Appointment of Special Counsel Shelby County Commission - Application


Pursuant to Ordinance No. 521 which was adopted on September 13, 2021, and Article II, Section 2.02 of the Shelby County Charter provides that the County Commission is entitled to “special counsel” to assist the legislative body in exercising its legislative functions, the Shelby County Board of Commissioners will hold an election on Monday, March 20, 2023, at 3:00 P.M., in the Shelby County Commission Chambers, Lobby of the Vasco A. Smith, Jr. County Administration Building, 160 N. Main Street, Memphis, Tennessee, for the purpose of appointing one Special Counsel, a full-time position.   Interviews will be conducted on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. at the above address.   

An application and background check is required of all applicants seeking this appointment. Any citizen interested in applying for the Special Counsel position must submit an application online or in person in the Shelby County Board of Commissioners office located in the Vasco Smith Administration Building, 160 N. Main Street, Suite 600, Memphis, Tennessee 38103.

The deadline for ALL applications (online or delivered in person) is Friday, March 3, 2023, at 4:00 P.M.

            Applications delivered should be addressed to the attention of:

                        TO:      Commissioner Shante K. Avant
                                     General Government Chairman
                                     Vasco Smith Administration Building
                                     160 N. Main Street, Suite 600
                                      Memphis, TN 38103

Please use this link to submit your online application:    CLICK HERE 

Please use this link to download a printable application: CLICK HERE 

Minimum Acceptable Qualifications:

The Special Counsel shall, at the time of appointment, be a citizen of Shelby County, Tennessee, licensed to practice in Tennessee, have had no less than five (5) years of experience in the practice of law, and shall be licensed and qualified to practice law in all courts of Shelby County. Furthermore, the Special Counsel shall be an attorney in good standing with the Board of Professional Responsibility. The special counsel shall be subject to dismissal by resolution of the Board of Commissioners.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of and ability to apply municipal, county, state, or federal laws to various phases of litigating and adjudicating legal matters for Shelby.
  • Ability to prepare and draft a variety of documents or instruments as required by County Government needs.
  • Ability to establish and maintain an effective working rapport with one or more departments of the County Government.
  • Ability to serve in a staff capacity.
  • Ability to deal courteously and tactfully with the public. 

Reports to: Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners 

Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Drafts and prepares formal comments and make recommendations on legislative matters.
  2. Drafts and prepares legal documents as they relate to the County Commission’s legislative functions.
  3. Serves as special counsel to the County Commission as is necessary to fulfill the Commission’s legislative functions.
  4. Comply with the Shelby County Charter, which provides that the county attorney shall act as chief counsel for Shelby County government, and the county attorney shall act as legal advisor to the county mayor, the county commission, and all departments … and officials of the Shelby County government. Article III, Section 3.08(A)(2).
  5. Responds to certain complaints and inquiries from the public as they relate to the County Commission.
  6. May collaborate with the County Attorney on litigation matters involving the County Commission. 
  7. Performs special projects or other related duties as assigned by the Chairman of the County Commission.

 All candidates will be subjected to a background check.