County Attorney

McKinley County   Gallup, NM   Full-time     Legal
Posted on April 5, 2024
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Salary Level:  $102,356.80 - $112,590.40 

Definition: The purpose of this position is to represent the county in administrative, litigation, and settlement proceedings; managing litigation; and advising the County Commission, County Management, elected officials, department heads, and supervisors in various aspects of the laws of the State of New Mexico. Other responsibilities include reviewing and negotiating contracts; developing, reviewing, and revising policies and procedures; and performing other duties as assigned.


Essential Job Functions: Note: This information is intended to be descriptive of the key responsibilities of the position. The list of essential functions below does not identify all duties performed by any single incumbent in this position. Additionally, please be aware of the legend below when referring to the physical demands of each essential function.


  1. Represent county in administrative, litigation, and settlement proceedings by preparing memos, pleadings, and correspondence. Attend and participate in meetings, negotiations, and projects with other governments, agencies, and organizations involving the county. Communicate and research legal issues; prepare and conduct presentations to tribunals, organizations, and boards.
  2. Manage litigation and analyzes pleadings and evidence. Develop legal theories.  Advises parties and principals on status of cases.
  3. Develop, review, and revise policies by researching, writing, editing, and reading policies, organizing policy content and procedures. Working with individuals, teams, and groups in determining needed outcomes of policies and planning implementation of provisions; and corresponding about the developed policy.
  4. Obtains, compiles, disseminates, and organizes needed information/statistics to communicate inquiries from and/or to media outlets i.e., radio and newspaper reporters.
  5. Plan, organize, coordinate, and direct assigned operations. Identify and monitor long and short-range goals and objectives. Evaluate a wide variety of issues; and recommend and/or implement solutions to safeguard the county’s operations. Manage Legal Department performance and productivity. Direct the continuous improvement of the work products, assure the overall integrity of the support and functionality of provided services. Develop, evaluate, and manage assigned functions, budgets and projects.
  6. Represent the county in a variety of legal proceedings at the local, state, and federal level in administrative hearings or before courts. Manage legal issues by reviewing, approving and negotiating. Assure that legal issues are resolved within county policy guidelines. Review and evaluate pertinent decisions, policy regulations, and other legal matters. Attend Board of Commissioners meetings to provide legal advice and information, provide and present findings and recommendations.
  7. Consult and provide legal advice and counsel to county officials, employees, and departments. Conduct legal review and research to make recommendations on issues arising out of county policies, resolutions, ordinances, state and federal law, and other regulations. Negotiate agreements with opposing parties and council on behalf of the county. Assess and evaluate claims against the county, labor relations matters, contracts, leases, personnel matters, financial, personal injury, property matters, and criminal prosecutions. Anticipate problems and pursue solutions; establish legal strategies, identify policy and compliance issues, and propose solutions.
  8. Represent the county in litigation negotiations, settlements, and other legal proceedings. Provide legal assessments and recommendations, conduct factual and legal analysis to determine whether legal issues should be prosecuted or defended based on the facts of law and evidence. Coordinate and conduct conferences and remediation concerning settlement of cases. Conduct legal research, gather and compile legal instruments and documents. Identify and evaluate records and other information. Prepare and present various special and recurring reports, legal documents, analysis, and recommendations as requested and required.
  9. Develop and monitor legal department budget, approves budget expenditures. Prepare and review operational analysis of program costs.
  10. Monitor trends in law and risk management issues to recommend operational, procedural, and policy improvements. Direct and coordinate multi-jurisdictional issues. Manage, allocate, and coordinate numerous internal and external resources. Assure effective communication of issues and strategies.
  11. Perform other duties as assigned.


Supervisory Controls: Subject to an employment contract. Position requires managing and monitoring work performance of a division, including evaluating program/work objectives, effectiveness, establishing broad organizational goals, realigning work and staffing assignments for the department.


Working Conditions: Work is generally performed in an office setting. Extended and irregular hours may be required. Some travel may be required.


Minimum Qualifications

  • Juris Doctor Degree from an accredited law school.
  • Member of the State Bar of New Mexico.
  • Five (5) years of experience in legal practice.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with local government regulations and contracting procedures.
    • Experience with Employment Law.
    • Bilingual (Navajo, Spanish).
    • Experience working in the local/county government environment.


    Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

    • Knowledge of all applicable laws, ordinances, and regulations related to County operations.
    • Ability to use initiative and independent judgment with established procedural guidelines.
    • Ability to work effectively with elected officials, county departments, other governmental entities, consultants, the media and the public.
    • Ability to assess, prioritize, and delegate multiple tasks, projects, and demands.
    • Ability to demonstrate effective interpersonal relationships in bringing people together to solve problems.
    • Ability to prepare and administer budgets.
    • Ability to supervise, lead, and delegate tasks and authority.
    • Ability to communicate effectively in verbal and written form.
    • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with employees, officials, other agencies, and the public.
    • Skill in assuming executive level responsibilities and making appropriate decisions.
    • Skill in researching and identifying precedents in case law.
    • Skill in negotiating contracts and agreements.
    • Skill in litigating cases in legal hearings and courtroom settings.
    • Skill in reviewing and assessing legal issues and documents.
    • Skill in effectively assessing, interpreting, and applying complex criminal and civil law, information, evidence, and other data compiled.
    • Skill in utilizing and evaluating electronic legal research through online systems.
    • Skill in developing and implementing long-range plans and procedures for cost effective management of allocated resources.
    • Skill in working effectively with labor union leadership, and effectively negotiating in a union environment.
    • Skill in interpreting technical instructions and analyzing complex variables.
    • Knowledge and understanding of areas of the law related to government, which include, but are not limited to:
      • Open Meetings Act
      • Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA)
      • Criminal Code and Procedure
      • Constitutional Rights
      • Public Employment Law
      • Procurement and Contract Law
      • Property and Land Use Law
      • Labor Relations/Collective Bargaining
      • Civil Procedure
      • Trial Practice
      • Administrative Law and Procedure
      • Information Technology
      • Conflict Resolution/Mediation
      • Leadership and Organizational Development
      • Parliamentary Procedure

Certificates and Licenses:  Must possess a valid Driver’s License at time of employment and be insurable for liability purposes.

Conditions of Employment: May be required to pass a post offer-of-employment physical examination.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.


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