The Water Resources Unit and the Water Conservation Unit of the Natural Resources and Environment Section are seeking an experienced attorney with a passion for Colorado water law and a desire to work on the appropriation, adjudication, administration, and protection of surface and groundwater water rights. Few law practices offer a comparable opportunity to work with the leaders of state agencies and water users across the state to optimize the beneficial use of Colorado’s water supplies in each of our unique river basins and aquifers. Colorado is a longstanding leader in prior appropriation systems of western states and a more recent leader in the integration and conjunctive use of surface and groundwater supplies that are vital to our livelihoods. Colorado is also a front runner in protecting the environment under the Colorado Water Conservation Board’s water rights for instream flows and natural lake levels.
WHAT YOU WILL DO The Water Resources Unit represents the Colorado Division of Water Resources (DWR), which includes the Office of the State Engineer, the seven Division Engineers, the Dam Safety Section, the Colorado Groundwater Commission, and the Colorado Board of Examiners of Water Well Construction and Pump Installation Contractors. The successful candidate will represent these clients in administrative and judicial proceedings. This attorney will represent DWR in various water matters, including applications for new water rights, changes of water rights, plans for augmentation, objections to well permit issuances and denials, enforcement of curtailment and other administrative orders, appeals of agency decisions, the promulgation of agency rules, and other water rights related matters. The Water Conservation Unit represents the Stream and Lake Protection Section of the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) in the acquisition, adjudication, and protection of instream flow water rights. The Unit also advises the Finance Section and the Watershed and Flood Protection Section of the CWCB in the implementation of their programs, as well as represents other state agencies in the adjudication and protection of water rights. This Assistant Attorney General may work for one or both of the units described above. The attorney will advise clients on a wide variety of programs and substantive and procedural legal issues and primarily represent DWR or the CWCB in administrative and judicial proceedings. This work will include handling water rights matters, enforcement actions, and appeals of water court decisions or final agency actions, and providing advice and representation to our clients on rulemaking proceedings.
WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR Applicants must be admitted to the Colorado bar or be clearly eligible to waive into the Colorado Bar and be in good standing at the time of application. Candidates eligible to waive into the Colorado Bar will be required to submit proof of their completed application before the first day of employment. For this position, we are most interested in candidates with strong experience in civil litigation, including trial experience and experience with Colorado water law, the State Administrative Procedures Act, rulemakings, negotiating settlements, and transactional work. Please highlight and detail your trial experience in your cover letter. We are also seeking candidates who have:
- A genuine enthusiasm for water law
- Excellent writing, analytical, and oral advocacy skills
- Keen attention to detail
- Effective interpersonal skills
- Ability to handle a heavy caseload and work well independently and as a team member
- Desire and ability to be responsive and timely in all communications to clients and colleagues
- Confidence to work well with technically and legally sophisticated clients
- Eagerness to be resourceful and to take initiative to learn complex subject matter
- Interest in growing professionally and in being a contributor to the Dept. of Law community
- Willingness to periodically travel within the State.
The Office of the Attorney General offers challenging, interesting, and meaningful work. We are an equal opportunity employer and believe that a diverse work force adds quality and perspective to the services we provide to the public. Candidates with diverse qualities and backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
- Applicants must pass a thorough background investigation prior to appointment.
Effective August 15, 2022, this position will require documented proof of full COVID-19 vaccination. New employees will be required to provide attestation to their status with proof of vaccination within three (3) business days of hire. Employees who have not been fully vaccinated may be required to submit to serial testing in the future. In the event of serial testing, religious and medical exemptions and reasonable accommodation shall be addressed as required by law pursuant to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s vaccination guidance.