The City Solicitor, or City Attorney, is the chief law officer of the municipality. The person who serves as the solicitor is not an elected official. He or she is selected and recommended by the mayor and appointed by city council. The term of the solicitor is concurrent with the four-year term of the mayor. In order to quality for the position, the nominee must be learned in the law and admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
By law, the city solicitor is responsible for all of the legal matters of the city. Such matters include the preparation of ordinances and resolutions of council, the preparation and negotiation of contracts, the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, and defending and prosecuting claims against and on behalf of the city.
In addition, all of the elected and appointed officials and department heads of city government have the benefit of the legal guidance and advice of the solicitor as well as legal representation in the event the need arises.