Associate District Counsel (Legal Counsel)

Multnomah County Drainage District 1, OR

Are you passionate about local government at the intersection of natural resources and the law? Are you interested in the systems and structures that keep our community safe from flooding? Do you want to be a part of building a new government district to respond to flooding while addressing the threat of climate change, social injustice, water quality, and improving access to nature? Do you have an inner-nerd motivated by complex government, policy, and contractual issues?

The Multnomah County Drainage District (MCDD) protects greater Portland along the Columbia River from flooding. MCDD manages four public agencies, led by elected boards, that collectively operate and maintain 27 miles of flood levees, 12 pump stations and 45 miles of sloughs, canals, and culverts.

Our flood control systems reduce flood risk for residential communities, the Portland International Airport, sections of I-5, I-205, and I-84, Oregon’s second largest supply of drinking water, and critical electricity and natural gas hubs. We are looking for a creative, collaborative, organized person to support our team’s work to create an entirely new, more modern agency.

In 2019, the Oregon Legislature established the Urban Flood Safety and Water Quality District. The new district is designed to consolidate the four existing drainage districts in Multnomah County into a single, more modern agency. The governor appointed an interim board for the Urban Flood Safety & Water Quality District. The work ahead includes supporting the public election of board members, seeking voter approval of revenues for the new agency, and developing a capital bond to modernize the overall flood control system.

Under the general direction of the Chief Legal Officer, your job as Associate District Counsel will be to deliver professional legal services to all departments on a district-wide basis. You will be responsible for completing a full range of legal assignments and performing all aspects of an assignment, such as legal research, preparing legal documents, and attending public meetings. Your portfolio of exciting and important work will include (but not limited too): local government law, public procurement and other contracts, real estate, public meeting and records, and intergovernmental agreements. The incumbent can expect daily interaction with MCDD staff, all of whom share a passion for keeping our local community safe from flooding. Your work will be a key component in the creation a new modern agency and you can enjoy practicing law while advancing our agency’s mission and making a real difference in the communities we serve.

This is a full-time, regular, exempt position and will report to the Chief Legal Counsel.

Legal Advice and Strategy
• Provide strategic legal analysis, advice, interpretation, and general counsel services to the District, boards, and Executive Director in coordination with the Chief Legal Officer and with outside counsel.
• Identify and define legal issues, evaluate legal risks, alerting management to liabilities, and providing options to advance business and policy needs and priorities.
• Anticipate legal issues and provide options to address strategically operational and planning needs
• Provide expert guidance to departments and staff; represent the District to the public, elected officials, other agencies, governments, and organizations.
• Collaborate with the Chief Legal Officer to identify, set, and implement legal strategy for the District.
• Respond and resolve confidential and sensitive inquiries; investigate complaints and recommend corrective actions as necessary.
• Prepare and revise resolutions and ordinances, legal opinions, interpretations, and other legal documents; prepare and revise explanatory memoranda; review District documents for legal sufficiency.
• Represent the District in negotiations with governments, organizations, developers, landowners, and other agencies or people regarding terms of legal documents, including intergovernmental agreements with District partners; assist in preparing, negotiating, and/or advocating the Districts’ position under guidance of the Chief Legal Officer.
• Coordinate with state/local lobbyist on pertinent legislation; review statutes, rules, and policies to assist with legislative positioning on draft bills, rules, ordinances, and other legislation; consult on legislative needs of the District under guidance of Chief Legal Officer.
• Provide Human Resources support and advice; drafts, revises, and advises on employee handbook and HR policies and procedures; advises on employee hiring, discipline, and termination under guidance of the Chief Legal Officer.
• Provide or coordinate training for District staff on a variety of legal topics (for example, easements, contracts, document retention, attorney-client privilege) under direction of Chief Legal Officer.
• Stay current with CLEs and legal training necessary to meet the needs of the District.
• Develop, review, revise, and assist with implementation of policies and procedures of the District.
• Performs work with little oversight, exercising significant independent judgment and initiative.
• Review, approve, and negotiate contracts, contract forms, contracting and procurement procedures; advise on application of public contract law and local contract review board rules under direction of Chief Legal Officer.
Other Duties
• Perform other duties as assigned.
• Strive to achieve the Mission, Vision, and Values of the District.
• Complete required Incident Command System training within 90 days of hire.
• Train and prepare for emergency response role within the Incident Command System.
• Perform the duties assigned during an emergency.
• Remain within a 10-hour response time during the District’s Partial Emergency Activation or as specified by the Executive Director.
• Adhere to workplace safety rules and regulations.
• Occasional weekend and evening hours may be required.
• Some travel may be required to attend conferences and events.

Knowledge of:
• Public law (e.g. public contracting and procurement, budget law, government ethics, special districts, public meetings, public records, etc.) and other laws and regulations that apply to the District.
Ability to:
• Base decision-making process on ethics and integrity.
• Deal with complex, significant matters that cut across legal and related areas.
• Evaluate and weigh multiple inputs and impacts of any decision or course of action.
• Work collaboratively with non-lawyers, including executive, program and operations staff.
Education, Experience, and Special Requirements:
• Juris Doctorate degree from an accredited law school
• Active membership or ability to become an active member in good standing with the Oregon State Bar (including completion of on-going continuing legal education requirements in accordance with OSB requirements)
• Three (3) to six (6) years’ relevant experience (or combination of education, training and experience) that demonstrates ability to perform duties of the position.
• Valid state driver’s license
Preferred qualifications
· Familiarity or experience with government administration, especially local government.
Working environment: This position requires sitting at a computer, occasional lifting of boxes of documents or other items. This position is not considered safety sensitive. This position is expected to work five (5) days a week, full-time. Hours may vary but generally fall between 7:30am and 5:30pm. Remote work currently is allowed with some tasks requiring travel to the office. MCDD reserves the right to change the remote work policy.

Benefits: This is a full-time, exempt position. Our benefits Include:
• Competitive Salary
• Comprehensive Medical, Dental, and Vision coverage
• State of Oregon Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) Participant
• Deferred Compensation Plan via the Oregon Savings Growth Plan (OSGP)
• Paid holidays, flex, vacation, and sick leave
• Transportation and Wellness Incentives
• Healthy work-life balance
• Casual dress code
• Office Perks:
o We believe in snacking! Our breakroom is always properly stocked.
o Frequent visits from our 4-legged team members.
o Beautiful views of the Columbia Slough Watershed
o Access to open outdoor spaces
o Showers and access to bike parking
• Work-Culture:
o Open access to leadership
o Collaborative environment
o Supportive of families with children
Location: MCDD is located in the Sunderland neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, a city known for its diversity of restaurants, breweries, and easy access to both the coast and mountains. The area offers a variety of neighborhoods, bike-friendly streets, and amenities of a large city.

Accommodation: Reasonable accommodation is available to anyone whose specific disability prevents them from completing this application or participating in this process.

Veterans’ Preference: Under Oregon Law, qualified veterans may be eligible for veterans’ preference when applying for MCDD positions. If you are a veteran and would like to be considered for a veterans’ preference for this job, please provide qualifying documents (Copy of the Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD Form 214 or 215; Disabled Veterans must also submit a copy of their Veteran’s Disability Preference Letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) with your application submittal. Documentation must be received by the closing date and time of this recruitment for the applicant to receive Veterans’ Preference.

Equal employment opportunity: All qualified persons will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, familial status, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability for which a reasonable accommodation can be made, or any other status protected by law. Assistance will be gladly provided upon request for any applicant with sensory or non-sensory disabilities. MCDD is an equal opportunity employer.

This position is not represented.

Please submit the following in PDF form via our Smartsheet link found here: Incomplete applications will not be considered. A complete packet will include:
1. Cover letter addressing your ability to meeting minimum requirements and any preferred qualifications
2. Resume
3. Reference Sheet (minimum of 2 professional references)
4. Supplemental Question Response Form (single spaced)
Supplemental Questions:
In a separate PDF attachment, please answer the following supplemental questions:
(1) Describe your knowledge and experience with Oregon municipal law, including laws pertaining specifically to special districts, intergovernmental agreements, public contracting, public meetings and records, etc.

To be considered for the first review, all applications must reach MCDD by July 4th, 2022. Top candidates will be selected for an interview with the hiring committee.

Read more about MCDD on our website:

How to Apply

Application Deadline
Please review the last section or visit for application requirements.

Job Details

Job Function
Other Entry to Mid-Level
Position Type
Full Time

Multnomah County Drainage District 1


1880 Ne Elrod Dr
Portland, OR 97211-1810
United States



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