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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 422S
Category: Legal Services


Independently performs advanced, professional legal work in the Department of Financial Institutions under the laws regulating financial institutions, financial services companies, and issuers. 

Distinguishing Characteristics

This is the advanced level of the class series, where incumbents perform the most complex, highest risk, and politically sensitive work.  Recommends actions and makes policy decisions on difficult substantive and procedural issues.

Complex work, for the purpose of this class series, generally means:

  1.  Work having a high degree of political sensitivity;
  2. Work in which a mistake could have a high cost to the agency and to the public; or
  3. Work involving novel issues requiring the exercise of a high degree of judgment or the development of regulatory policy and practice or of new legal theories; or
  4. Work relating to problem institutions. 

Work is complex when it includes:

  1. Setting significant regulatory policy or creating legal precedent in evolving areas of the law;
  2. Handling matters requiring a comprehensive knowledge of the financial services industry, the various state and federal laws and rules of self-regulatory organizations that regulate it and their interrelationship, the law of related areas such as real estate or insurance, and administrative law and practice or state and federal criminal law and procedure;
  3. Performing legal analysis and case preparation, developing of case strategy, negotiating settlements or conditions, or engaging in trial or hearing practice in matters involving multiple parties or the application of multiple regulatory schemes;
  4. Achieving resolutions to situations with troubled institutions or issuers, including those complex capital structures, balancing the competing claims of different interested persons or groups of persons; or
  5. Directing or coordinating joint regulatory or investigative efforts with one or more state or federal agency.

Typical Work



Communications: Concise and effective interactions between other individuals as well as internal and external organizations. Communications includes an intermediate level of competency for media relations; and, accomplished levels of competency in listening, presentation, oral, written, and facilitation skills.


Self or life management: Accomplished levels of competency are required for ethics, assertiveness, stress management, time management, and personal presentation. 


Interpersonal Skills: Individual and group dealings require an intermediate level of competency for networking; and, accomplished levels of competency are required for conflict management, teamwork, diplomacy, diversity, partnering; and negotiating and influencing.


Leadership: Providing direction and guidance to others as well as facilitating structure and teamwork. An intermediate level of competency is required for political savvy; and, accomplished levels of competency are required in team building, decisiveness, internal change management, and coaching. 


Organizational: Planning, evaluation, and understanding the parameters in which the organization operates as well as the factors which impact the organization. A basic level of competency is required for strategic planning; intermediate levels of competency are required for vision and performance measurement and improvement; and, accomplished levels of competency are required for organizational awareness, external awareness, and customer focus.


Management: Basic levels of competency are required for financial management and human resources management; and, accomplished levels of competency are required for technology management, process management, analytical thinking, creative thinking and problem solving.


Stakeholder communication and development: An intermediate level of competency is required for outreach; and accomplished levels of competency are required to determine needs analysis, service delivery, message development, and product knowledge.



Legal Analysis/Drafting.  An intermediate level of competency is required for applying financial analysis and accounting principles in a registration or enforcement context.  An accomplished level of competency is required for the following:  Performs the most complex, highest risk, and politically sensitive legal work, legal analysis, and interpretation; Drafts legal pleadings, interpretive letters, agreements, memoranda and briefs; Makes policy decisions on difficult substantive and procedural issues; Analyzes suitability of various available remedies for complex or substantive cases, selects appropriate forms of action or combination of actions (administrative, civil, or criminal), and drafts effective remedy provisions; Effectively applies the factors to be considered in determining whether to refer a case to state or federal prosecutors; Effectively apply disclosure standards in registration and enforcement contexts; Performs legislative drafting including the drafting of rules; Conducts legal research including computerized legal research; Keeps current on state and federal legislation, case law, and administrative pronouncements applying to a variety of subject matters including mail fraud, wire fraud, privacy, sentencing guidelines, bank fraud, conspiracy, insurance, healthcare, federal taxation, RICO, pension law, forfeiture, bankruptcy, money laundering, and search and seizure; Acts as subject matter expert for a particular area.


Case and File Management.  An accomplished level of competency is required for the following: 

Develops effective investigative plans and implements or manages the implementation of the plans; Leads an investigative team effectively on a complex case; Responsible for the most complex cases, Carries a large file load or case load and maintains progress on a number of matters simultaneously; Conducts and manages investigations of complex investment fraud and registration violations effectively; Conducts effective interviews with witnesses and targets in politically sensitive situations; Coordinates licensing and registration activities with enforcement activities effectively; Manages litigation involving a substantial volume of documentary evidence;; Selects the appropriate technology for case management, litigation support, and visual aids and uses it effectively; Works with various internal and external databases, and databases of other state agencies to which DFI has access.


Representation and Negotiation.  An accomplished level of competency is required for the following:  

Negotiates effective and timely settlement of registration issues and enforcement cases; Demonstrates skill at taking depositions: making a good record, covering relevant topics, and dealing effectively with opposing counsel; Presents testimony (including expert testimony), documentary evidence, and demonstrative evidence in a hearing or trial; Works with prosecutors and law enforcement to obtain evidence, and makes appropriate recommendations on appropriate use of search warrants, grand jury subpoenas, and inquiry court; Recommends charging decisions including substantive crimes to charge (particularly crimes relating to white collar crime, including theft, money laundering, conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, perjury, false swearing, false filing, forgery as well as securities law violations), selection of victims, and whether to charge accomplices and co-conspirators or to grant immunity to them; Makes effective presentations to targets and their attorneys of results of investigation as a part of negotiations in a criminal case; Acts as special deputy prosecuting attorney when appointed in a criminal case; Acts as a special assistant attorney general when appointed in an administrative or civil case; Acts as a special assistant United States Attorney when appointed in a criminal case; Works effectively with other state regulators in a coordinated review process; Acts as lead state representative in a coordinated review, conveying comments and negotiating on behalf of all states involved in the review; Works effectively with other state or federal regulators on projects of national scope, such as, the drafting of uniform rules or legislation, meeting with industry representatives, and responding to public comments, or organizing a task force to conduct a nationwide examination or enforcement sweep; Writes effective reports; Conducts outreach or technical assistance sessions with registrants or potential registrants; Works effectively with staff of other agencies on various matters and task forces.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of:   division specific statutes and related regulations; the case law relating to our statutes as well as the relationship of those statutes and related regulations to uniform legislation or model rules and to federal statutes and regulations and the statutes and regulations of other states; state and federal laws relating to investments and the financial services industry; understand of the roles of state and federal regulators and of self-regulatory organizations in enforcing the laws governing the financial services industry; administrative law and procedure  (including adjudicative proceedings, rulemaking, and regulatory fairness); the law of evidence, including knowledge of the state and federal rules of evidence, law and procedure relating to obtaining and authenticating foreign records, procedural requirements relating to use of certain evidence, effectively make and meet objections at hearing or trial; criminal law and procedure, state and federal and state and federal sentencing schemes as well as the mechanics of the sentencing process; civil procedure; appellate practice and procedure especially with regard to amicus practice; understanding of business structures, laws relating to the formation and governance of various business structures, and business practices; constitutional law, including the law relating to due process, search and seizure, and the relationship of the states to the federal government; public disclosure law; understanding of the securities industry, its structure and practices, and, familiarity with recent federal legislation relating to the financial services industry including the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act, the Privacy Protection Act, the Electronic Communication Privacy Act,  the Financial Services Anti-fraud Act of 2001, Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998,  National Securities Markets Improvement Act of 1996, and Private Securities Litigation Act of 1995.

Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.

Desirable Qualifications

Graduation from an accredited law school and membership in the Washington State Bar Association.




Four years of experience as a deputy or prosecuting attorney, an assistant attorney general or in public or private practice involving banking law, consumer finance law or consumer protection law, securities, corporate law or trial procedures.


Note:  "Financial institution or financial services company or issuer" includes commercial banks, alien banks, trust companies and departments, savings banks, saving and loan associations, credit unions, credit union service organizations, consumer loan companies, mortgage brokers, escrow agents, check cashers, and check sellers, securities broker-dealers, investment advisers; issuers of securities, franchises, business opportunities, commodity investments; or other persons or entities regulated by Department of Financial Institutions and their holding companies, subsidiaries, and other affiliates.

Class Specification History

New class adopted November 9, 2001.
Revise class. Revises class code (formerly 47385), general revision; adopted May 10, 2007, effective July 1, 2007.