City Attorney

The City of Portsmouth's City Attorney is responsible for department level management of the City’s Legal Department; providing legal counsel, representation, advocacy and reconciliation services for the City as embodied by its City Council, City Manager, the City’s political subdivisions and utilities, boards, committees, commissions, charter departments and all other departments and operating units of the City.

A candidate for this position works under the administrative direction of the City Manager, rendering legal services to all City Departments.  Incumbent would establish objectives, own performance standards and assumes direct accountability for department results; consults with City Manager regarding clarification, interpretation, or exception to municipal policy; develops and administers departmental policies, goals, objectives and budget and resolves department and City-wide conflicts.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

1. Advises client representatives regarding legal interpretation, principles and applicable law pertaining to pending matters so their decisions and actions may be judged as consistent with legal precedent, within the scope of their allocated authority and legally prudent. Recommends courses of conduct within this context to assist in accomplishing policy, legislative and administrative objectives.

2. Attends and speaks on behalf of the client, City of Portsmouth, in forums where City conduct is subject to legal review. Instruct client representatives regarding the critical legal nature of their positions, opinions, available alternatives, decisions, and actions. Gives and promotes the position taken by the City.

3. Researches and prepares legal opinions which have the force of law until altered by a higher legal authority. Facilitates the convergence of officials’ diverse opinions.

4. Researches, prepares, negotiates and may authorize contracts, agreements, letters or memorandums of understanding and other documents which embody the intent and understanding of the parties.

5. Maintains a current knowledge of or access to applicable law, codes, regulations or precedent by maintaining and having access to working libraries of relevant print, electronic media and other source materials.

6. Prepares and manages the legal department’s annual operating budget.

7. Determines the necessity of retaining outside counsel; supervises performance and billing of such services.

8. Organizes and provides access for those with a need to know to issue legal opinions.

9. Retains, delegates to, supervises and directs the work of subordinate staff.

10. Performs such other duties and responsibilities as may be required from time to time to advise and represent the various City officials, the School Department, Police Department, employees, Council, Commissions, Boards and other entities.



A candidate for this position must have a Juris Doctor Degree and at least five (5) years actual practice of law in the State of New Hampshire.  Municipal legal advice and representation is a plus.

At least three (3) years concentrating on the representation of municipalities and municipal officials. 

A candidate must have a Juris Doctorate license to practice law in the state and federal courts, a valid driver’s license, and the ability to be bonded by an insurance carrier required.

For the full job description and to apply:




City of Portsmouth
Close Date: 
Thursday, June 30, 2022
Salary range: $105,027.43 - $127,661.50