Assistant Commonwealth Attorney I

Fairfax, Virginia
$57,384.29 - $95,640.27 Annually
Oct 09, 2021
Dec 05, 2021
Full Time
Job Announcement

This is an exciting time to join the Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, as the office embarks on an ambitious criminal justice reform agenda amidst the ongoing national conversation on race and the legacy of racism in the criminal justice system. After taking office in January 2020, Commonwealth’s Attorney Descano’s initiatives have included restructuring the office to produce accountability around reforms, issuing a comprehensive policy to address mass incarceration, and the formulation of a Justice Advisory Council, among others. His passion for reform and creating an atmosphere of diversity and fairness within the office has prompted the office to seek team members with a passion for criminal justice reform and working to address racial and socioeconomic disparities in the local justice system. The Office seeks to foster a culture of inclusion and diversity, with team members who are eager to take meaningful action to spearhead and institutionalize equity initiatives.

The Office of Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano seeks an Assistant Commonwealth Attorney I to be assigned a combination of cases to include the prosecution of misdemeanor cases in General District Court (DUI, traffic offenses, and simple drug possession), and the prosecution of less serious felony cases to include non-violent crimes (property crimes, petit and grand larceny, forgery and uttering, etc.). Prepares and prosecutes misdemeanor cases, conducts legal research and argument for hearings, compose appellate briefs, advises local law enforcement agencies, and works closely with victim/witness advocates. Advises county and state law enforcement officials concerning the investigation of criminal violations and trial preparation. Advises citizens of Fairfax County on issues relating to criminal law violations in the community and court procedure.

Illustrative Duties

  • Prepares and tries civil and criminal cases;
  • Advises law enforcement officials regarding the investigation of law violations;
  • Interviews witnesses;
  • Prepares and files complaints;
  • Consults with department heads and others on a variety of County problems having legal implications;
  • Conducts legal research and prepares briefs, ordinances and opinions as requested;
  • Drafts necessary legal documents;
  • Locates witnesses and defendants;
  • Represents the County in hearings;
  • Dictates letters, legal instruments and complaints.

Required Knowledge Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of civil and criminal law;
  • Knowledge of trial procedures and the rules of evidence;
  • Knowledge of legal research methods;
  • Ability to present statements of fact, law and argument clearly and logically;
  • Ability to evaluate people and obtain information through interrogations.
  • Advises citizens of Fairfax County on issues relating to criminal law violations in the community and court procedure.

Employment Standards

Graduation from an accredited law school and membership in the Virginia State Bar.

License to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The ability to communicate effectively and professionally with law enforcement personnel, expert and lay witnesses; effectively address, with sensitivity, the needs of victims of crime; work proficiently in a collaborative, team environment, engage people of various social, economic, cultural, ideological, racial and ethnic backgrounds; maintain a fast-paced workload/docket while keeping case files and workplace organized; prepare and present cases before a trial court in a short period; and establish and maintain constructive, effective and professional relationships with fellow attorneys, public officials, judicial officers, and the public.

  • The appointee to the position must satisfactorily complete a criminal background and credit check to the satisfaction of the employer.
  • All newly hired employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (two weeks after the last required dose) as a condition of employment or obtain approval of a medical or religious exemption prior to their start date. Proof of an exemption or vaccination status will be required during the pre-employment onboarding process. New employees who obtain an exemption from the vaccine mandate for medical or sincerely held religious beliefs will still be subject to the weekly testing requirement. Vaccinated employees and employees with a medical or religious exemption will complete the attestation online on their first day of employment or shortly thereafter.

Duties are generally sedentary, performed in a normal office environment. Incumbent must be able to operate keyboard driven equipment. All duties performed with or without reasonable accommodations.


Panel interview.

NOTE: The appointee(s) of the position(s) have a one (1) year probationary period. Employment is at-will serving at the pleasure of the Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney.

This job announcement is listed as "Open Continuous". Interested applicants are advised to submit their applications as soon as possible. Applications will be reviewed and qualified applicants will be referred until the position(s) have been filled or when a sufficient number of qualified applications have been received. If your application is received later in the recruitment process, it may not be reviewed or considered.

Fairfax County Government prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetics, political affiliation, or military status in the recruitment, selection, and hiring of its workforce.

Reasonable accommodations are available to persons with disabilities during application and/or interview processes per the Americans with Disabilities Act. Contact 703-324-4900 for assistance. TTY 703-222-7314. EEO/AA/TTY.

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