The University of Southern California is one of the worldâs leading private research Universities. An anchor institution in Los Angeles and a global center for arts, technology and international business, USCâs diverse curricular offerings provide extensive opportunities for interdisciplinary study and collaboration with leading researchers in highly advanced learning environments.
In a comprehensive 2020 ranking,Â The Wall Street JournalÂ andÂ Times Higher EducationÂ rankedÂ USC 18th among more than 1,000 public and private universities. Among all California institutions â public and private â only USC, Caltech and Stanford University ranked within the top 20. Of the 150 Universities surveyed in the western U.S., USC ranks No. 3. Among the top 25 schools, USC ranked No. 2 in engagement and No. 5 in environment, a measure of diversity and inclusion.
Amongst the most distinguished undergraduate and graduate programs in the world, USC is home to the following institutions of professionalism, including but not limited to: Letters, Arts and Sciences, USC Leventhal School of Accounting, USC School of Architecture, USC Roski School of Art & Design, USC Marshall School of Business, USC School of Cinematic Arts, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, USC Gould School of Law, Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, Keck School of Medicine, USC Thornton School of Music and the USC School of Pharmacy.
In addition to a number of highly ranked academic programs, USC is highly regarded for a number of NCAA sports programs which include: baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, rowing, beach volleyball, soccer, track and field and water polo.
USC seeks an inspirational attorney with sound judgment, excellent problem solving ability and management experience to lead the Office of the General Counsel (âOGCâ). The General Counsel is the Universityâs chief legal officer and will serve as an advisor and counselor to the President, the Board of Trustees and other senior leaders on a broad range of legal issues. The General Counsel will also lead and manage the OGC and ensure that the University maintains the legal resources and expertise necessary to meet its needs. In addition to legal expertise and technical abilities, the General Counsel is expected to be an ambassador of USCâs values, lead the OGC with integrity and demonstrate a high standard of professional ethics. The successful candidate will have passion for the academic and research missions of the University and will appreciate the Universityâs unique relationship to its students, the community and the region.
The General Counsel supervises a team of attorneys who advise all administrative officers, academic deans, faculty and staff on matters involving or affecting the University and its divisions and will play an integral role in the stewardship of the University through participation in the Presidentâs executive team. The General Counsel will collaborate with the Office of Ethics and Compliance, the Office of the Internal Auditor and other senior officers to ensure that the University is appropriately managing legal, regulatory, reputational, operational and financial risks. As part of the senior executive team, the General Counsel is a key strategic advisor on matters of importance for the University and its stakeholders. The General Counsel will report directly to the President.
USC is hiring a General Counsel with overall responsibility for the vision and leadership for the Universityâs legal strategy. The General Counsel is an integral member of the Universityâs community and a key member of the senior leadership team. Reporting directly to the new President, Dr. Carol Folt, the General Counsel will provide legal advice and counsel to the President, Board of Trustees and all on a broad range of legal matters.
Compensation:Competitive salary and benefits.
Location: Los Angeles, CA (Downtown, Los Angeles)
Relocation: Yes, this is a national search.
Bar: Member in good standing with a State Bar.
Advising the President and senior officers on legal matters involving the Universityâs activities and operations to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations and to maintain a culture of integrity at the University;
Providing legal counsel, guidance and support to the Board of Trustees to ensure that Board members meet their fiduciary duty and provide appropriate oversight and risk management of the University;
Leading and managing the OGC. This involves ensuring that the OGC has the resources and experience necessary to meet the evolving needs of a global research University; evaluating, mentoring and developing the staff; and providing feedback and guidance to staff to ensure productive professional development;
Managing a large portfolio of complex civil litigation, including employment matters, Title IX and other student due process and educational rights cases, medical malpractice, intellectual property and commercial cases, and criminal law matters;
Advising on a variety of issues impacting students and campus life, including Title IX compliance, student disciplinary policies and procedures, student privacy (FERPA) and disability accommodation involving the intersection of mental health and conduct issues;
Advising on various issues impacting Athletics, including NCAA compliance, Title IX, game and other business agreements, coach agreements and employment issues;
Advising on various public safety matters, including the Clery Act, no trespass orders, Title IX, and threat assessment;
Advising on the legal issues that arise in connection with the medical school, medical research, and the various USC hospitals and medical facilities;Â Â
Drafting, guiding, and advising on the development of University policies and procedures;
Advising and assisting in training on compliance with all relevant federal and state statutes and regulations, including participation in financial and compliance audits and investigations by a wide range of government agencies;
Determining the need for, selecting and managing outside legal counsel and related legal expenses to ensure efficient application of resources; and
Overseeing all administrative and operational matters of the OGC including budgets, service standards, and staffing.
The ideal General Counsel demonstrates:
Passion for the educational and research missions of the University, including the Universityâs unique duties to its students, faculty and staff, and appreciation of its important role in the local community and region;
The ability to identify and calibrate risks associated with various courses of action, and to support action in service of institutional goals;
Creativity, including the ability to approach situations analytically, factually, and to see creative solutions;
Flexibility and comfort in dealing with evolving priorities and nuanced situations involving a variety of stakeholders;
The ability to engage internal and external stakeholders in a manner that promotes legal compliance, fosters appreciation of and respect for the rule of law, builds productive relationships; and creates alignment behind the goals of the University;
Openness to collaborating with academic and administrative leaders and the ability to build consensus to address challenges and opportunities; and
A calm and steady demeanor, even in the face of challenge or strife.
QualificationsThe successful candidate must have the following minimum credentials:Juris Doctorate from an ABA accredited institution;Twenty years of legal practice preferred, and significant experience in handling complex litigation and investigations whether in private practice or an in-house legal department; Experience building, developing and managing a sizable legal team preferred;Demonstrated legal and ethical stature, maturity, competence and confidence to operate with credibility at the executive and Trustee level;Experience in higher education with a solid understanding of higher education law as well as familiarity with college athletics (preferred but not required); andCalifornia State bar admission (or eligibility and authorization to practice law in California within one year after hiring).
Internal Number: REQ20086075
USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering has been one of the economic engines in Southern California and a vital hub in the California economy. The technical innovations and ideas generated by the Viterbi faculty and research community have resulted in countless innovations, many becoming the foundations for new companies, products and services. The thousands of students graduating each year bring new ideas and vitality to companies in California and beyond. With an annual research budget exceeding $205M each year, more than 46 research centers and institutes, more than 180 faculty members, 7,800 students and over 60,000 impassioned alumni world-wide, the Viterbi School is addressing some of the world’s great challenges.