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City of Philadelphia: Deputy City Solicitor - Water Division

07/07/2021 1:44 PM | Rebecca Buchanan (Administrator)

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Company Description

A best-in-class city that attracts best-in-class talent, Philadelphia is an incredible place to build a career. From our thriving arts scene and rich history to our culture of passion and grit, there are countless reasons to love living and working here. With a workforce of over 30,000 people, and more than 1,000 different job categories, the City of Philadelphia offers boundless opportunities to make an impact. 

As an employer, the City of Philadelphia values inclusion, integrity, innovation, empowerment, and hard work above all else. We offer a vibrant work environment, comprehensive health care and benefits, and the experience you need to grow and excel. If you’re interested in working with a passionate team of people who care about the future of Philadelphia, start here.

What We Offer:

  Impact - The work you do here matters to millions. 

  Growth - Philadelphia is growing, why not grow with it? 

  Diversity & Inclusion - Find a career in a place where everyone belongs.

  Opportunities in Tech - Don’t wait for the future, shape it.

  Benefits - We care about your well being.

Agency Description

The Law Department's civil practice includes unique issues involving public interest. Our lawyers help chart the course for the City in business, health, safety, commerce, civil rights, taxation, and community development.  The Water Division of the Regulatory Law Unit represents the City and the Water Department in matters relating to the City’s water, stormwater and wastewater systems. Attorneys are expected to manage a diverse set of matters to support the Water Department’s operations and business. Attorneys in the Water Division also represent the Streets Department and the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability on certain matters as needed.

Job Description

The Regulatory Law Unit’s Water Division is currently seeking a licensed Pennsylvania Attorney to fill a Deputy City Solicitor position.  The attorney will work on a variety of matters including: drafting and negotiating agreements; providing legal advice on regulatory compliance and enforcement matters involving city, state and federal environmental laws and the Public Utility Code; handling real estate transactions including utility easements and private development and infrastructure issues involving the Water Department; providing support on administrative appeals; supporting the Water Department on utility rate proceeding; and supporting efforts to continue and expand public outreach between rate cases to key stakeholder groups.   

Essential Functions

In addition to the Position Summary, responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Advising and representing the Water Department in matters to support its water, wastewater and stormwater utility operations.
  • Reviewing, drafting and negotiating various contracts including professional service agreements, grant agreements, easement/license agreements, stormwater management agreements and state/federal cost-sharing agreements.
  • Researching and advising on environmental law matters including:
    • National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits and consent orders under the Clean Water Act with PA DEP and US EPA.
    • Compliance matters under local, state and federal environmental laws regulating drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, air, hazardous/solid waste, etc.
    • Supporting the Industrial Waste Unit on enforcement matters under the Pretreatment Regulations and industrial wastewater permitting issues.
    • All relevant and emerging environmental regulations that affect the Water Department operations, such as the Lead & Copper rule, PFAS-related regulations, etc.
  • Providing support on a large caseload of administrative appeals before the Tax Review Board and Board of Licenses and Inspection Review.
  • Handling administrative and civil actions to enforce Water Department regulations against property owners, developers, plumbers, and customers and for violations arising under the Philadelphia Code.
  • Supporting the Water Department on rate proceedings before the Philadelphia Water, Sewer, and Stormwater Rate Board, including preparation of testimony, responding to discovery requests, advising on Pennsylvania law and industry standards regarding rate making, and supporting any appeals litigation. 
  • Attending regular stakeholder meetings and providing advice in support of efforts to continue and expand public outreach to key stakeholder groups representing a diverse set of customers.      
  • Supporting the Law Department’s Litigation group on litigation matters that involve the Water Department operations.
  • Representing other City Departments on transactional matters as requested.


  • The candidate should have a minimum of 5 years of legal experience.  Legal experience should include some or most of those described under Essential Functions.
  • Candidates must be a member of the Pennsylvania Bar.

Competencies, Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Knowledge of local, state and federal environmental laws, regulations, and administrative procedures relevant to the utility.
  • Familiarity with City of Philadelphia Home Rule Charter, Code and local government structure and process.
  • Ability to analyze large amounts of information, determine relevant facts, and propose viable solutions
  • Familiarity with utility (preferably water/wastewater utility) operations and business.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills with the ability to communicate with clients at various levels with different subject matter expertise as well as external parties, including customers. 
  • Strong contract drafting and negotiating skills; strong legal analytical skills.
  • Strong commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and cultural competency.  

Additional Information

Please submit a cover letter, resume, reference list, and a writing sample with your application.

Any questions related to this position should be directed to Scott Schwarz, Chief Deputy City Solicitor, (scott.schwarz@phila.gov).

Photo Credit: Don Pearse Photographers, Inc., http://donpearsephotographers.com/

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