City of Ames City Attorney in Ames, Iowa

City Attorney

Closing Date/Time:



Depends on Qualifications

Job Type:



515 Clark Avenue, Ames, IA, 50010, Iowa

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General Information


Supplemental Questions

The City of Ames is conducting a recruitment for the position of City Attorney. The City Attorney provides legal advice and services to the Mayor, City Council, City Manager, City Staff, Boards and Commissions, and, when available, to Mary Greeley Medical Center in matters related to operations, services, and activities of the municipality; drafts city ordinances, resolutions and other legislative documentation; reviews policies and procedures for compliance with legal requirements.

This position will be open until filled. A second review of applications will take place September 11, 2017.

To learn more about the city of Ames, please visit

Examples of Essential Job Functions:

Examples of Essential Job Functions: Under the direction of the Mayor and City Council, acts as legal advisor and counsel for the City of Ames and all officers of the city, including all boards and commissions as applicable; conducts legal research; advises city officials and staff concerning legality of operations, policies, procedures, and activities. Drafts ordinances, resolutions, and other documents for review and action by the Mayor and City Council; drafts other legal documents for City Staff and Mary Greeley Medical Center. Prepares opinions about questions of law regarding the interests of the City. Represents the City in general litigation matters; prosecutes and defends all suits and actions to be brought and pending in any court in the State of Iowa or United States; attends administrative hearings and other meetings to represent the City's position. Prepares and presents staff reports and other necessary correspondence. Follows City adopted policies and administrative processes, including but not limited to, personnel policies; purchasing policies; pay and classification systems; Civil Service practices and policies; and performance management, hiring, and budget processes. Under the direction of the City Manager's Office, assists in preparing and administering the annual budget for City's Legal Department. Supervises legal professional and support staff, and leads staff in implementing department and city-wide goals and objectives. Attends City Council meetings and provides legal advice and opinions.

Other Job Functions: Conducts special projects and research assigned by the Mayor, City Council, or City Manager. With approval of the City Council, may conduct special projects and research for Mary Greeley Medical Center and Boards and Commissions. May monitor the performance of legal work by outside counsel and assist outside counsel where appropriate. Performs related duties and responsibilities as required.

Excellence Through People: Each employee is expected to continually strive to bring shared values to life through our Excellence Through People organizational culture. ETP values include: committing to continuous improvement, inspiring creativity and innovation, being customer driven, making data-driven decisions, championing employee involvement, striving for excellence, having fiscal stewardship, acting with honesty and integrity, exhibiting leadership, choosing a positive attitude, respecting one another, promoting safety and wellness, and cultivating teamwork. For leaders, this includes creating a work culture that brings these values to life. For all employees, this includes maintaining a Total City Perspective. The purpose of ETP is to deliver exceptional services to the public at the best price, and for employees to experience an enjoyable and stimulating work environment.


Education and Experience: Graduation from an ABA-accredited law school with a Juris Doctorate degree and admission to practice in Iowa state courts, as well as federal courts, is required. Five years' experience in general legal practice with exposure to municipal or government law required. Experience in legal practice including litigation and negotiation, real estate, commercial and contract law is required.

Additional Requirements: Must reside within the city limits of Ames or be able to meet this requirement within a timeframe to be approved by the City Council.

Must pass a credit and background check.

Preferred Experience: Minimum of three years of experience in a management/supervisory capacity.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Knowledge of modern and complex principles and practices of criminal, constitutional, municipal, human resources, labor relations, and contract law; methods and techniques of legal research; courtroom procedures; principles of legal and business letter writing and report preparation; English usage, spelling, grammar and punctuation; pertinent Federal, State, and local laws, codes and regulations. Ability to organize, interpret and apply legal principles and knowledge of legal problems; present statements of law and fact clearly and logically; prepare clear and concise legal position papers; conduct research on legal problems and prepare sound legal opinions; gain cooperation through discussion and persuasion; properly interpret and make decisions in accordance with laws, regulations and policies; communicate concisely and clearly both orally and in writing; establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in course of work; make sound decisions and use good judgment, determine the appropriate approach to use for lawsuits, and demonstration of intellectual capabilities. Ability to plan and supervise the work of a professional staff. Ability to understand and follow oral and/or written policies, procedures, and instructions.

Supplemental Information:

Examples of Equipment Used on the Job: Operates assigned equipment.

Physical And Environmental Characteristics: General Physical Characteristics: The work involves sitting 85 percent of the time; standing and walking 15 percent of the time; frequently lifting objects under 10 pounds; infrequently lifting objects from 10 to 25 pounds; and infrequently lifting objects from 25 to 50 pounds.

Vision Requirements: The minimum standard for use with those whose work deals largely with preparing and analyzing data and figures, accounting, transcription, computer terminal, extensive reading, visual inspection involving small defects or parts, use of measurement devices, or assembly of parts at distances close to the eyes.

Required Physical Activities: Climbing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, reaching, standing, walking, lifting, finger dexterity, grasping, talking, and hearing. Environmental Conditions: The work is performed inside and occasionally outside and occasionally includes being exposed to noise and/or vibration.

Selection Process: The selection process consists of an evaluation of education and experience, a phone interview, completion of a hiring assessment tool, and an on-site interview process. The on-site interview process will consist of small group meetings with current City Council Members, oral board interview, a meeting with City department heads, a meet and greet with Legal department staff, a public presentation, an oral interview with the City Council, and a community tour. Candidates will be asked to confirm in writing their preference for an open/closed meeting with the City Council. It is anticipated that the on-site process will take a day and a half to complete.

As previously stated, the selection process will also include a complete reference, credit and background check. The background check includes a criminal background check, a sex offender registry check, and physical. All candidates will be notified by email of their application status.

E-Verify Process: The City of Ames participates in E-Verify and will provide the Social Security Administration (SSA) and, if necessary, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with information from each applicant's Form I-9 to confirm work authorization. All candidates who are offered a position with the City of Ames must complete Section 1 of Form I-9 along with the required proof of their right to work in the United States and proof of their identity prior to starting employment. Please be prepared to provide required documents as soon as possible after the job offer has been made. For additional information regarding acceptable documents for this purpose, please contact Human Resources at 515-239-5199 or go to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services web page at:

NOTE: Persons with disabilities must submit requests for ADA testing accommodations to the Human Resources Department prior to the application deadline.

The City of Ames is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, marital status, disability, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against. Inquiries can be directed to the Human Resources Department at 515-239-5199.