Position Classification Description

Position Class Code / Title: C7005 / Deputy University Counsel
Recruitment Tier: Tier 1
FLSA: Exempt
Grade: 19
HR Review/Approval:COMP

This is a description of a Staff Position Classification. It is not an announcement of a position opening. To view descriptions of current openings, please go to UNMJobs and Search Postings to view positions that are currently accepting applications.

The following statements are intended to describe, in broad terms, the general functions and responsibility levels characteristic of positions assigned to this classification. They should not be viewed as an exhaustive list of the specific duties and prerequisites applicable to individual positions that have been so classified.


Under the general direction of the University Counsel, manages a legal services subunit or division of the University Counsel Office with responsibility for a major area of legal services. Performs complex legal work for the highest levels of University administration in areas of legal specialization, and represents or oversees the representation of the University in legal proceedings. Analyzes legal and regulatory issues in areas of specialization, and develops and/or reviews institutional policies. Oversees, coordinates, and trains lower-level attorneys and professional staff. May perform the duties of the University Counsel during the absence of and upon request of the University Counsel.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Supervises, trains, sets salaries, allocates work, and manages the performance of legal and support staff; coordinates the activities of and consults with outside attorneys as appropriate.
  2. Develops and manages budgets and operating procedures, and establishes working guidelines to include intake procedures, work priorities, turnaround times, quality standards, and other operational benchmarks.
  3. Performs the duties of the University Counsel as and when required; represents the University Counsel Office at meetings of the Board of Regents or other bodies, as assigned.
  4. Independently anticipates and identifies legal issues of concern to senior University administration, and develops appropriate legal strategies and solutions, often in situations of high risk to the University, with limited time for assessing alternatives.
  5. Designs, develops, manages implementation, and oversees administration of policies and procedures, bylaws, regulations, training manuals, and other University documents within legal specialty areas.
  6. Monitors and analyzes complex current, proposed, or pending laws, regulations, and other internal or external developments affecting the University in areas of legal specialty; prepares summary analyses and comments, and prepares formal opinions of counsel, as needed.
  7. Identifies potential risks and opportunities, and prepares communications to senior administrators; recommends, negotiates, and implements administrative/management responses, and advises administration regarding promotion of specific regulatory compliance strategies related to University programs.
  8. Reviews, drafts, and approves complex contracts involving great risk or significance to the University, to include leases, licenses, purchases, sales, insurance, employment, and other relevant legal issues; monitors, oversees, and trains legal staff and other University staff in contract review procedure.
  9. Represents senior administrators, executives, and managers in administrative hearings; represents or oversees the representation of the University and its officials in complex litigation.
  10. Negotiates settlements involving complex legal issues or transactions on behalf of the University; provides leadership in structuring and negotiating partnerships and other complex relationships with governmental, corporate, and non-profit external entities.
  11. Prepares and delivers, and/or oversees the preparation and delivery of generic training and training materials in area of legal specialty.
  12. Enhances professional growth and development through participation in seminars and workshops; maintains professional affiliations to keep abreast of developments and trends in higher education law.
  13. Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.

Minimum Job Requirements

  • J.D. or LL.B; at least 10 years of experience directly related to the duties and responsibilities specified. Member of NM State Bar, or member in good standing of the State Bar of another state or District of Columbia.
  • Completed degree(s) from an accredited institution that are above the minimum education requirement may be substituted for experience on a year for year basis.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required

  • Advanced verbal and written communication skills and the ability to work with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community.
  • Ability to provide competent legal advice and counsel to senior university officials on a wide range of legal and policy issues.
  • Knowledge of human resources concepts, practices, policies, and procedures.
  • Knowledge of the range of applicable laws and regulations which impact on all facets of university policy and operations.
  • Ability to analyze and interpret legal issues and develop and implement appropriately responsive strategies and solutions.
  • Ability to successfully deputize for and perform the duties of the University Counsel on an as-needs basis.
  • Knowledge of the judicial system and procedures.
  • Ability to supervise and train employees, to include organizing, prioritizing, and scheduling work assignments.
  • Knowledge of organizational structure, workflow, and institutional operating procedures.
  • Ability to represent University officials in litigation or administrative proceedings.
  • Organizing and coordinating skills.
  • Ability to draft legal documents, such as pleadings, legal responses, affidavits, position statements and briefs.
  • Ability to foster a cooperative work environment.
  • Employee development and performance management skills.
  • Knowledge of the principles and procedures of legal research.
  • Knowledge and understanding of institutional policies and procedures and the regulatory environment within which they operate.
  • Negotiating skills.
  • Knowledge of contract law.
  • Knowledge of legal documentation procedures and requirements.
  • Ability to professionally and administratively manage the provision of legal services within a university environment, to include budgeting and planning.
  • Ability to assess training and in-service needs in area of specialty, and to provide consultation and arrange/facilitate training and seminars.
  • Ability to supervise and coordinate the work of legal professionals, paraprofessionals, and consultants.

Conditions of Employment

  • Employees in this job title are subject to the terms and conditions of an employment contract. Employment contracts are typically subject to review and renewal on an annual basis.
  • Successful candidate who is not a member of the NM State Bar is required to obtain a temporary Public Employee Limited License issued by the NM Supreme Court.
  • Must become a member of the NM State Bar no later than one (1) year after date of hire.
  • Employees who provide services or work in patient care or clinical areas are required to be in compliance with the University's influenza vaccination requirement.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

  • No or very limited physical effort required.
  • No or very limited exposure to physical risk.
  • Work is normally performed in a typical interior/office work environment.

The University of New Mexico provides all training required by OSHA to ensure employee safety.

Revised Date: 09/23/2020