This is an exciting time to join the Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, as the office embarks on an ambitious criminal justice reform agenda amidst the ongoing national conversation on race and the legacy of racism in the criminal justice system. After taking office in January 2020, Commonwealth’s Attorney Descano’s initiatives have included restructuring the office to produce accountability around reforms, issuing a comprehensive policy to address mass incarceration, and the formulation of a Justice Advisory Council, among others. His passion for reform and creating an atmosphere of diversity and fairness within the office has prompted the office to seek team members with a passion for criminal justice reform and working to address racial and socioeconomic disparities in the local justice system. The Office seeks to foster a culture of inclusion and diversity, with team members who are eager to take meaningful action to spearhead and institutionalize equity initiatives.
The Office of Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano seeks an Assistant Commonwealth Attorney II to be assigned a combination of cases to include misdemeanor offenses in the General District Court level and felony cases at the Circuit Court level. Depending on level of experience, assignments generally include the prosecution of misdemeanor cases in General District Court (DUI, traffic offenses, and simple drug possession), and the prosecution of less serious felony cases to include non-violent crimes (property crimes, petit and grand larceny, forgery and uttering, etc.).
Prepares and prosecutes misdemeanor cases and felony cases, conduct legal research and argument for hearings, compose appellate briefs, advise local law enforcement agencies, and work closely with victim/witness advocates. Due to the high caseload, must be organized, work efficiently, be flexible, and be able to think on his or her feet in busy and time-pressured situations. As experience, knowledge, and skills are obtained and developed, will be exposed to increasing responsibility, including more difficult and complex cases.
- Represents the Commonwealth of Virginia in prosecutions of violations of criminal law;
- Appears in General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court to prosecute criminal misdemeanors and traffic offenses;
- Appears in Circuit Court to prosecute the appeal of misdemeanor offenses in jury and bench trials;
- Appears in Circuit Court to prosecute felony offenses in jury and bench trials;
- Conducts legal research and writes memoranda regarding updates in the law and new issues arising in the prosecution of certain laws;
- Assists higher level attorneys with legal research and writing on constitutional motions and appeal briefs;
- Drafts correspondence on legal matters;
- Advises County and State law enforcement officials concerning the investigation of criminal violations and trial preparation;
- Reviews search warrants, affidavits and court orders submitted by law enforcement for the obtaining of evidence related to criminal cases;
- Advises citizens of Fairfax County on issues relating to criminal law violations in the community and court procedure.
Required Knowledge Skills and Abilities
- Knowledge of the principles of law and their application;
- Knowledge of trial procedure and the rules of evidence;
- Knowledge of legal research methods;
- Ability to learn the criminal laws under the Code of Virginia and Fairfax County Code and the court decisions affecting the prosecution of those laws;
- Ability to present statements of fact, law and argument clearly and logically;
- Ability to interview victims, witnesses and law enforcement to obtain the necessary information to prosecute cases;
- Ability to maintain effective working relationships with associates, law enforcement, the judiciary and the general public.
- Must be an active member in good standing of the Virginia State Bar.
- Any combination of education, experience, and training equivalent to the following: (Click on the aforementioned link to learn how Fairfax County interprets equivalencies for “Any combination, experience, and training equivalent to”) Graduation from an accredited law school; plus one year of experience as a practicing attorney.
CERTIFICATIONS AND LICENSES REQUIRED:
License to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The ability to communicate effectively and professionally with law enforcement personnel, expert and lay witnesses; effectively address, with sensitivity, the needs of victims of crime; work proficiently in a collaborative, team environment, engage people of various social, economic, cultural, ideological, racial and ethnic backgrounds; maintain a fast-paced workload/docket while keeping case files and workplace organized; prepare and present cases before a trial court in a short period; and establish and maintain constructive, effective and professional relationships with fellow attorneys, public officials, judicial officers, and the public.
NECESSARY SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS:
The appointee to the position must satisfactorily complete a criminal background and credit check to the satisfaction of the employer.
Duties are generally sedentary, performed in a normal office environment. All duties performed with or without reasonable accommodations.
NOTE: The appointee(s) of the position(s) have a one (1) year probationary period. Employment is at-will serving at the pleasure of the Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney.
This job announcement is listed as “Open Continuous”. Interested applicants are advised to submit their applications as soon as possible. Applications will be reviewed and qualified applicants will be referred until the position(s) have been filled or when a sufficient number of qualified applications have been received. If your application is received later in the recruitment process, it may not be reviewed or considered.
HOW TO APPLY:
Apply by sending the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- A thoughtful cover letter that explains why you are both interested and qualified; and
- Your resume
To assist with internal sorting, please only include “Assistant Commonwealth Attorney II” in the subject line and send in Microsoft Word format.
Fairfax County Government prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetics, political affiliation, or status as a veteran in the recruitment, selection, and hiring of its workforce.
Reasonable accommodations are available to persons with disabilities during application and/or interview processes per the Americans with Disabilities Act. Contact 703-324-4900 for assistance. TTY 703-222-7314. EEO/AA/TTY.