General Counsel

Employer
Professional Diversity Network
Location
Northampton
Salary
Competitive
Posted
Jul 05, 2024
Closes
Aug 02, 2024
Practice
Litigation
Position
Counsel
Contract Type
Permanent
If you have any questions about the position or our application process, reach out to us at .

President's OfficeJob Description Smith College seeks an experienced General Counsel who will bring a capacity to lead and provide thoughtful guidance in a complex and changing higher education environment. Reporting to the president and working closely with the president's team, the general counsel will be providing a full array of in–house legal counsel for Smith College. This is a unique opportunity for a motivated self–starter to re–establish an in–house legal counsel office after 15 years of an outsourced model.

Successful candidates will have a Juris Doctorate from an ABA accredited law school with minimum 5 years legal experience and must be licensed to practice law in at least one United States jurisdiction, and will be required to seek admission to the Massachusetts Bar and maintain good standing. Expert knowledge on issues of academic freedom and the ability to navigate tensions between academic freedom and compliance with the college's legal requirements. Unquestionable integrity, trustworthiness, and a commitment to upholding rigorous ethical standards and confidentiality. Professionalism, decorum, and diplomacy in all interactions, with the ability to engage others with respect and empathy, in line with the college's mission and values is essential. A Commitment to equity and inclusion and experience working with diverse populations.

General Counsel

Essential Responsibilities:
  • Oversee and maintain full responsibility for a wide array of in–house legal services for Smith College and its officials, including advice and counsel, transactions, and litigation, in areas including but not limited to governance and board bylaws, employment and labor relations, student affairs, contracts, development and gift agreements, grants, intellectual property, real estate, financing transactions, enrollment, academic freedom, immigration and visas, civil rights (including Title IX), and internal investigations.
  • Establish a legal services strategy and operation for the college and retain and manage outside counsel with subject matter expertise.
  • Stay abreast of legal developments relevant to higher education and proactively advise on emerging trends and changes to laws and regulations and their potential impacts on the college's operations.
  • Inform the president and relevant members of the president's team in a timely manner of matters regarded as highly visible, sensitive or expose the college to legal risk or liability; work collaboratively with the president's team to manage and respond to legal issues related to their departments.
  • Conduct periodic legal reviews of college policies and procedures to ensure legal compliance with appropriate laws and the principles of academic freedom. Collaborate with risk management and advise policy owners of proposed improvements.
  • Foster a culture of legal compliance and ethical conduct across the college, promoting awareness and understanding of legal requirements and best practices through training and education.
  • Manage and oversee the legal services budget, including centralization of expenditures of the college's legal services.
  • Advise on legal aspects of, and provide assistance with, collective bargaining processes and agreements as needed.
Ideal candidates will have the following competencies, qualifications, and experience:
  • Juris Doctorate from an ABA accredited law school with minimum 5 years legal experience.
  • Must be licensed to practice law in at least one United States jurisdiction, and will be required to seek admission to the Massachusetts Bar and maintain good standing.
  • Strong generalist knowledge and expertise on a wide range of federal, state, and local laws that relate to the mission and operation of a private, non–profit higher education institution.
  • Must be a self–starter with the ability, motivation, and enthusiasm to design and establish a new legal services operation for the college.
  • Expert knowledge on issues of academic freedom and the ability to navigate tensions between academic freedom and compliance with the college's legal requirements.
  • Unquestionable integrity, trustworthiness, and a commitment to upholding rigorous ethical standards and confidentiality.
  • Professionalism, decorum, and diplomacy in all interactions, with the ability to engage others with respect and empathy, in line with the college's mission and values.
  • Commitment to equity and inclusion and experience working with diverse populations.
  • Exceptional negotiation, communication, and presentation skills, capable of effectively conveying complex legal concepts to diverse audiences.
  • Experience conducting or advising appropriate offices on conducting legally sufficient complex internal investigations.
  • Experience negotiating and/or interpreting collective bargaining agreements is desired, but not required.
Please attach BOTH a current resume and a cover letter in order for your application to be considered for this position . Be sure you have provided all attachments before submitting your application. You will NOT be able to attach additional files after you have hit the Submit button. Review of applications will begin

July 16, 2024 Compensation Grade:

Grade B Position Type:

RegularAbout Smith
Founded in 1871 as a private college with a mission to provide women with an excellent liberal arts education, Smith is one of the top 20 liberal arts colleges in the country. Primarily an undergraduate residential college, Smith distinguishes itself in many ways. With more than 2,300 undergraduates, approximately 300 faculty members, and an 8:1 student to faculty ratio, Smith's enrollment and faculty size enable it to combine the curricular breadth of a small university with the close personal attention of a residential liberal arts college. Nearly 150 years ago, Sophia Smith expressed her vision of a liberal arts college for women equal to the best available to men. By means of such a college, she wrote in her will, women's "wrongs will be redressed, their wages adjusted, their weight of influence in reforming the evils of society will be greatly increased their power for good incalculably enlarged." In keeping with Sophia Smith's intent, the college aims to produce graduates distinguished by their intellectual capabilities, their capacity for leadership, their ethical values, and their readiness to contribute to the betterment of the world. Today, Smith is among the largest of the selective liberal arts colleges and offers a broad curriculum. Its programs in the arts, humanities, and social and natural sciences have expanded to respond to the intellectual interests of today's students. A supportive academic environment is complemented by a housing program in which most students live in residential houses accommodating from 10 to 100 students. Smith students are passionate and motivated about civic issues; its faculty are engaged and productive scholars in their fields and devoted to teaching; and its staff are true collaborators with faculty and administrators.

Smith's campus is renowned for its splendor and extraordinary facilities. Tree–lined paths, views of Paradise Pond, and numerous lawns and gardens – including the Japanese Garden, Neilson Lawn, and Rock Garden – contribute to the campus' beauty. Facilities of note include a light–filled 60,000 square foot Campus Center named for Smith alumna Julia McWilliams Child; the Smith College Museum of Art in the Brown Fine Arts Center; and Ford Hall, a spectacular science and engineering facility designed to blur the boundaries between traditional disciplines. The renovated Neilson Library, which opened in 2022, was designed by renowned architectural designer Maya Lin. The campus is ideally situated just steps from the center of Northampton, Massachusetts, a city of 30,000 that is home to a vibrant social and cultural scene. Northampton has an Amtrak station and is just 30 minutes from Bradley International Airport in Hartford County, Connecticut. Smith is a member of the Five Colleges consortium, which affords students a wide range of academic, cultural, and social advantages. The consortium, a unique private/public partnership among Hampshire, Smith, Amherst and Mount Holyoke Colleges and the University of Massachusetts, is one of the oldest and most esteemed in American higher education. Smith College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). Its current accreditation cycle culminates in 2027. Meanwhile, the college has begun to plan for its sesquicentennial celebrations in 2025.

Consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 151B, it is the policy of Smith College to provide reasonable accommodation when requested by a qualified applicant or employee with a disability, unless such accommodation would cause an undue hardship. The policy regarding requests for reasonable accommodation applies to all aspects of employment, including the application process. If reasonable accommodation is needed, please contact Kim Kenney–Rockwal ().

As set forth in its mission and values, Smith College is committed to promoting a culture of equity and inclusion among students, staff and faculty. The college will not discriminate in employment on the basis of age, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, genetic information, age, veteran status . click apply for full job details