Family Services Division
Office of the Attorney General
Salary range: $108,478 – $130,000
This position is outside of the collective bargaining unit.
DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES: The Family Services Division (FSD) of the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia (OAG) is seeking candidates for one Chief position within the Child Protection Sections. The Child Protection Sections represent the District of Columbia on behalf of the Child and Family Services Agency in child abuse and neglect cases in the Family Court of the D.C. Superior Court. The Chief is responsible for supervision of litigation and other legal services. The CPS Section Chief supervises attorneys primarily, but could also supervise paralegals, support staff and interns.
There are four Child Protection Sections; attorneys in these sections handle all aspects of child neglect litigation on behalf of the District and CFSA, from petitioning through the achievement of permanency. Attorneys are responsible for petitioning new cases alleging child abuse or neglect, propounding and/or responding to discovery, filing and/or responding to pre-trial motions, participating in mediation, preparing witnesses to testify at trial, and presenting evidence at trial. The attorneys also represent CFSA post-adjudication with the goal of ultimately securing a safe and permanent home for children through reunification, adoption or guardianship. In the post-adjudication phase of a neglect case, attorneys are responsible for representing CFSA at review of disposition, status and permanency hearings, participating in evidentiary hearings, filing motions and responsive pleadings. In addition, the attorneys provide advice and counsel to social workers and other professionals from CFSA regarding compliance with local and federal law, participate in team meetings as necessary, and work with various multi-disciplinary team members. Attorneys simultaneously maintain a trial caseload and post-adjudication caseload.
The responsibilities of the Chief of CPS include, but are not limited to:
Training, supervision, evaluation, and discipline (if necessary) of all Section staff, under the direction of the Deputy Attorney General for Family Services, including:
- Regularly monitoring progress of staff in assigned cases and other projects;
- Monitoring compliance of staff with the Attorney General’s Performance Contract requirements, including ensuring full compliance with customer service standards;
- In coordination with the Deputy and other Section Chiefs, planning and/or conducting training for new and experienced trial attorneys and new and experienced support staff;
- Maintaining requisite legal, management, inter-agency, human relations, and labor knowledge and skills; and
- Collecting, maintaining, and disseminating timely, accurate and up-to-date data on the Section’s activities, including collecting and tabulating various statistics that show performance results and assist in identifying evidenced-based best practices.
Managing the litigation work of the Section, including:
- Establishing litigation priorities, in consultation with the Deputy, and assigning pre-trial matters accordingly;
- Supervising trial attorneys in all aspects of child abuse and neglect proceedings before the Family Court of the DC Superior Court.
- Reviewing and submitting for approval pleadings, motions, memoranda, and correspondence;
- Reviewing litigation outcomes and determining when appellate review may be needed;
- Reviewing division policies and procedures to ensure that the practice remains up to date and the work of the division runs smoothly;
- Working closely with the other section chiefs to ensure equitable distribution of cases and to ensure consistency in practice amongst the four sections;
- Establishing relationships with agency staff and other stakeholders to identify and address systemic issues. Participate in meetings, work groups and trainings as needed to ensure agency staff are informed about the legal process and legal mandates. In addition, ensure that attorneys are working closely with staff at CFSA and other agencies to address compliance with court orders and timely exits to permanence.
Liaising with other components within OAG, the District government, and the community at large, including:
- Attending management meetings with or on behalf of the Deputy and the Attorney General as requested, as well as other specific meetings with relevant agencies;
- Attending assigned and appropriate community meetings, including serving as OAG’s representative; and
- Serving as OAG’s representative for any relevant agency, Court or community task forces and committees, and other similar interagency groups.
QUALIFICATIONS: The candidate must have at least 3 – 5 years of practice in prosecution or similar experience dealing with agency-level litigation; excellent oral and writing skills; and demonstrated ability to supervise and to direct the day-to-day activities of professional and support staff in a litigation-oriented office. Experience working with child welfare and/or in dealing with child abuse and neglect issues is strongly preferred, as is a demonstrated passion for working with and aiding children and families. Ability to work well in a team environment as well as work collaboratively with a client agency and the court system is required.
ELIGIBILITY: The successful candidate must have a law degree and be an active member in good standing of the bar of any jurisdiction at the time of application. If not a member of the District of Columbia Bar, the candidate must be sworn into the District of Columbia Bar within 360 days of his/her initial appointment with the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia.
OTHER INFORMATION: The selected candidate will be subject to a background investigation including reference checks.
Please see attachment for more information