Staff Attorney – Return Utah

State of Utah

Full Job Description
Job Description

The State of Utah Department of Commerce is hiring a Staff Attorney to participate in the Return Utah Program, for The Office of the Property Rights Ombudsman. If you are experienced in property law, land use law, eminent domain, or mediation, have worked as an attorney in one of these or a closely related area, and have been on a career break for two or more years, we invite you to apply.

The Return Utah program is similar to an internship designed for adults looking to re-enter the workforce after an extended absence. These opportunities are structured as return-to-work positions that provide the experience, training, skills, and mentoring an individual needs to return to the workforce.

Return Utah is a 16-week program for people who have taken a career break for at least two years or more for reasons such as starting or raising a family, caring for a family member, chronic illness, enhanced education, other personal/career related needs, etc. Those serving, separated, or retired from military service and their spouses and/or partners are not required to meet the two-year requirement. A career break of any length makes them eligible to participate in the program.

This is a part-time, experience-only Return Utah opportunity that does not provide benefits. Please note, that while we will provide access to resources that will enable you to explore further employment opportunities, your participation does not guarantee employment with the State of Utah upon conclusion of the program.

To be eligible for this return-to-work opportunity, candidates must:
Be on a career break of two or more years at time of application unless currently serving, recently separated, retired from military service, or supporting a military spouse/partner.
Have prior professional experience in functional area of interest

**The anticipated start date for this opportunity is 9/6/2022, and will require the successful candidate to work 20 hours per week, with possible telework opportunities.

In this position you will assist members of the public and government officials in understanding and complying with property rights laws. Your duties will be adjusted to meet the current needs of the office and your skills and interests, but may include the following:
Advising citizens and government officials on property rights and land use related matters in person, by email, and over the telephone.
Researching and drafting Advisory Opinions.
Participating with office attorneys in mediations, arbitrations, and other forms of dispute resolution.
Preparing and conducting presentations and trainings on property rights related matters.
Drafting informal opinions, arbitration decisions, research memos, pamphlets/brochures/information guides, web page content, etc., to assist the public in understanding and protecting property rights.
Maintaining strict neutrality and the appearance of neutrality in all actions.
Continuously developing and maintaining expertise in takings, eminent domain, and land use law.

Our model candidate will have:
Property law experience.
Mediation and dispute resolution experience.
Exceptional legal research and writing skills.
Excellent communication skills, including presenting.
Teamwork and collaboration skills.
The ability to be persuasive, verbally and in writing.

Preferences may be given to applicants with the following:
Land use law experience.
Eminent domain law experience.
Experience representing a government agency or entity, and/or land developer.

The Office of the Property Rights Ombudsman is a neutral, non-partisan agency that helps citizens understand and protect their rights to property ownership and use. To learn more, please visit our website.

The Department of Commerce is the licensing and registration agency for Utah’s professional and business community. We provide oversight of business registrations, trademarks, Uniform Commercial Code filings, professional licensing, consumer protection, public utilities, securities, real estate and residential mortgage lending. We respond to consumer complaints within our areas of jurisdiction.
You can learn more about the agency by visiting the website.


Typical Qualifications
(Includes knowledge, skills, and abilities required upon entry into position and trainable after entry into position)

A Juris Doctorate is required.
An active membership in good standing in the Utah State Bar is preferred.
Valid driver license required to drive a motor vehicle on a highway in this state per UCA53-3-202(1)(a).
Knowledge of principles of land use law, takings law, and eminent domain law.
Knowledge of principles of real property law.
Outstanding writing skills.
Outstanding legal research and reasoning skills.
Outstanding interpersonal communication skills, including the ability to show sensitivity, tact and professionalism.
Mediation training or experience.
The ability to prepare and give effective public presentations and seminars.
The ability to communicate effectively by telephone.
The ability to communicate with difficult people.
The ability to manage a heavy caseload, and assist in other activities as needed to help run a small state office.
The ability to approach disputes free from bias and to arrive at fair conclusions supported by the rule of law.
The ability to diffuse interpersonal tension in controversial or contentious matters.

Supplemental Information

Job Classification: Legal/enforcement Counsel III (#85012).

To apply for this job please visit