The Washington State Attorney General's Office (AGO) is pleased to invite you to apply to our 2023 Honors Program. The Honors Program is a yearly opportunity for qualified third-year law students, as well as judicial clerks of the appellate and federal courts, to apply for permanent, entry-level attorney positions. Historically, this culminates in offers of an Assistant Attorney General (AAG) position to approximately 5 applicants. Those who receive offers will be placed into AAG positions starting in August/September of 2024. Offers are contingent upon passing the July 2024 Washington State Bar examination or, for judicial clerks not yet members of the Washington State Bar Association, admission to the Washington State Bar by one's start date.
Those who receive and accept an offer will be placed in a division that takes in to consideration one’s preferences for division and office location assignment. Accordingly, one’s divisional and geographic preferences and flexibility is a critical factor in the AGO’s Honors application and interview process.
Regardless of one's specific placement, the AGO offers the opportunity to hit the ground running with meaningful work, collegial colleagues and a strong infrastructure to build a successful legal career in public service. New AAGs can expect to receive immediate responsibility for case or client representation in an environment with ample training, mentorship and guidance.
For feedback from other attorneys who have joined the office through the Honors program checkout this page. Information about Honors candidates and their assignments from 2011 to 2022 can be found here.
About the AGO:
In furtherance of its mission to deliver the highest quality professional legal services to officials, agencies, and people of the state of Washington, the AGO covers a diverse legal landscape, including but not limited to protecting children, vulnerable adults, and injured workers; consumer protection; civil and administrative litigation; environmental law; torts; tribal law; labor law; appellate practice and criminal prosecution. The majority of AAGs provide litigation and client advice in support of assigned clients, the full scope of which includes more than 230 state agencies, boards, commissions, colleges and universities, as well as the Legislature and the Governor. The AGO has over 700 attorneys working in twenty-eight legal divisions in approximately two dozen offices in the following locations: Olympia, Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane, Everett, Bellingham, Vancouver, Yakima, Kennewick, Wenatchee, Port Angeles and Pullman.
The Office appreciates the benefits of a healthy life-work balance as well as a respectful, inclusive and diverse workplace. Successful candidates will join an Office in which every person is committed to providing exceptional legal services and where individual professional development is encouraged and supported. The exceptional benefits of joining the AGO include:
- A competitive benefit package that includes affordable medical plan options, dental benefits and retirement plans
- Vacation Leave, Sick Leave, Military and Civil Leave and Paid Holidays
- Transparent salary schedule - AAG salaries are set between $71,652 and $134,208. The exact amount is set in accordance with Appendix B of the AWAAG CBA.
- The AGO will pay the general bar dues of someone who begins their assignment on or before January 31st per Article 10.8 of the AWAAG CBA
- Flex schedules and telecommuting options
- A formal AAG mentoring program that complements the AGO's inherently collegial and supportive environment
- Health and wellness program
- Training and career development program that is recognized for its excellence and efficacy by AGOs nationwide
If you meet the qualifications, share our vision, and have a desire to do important work that makes a difference for our community, then we invite you to apply!
Although every position is unique, typical duties of AAGs include:
- Researching legal issues;
- Consulting with clients and providing option-based advice as necessary;
- Developing litigation strategies;
- Identifying and preparing witnesses and exhibits;
- Crafting necessary pleadings and briefs;
- Litigating cases before administrative entities or various levels of state and federal court;
- Working directly and collaboratively with professional staff to meet and support litigation needs; and
- Positively contributing to the supportive, inclusive and collegial community that is the Washington Attorney General's Office.
To be eligible, one must be a third-year law student attending a school accredited by the ABA, or a judicial clerk of an appellate or federal court, who received a JD from a law school accredited by the ABA.
The following qualifications are highly desirable:
- Superior verbal and written communication skills that allows one to convey accurate and sometimes complex information in a clear, concise and understandable manner;
- Interest in litigation and the ability to work both independently and in teams to successfully prioritize and manage one's own caseload;
- Strong interpersonal skills including being a team player and being able to work with people of diverse backgrounds with respect and professionalism at all times;
- An interest in the work of the AGO and a demonstrated commitment to public service;
- A diverse background in terms of education, experience and perspective;
- Interest and self-motivation to learn new areas of the law and develop new skills; and
- Divisional and geographic preferences that can be reasonably satisfied via the Honors Program's timing and placement process.
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Per AGO Policy, employees and volunteers of the AGO must be fully vaccinated as a condition of employment. Being fully vaccinated means that an individual is at least two weeks past their final dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine regimen. If you are selected to serve within the AGO as an employee or volunteer, you will be required to provide proof of vaccination before you are able to begin work. You may request an exemption if you are unable to meet the requirement due to a medical or religious necessity.
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A few positions within the AGO have exposure to information that requires staff be screened and pass a fingerprint-based background check. Although it is unlikely that an Honors Program candidate would be placed into a position that requires such a fingerprint background check, given the positions' inherent experience level and the fact that so few positions require such a check, this nevertheless provides notice that you may be subject to a fingerprint background check and be subject to a fingerprint background check and be subject to additional background checks as a condition of employment every five (5) years thereafter.
To be considered for this opportunity, one must apply via the states centralized recruitment system (www.careers.wa.gov) and in addition to fully completing a profile and responding to all supplemental questions, you must upload all required documents, preferably as PDFs. Additional information such as writing samples and additional letters of recommendation will be accepted, but are not required. Required documents are:
- A letter of interest;
- Law school transcript (unofficial copy is acceptable); and
- Letter of recommendation (This is the ONLY document that can be provided separately, however it must be received by the deadline date of August 14, 2023. The letter should be e-mailed to Letrice Tobin at Letrice.Tobin@atg.wa.gov. If you have ever served as an AGO law clerk, it is required that you provide a letter of recommendation from your AGO supervisor.)
Timely and complete applications will be reviewed and invitations to interview will be extended. First and second-round interviews will be held via Zoom in the AGO's Tumwater, Seattle or Spokane offices, as well as on campus at Seattle University School of Law, the University of Washington School of Law and Gonzaga Law School. Third- and final round interviews will be held via Zoom or in-person at the Olympia AGO. The AGO is not able to reimburse applicants for expenses incurred while participating in this recruitment program. Although subject to change, we do expect to extend offers to successful applicant by November 2023.
A CRITICAL NOTE ABOUT DEADLINES!! If you are a student attending a law school at which the AGO conducts on-campus interviews (i.e., the law schools of the University of Washington, Gonzaga and Seattle University) you MUST adhere to your specific law school's OCI deadline. All other applicants MUST apply by August 14, 2023.
Honoring diversity, equity and inclusion means that as an agency, and as individuals, we are committed to ensuring that all employees and volunteers enjoy a respectful, safe and supportive working environment. Only by fostering the inclusion of people from all backgrounds, cultures and attributes, can AGO employees and volunteers achieve their fullest potential and best advance the goals and mission of the AGO.
The AGO is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation/gender identity, age, disability, honorably discharged veteran or military status, retaliation or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Persons requiring reasonable accommodation in the application process or requiring information in an alternative format may contact the recruitment team at HREmployment@atg.wa.gov. Those with a hearing impairment in need of accommodation are encouraged to contact the Washington Relay Service at 1-800-676-3777 or www.washingtonrelay.com.