Associate Director of Conflicts
Cooley is seeking an Associate Director of Conflicts to join the Business Intake and Conflicts team..
Position summary: The business intake and conflicts function (“BIC”) is essential to the firm’s (1) compliance with (a) ethical obligations prevailing in jurisdictions in which the firm maintains offices and in which it practices and (b) the firm’s Risk Management policies and procedures, (2) avoidance of malpractice claims and ethical violations, and (3) ability to onboard new business, in the form of new clients and new matters for existing clients, new timekeepers and new employees in a timely fashion.
Working closely with the Director of Business Intake and Conflicts, the Associate Director of Conflicts will be responsible for managing the Conflicts Staff Attorney and Lateral divisions within BIC, including coordination and implementation of departmental strategy, overseeing the clearance and onboarding of all lateral hires including partners, coordinating trainings offered by or requested of the Conflict Staff Attorney group, assuring compliance with applicable Rules of Professional Conduct and assisting and managing other loss prevention functions. Specific duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
Conflicts staff attorney division:
- Manage Conflicts Staff Attorneys (CSAs). Provide guidance, planning and collaboration with CSAs and other BIC managers to ensure consistency and efficiency in application of firm conflicts and risk management policies in resolving business intake and conflicts issues
- Coordinate trainings offered by or requested of the Conflicts Staff Attorneys related to conflicts and risk management policies and procedures
- Maintain up-to-date knowledge of the American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct as adopted in each state in which the firm maintains an office, and jurisdictional differences in all states, countries and practice areas in which the firm conducts business
- Monitor ABA and jurisdictional rules for changes. Suggest modifications in firm policy to the Director of BIC for approval
- Provide guidance for analysis and resolution of escalated conflicts issues related to new business and new hires
- Effectively work with Managers, Directors, CSAs, Conflict Analysts and firm attorneys to obtain the relevant information to make determinations on conflict issues
- Provide guidance on complex ethical screens, conflict waivers and engagement letter provisions
- Oversee the client-imposed engagement letters and outside counsel guidelines process to which the firm is asked to agree by clients and prospective clients
- Conduct research projects as assigned relating to conflicts of interest issues
- Ensure compliance with advanced level research projects on corporate affiliations and corporate relatedness
- Hire, counsel and terminate conflict staff attorneys (as and to extent necessary and in conjunction with Director of BIC and HR)
- Provide backup support as necessary for Director of BIC Conflicts (New Business), Director of BIC Operations and Projects and Senior Manager of BIC Quality Assurance and Compliance
- All other duties as assigned or required
- Manage the lateral conflicts assistants and analysts. Define guidelines and formulate department policies and procedures; implement action plans for conflicts staff to ensure standardization, efficiency and overall understanding of systems and procedures; monitor conformance with risk management procedures
- Review assistants and analysts’ work when required to provide input in resolving complex issues
- Utilize firm’s software to perform a variety of high-level conflict resolution work; prioritize work and ensure the timely and efficient processing of conflict-of-interest checks
- Management and involvement, as necessary, in the analysis of conflicts and drafting of waivers, consents and ethical screen memoranda
- Preliminary review of possible conflict issues and clearance of same through firm’s Director of BIC, and General Counsel’s office
- Manage the clearance and intake of portable business for lateral candidates, including partners during onboarding process to the firm
- Participate in implementation of workflow processes and applications that provide business services to the firm
- Manage the implementation of ethical screens, working with the firm’s Director of BIC and the General Counsel’s office regarding the drafting of such screens, as needed
- Responsible for training of and guidance to legal and non-legal staff regarding the firm’s lateral conflicts and intake procedures and related reports
- Partner with the Director of BIC to develop and implement a training program for onboarding and continuous learning of Conflicts and Intake staff
- Maintain up to date knowledge of conflicts rules including jurisdictional differences, working with firm’s Director of BIC to incorporate changes or modifications into staff training
- Hire, counsel and terminate (as and to extent necessary and in conjunction with Director of BIC and HR) lateral conflicts and intake analysts and senior analysts
- Provide backup support as necessary for Director of Conflicts (New Business), Sr. Manager of BIC Quality Assurance & Compliance and Director of BIC Operations and Projects
- All other duties as assigned or required
Skills and experience:
- After orientation at Cooley LLP, exhibit proficiency in the Microsoft Office suite, iManage and other firm applications
- Ability to work extended and/or weekend hours, as required
- Ability to travel, as required
- 7+ years’ experience as a Conflicts Staff Attorney or in exempt-level roles in conflicts (preferably with some senior manager/supervisory experience) in directly relevant role
- 5+ years of large law firm conflicts resolution and business intake experience
- Proven ability to operate at senior and independent level
- Proficiency in drafting conflict waivers
- Experience developing policies and procedures for conflicts clearance, analysis and other business intake issues
- Extensive and thorough knowledge of rules governing conflicts of interest
- Maintain current knowledge of trends
- JD Degree
- Active member in good standing of any state bar, preferably California, Colorado, D.C., New York or other applicable jurisdiction
Prior experience with Intapp Open and Intapp Walls
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Proven ability to interact with attorneys, all levels of management, staff and outside third parties in highly effective and professional manner
- Ability to handle multiple projects at one time
- Ability to work well in a team environment and with diverse groups across all of the firm’s offices
- Well organized and efficient
- Commitment to consistently high-quality work product
- Cooley offers a competitive compensation and excellent benefits package.
Pursuant to the Colorado Equal Pay For Equal Work Act, please find the compensation range specific to this role if based in CO, as well as a description of bonus and benefits generally applicable across all US offices.
- Colorado pay range for this role, with final offer amount dependent on skillset and experience - $150,000 to $165,000 annually
- Other compensation may include an annual discretionary merit bonus.
- Employees in this role will have the option to elect various benefits, including medical, dental, vision, accidental death and dismemberment, life insurance, dependent life insurance, long term disability, long-term care insurance, health savings accounts (if enrolled in an HDHP), health/dependent care spending accounts, 401(k) and profit sharing.
- Other benefits include PTO and the option to participate in our tuition reimbursement program and wellness program, which includes fitness reimbursement each year.