Staff Attorney

Pender County Government
March 17, 2022
805 S. Walker St., Burgaw, NC
Billing Address
801 S. Walker St.
First Name
Last Name
Phone Number
Closing Date


The Staff Attorney will be responsible for all legal matters pertaining to the County.  The Staff Attorney will provide legal advice and counsel to County staff, the Board of Commissioners, and other County boards and commissions across a wide variety of legal areas.  The Staff Attorney will also review and draft contracts, ordinances, and other documents.  The Staff Attorney will represent the County in court; supervise outside counsel, and otherwise perform professional legal services and related administrative work for the County.  This role requires a deep understanding of federal, state, and local laws and court decisions that impact the County.  Work requires the use of sound professional judgment in counseling and advising parties; interpreting and applying laws and regulations; giving presentations; and reading, writing, and interpreting legal documents.   

General Definition of Work  

Performs complex professional and administrative work in overseeing the legal affairs of the County. Provides legal counsel to the Board of County Commissioners, County Manager, County HR, County Finance, as well as other county departments as needed.  Work is performed under the general supervision of the County Manager or his/her designee.  

 Qualification Requirements 

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential function satisfactorily.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individual with disabilities to perform the essential functions

Essential Functions  

  • Position will be housed in the Administration Building in Burgaw and would require standard office hours during a normal work week to meet staff needs. 
  • Renders legal advice to the Board of Commissioners, County Manager, Department Heads, and Staff as requested or required. 
  • Serves as legislative liaison for County with State and Federal governments. 
  • Prepares, reviews, and assists in the negotiation of ordinances, resolutions, policies, contracts, deeds, leases, including statutorily authorized development agreements, development agreements, public-private partnerships, economic development agreements, reimbursement agreements and other legal documents for the County; reviews and offers legal advice as to the legal acceptability of such documents. 
  • Represents, at times in cooperation with other retained counsel, the County in lawsuits and administrative proceedings; prosecutes violations of the County’s code and actions to recover damages to county property. 
  • Makes major legal determinations regarding litigation, claims, leases and contracts, land titles, and related legal matters.  
  • Supervises and administers land transactions.  
  • Coordinates and works with the County Manager or his/her designee in assuring policies and ordinances are workable, enforced, and fairly implemented. 
  • Analyzes legal changes and legislation impacting the County.  
  • Conducts legal research on a variety of legal issues that may arise in areas of law including but not limited to municipal law, constitutional law, administrative law, contract law, local government law, land development regulations, zoning, and land use law, franchise law, municipal code issues regarding permitting and licensing, public safety, peace and morals, and employment law. Prepares legal guidance and reports as necessary. 
  • Addresses legal inquiries and requests for information from the public and various County officials.  
  • Works with the Human Resources Director and County Manager or his/her designee regarding personnel related matters.   
  • Provides guidance on public employment law, policy development, workers compensation, liability, FLSA, ADA, FMLA and employment separations. 
  • Pursue court-ordered compliance, injunction and abatement, and institution of civil penalties as laid out in the Pender County Unified Development Ordinance. 
  • Provides legal advice and direction based on Federal and State regulations regarding procurement matters, Requests for Proposals/Qualifications, contracts, etc. as needed, and in the best interest of the County. 
  • Ensures terms and conditions of grant agreements are acceptable and other legal implications are considered.
  • Performs other duties as required.


Based on experience.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities, Education and Experience  

Knowledge of local ordinances, torts, contracts, civil rights, administrative process, and real property; thorough knowledge of, and the ability to properly interpret, apply, and make decisions in accordance with local, state, and federal laws and court decisions affecting counties; Ability to prepare clear and concise administrative, technical, and legal reports and documents, Comprehensive knowledge of the philosophies, principles, and practices of public personnel administration, Experience and capacity to engage in litigation on behalf of County including an understanding of judicial and quasi-judicial procedure and rules of evidence, Demonstrated competency with methods of legal research, particularly as related to local ordinance; Ability to maintain effective working relationships with County officials, court officials, members of the bar and the general public; Ability to handle complex trial and appellate litigation. Demonstrated ability to oversee outside counsel; Ability to negotiate settlements and other contracts. 


Any combination of education and experience equivalent to graduation from a law school of recognized standing and experience as a practicing attorney.  Prefer experience working with governing boards of counties or other local government entities. 

Physical Requirements  

Must be able to perform sedentary work exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally to lift objects. Must possess the visual acuity to prepare and analyze data and figures, operate a computer, do extensive reading, and perform visual inspections. Continuous fine dexterity, vision, hearing, and talking required. 

Special Requirements

  • North Carolina State Bar License. 
  • Successful completion of State Bar required hours of annual CLE credits. 
  • Valid North Carolina Driver’s License.