

The City and the Office are committed to the health and safety of our employees. Under the City’s Vaccination Policy, all City and County of San Francisco employees are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. For details on how this condition applies to your employment, please click here.

How to Apply 
To apply for this position, please submit your resume and cover letter here and specify that you are applying for the Land Use Team position. Applicants who advance in the selection process must submit at least two references and at least one writing sample.
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To apply for this job email your details to careeropportunities@sfcityatty.org