UC OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
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The University of California, one of the largest and most acclaimed institutions of higher learning in the world, is dedicated to excellence in teaching, research and public service. The University of California Office of the President is the headquarters to the 10 campuses, six academic medical centers and three national laboratories and enrolls premier students from California, the nation and the world. Learn more about the UC Office of the President.
UC Legal delivers ethical, timely, efficient and high quality legal services to the University of California’s ten campuses, six medical centers, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, as well as to the Board of Regents, the President, the Chancellors and other officers of the University. Its services include prosecuting and defending litigation, drafting and negotiating agreements, providing advice, counsel and interpretation of laws, regulations and policies, and assisting with development of effective compliance and risk mitigation strategies to facilitate the University’s complex operations.
Reporting to the Managing Counsel, Litigation, the Principal Counsel, Litigation is a litigator who primarily oversees outside counsel in employment practices liability litigation. Responsibilities require substantial expertise in litigation strategy, trial work, civil procedure, and federal and state labor and employment laws (including relevant whistleblower statutes, the Fair Employment and Housing Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, California Family Rights Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act, and National Labor Relations Act), as well as privacy and First Amendment issues.
The position works closely with outside counsel in developing case strategy consistent with University policy and protocols; Manages a full range of legal matters and projects, including the most complex and those of substantial importance and impact to the University; interprets complex facts and the law in areas of high ambiguity; provides functional advice to senior managers, stakeholders, and leadership concerning risk assessment, liability, and damages; acting as a liaison among outside counsel, campus counsel, campus risk managers, and other campus constituents; and drafting, reviewing, and revising discovery documents, pleadings, and briefs.
The University is a consensus-based organization, and the Principal Counsel, Litigation plays a key role in helping the relevant decision makers to reach consensus regarding litigation-related decisions.
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 practical, actionable, and timely legal advice, counsel, and support
– Serves as a trusted, strategic partner with a diverse spectrum of University business units, providing practical advice and alternative solutions to business issues; provides substantial expertise within the University in a given legal specialty.
– 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.
– Handles a full range of legal matters and projects, to include the most complex and that of substantial importance and impact.
– Advises and renders opinions to senior leaders with respect to the legal implications of establishing or changing policy.
– Works with colleagues in the UC Office of the President to develop and modify practices and procedures to conform with changing legal requirements.
– Keeps informed on changing legislation and case law development Directly negotiates matters on behalf of The Regents Interprets complex facts and the law in areas of moderate to high ambiguity.
– May act as a liaison with outside counsel, and/or represent the University in complex litigation.
– Functions as a lead and technical resource within the area of practice.
– Represent institutional concerns persuasively to internal and external parties.
– Maintain confidentiality and exercise discretion and tact when handling sensitive or potentially sensitive issues.
– Create and deliver effective materials and/or presentations appropriate to a particular audience.
– Makes recommendations concerning areas of work to perform in-house, versus payment for an outside firm.
– Ensures accurate record-keeping in compliance with UC Legal data quality protocols. Complies with delegations of authority for committing University funds.
– Acts as a liaison with retained outside counsel and manages outside counsel budget.
– Provides functional advice, training and/or guidance and effectively mentors less-experienced attorneys.
– Develops objectives and ensures service according to established priorities; delegates work effectively to maximize efficiencies.
– Minimum of eight years litigation experience in a law firm, or in-house counsel for an academic institution, corporation or other entity.
– Advanced research skills to draft accurate, complete and persuasive legal documents; ability to readily identify critical legislative changes in area of specialty.
– Advanced skills in project management, and facilitating policy review and changes.
– Proven abilities in collaboration, facilitation, and strategic and creative thinking.
– Thorough understanding of complex legal issues and ability to foresee implications, even when ambiguous or hidden.
– Excellent verbal and written communication and 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, including senior leaders.
– Proven decision making ability, even when unpopular, earning credibility and support from colleagues.
– Strong coaching and leadership skills to provide clear expectations, guidance and performance feedback to less experienced attorneys and legal support staff.
– Developing ability to mentor and coach all levels of staff; provide for succession planning in area of specialty.
– Demonstrated commitment to the highest ethical standards.
– Subject matter expertise handling employment matters
– Experience advising on California employment laws.