Job Posting: Staff Counsel

Department of Food & Agriculture

Staff Counsel

$7,737.00 - $11,173.00 per Month

Final Filing Date: Until Filled

Job Description and Duties

This is a re-advertisement. The Final Filing Date has been extended to 04/29/2024. Applications submitted previously are still being considered.

Per CCR 249.3, this job control may be used to fill subsequent vacancies.

The Legal Office is recruiting to fill one (1), limited-term, Attorney position located in Sacramento.

This is a 12-month, limited-term position, which may be extended to a maximum of 24-months or may become permanent.

Under the direction of the Deputy Secretary for Legal Affairs (Chief Counsel), the Attorney performs complex legal assignments; provides legal counsel and representation to the Executive Office; policy review, research, and expertise to the Division Directors; review Public Records Act requests for necessary redactions when necessary; serves as a legal advisor; represents the Department in administrative appeals, informal and formal hearings, and complex due process issues; and evaluates credible threats of litigation and advises as to the risk of potential litigation and probable outcome, as well as alternative paths to minimize the damage from litigations.

The Attorney will primarily serve as Staff Counsel for the Department’s Marketing Services Division, which includes the Fairs & Exposition Branch (F&E) and the 52 DAAs, and if necessary, at the discretion of the Chief Counsel, the Attorney may be asked to provide services to other Departmental divisions or programs.

Candidates may perform these essential functions with or without reasonable accommodation.


You will find additional information about the job in the Duty Statement.

Working Conditions

The duties of this job are performed indoors approximately 85 – 90 percent of the time. The employee’s worksite is located inside an office equipped with standard office equipment (computer, desk, chair, telephone, etc.). Consistent with requirements under the Unit 2 Memorandum of Understanding, state personnel rules and Departmental policies, the Attorney will be provided with a dedicated office if they work in-person more than 50 percent of the week, and either will have use of a hoteling space or dedicated office (if available) if they work remotely the majority of the time.

Travel is required in this position 10-30 percent of the time to attend DAA board meetings, and occasionally marketing program board meetings; also, to interact in person with board members, CEOs, and other interested parties.

Administrative hearings, regulatory hearings, various other hearings and meetings are typically held in locations outside of the headquarters office (1220 N Street, Sacramento) and as Staff Counsel, may be required to travel to locations in California by various means of transportation.

Regular or recurring telework may occur as part of the incumbent’s ongoing regular schedule in accordance with the Department’s Telework Policy.

Email, telephone calls and videocalls will be the primary vehicles to provide assistance and guidance.

The duties of this job also require the employee to operate various office equipment such as computers, photocopiers, scanners, and fax machines, etc.

The noise level in the work environment is normal. The temperature fluctuates moderately.

Minimum Requirements

You will find the Minimum Requirements in the Class Specification.

Position Details

Job Code #:
Position #(s):
Working Title:
Staff Counsel
$7,737.00 - $9,730.00 A
$8,708.00 - $11,173.00 B
# of Positions:
Work Location:
Sacramento County
Job Type:
12 Month Limited Term - Full Time

Department Information

The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Legal Office advises and represents the Department on a wide range of issues; supports the development and implementation of the Department’s programs by providing legal services to the Secretary, Executive Office, nine Divisions, and the 52 District Agricultural Associations (DAAs); and directs the State Attorney General in representing the Department and DAAs in litigation matters.

Special Requirements

Candidates are required to submit an SOQ. The SOQ is a narrative discussion of how the candidate’s education, training, experience, and skills relate to the primary duties of this position. The SOQ should be typed in 12-point Arial font. Please clearly state on your document “Statement of Qualifications.” Applications received without an SOQ will be rejected. In lieu of responding to this SOQ, you may submit a cover letter instead.


1. Why are you interested in this position at CDFA?

Application Instructions

Dates printed on Mobile Bar Codes, such as the Quick Response (QR) Codes available at the USPS, are not considered Postmark dates for the purpose of determining timely filing of an application.

Final Filing Date: Until Filled

Who May Apply

Individuals who are currently in the classification, eligible for lateral transfer, eligible for reinstatement, have list eligibility, are in the process of obtaining list eligibility, or have SROA and/or Surplus eligibility (please attach your letter, if available). SROA and Surplus candidates are given priority; therefore, individuals with other eligibility may be considered in the event no SROA or Surplus candidates apply.

Applications will be screened and only the most qualified applicants will be selected to move forward in the selection process.
Applicants must meet the Minimum Qualifications stated in the Classification Specification(s).

How To Apply

Complete Application Packages (including your Examination/Employment Application (STD 678) and applicable or required documents) must be submitted to apply for this Job Posting. Application Packages may be submitted electronically through your CalCareer Account at When submitting your application in hard copy, a completed copy of the Application Package listing must be included. If you choose to not apply electronically, a hard copy application package may be submitted through an alternative method listed below:

Address for Mailing Application Packages

You may submit your application and any applicable or required documents to:

Department of Food & Agriculture
Attn: Human Resources Branch JC-405266
1220 N Street, Room 242
Sacramento, CA 95814

Address for Drop-Off Application Packages

You may drop off your application and any applicable or required documents at:

Department of Food & Agriculture
Human Resources Branch JC-405266
1220 N Street, Room 242
Sacramento, CA 95814
ELECTRONIC APPLICATION IS PREFERRED. All mail or drop-off applications must include JC-405266
08:00 AM - 05:00 PM

Required Application Package Documents

The following items are required to be submitted with your application. Applicants who do not submit the required items timely may not be considered for this job:

  • Current version of the State Examination/Employment Application STD Form 678 (when not applying electronically), or the Electronic State Employment Application through your Applicant Account at All Experience and Education relating to the Minimum Qualifications listed on the Classification Specification should be included to demonstrate how you meet the Minimum Qualifications for the position.
  • Resume is required and must be included.
  • Other - Cover Letter
  • Statement of Qualifications -

    A completed Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) must be submitted with your State Application to be considered. The SOQ must follow the specifics as stated in the “Special Requirements” section.

Applicants requiring reasonable accommodations for the hiring interview process must request the necessary accommodations if scheduled for a hiring interview. The request should be made at the time of contact to schedule the interview. Questions regarding reasonable accommodations may be directed to the EEO contact listed on this job posting.


Benefit information can be found on the CalHR website and the CalPERS website.

Contact Information

The Hiring Unit Contact is available to answer questions regarding the position or application process.

Hiring Unit Contact:
Mor Saetern
(916) 403-6881

Please direct requests for Reasonable Accommodations to the interview scheduler at the time the interview is being scheduled. You may direct any additional questions regarding Reasonable Accommodations or Equal Employment Opportunity for this position(s) to the Department's EEO Office.

EEO Contact:
Office of Civil Rights
(916) 654-1005
California Relay Service: 1-800-735-2929 (TTY), 1-800-735-2922 (Voice) TTY is a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf, and is reachable only from phones equipped with a TTY Device.

Hard Copy Applications:

If you are dropping off or mailing in your application, please use the Examination/Employment Application, STD 678 Revised 10/2023 version.

Additional Information:

Please do not include any confidential information such as social security number, marital status, ethnicity, age, salary or disability information on any of the documentation uploaded with your online application.

If the classification you are applying for has an education requirement, transcripts will be required to verify you meet the minimum qualifications of the classification.

Please be sure to redact any confidential information before uploading your transcripts.

Upon hire you may be required to provide official sealed transcripts or an original degree or certificate.

Applicants with foreign degrees may be asked to provide an official foreign transcript evaluation which indicates course work is equivalent to a degree from an accredited U.S. College or University.

This position may require a medical clearance.

Alternate Classifications and Training and Development assignments may be considered.

Equal Opportunity Employer

The State of California is an equal opportunity employer to all, regardless of age, ancestry, color, disability (mental and physical), exercising the right to family care and medical leave, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, military or veteran status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religious creed, sex (includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and related medical conditions), and sexual orientation.

It is an objective of the State of California to achieve a drug-free work place. Any applicant for state employment will be expected to behave in accordance with this objective because the use of illegal drugs is inconsistent with the law of the State, the rules governing Civil Service, and the special trust placed in public servants.