Deputy Commonwealth Attorney

Fairfax, Virginia
$97,822.40 - $163,036.43 Annually
Jan 15, 2022
Dec 24, 2022
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 Deputy Commonwealth Attorney will be a member of the office’s leadership team and will be responsible for helping transform the office’s culture to orient around criminal justice reform and addressing racial disparities in the justice system. They will provide overall direction and supervision to attorneys, paralegals, and administrative staff, including all first-line supervisors. They will also help implement policy directives set by the Commonwealth’s Attorney. In addition, they will prosecute criminal cases, and serve as a liaison to the other agencies involved in the criminal justice system

Illustrative Duties

  • Represents the Commonwealth of Virginia in prosecutions of violations of criminal law;
  • Prosecutes major felony cases in Circuit Court jury and bench trials, specializing in the most serious cases;
  • Conducts legal research and composes briefs in opposition to constitutional motions and petitions for appeal;
  • Advises and supervises lower level attorneys incase preparation and trial performance;
  • Conducts meetings and training sessions for the attorneys;
  • Advises County and State law enforcement officials concerning the investigation of criminal violations and trial preparation;
  • Reviews search warrants, affidavits, and court orders submitted by law enforcement for obtaining of evidence related to criminal cases;
  • Advises citizens of Fairfax County on issues relating to criminal law violations in the community and court procedure;
  • Represents the Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney in meetings with the judiciary, court personnel, police departments, defense bar, and citizens of Fairfax County.

Required Knowledge Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of the principles of law and their application;
  • Knowledge of trial procedure and the rules of evidence;
  • Thorough knowledge of all facets of criminal law; including trial practice, motion practice, and appellate practice;
  • Knowledge of the criminal laws under the Code of Virginia and Fairfax County Code and the court decisions affecting the prosecution of those laws;
  • Ability to effectively and efficiently prosecute all major felonies;
  • Knowledge of legal research methods;
  • Ability to supervise and instruct lower level attorneys in all aspects of case preparation and trial performance;
  • Ability to present statements of fact, law and argument clearly and logically;
  • Ability to interview victims, witnesses and law enforcement to obtain the necessary information to prosecute criminal cases;
  • Ability to maintain an effective working relationship with associates, law enforcement officials, the judiciary and the general public;
  • Ability to represent the Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney in meetings with the judiciary, court personnel, police departments, defense bar, and citizens of Fairfax County.

Employment Standards

  • Must be an active member in good standing of the Virginia State Bar.
  • Any combination of education, training and experience equivalent to: Graduation from an accredited law school; plus four years of experience as an attorney in the practice of criminal law.

License to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia.


The ability to communicate effectively and professionally with law enforcement personnel, expert witnesses, 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 may be subject to a 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. 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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