Position Classification Description

Position Class Code / Title: C8006 / Chief Legal Counsel
Recruitment Tier: Tier 1
FLSA: Exempt
Grade: 99

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.

Summary

Oversees and manages the provision of all legal services to the institution to ensure maximum protection of its legal rights and to maintain its operations within the limits prescribed by law. Provides strategic guidance, consultation, and support to senior University administrators and other members of upper management on a comprehensive range of legal and associated issues involved in carrying out the mission of the institution.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Provides legal counsel and guidance to the officers of the institution and other upper management on all legal matters relevant to a large public institution, including personnel law, policies, procedures, rules,and regulations, and laws pertaining to students, real estate transactions, contracts and grants, tax matters, worker's compensation, liability and insurance matters, public monies and purchases, affirmative action, and other laws and regulations.
  2. Anticipates and identifies legal issues and counsels officers of the institution and other upper management in order to develop legal strategies and solutions, often in situations of great political, public relations, or financial risk or significance, and with limited time for assessing alternatives.
  3. Reviews, researches, interprets, and prepares both written and oral opinions on a wide variety of legal issues.
  4. Drafts, reviews, and approves policies and procedures, regulations, bylaws, and other legal documents.
  5. Reviews contracts, leases, and other legal documents; researches legal issues and recommends revisions as necessary.
  6. Represents or oversees the representation of the institution and upper management in judicial and administrative proceedings, and in negotiations with other state agencies.
  7. Designs, establishes, and maintains an organizational structure and staffing to effectively accomplish the organization's goals and objectives; oversees recruitment, training, supervision, and evaluation of unit staff.
  8. Develops and manages annual budgets for the organization and performs periodic cost and productivity analyses.
  9. Selects and retains outside counsel, as required, to obtain legal opinions or to handle claims and litigation.
  10. Supervises legal work of other university attorneys, paralegals, and outside counsel; consults on difficult or sensitive issues.
  11. Provides training to the campus community on various legal issues through seminars and meetings.
  12. Maintains professional growth and development through seminars, workshops, and professional affiliations to keep abreast of latest developments in college and university law and in other related areas.
  13. Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.

Minimum Job Requirements

  • J.D. from an American Bar Association accredited law school; 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

  • Ability to develop and deliver presentations.
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully manage a large corporate or centralized institutional legal office.
  • Skill in budget preparation and fiscal management.
  • Ability to provide competent legal advice and counsel to senior university officials on a wide range of legal and policy issues.
  • Knowledge of the range of applicable laws and regulations which impact on all facets of university policy and operations.
  • Ability to analyze and interpret issues and to prepare legal opinions.
  • Ability to communicate and interact with officials at all levels of government.
  • Ability to supervise and train employees, to include organizing, prioritizing, and scheduling work assignments.
  • Knowledge of current and developing legal issues and trends in area of expertise.
  • Ability to supervise and coordinate the work of legal professionals, paraprofessionals, and consultants.
  • Ability to foster a cooperative work environment.
  • Knowledge of the principles and procedures of legal research.
  • Employee development and performance management skills.
  • Negotiating skills.
  • Knowledge and understanding of institutional policies and procedures and the regulatory environment within which they operate.
  • Knowledge of contract law.
  • Knowledge of financial/business analysis techniques.
  • Knowledge of the judicial system and procedures.
  • Knowledge of legal documentation procedures and requirements.
  • Ability to develop and implement legal strategies and solutions.
  • Knowledge of community legal resources.
  • Knowledge of faculty and/or staff hiring procedures.

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.
  • If an examination to gain membership in the New Mexico State Bar is required, accommodations will be made by the University for this purpose.

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: 04/30/2018