$288,683 - $360,921 yearly
  • County of San Mateo
  • San Mateo County, CA, USA
  • Dec 16, 2021
Full time Government Legal

Job Description


County of San Mateo

$288,683 - $360,921 Annually

The County of San Mateo is seeking qualified and experienced candidates for the position of County Counsel. The Office of the County Counsel provides a full range of legal services to the Board of Supervisors, County departments, agencies, boards, commissions, special districts and school districts. Services include legal advice and opinions, preparation and review of legal documents, representation in hearings and meetings, and court appearances. The goals of the Office are to provide accurate, timely, useful and reliable advice protecting the County from loss and risk; assist clients in making effective decisions among lawful alternatives; provide exemplary litigation advocacy; and defend decisions and advocate the policies of clients to achieve the best results – the lowest cost or loss without sacrifice of policy or principles.

The County Counsel is appointed by the Board of Supervisors to serve as the chief legal advisor to the County and functions as a Department Head who has general responsibility for planning, organizing and directing the activities of the Office of the County Counsel. Under administrative direction from the Board of Supervisors, the County Counsel will oversee an approximate budget of $23 million and a staff of 49 employees, including five Chief Deputy Counsels, three lead Deputy County Counsels, 23 Deputy County Counsels, and 18 administrative and support staff.

The ideal candidate:

  • A trusted legal advisor with a high level of integrity, honesty and ability to establish instant credibility as an authority on the civil and administrative legal affairs of County government in all aspects of municipal law
  • An approachable, politically astute leader with a calm demeanor and management style that quickly fosters trust, loyalty, respect, commitment and partnership with elected officials, other executives, managers, employees, school districts, and the community
  • An effective collaborator who develops and maintains positive relationships with stakeholders in the County and numerous constituents
  • An inspiring and impactful mentor who develops high functioning teams, delegates projects effectively, and fosters an environment of team synergy and collaboration
  • An excellent communicator with strong interpersonal skills, political acumen, objective thinking, effective facilitation abilities, and sensitivity to community needs
  • A confident and creative problem solver, negotiator and mediator who is quick and clear thinking, plans ahead, calm under pressure and tactful in serving clients’ disparate interests and resolving controversial issues with individuals representing diverse viewpoints
  • A strategic and forward-thinking leader who does not view law as limiting but as a vehicle to creatively problem solve, with a “can do” mindset and innovative yet practical solutions to short- and long-term challenges
  • A structured leader with exceptional ability to prioritize projects effectively and remain organized
  • A responsive and accessible advisor who provides strategic guidance on critical issues

Key Responsibilities:

  • Advise the Board of Supervisors in legal matters
  • Manage all litigation, including defending cases brought against the County and filing cases that align with the Board’s policy priorities
  • Plan, organize, direct and review all functions and activities of the Office of the County Counsel
  • Direct, supervise and guide Office staff by establishing goals, policies and performance standards consistent with the Office’s mission and priorities
  • Conduct or direct the conduct of periodic review of Office policies, procedures and practices
  • Monitor County policy to ensure compliance with federal, state and local legislation
  • Consult and cooperate with other department managers on all aspects of legal support; discuss problems, develop alternative strategies and assist in the implementation of solutions as necessary
  • Direct staff in the planning, resource allocation, budgeting and record systems needed to meet the

Office’s diverse responsibilities

  • Direct the preparation and administration of the Office’s budget
  • Represent the department’s needs and priorities within a larger enterprise
  • Represent all 24 school districts in San Mateo County

Minimum Qualifications

Any combination of education and experience that would likely provide the required knowledge, skills and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to qualify is six years of increasingly responsible experience in a professional legal setting including two years of experience in a senior level administrative or management position. Public sector experience preferred. California State Bar Association membership is required.

For more information, please see our online brochure:

FINAL FILING DATE:  January 12, 2022

To learn more about the position and to apply online, please visit our website at  or visit the County jobs portal page at Applications packets for this position will only be accepted online and must include a resume and a cover letter that includes your professional experience and skills that prepare you to succeed in this role.


Equal Opportunity Employer