Now Hiring! Legal Counsel and Regional Developmental Disabilities Ombuds

Legal Counsel and Regional Developmental Disabilities Ombuds
Full-time Position, based in Seattle, WA
Deadline for application: August 30, 2017

The Office of Developmental Disabilities Ombuds seeks an attorney committed to the rights of people with disabilities. In this position, the attorney will work part-time as Legal Counsel and part-time as a Regional Ombuds for the Office of Developmental Disabilities.

What is the Office of Developmental Disabilities Ombuds?
The DD Ombuds is a new program that delivers person centered, complaint-based ombuds services. An Ombuds helps people understand their rights and responsibilities and helps people solve their complaints about their services. The Ombuds addresses rights violations and issues of abuse and/or neglect. The DD Ombuds monitors services, reports concerns and makes recommendations to the state and the legislature.

An ideal candidate is an experienced attorney who wants the challenge of providing legal counsel to a new Ombuds program and delivering Ombuds services directly to people with developmental disabilities. As Legal Counsel to the State Ombuds, the attorney advises on legal issues related to Ombuds services, assists with WAC, protocol and procedure development, training and certifying Ombuds staff and volunteers, drafting publications and tools to collect data for reports and recommendations to the state and legislature. As Regional Ombuds in the King County area and north, the attorney works with a statewide team to deliver ombuds services directly to people with developmental disabilities.


Duties may include:

  • Create or revise Office of DD Ombuds service protocols;
  • Draft monitoring protocols and tools to meet the needs and requirements of the Office of DD Ombuds;
  • Review all reports and informational materials for legal accuracy;
  • Assist in the training and certifying of DD Ombuds volunteers;
  • Provide legal counsel to the State DD Ombuds;
  • Assist in developing confidentiality procedures;
  • Address any external interference with independence and authority of the DD Ombuds;
  • Deliver resident-directed, complaint-based, person-centered services;
  • Provides information on rights and responsibilities of persons receiving developmental disabilities services and/or other state services;
  • Monitor service delivery to persons with developmental disabilities;
  • Review state institutions, state licensed facilities and residences where services to persons with developmental disabilities occur;
  • Advocate to address rights violations and to protect people with disabilities from abuse and/or neglect;
  • Represent the Office of DD Ombuds and its clients and constituents at meetings with support and service providers;
  • Participate in the development of any recommendations for changes in procedures to state agencies, governor’s office and state legislature on the work of the ombuds and recommendations for person-centered and systemic system delivery changes; and
  • Act in compliance with DD Ombuds Contract Terms and Conditions.


Position requirements

  • Demonstrated knowledge of rules, regulations, policies, and certification requirements that relate to the provision of institutional and residential supports and services;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of medical issues related to abuse and neglect in institutional and residential settings;
  • Demonstrated skills in the areas of investigation, interviewing, legal research, case strategy, case review, administrative law, and advanced advocacy techniques;
  • Demonstrated ability to discuss a range of current issues facing the disability community including issues related to the disability delivery systems and disability law;
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively present information to a wide variety of audiences using a variety of media;
  • Demonstrated ability to facilitate meetings and discussions;
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain ethical and organizational standards;
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate a position well, respectfully consider other positions, and treat people of different positions and backgrounds with respect and dignity;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the disability service delivery systems and disability law;
  • Be free from conflicts of interest and not stand to gain financially through an action or potential action brought on behalf of individuals that the Office of Developmental Disabilities serve. Conflicts of interest spelled out in contract and include, but are not limited to, the following:

Employment by or participation in the management of any developmental disabilities service provider within the past year;
Employment in a governmental position with direct involvement in the licensing, certification, or regulation of developmental disabilities service providers or care facilities within the past year, and;
Any ownership or investment interest in developmental disabilities service providers or care facilities by DD Ombuds employee or by any member of the DD Ombuds employee’s immediate family within the past year.

  • Three years related work experience in an appropriate field (i.e., legal, social services, medical, or law enforcement);
  • Three years legal experience involving disability rights issues or public interest law; and
  • Law degree from an accredited law school and membership in the Washington State Bar.



Salary is $50,000+/year depending on experience. Position is full-time. Excellent health and dental coverage. Vacation days, sick days, holidays, a hiatus between Christmas and New Year’s, transit pass and other benefits.

The Legal Counsel/Regional Ombuds position is full time, permanent position located in downtown Seattle. Regular in-state travel and some night and weekend work required.

People with disabilities and people of color are encouraged to apply.

To apply
Email info@dr-wa.org with your resume, cover letter and two writing samples. In your letter, include brief thoughts about what you see as the greatest civil rights issue facing people with disabilities today. For your writing samples, include one legal writing and one journalistic sample.

The Office of the Developmental Disabilities Ombuds is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The Office of the Developmental Disabilities Ombuds encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, and veteran status.  

The Office of the Developmental Disabilities Ombuds, operated under contract with the Washington State Department of Commerce, is a project of Disability Rights Washington (DRW), a private non-profit organization that protects the rights of people with disabilities statewide. Our mission is to advance the dignity, equality, and self-determination of people with disabilities. We work to pursue justice on matters related to human and legal rights. More about DRW at http://www.disabilityrightswa.org/