The University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas (UST) is accepting applications for a General Counsel position. Located in the fourth largest city in America, UST spans almost 20 city blocks in the heart of Houston’s highly desirable Museum District adjacent to the world renowned Texas Medical Center. To apply for this position, please send a comprehensive cover letter, complete CV and five (5) professional references to:
Applicants will be reviewed immediately and will be accepted until the position is filled. The University of St. Thomas is an equal opportunity employer.
The General Counsel reports directly to the President of the University and is responsible for managing all legal matters and in providing a high-level of professional legal service and advice to the President, Board of Directors, and officers and employees of the University. The General Counsel will provide guidance in education law, contract review, regulatory compliance, intellectual property issues, non-profit requirements, real estate transactions, employee and labor relations, and other administrative legal matters.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE POSITION:
- Provide the President, senior leadership and key department managers with legal advice on and assistance in the development of proposed or pending administrative actions, decisions, or policies;
- Serve as the primary point person for the University on all legal matters;
- Act as a liaison between the University and external firms on legal matters;
- Serve as the principal point of contact between university and off-campus regulatory and law-enforcement agencies when appropriate;
- Help administrators and their staff understand the legal causes and effects of their administrative actions and provide information about legal developments of interest to specific administrators;
- Complete special assignments at the request of the President;
- Conduct and oversee research into a variety of legal issues. Provide analysis of legal and policy issues;
- Write, edit, and finalize reports, opinions, correspondence, articles, and other documents;
- Serve as legal advisor for student affairs related to student conduct and student disciplinary proceedings;
- Serve as legal advisor to human resources for employee and labor relations matters;
- Serve, in conjunction with the Vice President for Marketing and Communications as a legal spokesperson to the media, when deemed necessary;
- Coordinate multi-department teams to study and/or evaluate a variety of issues and provide services as needed; and
- Attend board meetings as needed and assist if called upon;
- Review, drafts, and negotiates contracts, as needed;
- Oversee intellectual property and trademark matters for the university;
- Serve as a legal advisor to Institutional Advancement in reviewing trust and estate matters.
ABILITIES & SKILLS:
- Efficiently conduct legal research;
- Effectively handle multiple tasks focused on University objectives;
- Work with a sense of urgency and responsiveness when dealing with clients;
- Be a consummate team player who is solutions-oriented and has a demonstrated ability to build relationships with various constituencies;
- Act in accordance with the highest ethical and professional standards;
- Be a strong communicator who can draft, edit, and review legal opinions and other written materials so that they are accurate and clear to both legal and non-legal audiences;
- Must be able to prepare written communication correctly without grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors;
- Must be able to make effective presentations and speeches to groups of varying sizes;
- Confidently and competently engage with high-level administrative and academic officials in a fast-paced setting;
- Read, analyze, and interpret common legal and technical journals, reports, and legal documents;
- Respond to common inquiries or complaints from various constituencies, including regulatory agencies and members of the business community;
- Effectively present information to management, external groups, and employees of organizations and/or administrators; and,
- Must be able to effectively collaborate with others at all levels.
- A Juris Doctorate degree;
- Five years of general law practice preferred;
- Preference for candidates who have worked a minimum of three years at a university or college as a general counsel;
- General familiarity with the areas of non-profit law, real estate transactions, contract law, regulatory compliance, Title IX and Clery Act compliance, trust and estate matters, and general administrative law related to higher education;
- A strong understanding of religious freedom matters especially as they relate to faith-based higher education. A thorough understanding of Ex Corde Ecclesiae preferred.
- A member in good standing with the State Bar of Texas and is eligible to practice law within Texas;
- Excellent research, analytical, communication, and interpersonal skills and superb professional and personal judgment;
- Effective communication skills and the proven ability to collaborate with others
- Intermediate level or above proficiency in using Microsoft Office Products and use of a personal computer;
- Experience representing a private Catholic institution of higher education is preferred;
- Demonstrated understanding of legal issues faced by non-profit private institutions of higher education; and
- A member of the Roman Catholic Church in good standing is preferred.
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