Occ. Code 6501600


New York State Department of Civil Service

Classification Specification


Supervising Attorneys supervise and manage the work of attorneys and other staff in an agency’s legal office and provide expert legal advice to management. Those positions with a parenthetic title perform similar activities, but within a recognized legal specialty. Supervising Attorneys are classified in only a few State agencies.


SUPERVISING ATTORNEY: supervises a group of Associate and Senior Attorneys; may serve as second in charge of a major legal division or program or an agency’s legal office; provides expert legal advice and opinions to management and staff.


Principal Attorneys are in charge of a major legal division within an agency’s legal office or serve as second-in-command of an agency’s legal office.

Principal Attorneys with parenthetic titles serve as the highest level legal specialist in an area of law recognized for its difficulty, complexity, or potential impact, in addition to supervising legal staff.

Associate Attorneys supervise a group of attorneys responsible for providing legal advice and assistance to agency administrators and personally handle cases and issues that are novel, potentially precedent setting, or involve large sums of money.

Counsels serve as an agency’s chief legal officer, responsible for managing all activities in the legal office and providing advice and assistance to executive management about the legal affairs of the agency. They are in the exempt jurisdictional class.


SUPERVISING ATTORNEY: supervises a group of attorneys and reviews and approves completed work; prepares and supervises the preparation of proposed legislation, advises legislators and their staff about preparing legislation, prepares supporting memoranda, and evaluates bills introduced in the legislature for the impact on agency operations and programs; reviews and approves rules and regulations proposed by agency staff; provides counsel and advice to management staff about complex legal matters and the interpretation and implementation of State and federal legislation and court decisions; supervises and reviews the preparation of and approves a wide variety of legal documents; directs training of staff, including developing and implementing general legal training programs and programs specific to the needs of the agency’s legal program, such as those pertaining to an agency’s rules and regulatory authority, enforcement activities, or responsibility for conducting hearings; establishes goals and priorities for the program; reviews and monitors the handling of hearings by agency staff and reviews decisions of hearings; reviews proposed and enacted laws and rules of localities to ensure their compliance with State and federal laws, rules, and regulations; supervises the maintenance of the law library; evaluates and approves legal interpretations, advisory opinions, forms, policy memoranda, and other documents prepared by staff; drafts and revises the most complex, sensitive, or novel legislation, regulations, legal interpretation, advisory opinions, and other documents; develops and approves legal strategies for sensitive cases and matters; discusses and negotiates with attorneys about claims, complaints, lawsuits, contracts, and other legal matters; may represent the agency in legal proceedings or with the Office of the Attorney General; advises agency staff and representatives from other State and local agencies about legal matters; prepares legal actions to enforce laws, rules, regulations, and rulings; and may supervise and train professional, paralegal, and support staff assigned to the agency's legal office.



Promotion: one year of permanent service as an Associate Attorney.


Date: 10/98


NOTE: Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe. Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class. The minimum qualifications above are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written. Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.