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Supervising Attorney (5815)

Supervising Attorney

California State Personnel Board Specification

  • Schematic Code: OA84
  • Class Code: 5815
  • Established: 12/17/1985
  • Revised: 04/24/2012
  • Title Changed: 04/24/2012


Under general direction, to supervise the work of lower level attorneys and, in addition, may personally perform the most difficult, complex, and sensitive legal work.

Distinguishing Characteristics

This is the working supervisor level over a small attorney staff. It is distinguished from the Attorney�III class by its supervisory responsibility. The Attorney III and Supervising Attorney classes have the same level but different type of responsibility.


The Supervising Attorney is distinguished from the next higher level class of Assistant Chief Counsel by the size and impact of the legal program, level and number of staff supervised, degree of general policy involvement, extent to which positions influence legal policy, and complexity of legal work for which responsible.

Typical Tasks

Plans, organizes, and directs the work of a small staff of attorneys; evaluates the performance of subordinate staff and takes or effectively recommends appropriate action; interviews and selects or actively participates in the interview and selection process for subordinate staff; develops strategy and tactics in the most complex disputes or litigation; and may personally perform the most difficult and complex litigation, negotiation, legislative liaison, hearings, legal research, and opinion drafting.

Minimum Qualifications

Either I


Two years of experience in the California state service performing legal duties* at a level of responsibility equivalent to Attorney, Range D. (Applicants who have completed 18 months of the required experience will be admitted to the examination, but must complete two years of such experience before they will be eligible for appointment.)



Broad and extensive experience (more than six years) in the practice of law*.


Experience applicable to one of the above patterns may be combined on a proportional basis with experience applicable to the other to meet the total experience requirement. Experience in the California state service applied toward "Pattern II" must include the same number of years of qualifying experience as required in "Pattern I" performing the duties at a level of responsibility equivalent to that described in "Pattern I".


In addition, all candidates must have membership in The State Bar of California. (Applicants must have active membership in The State Bar before they will be eligible for appointment.)

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: Legal principles and their application; legal research methods; court procedures; rules of evidence and procedure; administrative law and the conduct of proceedings before administrative bodies; legal terms and forms in common use; statutory and case law literature and authorities; provisions of laws and Government Code sections administered or enforced; and a manager's/supervisor's responsibility for promoting equal opportunity in hiring and employee development and promotion, and for maintaining a work environment that is free of discrimination and harassment.


Ability to: Analyze legal principles and precedents and apply them to complex legal and administrative problems; perform and direct legal research; present statements of fact, law, and argument clearly and logically; draft and direct the drafting of opinions, pleadings, rulings, regulations, and legislation; negotiate effectively; conduct and direct the conduct of civil litigation; effectively supervise the work of subordinate personnel; and effectively promote equal opportunity in employment and maintain a work environment that is free of discrimination and harassment.


* Experience in the "practice of law" or "performing legal duties" is defined as: (1) only that legal experience acquired after admission to any State Bar, or (2) experience as a judicial clerk for a federal court, California's state courts, or any other state's courts, to constitute experience in the practice of law. For an individual's judicial clerkship to qualify as experience in the �practice of law� or �performing legal duties�, the experience must have been gained after receipt of a Juris Doctor or equivalent degree.

  Updated: 6/3/2012
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