Description:

Performs advanced (senior-level) legal work as a member of the TJJD Office of General Counsel’s (OGC) team of staff attorneys providing in-house legal and administrative services to TJJD based on the current needs of the agency. Work involves providing legal advice to agency staff on issues including juvenile law, open meetings, administrative procedure, transactional matters, legislative changes, and juvenile corrections and supervision practices.

Other duties include preparing responses to appeals filed by TJJD youth, parents/guardians, or employees involving TJJD administrative processes and youth grievances; advising TJJD staff with regard to investigations of abuse, neglect, or exploitation; representing the agency in processes involving the discipline of certified officers, including in proceedings at the State Office of Administrative Hearings; assisting other attorneys and staff with TJJD administrative hearings and employment grievance processes; providing training and technical assistance to juvenile justice professionals throughout the state, including certified officers; and assisting with the development of rules and policies. .

May assist with the maintenance of case law decisions, legislative changes and opinions related to juvenile justice, and the development of legislative commentary reports and statutory implementation guides. May supervise the work of others.

Works under minimal supervision with considerable latitude for the use of initiative and independent judgment. May be required to work in excess of 40 hours per workweek, be on-call, and travel occasionally.

Essential Functions
  • Advises staff on legal matters and on the interpretation of agency regulations and state and federal laws. (20%)
  • Prepares legal opinions, briefs, contracts, proposals, and reports. (10%)
  • Represents the agency in administrative and enforcement hearings. (10%)
  • Acts as a consultant to other agencies and juvenile justice practitioners on matters related to juvenile justice and TJJD rules; serves as a liaison with state organizations; and represents the OGC at meetings, hearings, conferences, and seminars or on boards, panels, and committees. (5%)
  • Oversees the preparation of and prepares related reports, including special projects and non-routine reports, reports developed for planning purposes, reports as needed for legislative analysis and compliance monitoring reviews, and to provide relevant information to the general counsel and deputy general counsel. (10%)
  • Collaborates with OGC staff in meeting established objectives and goals; shares information, identifies concerns and trends, and recommends improvements to resolve problems or enhance operations. (5%)
  • Advises staff and the public on legal matters and on the interpretation and application of agency regulations and state and federal laws. (10%)
  • Reviews drafts of laws, rules, and regulations affecting agency operations; analyzes juvenile justice legal issues and monitors legislation affecting juvenile justice and agency operations; and may draft or assist in drafting bills, legislative amendments, or agency administrative rules. Analyzes related legislation for impact on section operations; recommends and evaluates potential administrative code rule revisions; and oversees the implementation of related legislation and administrative code rule requirements. (15%)
  • Assists other attorneys in providing legal and other services within the division, to include providing guidance to others. (5%)
  • Monitors outcomes for racial, ethnic, and gender disparities and acts to address identified disparities.
  • Performs a variety of related duties not listed, to be determined and assigned as needed.
  • Performs all duties in compliance with TJJD safety policies and procedures.
  • Reports safety hazards and corrects hazards when possible.
  • Completes required documentation in the event of an accident/injury within requested time frames.
  • Attends work on a regular and predictable schedule in accordance with agency attendance and leave policies.

Qualifications
Minimum Qualifications
Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) degree or a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.). A license to practice law in the State of Texas. Seven (7) years of full-time wage-earning experience in juvenile justice law, administrative law or juvenile justice law or a closely related field.

Preferred:
  • Experience working in the juvenile justice system.
  • Prosecution or other litigation experience.
  • State agency experience.
  • Experience in legal research and writing.
  • Knowledge and understanding of basic adult training and legal education concepts.
  • Note: Any degree, diploma, high school equivalent, or course hours required to meet minimum qualifications must be from an accredited educational institution.

Experience and Education Substitutions:
Pro-rated part-time experience may satisfy the experience requirement.

Requirements for Continued Employment:
  • Failure to maintain required licensure/certification will result in termination of employment.
  • Must remain in good standing with the State Bar of Texas.