Trinity University seeks its first in-house General Counsel, who will play an integral role in providing legal and strategic advice to the President and other senior administrators. Reporting directly to the President, the General Counsel will be responsible for legal oversight of the University and will be expected to advise University officers on a wide range of issues across the institution. The General Counsel’s role will involve a substantial amount of hands-on legal work, to include drafting, editing, and in some cases, negotiating a broad range of legal agreements. The person in this position must work collaboratively with many offices on campus and must have a deep understanding of the organizational culture and decision-making processes at a liberal arts college.
The inaugural General Counsel will want to assess and prioritize needs, which will include the following important opportunities and challenges:
- Establishing a vision for in-house legal counsel.
- Lead and facilitate Trinity’s transition to internal legal counsel by defining the legal services that are best executed within the University.
- Work closely with the President, Vice President for Finance and Administration (Chief Risk Officer), and AVP for Human Resources/Title IX Coordinator to distinguish legal responsibilities and identify opportunities for collaboration.
- Negotiate the transition with private legal firm which has provided decades-long legal guidance and representation to the University.
Improving the University’s legal oversight:
- General contractual support related to employment law, investments due diligence, and procurement and/or institutional agreements.
- Compliance, especially to meet Title IX obligations.
- Advice, counsel, and internal education to strengthen University processes and policies, including critiquing current University policies.
- Initiate and oversee a general compliance audit of the University and determine appropriate action plan.
- Identify areas where legal attention is needed and prioritize urgent issues.
- Serve as a strategic thought partner with the President, Vice President for Finance and Administration, the AVP for Human Resources/Title IX Coordinator, and members of the Senior Executive Staff to consider all forms of risks.
Strengthening the University’s agreements with external organizations:
- Assess the University’s business and investment agreements, long-term partnerships, networks, and collaborations.
- Evaluate the University’s use of external consultants to determine employment-related legal services that can be brought in-house.
- Draft, review, and negotiate contract agreements and establish standards and processes for future agreements.
Qualified applicants are expected to have a J. D. or an equivalent terminal degree from an accredited law school and a minimum of five years of relevant work experience. Experience in higher education law and/or a solid understanding of matters related to higher education law strongly preferred. Admission to the bar in Texas or ability to gain admission within one year of hire is required.
Also strongly preferred:
- Solid working knowledge of matters related to a variety of laws and regulations affecting the University, e.g., ADA, VAWA, Title VII, FERPA, Title IX, Clery Act, HIPAA, ERISA, FMLA, FLSA, OSHA, and NCAA rules.
- Sophisticated ability to understand and manage risk and compliance issues.
- Excellent judgment and the ability to prioritize institutional goals, values, strategy, and long-term interests.
- Strong commitment to and appreciation of best practices in diversity and inclusion in higher education.
- Familiarity with higher education operations.
Desired Personal Attributes:
- Superb analytical, research, writing, advocacy, and problem-solving skills.
- Confidence to make difficult decisions given competing priorities and expectations.
- Courage to interject into longstanding processes to contribute legal perspectives and prevent larger legal problems in the future.
- Highest standard of personal ethics and integrity.
- Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills.
- Ability to inspire trust and build relationships across all University constituencies.
- Ability to work efficiently and make effective decisions during stressful period of high-pace work.
Applications should include the following: (1) letter of interest describing background and experience; (2) resume or CV; (3) names and contact information of three professional references. Please send application materials to: email@example.com. Application deadline is February 16, 2018. The salary for this position will be commensurate with experience. Trinity University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.