Assistant University Counsel

Job description

Requisition # 2018-9564
Department General Counsel
Category Legal and Compliance
Full-Time / Part-Time Full-Time
Application Deadline


Princeton University's Office of the General Counsel Seeks Early Career Lawyer for Two-Year Professional Fellowship as Assistant University Counsel.

The Office of the General Counsel of Princeton University (OGC) is seeking an exceptional attorney with no more than five years of legal practice experience (including any judicial clerkship), to join its team for two years as Assistant University Counsel. When fully-staffed, the OGC has nine attorneys (the General Counsel, five University Counsel, two Associate University Counsel, and one Assistant University Counsel) (AUC)), and four administrative support professionals. The Assistant University Counsel position will provide an early-career attorney with an opportunity to gain the experience required to gain a permanent attorney position in higher education by helping more senior attorneys at the OGC deliver legal services to University academic and administrative offices. Alumni of the Princeton OGC Assistant University Counsel fellowship are now practicing as permanent attorneys at institutions of higher education around the country, including Stanford University, Yale University, Middlebury College, and the Fashion Institute of Technology.

About Princeton University:

Princeton University, chartered in 1746, is widely regarded as one of the world's premier educational institutions. Princeton aims to produce scholarship and teaching of unsurpassed quality, and adheres to the conviction that research and education should be mutually reinforcing pursuits rather than independent priorities. The University plays a unique role within American higher education by virtue of its distinctive emphasis on undergraduate and doctoral programs. Princeton's beautiful campus is home to a vibrant residential community, and is located in the town of Princeton - a community rich in cultural resources that is only an hour away from New York City and Philadelphia, the New Jersey beaches and the mountains.

The University community, including an active and deeply loyal alumni body, is warm, inclusive and united by a shared sense of purpose. A commitment to the University's unofficial motto - “Princeton in the nation's service and in the service of humanity” - is pervasive. Today, a world-class faculty of 1,100 faculty members (including several Nobel Prize recipients) instruct approximately 5,200 undergraduate students and 2,700 graduate students. Deeply committed to affordability for all admitted students, the University pioneered a no-loan financial aid program in 2001. Currently, more than 60 percent of undergraduate students receive financial aid, and over 20 percent come from low income families or are the first in their families to attend college.

About the Office of the General Counsel

The OGC is organized philosophically and practically as a collaborative undertaking, recognizing that each member of the office has made a deliberate and informed professional and personal choice to be a higher-education attorney. The OGC is run with a view both to delivering prompt and excellent legal services to its University clients, and to empowering each attorney to practice in a way that allows the attorney to grow and thrive. The OGC enables and encourages its attorneys to be, and be seen as, significant colleagues in all areas and at all levels of the University, and to embrace the shared passion and satisfaction of the institution's efforts to achieve the highest levels of excellence.

The OGC prides itself on being a collaborative group of counselors, often serving as thought partners for our colleagues throughout the University. As such, the expectations of the office generally, and of its lawyers, are dynamic, not static -- OGC attorneys must be flexible, intellectually agile, and prepared to embrace and master new areas of the law as University needs warrant.

Each OGC attorney serves multiple University constituencies and maintains a generalist practice, with expertise in specific areas. While OGC regularly engages outside counsel, the desire and presumption is that all members of the in-house team will serve the University as lawyers, not conduits.


Position Description

Princeton University's Office of the General Counsel invites applications for the position of Assistant University Counsel. This is a full-time two (2) year professional fellowship position and may be renewable for an additional year at the discretion of the General Counsel.

The Assistant University Counsel will be exposed to all areas of OGC's practice. For example, duties may include the following:

  • Counseling: Assist the University's eight (8) in-house attorneys in providing legal guidance and representation to various University clients.
  • Litigation Management: Collaborate with other attorneys in responding to discovery requests, monitoring litigation and overseeing outside counsel.
  • Research: Perform legal and factual research on a variety of issues.
  • Contracts: Draft and review University contracts and agreements.
  • Trusts & Estates: Assist other attorneys in managing trust and estate issues, e.g., bequests, royalties.
  • Training Sessions: Assist the OGC in training University clients on a variety of higher education legal issues (e.g., development and charitable giving, employment, intellectual property, sponsored research, student affairs, privacy, tax).
  • Knowledge Management: Contribute to the enhancement of the OGC's information resources and systems, including website, internal tools, files, etc., in an evolving content management environment.

The OGC supports the selected candidate's professional development through both on-the-job training and by supporting attendance at selected conferences and seminars.


To be considered, candidates must:
  • Have a J.D. from an ABA accredited law school.
  • Have no less than two and no more than five years of legal practice experience at a major law firm, the in-house legal department at a corporation or a not-for-profit, and/or government (including clerkships).
  • Be a licensed attorney in good standing, who is either licensed in, or willing and able to become licensed in, the state of New Jersey.
  • Have demonstrated extraordinarily strong research and writing skills.
  • Have demonstrated outstanding judgment, the highest ethical standards, and the capacity to tackle a wide array of legal issues.
  • Be able to demonstrate a strong interest and commitment to higher education and a passion for learning (although experience practicing higher education law is not required).
  • Attach to the on-line application a cover letter (no more than one page in length) explaining why the position appeals to you.

Desired Traits
  • A sense of urgency and responsiveness when dealing with clients and OGC colleagues, and an ability to handle multiple tasks in a timely manner.
  • The ability to work independently and on project oriented teams with minimum supervision, while adhering to pre-established parameters.
  • A collegial approach to problem-solving and a willingness to engage in clear and transparent dialogue about both legal and non-legal issues.
  • Excellent communication and diplomacy skills, oral and written, including superb listening and influencing skills.
  • The ability to perform effectively, calmly and collegially under pressure.
  • A consummate team player who is solutions-oriented, with a demonstrated ability to build relationships.

Compensation and Benefits

The salary is commensurate with the higher-end of the salary range paid to deputy attorneys general by the New Jersey Attorney General's office. The selected candidate will receive comprehensive Princeton University benefits, and may apply for University rental housing options. A relocation package is available if the selected candidate comes from outside the Princeton, N.J. area.

The OGC will enable the selected candidate's professional development in higher education law by funding attendance at selected conferences and seminars.

Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. EEO IS THE LAW

Salary Grade

ADM, 070

Standard Weekly Hours


Eligible for Overtime


Benefits Eligible


Essential Services Personnel (see policy for detail)


Physical Capacity Exam Required


Valid Driver's License Required


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Princeton University job offers are contingent upon the candidate's successful completion of a background check, reference checks, and pre-employment screening, as applicable. The type and extent of background check, reference checks, and pre-employment screening may vary depending on the requirements and/or functions of the job and the candidate's current employment status with Princeton University.

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Job No:
Posted: 11/7/2018
Application Due: 1/3/2019
Work Type: