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This position provides substantial expertise in the Educational Affairs and Governance practice area. Reporting to the Managing Counsel – Education Affairs & Governance, this position independently handles a full range of legal matters and projects in the Education Affairs and Governance practice areas, to include the most complex and that of substantial importance and impact. The Principal Counsel interprets complex facts and the law in areas of high ambiguity. The Principal Counsel also provides functional advice, training and/or guidance to clients and to less-experienced attorneys, and may act as a liaison with outside counsel, and/or represent the University in governmental enforcement and administrative matters.
Responsibilities require substantial knowledge of laws, regulations and policies applicable to a broad range of governance and education affairs issues including, but not limited to, free speech, academic freedom, admissions, financial aid, student conduct, FERPA, Title IX, Clery Act, public records, privacy, conflict of interest, and Regents bylaws and policies. Drafts, reviews and revises a variety of instruments involving the University’s interest such as policies and contracts.
All team members are expected to actively participate in initiatives to promote diversity, equity, and/or inclusion, whether at UC or in the community.
– Provides substantial expertise within the University in the Educational Affairs and Governance specialties and independently handles a full range of legal matters and projects, to include the highest complexity and that of significant importance and impact to the University.
– Interprets complex facts and the law in areas of moderate to high ambiguity.
– Establishes effective relationships with key internal and external constituencies.
– Recognizes strategic needs of organization and proactively builds relationships with appropriate stakeholders to ensure successful outcomes.
– Serves as a trusted strategic partner with University business units, providing practical advice and alternative solutions to business issues.
– Advises and renders opinions to clients with respect to the legal implications of establishing or changing policy.
– Works with colleagues at the Office of the President or campus/medical center locations to develop and modify practices and procedures to conform with changing legal requirements.
– Directly negotiates matters on behalf of The Regents. May act as a liaison with outside counsel, and/or represent the University in administrative or court litigation.
– Keeps informed on changing legislation and case law developments affecting overall operations of the University as they relate to the area of specialty.
– Complies with delegations of authority for committing University funds. Delegates work effectively to maximize efficiencies.
– Provides clear expectations and mentors legal support staff to meet expected levels of productivity and accuracy.
– Ensures accurate record keeping in compliance with UC Legal data quality protocols.
– Participates in, and may lead, projects and activities that support and advance UC Legal’s commitment to increasing and maintaining diversity, equity, and inclusion at the University and within the legal profession.

– Required Qualifications Typically requires eight (8) or more years of education law or governance experience in a law firm, or in-house counsel for an academic institution, public agency, corporation or other entity, although exceptional experience with fewer years of practice will be considered.
– Thorough understanding of highly complex legal issues within practice area and ability to foresee implications even when ambiguous or hidden.
– Advanced interpersonal communication skills, including proven ability to actively listen, negotiate, persuade and educate. Skills to gain trust and build credibility with a broad group of colleagues and clients, to include senior leaders.
– Advanced written communication skills and ability to create and deliver effective materials and/or presentations appropriate to a particular audience.
– Effective research skills; ability to readily identify critical material information in area of specialty.
– Proven decision making ability, even when the decision is unpopular, earning credibility and support from colleagues and clients.
– Excellent abilities in collaboration, facilitation, and strategic and creative thinking with UC Legal colleagues, clients and outside vendors and agencies.
– Commitment to the highest ethical standards.
– Ability to maintain confidentiality and exercise discretion and tact when handling sensitive or potentially sensitive issues.
– Advanced skills in project management, and facilitating policy review and changes.
– Preferred Qualifications Relevant practice experience for public sector or higher education clients is preferred.
– Experience in a university setting.
– Ability to mentor and coach all levels of staff; strong coaching and leadership skills to provide clear expectations, guidance and performance feedback to less experienced attorneys and legal support staff.
– Must possess a J.D. from an accredited law school
Must be a member in good standing of the California Bar. (Out-of-state hire would be afforded time to pass the Bar within a reasonable period.)

For more information and to apply online here.