Purpose of Classification:
The purpose of this classification is to review, investigate, prosecute or defend, and resolve criminal cases on behalf of the County or State of Georgia in an assigned legal office or County department; perform beginning level professional legal work; and may assist in cases of routine complexity.
The following duties are normal for this position. The omission of specific statements of the duties does not exclude them from the classification if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment for this classification. Other duties may be required and assigned.
Conducts initial case evaluations as assigned; reviews case file and analyzes the facts and evidence of the case; may assess client eligibility and needs; reviews criminal histories; determines appropriateness of diversion, dismissal, or charges; reviews accuracy of jurisdiction, venue, and scope of arrest powers; ensures sufficient probable cause; prepares or reviews charges and discovery; and prepares for all court hearings or arraignments.
Investigates, analyzes, and prepares assigned cases for hearings and trials; may interview clients in and out of custody; requests and inspects records and evidence; prepares graphics and exhibits; makes investigative requests and follows up on leads; obtains and reviews scientific results and analysis; identifies and interviews witnesses and alibis; observes crime scenes; subpoenas witnesses and prepares them for trial; may prepare clients for trial; determines need for, procures, and interviews expert witnesses; assesses need for psychological/psychiatric evaluation of client; anticipates legal issues; assists in the development of case strategies; and presents cases to superiors.
Represents clients or State of Georgia at arraignments, preliminary and pre-trial hearings and conferences, motion hearings, jury and bench trials, probation and sentencing, post-adjudication/post-conviction hearings, alternative and diversion programs, specialty courts, or any related courtroom proceedings; prepares and argues motions and evidence; negotiates and presents plea resolutions; negotiates at all stages on behalf of the client; advises clients or victims regarding the acceptance or rejection of plea offers; and assists with jury selection, opening and closing statements, evidence presentation, witness questioning, and bond/sentencing recommendations as assigned.
Communicates with and serves as a liaison to clients, victims, families, witnesses, and/or community partners; develops attorney-client relationship; provides information and updates regarding case status; makes appropriate referrals; requests victim advocates and assists them as needed; and explains and advises regarding the investigative and judicial process.
Conducts research and documentation for assigned cases; researches relevant case law and interprets in relation to the facts of the case; researches the terms, procedures, or science used in other fields; prepares briefs and motions and responses to same; writes case summaries; drafts complaints, accusations, indictments, jury charges, and supporting documents; and makes trial notes.
Manages assigned caseload; attends scheduled court appearances; creates new case files; inputs and records case-related data and notes; logs case activities; closes files; receives and reviews calendars; and coordinates with court administration, clients, witnesses, experts and others.
Maintains a comprehensive, current knowledge in appropriate legal fields; attends conferences, seminars, meetings and training events relevant to area of expertise; keeps abreast of legal changes; and participates in professional organizations.
Coordinates with community partners and the public to support and promote criminal justice efforts and crime prevention initiatives; educates and informs the community about the criminal justice system; may supervise and mentor student interns;and conducts and attends meetings with schools, government organizations, healthcare providers, interest groups, or other community partners.
Juris Doctorate Degree required; one year of experience in criminal justice, legal, or related field; or any equivalent combination of education, training, and experience which provides the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities for this job.
Specific License or Certification Required: Must possess and maintain a valid Georgia driver’s license; and must possess and maintain license from the Georgia State Bar Association.
This position will stay open until filled.
Experience representing and/or working with persons with significant mental health needs. Strongly preferred.
Experience working with community and/or social services. Strongly preferred.
This position is located in the DeKalb County Child Advocacy Center (DCCAC). Additional job specific duties also include:
Represent child-clients in abuse and neglect matters which includes managing large caseloads. Caseloads average 70-90 active cases with a limit of 130 cases.
Serve as lead counsel in 40-50 dependency (abuse and neglect) court hearings monthly.
Must identify deficiencies in child-clients’ well-being including medical, mental health and educational needs; Identify and recommend resources to address said needs, thereby ensuring the physical/mental health, safety and welfare of child-clients. This duty requires: regular and repeated review of child-client assessments, evaluations, investigative reports, court pleadings and other written documents; review of audio and video evidence – which frequently contains explicit and extensively detailed information as to medical and mental health conditions; physical and mental disabilities and diagnoses; physical, mental, emotional and sexual abuse of child-clients and related persons. Additionally, involvement with associated criminal, delinquent, domestic and other court systems is required where child-clients’ interests may be affected.
At least 40% of position duties include field work and investigations. Must be able to conduct field investigations during non-traditional work hours, as needed. Field efforts include: interviewing child-clients in foster care and other placements, interviewing lay and expert witnesses, evaluating current and proposed placements, securing records and other evidence, attending stakeholder meetings and other convenings, attending child-client assessments, evaluations, as well as administrative and other legal proceedings.
Must formulate recommendations regarding probable cause, adjudication and disposition of dependency matters (abuse and neglect cases) and permanency planning; Conduct preliminary, adjudicatory, dispositional, review and other hearings.
Must possess knowledge of A.S.F.A., C.A.P.T.A., Fostering Connections and other relevant federal and state guidelines regarding child welfare and permanency planning.
Must possess knowledge of Official Code of Georgia Annotated juvenile law code sections relating to child welfare and dependency law.
Must possess knowledge of Juvenile Court rules, regulations and procedures.
Maintain working knowledge of related social welfare disciplines and systems.
Appellate Experience Preferred
About the Department: The DeKalb County Child Advocacy Center (DCCAC) represents the legal interests of children alleged to be abused or neglected, and in need of the protection of the Juvenile Court. We advocate for permanent and safe homes for child-clients and collaborate with multidisciplinary partners to address the well-being needs of all child-clients. The DCCAC strives to prevent prolonged or repeated involvement of children and their families with the child welfare and juvenile court systems.
DCCAC, a staff of attorneys, investigators and paralegal support, zealously advocates for the protection of the legal rights and best interests of at-risk children. Child-clients who are found to be dependent (abused and/or neglected) are generally placed in the legal custody of the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) and reside in foster homes, group homes, therapeutic facilities, or with biological or fictive relatives. Allegations of abuse and neglect are investigated by the DCCAC from the time a child is placed in DFCS custody. Representation and advocacy for the well-being and permanency needs of child-clients continues for as long as children remain under the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court. Organized as a function of DeKalb County Government, the DCCAC is distinct from DFCS but works closely with that agency to ensure holistic advocacy.
DeKalb County recognizes that protecting a child’s legal rights and best interests means more than courtroom advocacy. It requires the infusion of resources and opportunities that help to improve the lives and circumstances of children and their families. DCCAC works with stakeholders and community partners from all social-welfare-related fields to ensure that comprehensive intervention and services are available to meet our child-clients’ needs.
Please do not call to inquire about your application, as many applications are received each day. All applications will be put into a data bank in the order in which it is received.