First Assistant Attorney General – Water Quality Unit


Natural Resources
Position Number:
LAA 09005
Salary Range:
$135,680.00 - $180,000.00 Yearly
Apply By:
Wednesday, August 23, 2023, 11:59 pm
Work Unit:
Water Quality & Radiation
Job Location:
1300 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203
Release Date:
Monday, July 31, 2023
Employment Type:
Position Type:
Find a rewarding career making a difference: Join the Office of the Attorney General!

The Natural Resources and Environment Section within the Colorado Department of Law is recruiting for a First Assistant Attorney General to lead the Water Quality Unit. This is a career opportunity for an attorney seeking a leadership position with a team that represents and advises client agencies in the Colorado Department of Public Health on cutting edge water quality and sustainability issues. The Water Quality Unit represents client agencies responsible for developing, administering and enforcing complex water quality control programs that safeguard the quality of Colorado’s water resources. We are seeking an experienced attorney and leader with a passion for public service and significant environmental law experience who is prepared to support and develop staff in the Unit and to collaborate on effective client representation with Section leadership. Our team works side-by-side with our client agencies on some of the most complex and critical environmental issues facing Colorado.

Application will be reviewed and interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis.  Interested parties are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.


The Water Quality Unit is responsible for providing legal services to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment’s (CDPHE) Water Quality Control Division, Water Quality Control Commission, and certain programs within the Division of Environmental Health and Sustainability. Unit attorneys provide general counsel support and litigation services for all client agencies, including rulemaking and grant making boards and commissions. Unit attorneys also represent the Water Quality Control Division in rulemakings, administrative and civil enforcement actions, and defensive civil litigation before state and federal courts. Unit attorneys review and advise on proposed legislation for the Office of the Attorney General as well as for client agencies.

The First Assistant Attorney General is responsible for leading a team of four attorneys, two paralegals and one administrative assistant consistent with the values of the Department of Law that we are principled public servants who are innovative and better together. The First reports to the Deputy and Assistant Deputy Attorney General for the Natural Resources and Environment Section and participates in leadership teams for the Section and the Office. The First also works closely with the First Assistants that represent the other environmental divisions at CDPHE (air quality and hazardous & solid wastes), including jointly supervising shared staff.


In this role, you will have the opportunity to lead the Unit in the development and maintenance of strong client partnerships; ensure the delivery of high-quality and effective legal services to our client agencies; and monitor and advise on legislative and legal developments that impact client representation. The First facilitates the work and operations of the Unit, promoting collaboration, engagement, and integrity while maintaining the highest standards of professionalism.

In addition, the First has management responsibilities that include budget/fiscal review and compliance; assigning and monitoring cases and projects; making hiring recommendations; coaching attorneys and paralegals in their professional development; conducting performance evaluations; and reporting to senior management on legal, operational, and personnel matters.

As the First, you will:

  • Lead the Water Quality Unit and supervise a staff of 7 employees;
  • Work with Department leadership and client agencies on strategic planning;
  • Develop and communicate all Unit policies and practices;
  • Manage the Unit’s hiring processes;
  • Oversee quality control for all work product;
  • Prepare regular reports for senior Department management;
  • Manage the legal services budget for the Unit;
  • Support professional development and performance management for all Unit staff;
  • Provide case and issue briefings for Department leadership;
  • Assist Unit attorneys by providing support and strategic advice on their matters; and
  • Handle a full caseload of general counsel and litigation support.


Salary Note: The Department of Law uses a wage progression compensation model. Although a salary range is listed, salary will be set commensurate with the successful candidate’s qualifications and in compliance with the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act.

Salary will be paid on a biweekly basis for any new employees starting after July 1, 2023.

The First Assistant Attorney General is part of the Office of the Attorney General/Department of Law leadership team. As such, the strongest candidates will demonstrate excellence in the following competencies.

Communication & Listening – Inspires confidence through active listening and effective communication with clients, leadership, colleagues, and staff.
Flexible & Adaptable Management – Accepts, adapts, and contributes positively to change; leads with new concepts and ideas; and encourages others to be equally adaptive and flexible.
Coaching & Developing People – Invests in our talent through coaching and sponsorship and by pushing individuals outside of their comfort zones to grow as professionals.
Creative & Strategic Problem Solving – Takes a result-oriented, open-minded, and innovative approach to overcoming challenges and dealing with crises.
Enterprise & Growth Mindset – Balances the goals of clients, leadership, colleagues, and staff with the broader interest of the enterprise.
Client Service, Interpersonal Skills, and Emotional Intelligence– Demonstrates and models self- awareness, self-regulation, empathy, and sensitivity in working with clients, colleagues, and staff.

Applicants for the First Assistant Attorney General – Water Quality Unit position must meet the following criteria:

  • Be admitted to the Colorado bar or be clearly eligible to waive into the Colorado Bar and be in good standing at the time of application. Candidates eligible to waive into the Colorado Bar will be required to submit proof of their completed application and application for Practice Pending Admission before the first day of employment. For more information about admission to the Colorado bar please review information on the Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel.
  • Be passionate and enthusiastic about environmental law and water quality issues.
  • Have at least five years’ experience in environmental regulatory enforcement, rulemaking, and/or litigation.
  • Demonstrate prior management or supervisory experience and ability to model strong leadership and professionalism skills.

The ideal candidate will also have:

  • Demonstrated excellence in legal practice and the ability to handle the most complex matters.
  • Outstanding writing, editing and analytical skills.
  • A desire to coach and mentor attorneys and support staff.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and public service.
  • Strong organizational and client management skills.

The Office of the Attorney General offers challenging, interesting, and meaningful work. We are an equal opportunity employer and believe that a diverse work force adds quality and perspective to the services we provide to the public. Candidates with diverse qualities and backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Conditions of Employment: 

  • The final candidates for employment must successfully pass a thorough criminal background investigation.
  • Applicants must be willing to periodically travel within the State.


Please view the full job announcement  for more information including information about benefits and to apply online.

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