Burleigh County States Attorney’s Office sees shortage

BISMARCK, N.D. - It's difficult to fight crime if you don't have enough people to do it.

A shortage of assistant states attorney's is hitting Burleigh County.

Job Service of North Dakota says legal job listings have gone up 300 percent in the last year across the state.

The Burleigh County States Attorney's office has a large workload and right now there are eight attorneys handling the job of 14.

The states attorney’s office says they’ve had some people retire and others get jobs in other counties.

In the last few months the lights at the Burleigh County State's Attorney’s office have stayed on past close.

"So we are putting in extra hours to make sure that the work is done," said Burleigh County State's Attorney Julie Lawyer,

She says last month the office pulled approximately 295 hours of overtime. Lawyer put in 129 of those.

Burleigh County Assistant State's Attorney, said Tessa Vaagen: "It's just taking us more time, but we're learning how to prioritize a little better."

Lawyer says the case load hasn't minimized so they've had to do what they can to keep up with them.

"We're also trying to make sure we have enough attorneys to cover all of the judges. Right now they have us outnumbered, there are nine of them and only eight of us," said Vaagen.

Lawyer says despite the shortage they're ensuring what needs to be done, gets done.

Lawyer says she's doing everything she can so her staff doesn't burn out. She says everyone has been working around the clock to keep afloat.

If you're interested in a position, you can check the job posting out on the North Dakota Supreme Court website.