Deputy City Solicitor - Affirmative and Special Litigation Unit

  • Full-time

Company Description

A best-in-class city that attracts best-in-class talent, Philadelphia is an incredible place to build a career. From our thriving arts scene and rich history to our culture of passion and grit, there are countless reasons to love living and working here. With a workforce of over 30,000 people, and more than 1,000 different job categories, the City of Philadelphia offers boundless opportunities to make an impact.

As an employer, the City of Philadelphia values inclusion, integrity, innovation, empowerment, and hard work above all else. We offer a vibrant work environment, comprehensive health care and benefits, and the experience you need to grow and excel. If you’re interested in working with a passionate team of people who care about the future of Philadelphia, start here.

What we offer

  • Impact - The work you do here matters to millions. 
  • Growth - Philadelphia is growing, why not grow with it? 
  • Diversity & Inclusion - Find a career in a place where everyone belongs.
  • Benefits - We care about your well-being.

Agency Description

The Law Department's civil practice includes unique issues involving public interest. Our lawyers help chart the course for the City in business, health, safety, commerce, civil rights, taxation, and community development. The Litigation Group includes the Affirmative & General Litigations Unit, Civil Rights Unit, Claims Unit, Code Enforcement Unit, Labor & Employment Unit and Appeals Unit.

The Affirmative & Special Litigation Unit of the Law Department represents the City and its officials in all commercial and property-related litigation, as well as cases involving challenges to City powers and ordinances, election laws, Title II of the ADA, pensions issues, and certain state and federal constitutional claims.  The Unit also develops and asserts affirmative claims on behalf of the City, sometimes working with outside counsel, and particularly in furtherance of public policy objectives.  The Unit additionally provides proactive legal advice and prelitigation counseling (including alternative dispute resolution) to numerous City clients, including Health, Streets, the City Commissioners, Public Property, Parks and Recreation, and Pensions.  The Unit’s cases are filed in both the federal and state courts, including the Commerce Court division of the Court of Common Pleas.  Cases frequently involve requests for class certification or preliminary injunctive relief, and may involve high monetary exposure and/or significant ramifications for the City and its residents.

Job Description

The position of Deputy City Solicitor of the Affirmative & Special Litigation Unit requires an attorney experienced in commercial and complex litigation matters capable of managing and handling individual cases on their own, being a key team member on the Unit’s most significant cases, and advising the Unit’s many clients on litigation and settlement issues and strategies. In addition, the Deputy City Solicitor is expected to execute on opportunities identified by Unit and Law Department leadership to advance the City’s interests and improve and expand the work of the Law Department and the Unit.  This work includes developing affirmative suits and other innovative approaches to furthering the City’s goals.  And Unit members are expected to work collaboratively with other Unit and Law Department colleagues on all matters in a manner that reflects the Law Department’s focus on fostering and maintaining a collegial, inclusive, and professional environment that values all forms of diversity.

Essential Functions

In addition to the Position Summary, primary responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Appearing in federal and state courts in significant cases and for settlement conferences before judges and mediators in cases where the City’s potential liability is substantial.
  • Developing potential opportunities for affirmative litigation, particularly cases with the potential to advance City public policy objectives.
  • Providing proactive legal counseling to internal clients.
  • Researching and drafting all manner of legal issues, filings and litigation documents for Unit cases and projects. 
  • Participating in case and settlement strategy in major and minor cases.
  • Fostering and maintaining a collegial, inclusive, and professional environment that values all forms of diversity.
  • Participating in external efforts to raise the profile of the Unit and the Law Department.
  • Managing non-litigation driven projects.

Competencies, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules and process
  • Ability to analyze large amounts of information, determine relevant facts, and propose viable solutions.
  • Ability to find what applicable laws and regulations apply to a specific matter.
  • Ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand. Must be able to clearly present and explain their case to arbitrators, mediators, opposing parties, judges, or juries and listen, answer questions, present to large groups and high-level officials and employ diplomacy in challenging situations.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to work on teams and collaborate with colleagues and clients
  • Commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. 
  • Excellent research and writing skills.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills with a demonstrated ability to identify and analyze legal issues within complex fact patterns.
  • Ability to use computer programs such as PowerPoint or MS Office.
  • Ability to effectively communicate complex rules and procedures to the public and to businesses.


  • Knowledge of applicable laws, rules, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, and executive orders
  • Excellent case management, negotiating, and trial skills.
  • Ability to support and supervise a team of attorneys and professional staff.
  • Ability to foster and maintain a collegial, inclusive, and professional work environment.
  • Ability to communicate information and ideas in writing and orally so others will understand.
  • Ability to train professional legal staff as well as non-legal staff on applicable legal requirements.
  • Excellent judgment and critical thinking in high-pressure situations.
  • The ideal candidate will have at least 5 to 10 years of civil litigation experience.

Additional Information

TO APPLY: Interested candidates must submit a cover letter, writing samples, references and resume.

Salary Range: $76,000 - $85,000

Did you know?

  • We are a Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program qualified employer
  • 25% tuition discount program for City employees (and sometimes spouses and dependents as well) in partnership with area colleges and universities
  • We offer Comprehensive health coverage for employees and their eligible dependents
  • Our wellness program offers eligibility into the discounted medical plan
  • Employees receive paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays
  • Generous retirement savings options are available

*The successful candidate must be a city of Philadelphia resident within six months of hire

Please note that effective September 1, 2021 the City of Philadelphia is requiring all new employees to present proof of vaccination against COVID-19. 

The City of Philadelphia is an Equal Opportunity employer and does not permit discrimination based on race, ethnicity, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, marital status, source of income, familial status, genetic information or domestic or sexual violence victim status. If you believe you were discriminated against, call the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations at 215-686-4670 or send an email to [email protected].

For more information, go to: Human Relations Website: