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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 422P
Category: Legal Services

Class Series Concept

The Financial Legal Examiner is a professional legal series. Positions in this series work as subject matter specialists in the law and practices of the financial services industry. The work includes the performance of professional legal work for the Department of Financial Institutions under the laws regulating financial institutions, financial services companies and issuers involved with investigation, examination or application processes.  The work also includes development of regulatory policy. 


Department of Financial Institutions Competencies

The Department of Financial Institutions competency framework identifies and defines the professional, business, and technical skills required for each class in the series.  The professional and business competencies incorporate communication, personal management, interpersonal, leadership, organizational, management, and stakeholder skills. 


Ÿ   A basic level of competency requires the incumbent to know general terms, concepts, processes, and objectives of the competency and be able to apply the competency to common tasks. 

Ÿ   An intermediate level of competency requires the incumbent to be able to apply the competency consistently to perform common tasks. 

Ÿ   An accomplished level of competency requires the incumbent to be able to use the competency consistently to perform complex tasks requiring creativity and judgment.


Required competency levels are applied to the technical requirements of a class in that an incumbent must be able to perform a specific task with a basic understanding and achievement, or intermediate level of achievement, or accomplished level of achievement.  These competencies exemplify the level of work required as described in the definition, distinguishing characteristics, and typical duties on the class specifications.


These competencies are intended to a) provide supporting information for allocation decisions, b) provide guidance for career development planning, c) provide a framework for performance expectations and d) provide common elements for selection.


This series is written so that each higher level incorporates the previous level.


Under immediate supervision, performs professional legal work for the Department of Financial Institutions under the laws regulating financial institutions and financial services companies or issuers.

Distinguishing Characteristics

This is an entry-level class in which incumbents are trained in the specialized legal areas with which the department is involved.  Incumbents make recommendations for action based on clear and understandable guidelines.  Incumbents are assigned routine matters with limited issues.  Incumbents assist on less complex matters and assist in the handling of moderately complex matters.


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


e.     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. A basic level of competency is required in facilitation and media relations; and, intermediate levels of competency in listening, presentation, oral and written skills, specifically written reports.


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


Interpersonal Skills: Individual and group dealings require basic levels of competency for conflict management, partnering and networking; and, intermediate levels of competency for teamwork, diplomacy, diversity, and negotiating and influencing skills.


Leadership: Basic levels of competency are required for team building, internal change management, political savvy, and coaching; and, an intermediate level of competency for decisiveness.


Organizational: Planning, evaluation, and understanding the parameters in which the organization operates as well as the factors which impact the organization. Basic levels of competency are required for vision, organizational awareness, external awareness, and customer focus.


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


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





Legal Analysis/Drafting.  A basic level of competency is required for the following: 

Drafts legal pleadings, interpretive letters, agreements, memoranda and briefs; Analyzes remedies for a particular case, recommends an appropriate form of action or combination of actions (administrative, civil, or criminal), and drafts recommended remedy provisions; Applies factors and recommends whether to refer a case to state or federal prosecutors; Applies disclosure standards in registration and enforcement contexts; Conducts legal research including computerized legal research.  An intermediate level of competency is required for performing legal analysis and interpretation. 


Case and File Management.  A basic level of competency is required for the following:

Develops an investigative plan; May lead an investigative team on a complex case; Investigates investment fraud and registration violations; Conducts interviews with witnesses and targets; Coordinates licensing and registration activities with enforcement activities; Manages litigation involving a substantial volume of documentary evidence; Selects 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.

An intermediate level of competency is required for an incumbent to be responsible for a large file load or case load and to maintain progress on a number of matters simultaneously.


Representation and Negotiation.  Basic levels of competency are required for the following: 

Uses negotiation skills to achieve 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, documentary evidence, and demonstrative evidence in a hearing or trial; Works effectively with prosecutors and law enforcement to obtain evidence make recommendations on use of search warrants, grand jury subpoenas, and inquiry court; Makes recommendations on charging decisions including substantive crimes to charge, selection of victims, and whether to charge accomplices and co-conspirators or to grant immunity to them; Makes presentations to targets and their attorneys of results of investigation as a part of negotiations in a criminal case; Works with other state regulators in a coordinated review process; May act as lead state representative in a coordinated review, conveying comments and negotiating on behalf of all states involved in the review; Conducts outreach or technical assistance sessions with registrants or potential registrants; Works with staff of other agencies on various matters and task forces. 

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of:  division specific statutes and related regulations; 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 the 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.

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.


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: 2-9-79
Revised definition: 10-13-89
Revised definition, distinguishing characteristics, definition of terms, and salary: 11-9-01
Reformatted specification as part of new classification plan and assigned new class code number, formerly class code 47370; effective July 1, 2007.