Associate Counsel IV

Gainesville, Florida
Sep 26, 2016
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Classification Title:

General Counsel, Associate 4

Job Description:

The position of the Associate University Counsel for Health Affairs (Counsel) is an important role within the University of Florida (UF) Office of the Vice President and General Counsel (OGC), reporting directly to the UF Deputy General Counsel for Health Affairs (UF Deputy/HA) and working closely with the Senior University Counsel for Health Affairs and Contracts Unit Director (Sr. Counsel/Contracts Director), UF Senior University Counsel for Health Affairs based in Jacksonville but serving Gainesville as well (Sr. Counsel/HA) and other OGC leadership. The Counsel will provide legal services and advice in a variety of subject areas to the deans, colleges, centers and institutes of the UF Gainesville and Jacksonville Health Science Centers (HSCs), the colleges' practice plans and other private entities affiliated with UF and supporting the faculty or activities of the HSCs.  Such services are also anticipated to be provided to UF's affiliated clinical enterprise, including, as needed and agreed with UF Health Shands Senior Vice President and General Counsel (Shands SVP/GC), its academic hospitals.  The UF HSCs and their affiliated UF Health Shands academic hospitals and other affiliated health affairs entities participate in a close collaboration called "UF Health" and have strong mission alignment with UF.  This position is anticipated to be based in Gainesville, but will provide services to both Jacksonville and Gainesville HSCs and across the UF Health endeavor, as needed and assigned by the UF Deputy/HA or UF Vice President and General Counsel (UF VP/GC).  This position will coordinate and communicate closely with the UF Deputy/HA, but will be expected to work with a significant degree of independence on day-to-day matters related to Institutional Research Board (IRB), Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), Institutional BioSafety Committee (IBC), Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs), public records, subpoenas, clinic consent issues, research billing compliance.  This position will also provide expertise and work on other health affairs and related academic, research and business legal matters as needed and assigned by UF Deputy/HA.

To fulfill his or her role, the Counsel must effectively perform his or her duties to high standards of substantive legal and behavioral competence, as evaluated by the UF Deputy/HA under the following OGC principles: client service, collaboration, professionalism, accountability, sustainability and integrity. The Counsel must demonstrate a positive, context-sensitive, and productive working relationship with the leadership of the HSCs and other components of UF Health, and close partnership with the Deputy General Counsel of Shands Teaching Hospitals and Clinics, Inc., the Vice President and Senior Counsel, Legal Affairs of the Shands Jacksonville Medical Center, Inc., other Shands entity lawyers and OGC colleagues.  The aim of this close partnership is to further the success of UF Health and realize strength and the greatest benefits for "One UF," meaning all of UF and its family of affiliates including all in the UF-related health affairs enterprise, aligned in support of UF's mission.  The Counsel will work closely with the UF Deputy/HA, Sr. Counsel/HA, Sr. Counsel/Contracts Director, other contracts lawyers, and Shands lawyers to maximize the synergies and making legal expertise a competitive advantage for the entire UF Health endeavor, consistently with One UF and UF-wide policy and interests.  

The Counsel must have knowledge of, and a high level of expertise in, most (if not all) of the following areas and will demonstrate the ability to acquire expertise in the remaining areas that affect academic health centers and medical colleges, faculty, residents, staff, and students: health affairs policy and legal advice to IRB, IACUC, and IBC on related regulations and laws (e.g., federal and state health care privacy, including without limitation HIPAA/HITECH), academic, faculty, student and resident affairs, clinical and research matters, fraud, waste, and abuse laws, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement regulations, tax codes, restrictions related to exempt organizations, scope of practice and public records.

This position is designed to furnish a high level of professional legal service in the area of health law to the Health Science Center colleges at the University of Florida. In addition to handling general legal matters such as subpoenas and public records requests, Counsel will advise University officials on legal aspects of policy, will handle legal issues for the Health Science Center colleges as assigned, but primarily in the areas of physician billing compliance, human subject research, animal research, HIPAA, HITECH, and research billing. This position plays a significant role in preventing avoidable risks and mitigating unavoidable risks arising in all areas of research, billing, and privacy. This position works with leadership and staff in the Office of Research and the HSC. Counsel will also interact with members of the legal profession, officials of state and federal government, and others as required to perform the duties and responsibilities.

As a member of the OGC team, this lawyer is accountable for support of the University's mission and practice in accordance with the high standards and policies of the OGC and University. As needed or at the direction of the UF Deputy/HA, he or she will partner regularly with the Sr. Counsel/Contracts Director, Sr. Counsel/HA and other contracts attorneys.  The colleges in the HSCs that will be served by this position are the Colleges of Medicine (in Gainesville and Jacksonville locales), Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health and Health Professions, and Veterinary Medicine.  There are affiliated private entities comprising the faculty practice plans of the colleges in Gainesville and Jacksonville and other affiliates that will also be served by this position. The UF-affiliated clinical enterprise, including, as needed and agreed by Shands SVP/GC, the Shands hospitals and their affiliates, are also anticipated to be served by this position, as needed and appropriate, as determined by the UF Deputy/HA in consultation with the UF VP/GC. Effectiveness in the position to meet UF's and OGC's requirements, mission and standards is essential—which, among other important things, requires being a trusted, productive and valued member of the OGC (as assessed by the UF Deputy/HA and the UF VP/GC) and of the UF Health team (as assessed by the college deans and other clients).

The Counsel will have responsibility, with and as developed by the UF Deputy/HA, for the intake of requests for and development and review of policies, procedures and key documents for IRB, IACUC, and IBC.  To the extent required in the negotiation, drafting and review of contracts for the HSC, the Counsel will provide professional legal guidance in a broad range of areas, including, but not limited to, privacy, fraud, waste and abuse; HSC operations and policy; business, academic and professional transactions; and health care regulatory law requirements.  This attorney will protect UF's and its HSCs' business and contractual rights and positions; structure, negotiate and document contracts and other matters of a transactional nature assigned to this position for the HSC and affiliated organizations.  This position will also work on other health affairs, academic, research and business legal matters as needed and assigned.

In performing all duties, the Counsel will adhere to the standards and protocols of the UF OGC and will keep the UF Deputy/HA appropriately informed of significant matters. The Counsel will work with the UF Deputy/HA to ensure that matters of which the UF Deputy/HA should be aware are timely communicated to enable appropriate oversight and decision-making. Similarly, supporting good and timely communications with primary clients is critical and will be done with appropriate coordination with the UF Deputy/HA, depending on the type of matter and as established by the UF Deputy/HA in consultation with the Counsel. This position's work will focus on achieving and maintaining high standards of client service, professionalism, collaboration, accountability (including efficiency, effectiveness, timeliness and quality), sustainability, and integrity, which are performance principles of the OGC. This position is responsible for ensuring that his or her functions within the OGC are consistent with and further the strategic and tactical core objectives of the University.


Advertised Salary:

Commensurate with education and experience.

Minimum Requirements:

Law degree (L.L.B or J.D.) and two years experience as an attorney. Must be a member of the Florida Bar or become a member within twelve months of employment.

Preferred Qualifications:

The person holding this position must possess a JD or L.L.B. degree from an ABA-accredited law school and have a minimum of 5 years of experience practicing law, with considerably more experience being appropriate. This position is equivalent to that of a junior partner or more senior lawyer in a private law firm and would be appropriate for lawyers with significantly more experience than the minimum.  This position must also have excellent operational, project management, change management, and administrative skills, analytical ability, writing skills, listening and oral communications skills, diplomacy, finesse and interpersonal skills, and well developed, excellent judgment and skill in when to be appropriately assertive or adversarial, when to be deferential or conciliatory, in garnering consensus, and in distinguishing between high and low priority legal issues.  Training and marked accomplishment in an excellent private law firm or in the law office of, or representing, a large university, hospital or health system, or tax-exempt organization are helpful, as is experience in or representing the public sector.  A deep and sophisticated level of substantive expertise in the primary areas relevant to the responsibilities of the position (including regulatory matters and litigation and/or transactional work in the health affairs context is required, and it is a plus if including experience on behalf of, an academic health center, faculty practice plan, clinic and other entities for which this position is responsible.   The ability to support good management, efficient and effective operations, and appropriate change are critical.  Enthusiasm for the academic, research and service mission of great academic institutions is essential.

Special Instructions to Applicants:

This is a Time-Limited position.

Health Assessment Required: No