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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 422R
Category: Legal Services


Independently performs 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 independent level of the class series, where incumbents perform more complex work.  Recommends action on matters using judgment when established standards are not adequate to determine the appropriate resolution of the matter.


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:


a.     Setting significant regulatory policy or creating legal precedent in evolving areas of the law;

b.    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;

c.     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;

d.    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

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 intermediate levels of competency for facilitation and media relations; and, accomplished levels of competency in listening, presentation, oral, and written skills.


Self or life management: An intermediate level of competency is required for stress management; and, accomplished levels of competency in ethics, assertiveness, time management, and personal presentation. 


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


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


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; and, intermediate levels of competency are required for vision, organizational awareness, external awareness, performance measurement and improvement, and customer focus.


Management: Intermediate levels of competency are required for technology and process management; and, accomplished levels of competency in analytical thinking, creative thinking and problem solving.


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




Legal Analysis/Drafting.  An intermediate level of competency is required for the following:  

Independently performs professional legal work; Applies financial analysis and accounting principles in a registration or enforcement context; Analyzes suitability of various available remedies for a particular case, selects an appropriate form 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; Performs legislative drafting including the drafting of rules; Keeps up to date 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; May act as subject matter expert for a particular area. 


An accomplished level of competency is required for the following tasks:   Performs legal analysis and interpretation; Drafts legal pleadings, interpretive letters, agreements, memoranda and briefs; Effectively applies disclosure standards in registration and enforcement contexts; Conducts legal research including computerized legal research.


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

Leads an investigative team effectively on a complex case; Selects appropriate technology for case management, litigation support, and visual aids and uses it effectively.  An accomplished level of competency is required for the following:  Develops an effective investigative plan and implements or supervises the implementation of that plan; Responsible for a large file load or case load and maintains progress on a number of matters simultaneously; Conducts and manages investigations of investment fraud and registration violations effectively; Conducts effective interviews with witnesses and targets; Coordinates licensing and registration activities with enforcement activities effectively; Manages litigation involving a substantial volume of documentary evidence; Works with various internal and external databases and databases of other state agencies to which DFI has access.


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

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; or, Conducts effective outreach or technical assistance sessions with registrants or potential registrants; May act as special deputy prosecuting attorney when appointed in a criminal case; May act as a special assistant United States Attorney when appointed in a criminal case.  An accomplished level of competency is required for the following:  Uses negotiation skills to achieve 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; Effectively presents testimony (including expert testimony), documentary evidence, and demonstrative evidence in a hearing or trial; Works effectively with prosecutors and law enforcement to obtain evidence, and to make 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 a special assistant attorney general when appointed in an administrative or civil case; Works effectively with other state regulators in a coordinated review process; Writes effective reports; Works effectively with staff of other agencies on various matters and task forces; May acts as lead state representative in a coordinated review, conveying comments and negotiating on behalf of all states involved in the review. 

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.




Two 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 effective December 15, 1978.
Revise class. Revises minimum qualifications; adopted April 13, 1979.
Revise class. Revises definition, minimum qualifications, adds distinguishing characteristics; adopted October 13, 1989.
Revise class. Revises definition, distinguishing characteristic, minimum qualifications; adopted November 9, 2001.
Revise class. Revises class code (formerly 47380), general revision; adopted May 10, 2007, effective July 1, 2007.