Corporation Counsel

Application Deadline: 2023-07-31
Job Type: County
Job Description:

Jefferson County, Wisconsin, is seeking an experienced and highly motivated professional to serve as Jefferson County’s Corporation Counsel. This position will report directly to the County Administrator and will join a management team that is dedicated to providing best in class service to the citizens of Jefferson County. The person chosen for this position is the County’s chief legal advisor to the County Board; the County Administrator; and all County Board committees, commissions, boards, department heads, and staff.
Some of the most significant responsibilities are:
• Representing the County in various legal proceedings including ordinance prosecutions and providing legal opinions for elected officials and department heads.
• Assisting with civil process in property seizures, real estate tax foreclosures, and zoning enforcement.
• Addressing public records requests and inquiries and preparing public record responses according to State statute.
• Actively assisting in or negotiating a variety of contracts, including union labor contracts, as well as preparing bids and contracts for public works projects and for services rendered to the County.
• Defending claims against the County and recovering funds due to the County.
• Assisting in risk management responsibilities, working with County’s Liability and Workers Compensation Insurance Company and coordinating with outside counsel as needed.
• Supervising Assistant Corporation Counsels responsible for mental health commitments, guardianships, protective placements, cases for Temporary Physical Custody, Children in Need of Protection and Services, Termination of Parental Rights, and child support enforcement and general municipal law support to the county.
• This position may assist with other administrative responsibilities at the direction of the County Administrator.

The successful candidate will fulfill these duties within the framework of the County’s strategic plan, and in a manner that ensures achievement of excellence in public service.

Minimum Education and Experience:
Juris Doctor degree with five to eight years as a practicing attorney or legal experience as general counsel to successfully provide legal counsel and litigate at the County Government level. A License to Practice Law in the State of Wisconsin and a Certificate of Good Standing with the State Bar of Wisconsin is required. Ability to practice in Federal Court preferred.
Experience and knowledge ideally will include Zoning Enforcement and Land Use issues, Mental Health and Children’s Code found in Wisconsin State Statutes Chapter 51 and Chapter 48, Employment Relations, and/or General duties and responsibilities of public officials and employers and general municipal law. While not an expectation, experience leading or supervising staff is a positive attribute, as this position requires overseeing other professional and administrative staff.

Jefferson County is situated in southeastern Wisconsin, and is bordered by the counties of Dodge, Dane, Rock, Walworth, and Waukesha. Jefferson and its surrounding counties have a combined population of over 1.4 million people, which accounts for 24% of the state’s population. *

* United States Census Bureau. B01001 SEX BY AGE, 2021 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey Office. Web. 8 December 2022.

Our county covers a land area of 557 square miles, with an additional 25.73 square miles of water area, which includes five major rivers and 35 lakes. It is also comprised of 16 townships, 5 villages, and 6 cities including a portion of the cities of Waterloo, Watertown and Whitewater. The county seat is in the city of Jefferson, a city of approximately 7,757 residents. At the 2020 census, the County’s population was 84,489, a very modest 1% increase from 2010 to 2020.
Ideally situated between the metropolitan areas of Milwaukee and Madison, Jefferson County offers a pleasant mixture of urban and rural life. With easy access via the I-94 and I-90 highway system, the County is characterized by rich agricultural areas, thriving family-oriented communities, diversified manufacturing, and highly valued natural resource features. Fine dining and entertainment can be found throughout the County.
Jefferson County has many historic sites dating back to the early 1800’s. They reflect the rich history and architecture of the past. Historical sites of interest include: the famous Octagon House and America’s First Kindergarten in Watertown; the one-of-a-kind National Dairy Shrine and Hoard Historical Museum, the Panther Intaglio mound, and the Old Fort in Fort Atkinson; the archaeologically significant Indian Mounds and Trail County Park along Lake Koshkonong; the Jefferson Historical Museum; and the Aztalan Historical Museum adjacent to the Aztalan State Park. The Park itself showcases an ancient middle-Mississippian village and ceremonial complex that thrived between 1000-1300 A.D.
In the southeastern corner of the County, adjacent to Palmyra, you will find the northern portion of the Kettle Moraine State Forest – Southern Unit. Jefferson County hosts approximately 25 miles of the Glacial Drumlin Trail in an east-west direction in the center of the County, and approximately 35.5 miles of the Glacial River Trail in a north-south direction. Don’t overlook the countless local parks for family entertainment.

The 2023 annual salary range is $129,110 – $145,275, commensurate with successful candidate’s experience and qualifications.
Additionally, Jefferson County offers an excellent benefit package, with highlights below. Please scan the QR code below for a full listing of benefits and specific details of each plan.
• Health Insurance. Eligible employees currently have a choice between multiple insurance carriers through the Wisconsin Local Employers Health Program (“State” Plan). Depending on the plan selected, the County contributes between 92% and 65% of the total premium. In addition, the County currently funds a post-deductible Health Reimbursement Arrangement (H.R.A.).
• Health Insurance Opt-Out incentive is available for employees under another group health plan, other than the “State” plan.
• Dental Insurance. Jefferson County is self-funded for Dental Insurance coverage and currently offers it to eligible employees at no cost.
• Wisconsin Retirement System. 6.8% of earnings paid by County as a fringe benefit, with employees contributing an equal amount of 6.8% in 2023

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, a detailed resume and completed County application online or sent to:

To download a county application or for a full description of the position, please visit the County’s web site at Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Jefferson County is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Deadline Note: Applications will be accepted as long as position is posted with screening of applicants upon receipt.