Department: Office of General Counsel Salary/Grade: EXS/8
About the Office
The Office of General Counsel (OGC) provides legal services to Northwestern University and represents the University in a wide range of legal matters and advises on a complex array of issues. The Office is responsible for foreseeing and protecting the University against legal risks.
The Contract Manager position will work closely with, and act as primary support for, the attorneys within OGC responsible for supporting University contracting. The incumbent will help manage a broad range of commercial contracting for a number of departments and schools within the University, including with respect to purchasing and professional services contracts, IT contracts, real estate and facilities management contracts, and confidentiality agreements. Under the supervision of attorneys, the incumbent will assist with drafting and negotiating commercial contracts to support the operational goals of the University, while protecting the University against unacceptable risk and ensuring compliance with University policies, procedures and regulatory requirements. This position will help maintain consistency in University contracting based on established standards and policies, maintain the contract database, and will work with OGC attorneys to improve the overall quality and efficiency of contract review and management within the Office.
Draft, review, and negotiate contracts requested or submitted by departments and schools within the University based on legal and business input and utilizing the University’s approved templates and standards
Act as primary point-of-contact within OGC to facilitate and expedite the review and negotiation of assigned contracts, including by:
Identifying and analyzing key legal, compliance, and business issues in contract negotiations, presenting clear guidance to University stakeholders regarding the same;
Working closely with relevant University stakeholders and subject matter experts to facilitate the review and/or acceptance of compromise contract language.
Managing/organizing the contracts within the document management system (OnBase)
Assist with continuous improvement projects within OGC related to the development and maintenance of standard contract terms and templates, as well as contract management tools and processes.
Respond to inquiries regarding the contract review and signature authority process, and assist OGC attorneys in developing and providing training to the University community on contracting best practices and procedures
Assist with other administrative tasks and other duties as assigned (e.g., (scheduling/calendaring, scanning, etc)
Five (5) years of professional experience in commercial contract drafting, negotiation and administration with demonstrated understanding of contract terms and conditions, particularly in purchasing, professional services, and real estate contracts.
Extensive knowledge and understanding of key terms and concepts in commercial contracts (e.g., warranties, indemnities, remedies, confidentiality, etc.).
Basic experience and acumen translating client needs into contract language
Demonstrated ability to work closely with diverse groups within different organizations and clearly communicate with multiple stakeholders / functions within a large institution to facilitate an efficient contracting process, including describing basic contract terms and risks to business partners and decision-makers
Ability to prioritize workload and meet deadlines in a busy environment with competing priorities
Achievement/Action Oriented. Willing or likely to take practical action to deal with a problem or situation. They should also possess a record of achievement and increasing responsibility with the ability to work independently on multiple tasks.
Communication. Communicates strategically both internally and externally to achieve specific objectives (e.g., considers optimal “messaging” and timing of communication). Uses varied vehicles and opportunities to promote dialogue and develop shared understanding and consensus. Maintains continuous, open and consistent communication with others. Checks own understanding through paraphrasing and asking questions.
Negotiation Skills. Possesses extensive experience negotiating commercial contracts, as well as an advanced understanding of negotiation strategies and best practices.
Customer and Personal Service. Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment (and working with employees at all levels of the organization), meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Critical and Analytical Thinking. Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. Ability to review and dissect information and can apply basic compensation analytic concepts and calculations.
Judgment and Decision Making. Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose
Law degree (J.D.) or Paralegal preferred
In-house experience and ideally experience at a higher education institution.
Working experience with a document management system (DMS), and preferably OnBase
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.
Internal Number: 40046
About Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a major private research university with 12 academic divisions located on three campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Education City in Doha, Qatar. We have approximately 2,500 full-time faculty members, 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and over 5,700 full and part-time staff. Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth.