Location: Worcester, MA Category: Staff and Administrators Posted On: Wed Feb 17 2021 Job Description:
The General Counsel will serve as the principal legal advisor for the University, with overall responsibility for the vision and leadership of the University's legal strategy. Reporting to the President, as a valued member of the senior leadership team and a key strategic advisor, the General Counsel will provide legal advice and counsel to the President, Board of Trustees, and other members of the University community on all legal and other significant matters affecting the University and its stakeholders. This is an excellent opportunity to work for a mission-driven institution where the General Counsel will serve as a key thought leader within the community and as a trusted advisor on the leadership team.
The University seeks an inspirational attorney with sound judgment and excellent problem solving ability. The General Counsel is expected to be an ambassador of Clark's values, lead 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 University's unique relationship to its students and to the community at large. The General Counsel will also play an important role in supporting the University's ongoing work to advance a diverse and inclusive campus community and its unwavering commitment to and active engagement with the city of Worcester.
The General Counsel will have the following responsibilities and opportunities:
Develop a vision for legal services in conjunction with the President and leadership that aligns with the University's mission and vision, sharing best practices and recommendations for how to best execute legal services at Clark with an eye to institutional risk and ongoing support for academic initiatives and programs.
Serve as a strategic thought partner to the President, Board of Trustees, and leadership on institutional objectives and priorities.
Work closely with the Board of Trustees and advise and counsel on all governance matters; manage the Office of the Board of Trustees.
Anticipate issues and risk, sharing pertinent information with the President and leadership and other relevant parties.
Develop a strong network of relationships inside and outside the University to support the objectives of the legal function and the mission and business of Clark.
Advise the President and leadership on legal matters involving the University's activities and operations to ensure compliance with applicable laws, regulations, policies, contracts, and business practices and to maintain a culture of integrity at the University.
Draft, review, guide, and advise on the development of University policies and procedures to ensure compliance with external or internal laws and procedures.
Provide strategic and ethical leadership and direction for all legal matters involving the University on issues that could range from student, faculty, and staff affairs; regulatory and compliance; athletics; research and financial concerns; business development and new investments; real estate; environmental matters; governmental affairs; strategic initiatives; crisis management; grants and gift planning; legislation; anti-trust; data privacy; federal aid package policies; public safety; international; IP; employment; immigration; to social media.
Advise and counsel the leadership team, deans, the Office of Human Resources, and managers from across campus on a wide range of employment-related matters involving faculty, administrators, and staff.
Lead and manage the University's Title IX Coordinator of the Office of Title IX (with a direct reporting relationship).
Advise and counsel the Division of Student Affairs on a variety of issues impacting students and campus life including Title IX compliance and sexual assault and other conduct hearings; student disciplinary policies and procedures; student privacy (FERPA); disability accommodation issues for students; and student issues involving the intersection between mental health and conduct issues.
Advise and counsel the provost, deans, faculty, and department chairs on faculty matters, intellectual property questions, academic integrity violations, research issues, and various other matters arising out of their respective areas.
Analyze current inventory of legal needs across the University, external legal resources currently in use, and constituents currently engaging with legal counsel.
Develop a process for the transition of legal services, including the following:
Working with the current outside counsel and law firms to gather necessary information and ensure a smooth pathway to an in-house model.
Determine when external resources will be necessary and retain resources for this purpose.
Assist in formulating and implementing institutional strategies for avoiding future legal problems, including training activities.
Draft and review contracts and advise on legal issues raised within contractual relationships.
Review, advise, and assist with property acquisitions, leases, labor relations and personnel matters, insurance matters, IP, patent, trademark and copyright matters.
Advise on various issues impacting Athletics, including NCAA compliance, Title IX, game and other business agreements, coach agreements and employment issues.
Advise on various public safety matters, including the Clery Act, no trespass orders, Title IX, threat assessment, and other safety-related issues impacting the Clark community.
The successful candidate will have at least 15 years of progressively responsible legal experience, including significant interaction with senior leadership teams and the ability to work effectively with various constituencies. Experience in higher education law is strongly preferred. A solid understanding of matters related to higher education including employment law, ADA, VAWA, FERPA, Title IX, and Clery is a clear advantage.
A JD and membership in the Massachusetts State Bar or the ability to obtain membership within a reasonable amount of time.
The successful candidate will possess at least 15 years of progressively responsible legal experience including significant interaction with senior leadership teams, and the ability to work effectively with various constituencies.
Experience in higher education law is strongly preferred.
A solid understanding of matters related to higher education including, employment law, ADA, VAWA, FERPA, Title IX, and Clery is a clear advantage.
Experience in some of the following legal areas: Labor, Employment and ERISA; Governance; Risk Management and Insurance; Student Life; Non-discrimination and Affirmative Action; Compliance (Title IX, Clery, ADA, FERPA); Contract Administration; Regulatory; Privacy and Information Security; Intellectual Property; Environmental Health and Safety; Construction and Real Estate; New Ventures; Faculty Appointment and Tenure; Research; Gift Planning; and Athletics.
Leadership and Personal Skills and Attributes
Demonstrated executive leadership and management skills in all aspects of a legal and business environment with a proven ability to advise a successful, advancing institution.
Positive, professional, and collaborative demeanor coupled with exceptional legal and business judgment in order to gain the confidence, trust, and reliance of colleagues at Clark.
A demonstrated commitment to Diversity & Inclusion and a strong track record of promoting and supporting D&I efforts within an organization.
A strong people orientation and sensitivity to cultural diversity and ability to build rapport with a diverse range of business and legal partners.
Ability to interact with diverse constituents and adapt communications to the audience, simplifying complex legal matters as necessary.
Exceptionally strong problem solving skills with the ability to provide responsive answers to requests for legal assistance, to describe, prevent, and minimize legal risks; to render professional, expeditious, efficient, detail-oriented service and practical problem solving for the benefit of the University community.
Exceptional leadership and management experience with both professionals and support staff, including a successful track record in change-oriented operational management and people leadership. The capacity to lead and motivate a professional team confronting change and a demonstrated comfort operating in a high visibility organization will be critical.
Superior intellect, with the ability to think critically and effectively communicate well-reasoned decisions; ability to see and handle more than the legal issues of a project; strong, pragmatic business acumen with the ability to recognize the broader consequences of a course of action and its impact on the many stakeholders in the University; a strategic and innovative thinker who can bring value and find creative solutions to complex legal issues.
Exceptional interpersonal and negotiation skills and the ability to communicate (both orally and in written form) and interact effectively, presenting to large and small audiences, significant decision makers, and employees.
A quick study, a self-starter, and an ability to handle complex matters with multiple initiatives going on simultaneously.
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.
Commitment to the highest ethical and professional standards; a strong moral compass and personal and professional integrity beyond reproach; courage and perseverance, tact, discretion, and diplomacy; unquestioned discretion in maintaining confidentiality.
This is a Full-time position with excellent benefits, which include employee and family tuition benefits, 4 weeks' vacation, generous retirement plan, free use of campus fitness center and many more.
Clark University embraces equal opportunity and affirmative action as core values: we believe that cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity is fundamental to the success of our students, our employees and our community. This commitment applies to every aspect of education, services, and employment policies and practices at Clark. Our commitment to diversity informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring and retention. All positions at Clark share in the responsibility for building a community that values diversity and the uniqueness of others by exhibiting integrity and respect in interacting with all members of the Clark community to create an atmosphere of fairness and belonging. We strongly encourage members from historically underrepresented communities, inclusive of all women, to apply.
Founded in 1887, Clark University is a liberal arts-based research university committed toscholarship and inquiry that addresses social and human imperatives on a global basis. It is the place where Robert Goddard invented the modern rocket, where Sigmund Freud delivered his only lectures in the United States, and where current students stake their claim to the Clark motto, “Challenge Convention, Change Our World,” which is the rallying cry that inspires our community every day. Located in Worcester, Massachusetts, Clark University educates its undergraduate and graduate students to be imaginative and contributing citizens of the world, and to advance the frontiers of knowledge and understanding through rigorous scholarship and creative effort. The University’s engages students in such areas as biology, chemistry, economics, geography, psychology, urban education, management, environmental science and policy, Holocaust and genocide studies, and international development and social change. Clark University’s pioneering model of higher education, LEEP (Liberation Education and Effective Practice) compels undergraduate students to thrive in authentic world and workplace settings, and prepares them for lives and careers of consequence.