Under the direction of the City Attorney, the Denton City Attorney’s Office seeks a well-qualified, motivated and highly collaborative Planning and Zoning Attorney to join its team. The position involves working in a fast-paced environment dealing with interesting and challenging legal issues experienced by few Texas cities. The attorney will exhibit the City of Denton’s Core Values of Integrity, Fiscal Responsibility, Transparency and Outstanding Customer Service. The ideal candidate will have experience with municipal law, land use law, planning, environmental law, and engineering processes. The City Attorney’s Office is small (twelve attorneys), so versatility, flexibility and adaptability is essential.
Responsible for providing quality legal services to the City’s Development Services Department, the City’s Planning and Zoning Commission, and the City’s Zoning Board of Adjustment, and performing other duties as assigned by the City Attorney.
Provides legal advice and services to City Council, City Manager, and Staff.
Reviews documents and provides legal opinions and advice.
Conducts legal research on municipal land use issues, documents results and findings, presents legal advice and information and presents recommendations.
Prepares, reviews, tracks and analyzes contracts, agreements, policies and other legal documents.
Represents the City in negotiating legal issues; assures that legal issues are resolved within City policy guidelines and applicable law; assures effective communication of issues with the City Attorney and City principals.
Recommend changes in policies and procedures in order to meet legal requirements.
Acts as City Attorney in their absence if assigned.
Provides final decision making on legal matters affecting policy with possible significant cost impacts.
Makes professional presentations before boards, commissions, and the City Council.
Prepares legal instruments for boards and commissions, City Manager and City Council.
Supports the relationship between the City of Denton and the general public by demonstrating courteous and cooperative behavior when interacting with citizens, visitors and City Staff.
Performs other duties as assigned
Juris Doctorate from an accredited law school
Three or more years of progressively responsible experience in municipal law, land use, zoning and environmental law, as well as substantial experience in planning and engineering matters, either in a city legal department or in a private law firm.
Any combination of related education, experience, certifications and licenses that will result in a candidate successfully performing the essential functions of the job
Must possess required knowledge, skills, abilities and experience and be able to explain and demonstrate, with or without reasonable accommodations, that the essential functions of the job can be performed.
Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.
Ability to form and maintain effective relationships with coworkers and customers.
Ability to maintain regular and punctual attendance.
Exhibits strong knowledge in a variety of municipal law practice areas, including but not limited to: purchasing, employment/human resources, economic development, land use and planning, parks and recreation, general aviation, real estate, finance, Public Information Act and Open Meetings Act, and litigation.
Exhibits interpersonal/human relations skills and the ability to support controversial position and/or negotiation skills.
Ability to independently perform the full range of general and specialized legal work on a variety of topics, with emphasis in land use.
Ability to provide administrative and professional leadership and direction to assigned administrative/clerical support staff.
Ability to perform duties consistent with Denton’s mission to be a leader among cities.
Ability to use word processing software and equipment.
Conditions of Employment
Licensed to practice law in the State of Texas, or be able to obtain Texas licensure within six months of employment
Must have a valid Class “C” Driver’s License and valid state required minimum automobile liability insurance prior to employment (must obtain Texas Class “C” driver’s license and state required minimum automobile liability insurance within 30 days of hire per state law)
Must pass a drug test, driver’s license check, criminal history background check, and social security number verification check
Must have the ability to present professionally before boards and commissions and the City Council
Must possess a high degree of interpersonal skill in order to professionally deliver municipal legal services to a public client
Bilingual in Spanish and English
Preference given to proven experience in the areas of Land Use, Zoning, Environmental, and Municipal law.
About City Attorney's Office - Denton, Texas
The City Attorney's Office is committed to providing outstanding, professional legal services for the City Council, City Manager, and all City operations. The Office serves as general counsel for the City, and also provides transactional, advisory, and litigation services. The Office is responsible for drafting and reviewing proposed ordinances and resolutions, reviewing legal documents and papers, assisting in the development of contracts and other binding documents, and providing legal counsel in other matters in which the City may be interested. In addition, prosecutors are provided through the Office to represent the State of Texas in Municipal Court proceedings.