Posted: 07/28/2022

DESCRIPTION:

----- FIRST REVIEW OF APPLICATIONS: AUGUST 8, 2022 -----

The City Attorney performs complex executive and professional level work as legal advisor to the City Commission, City Manager, boards, commissions and other staff; provides a full range of legal services to the City including preparation of legal opinions, research and support, representation in legal actions, document preparation and related work; and directs, manages, supervises and coordinates the activities and operations of the City Attorney’s Office in accordance with the Employee Manual, Department Policies and Procedures, City of Alamogordo Ordinances, and any applicable State or Federal authority.

RECRUITMENT QUALIFICATIONS:

Required:

  • Graduation from an accredited law school with a Juris Doctor degree in law; 
  • Five (5) years of experience as a practicing attorney, two (2) years of which must have been directly associated with local governmental operations, either at the County or Municipal level;
  • Five (5) years of supervisory experience;
  • A license to practice law in New Mexico, or the ability to obtain within six (6) months of hire;
  • Eligible attorneys must sit for the next New Mexico Bar Exam for which the applicant is eligible.  Limited licenses only permit the attorney to practice law in New Mexico as a public employee representing public defender clients or a government entity. The Rules Governing Admission also provide for a process called Admission on Motion. Attorneys must be able to demonstrate they have actively and substantially practiced law for five of the past seven years in a jurisdiction(s) that accept New Mexico attorneys for admission without examination;
  • A member in good standing with the Bar Association;
  • Must not have been suspended or disbarred from the practice of law in any jurisdiction; and
  • Valid New Mexico Driver’s License, or the ability to obtain within 60 days of employment, with a driving record acceptable to the City of Alamogordo (valid out-of-state license may be considered).

Desired: 

  • More than two (2) years as a practicing attorney for a municipal government.
  • Experience in employment law.
  • Valid license to practice law in New Mexico.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES:
  • Manages and supervises direct-report staff by coordinating, assigning, and reviewing work to ensure compliance with policies and procedures;
  • Conducts employee evaluations, introductory and annual; makes recommendations for hiring, promoting, and releasing employees; 
  • Initiates and administers corrective action, as necessary, according to the Employee Manual;
  • Mentors employees to full potential and ensures appropriate training is given to meet the standards of the position held;
  • Attends all City Commission meetings;
  • Performs legal research including extensive analysis of legal positions;
  • Determines and applies legal principles and precedents to problems and issues;
  • Furnishes legal advice, counsel, and assistance to the Mayor, City Commission, and all other City officers, boards, commissions, and agencies in relation to their duties and the business of the City;
  • Drafts and/or approves ordinances, resolutions and contracts as to legal form; provides legal advice as to substance; reviews documents prepared by other agencies or parties;
  • Oversees prosecution of municipal traffic and code violations;
  • Initiates and prosecutes actions to protect the City’s interests including preparation of pleadings and briefs, oral argument, trial, and settlement negotiations;
  • Represents the City in court, and before quasi-judicial or administrative agencies of government;
  • Selects and directs outside special counsel as appropriate and necessary;
  • Prepares annual department budget and conducts ongoing analysis of budget expenditures;
  • Safely operates a City vehicle in the performance of duties;
  • Establishes procedures to assure the highest standards of risk management, employee safety, and risk avoidance;
  • Responsible for thoroughly investigating, reviewing, and addressing department or division accidents to prevent future occurrences and control risk management related costs;
  • Contributes to a high-quality work culture through participation in training and mentoring to develop skills, including safety related training and skills;
  • Interacts professionally and provides excellent customer service to all levels of City staff and citizens, to ensure high operational and service standards; and
  • Performs duties in accordance with the Employee Manual, Department Policies and Procedures, City of Alamogordo Ordinances, and any applicable State or Federal authority.

OTHER IMPORTANT DUTIES

  • Makes public presentations and represents the City on committees, boards, and with civic organizations and while conducting outside City-related activities;
  • Duties may be performed outside of normal working hours including evenings and weekends;
  • Occasional travel may be required;
  • Must obtain and maintain required license(s);
  • Maintains the confidentiality of information obtained during performance of duties; and
  • Performs such other duties as may be assigned.

The duties listed above are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed.  The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related or a logical assignment to the position. 

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES

Knowledge of:  

  • Constitutional provisions and State statutes relating to municipal affairs;
  • Contracting procurement laws; purchase of goods and services;
  • Labor and Employment Law;
  • Property law; and
  • General Municipal Legal concepts and principals.

Skill/Ability to

  • Demonstrate enhanced communication skills, both orally and in writing;
  • Perform tasks and other daily activities in a positive and professional manner alongside employees of varied backgrounds and personalities;
  • Deal tactfully and effectively with City officials, employees, court officials and the public;
  • Exercise common sense and good judgment in the performance of essential duties;
  • Operate standard office equipment, including computer using standard word processing, spreadsheet, and database software;
  • Learn and become proficient in the use of the City’s financial, timekeeping systems, and other programs in use or adopted for City use;
  • Attend work, as scheduled and on a regular basis, to effectively perform the positions essential duties and responsibilities;     
  • Prepare briefs and other legal documents;
  • Prepare and analyze comprehensive legal documents;
  • Carry out assigned projects to their completion;
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with employees, city officials, the court system, and the public; and
  • Efficiently and effectively administer a municipal legal department.
WORK ENVIRONMENT:
  • The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job;
  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions;
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit and talk or hear;  Extended time is spent reading from the computer screen;
  • The employee is occasionally required to walk; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls; reach with hands and arms, and drive;
  • Lift and/or move items weighing less than fifty (50) pounds; the lifting of any object greater than fifty (50) pounds by a single individual is prohibited. Lifting objects, materials, or equipment weighing more than fifty (50) pounds require the buddy system or the use of devices designed to assist with lifting or moving. Proper lifting techniques shall be used when lifting items of any weight;
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision and the ability to adjust focus;
  • The noise level in the work environment is moderate with frequent interruptions; and
  • The work area is open and available to staff dropping by unannounced.
 

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