Closing Date: 9th February, 2023

Description:

This position reports to, and works closely with, the General Counsel to provide legal counsel and work product to the Commissioner of Higher Education and the Higher Education Coordinating Board staff. This position will serve as the agency's Public Information Coordinator and as an assistant general counsel. Duties of this position may include preparing and reviewing contracts and grant agreements; serving as Public Information Coordinator; drafting administrative rules, proposed legislation, policies, and procedures; assisting the agency with records retention policies and guidance; preparing documentation during the Sunset Review process; and interpreting statutes, case law, rules, and regulations. The successful candidate will have excellent attention to detail, be able to manage multiple deadlines on a tight timeframe and have a demonstrated record of success working with moderate supervision on highly complex matters.

General Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Serves as the agency's Public Information Coordinator, responsible for responding to all Public Information Act requests, briefing the Office of Attorney General, and preparing cost estimates, as needed.
  • Assists the agency's records retention coordinator with development of records retention policies and guidance.
  • Provides advice and counsel to agency staff on legal matters and on the interpretation and application of agency policies, rules, and regulations, and state and federal laws.
  • Researches and analyzes legal sources such as statutes, case law, administrative records, Attorney General Opinions, Ethics Commission opinions, legislative histories, and various articles, rules, and regulations.
  • Participates in drafting, developing, reviewing, and negotiating contracts and contractor proposals.
  • Develops and updates contract and solicitation templates and additional contract forms/guidance, interprets contractual provisions, and provides advice on all facets of contract and grant (State and Federal) issues.
  • Drafts, reviews, and negotiates Memoranda of Understanding and Interagency Contracts with other State agencies.
  • Prepares and reviews legal documents such as pleadings, motions, briefs, opinions, position statements, proposed legislation, proposed rules, and other legal memoranda.
  • Prepares and reviews position statements and other correspondence with State and Federal agencies, including the Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • Reviews and prepares responses to public information requests. May serve as the Public Information Coordinator.
  • Coordinates with internal and external teams regarding legal research and work or other project issues.
  • Assists with representing the agency in pre-trial, trial, and appellate phases of lawsuits, including drafting motions, briefs, and discovery documents and preparing witnesses for deposition and trial.
  • Performs other work as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
  • Knowledge of Texas Public Information Act
  • Knowledge of laws, regulations, and rules governing the Higher Education Coordinating Board
  • Knowledge of litigation processes, and of legal principles, practices, and proceedings
  • Knowledge of contract and grant law
  • Knowledge of administrative law, state government contract law, State and Federal grant law, and commercial laws
  • Skill in legal research, legal and business writing, and analysis
  • Skill in using personal computers, general office software, databases, and online legal research services and software
  • Skill in negotiation
  • Skill in interpersonal communications
  • Ability to prepare legal documents, including legal briefs, pleadings, motions, administrative rules, proposed legislation, and contracts and grant agreements
  • Ability to conduct research, to interpret and apply laws, and to summarize findings
  • Ability to successfully manage multiple projects, tasks and priorities
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships both internally and externally
  • Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing
  • Ability to obtain and maintain knowledge of all pertinent laws, rules, regulations, and procedures

Military Crosswalk: https://hr.sao.texas.gov/Compensation/MilitaryCrosswalk/MOSC_Legal.pdf

Qualifications:
Required Minimum Education and Experience:
  • Graduation from an accredited law school with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree.
  • Five years full-time experience as a licensed, practicing attorney.

Registration, Certification, or Licensure:
License to practice law in the State of Texas and be a member in good standing with the State Bar of Texas.

Preferred:
  • Experience in the areas of State government contract law and State and Federal grant law
  • Experience applying the Texas Public Information Act
  • Knowledge of Texas public education and/or higher education law
  • Knowledge of Texas procurement laws and rules
  • Knowledge of federal laws and regulations affecting grant-making by state agencies using federal funds
  • Experience negotiating licenses and working in the areas of copyright and trademark
  • Knowledge of data breach, data privacy, and state and federal confidentiality laws, including FERPA
  • Knowledge of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
  • Knowledge of employment law

Physical Requirements and/or Working Conditions:
Work is performed in a standard office environment and requires:
  • Regular, reliable, and punctual attendance at work;
  • Frequent use of personal computer, copiers, printers, and telephones;
  • Frequent sitting, and
  • Frequently working under deadlines, as a team member, and in direct contact with others.

Workforce:
Must Be Able To:
  • Meet multiple deadlines.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of customer service deliverables.
  • Show flexibility and adaptability toward changes in assignments and work schedules, working extended hours as necessary.
  • Adhere to the organization's internal management policies and procedures.
  • Contribute to the agency's performance measures and mission.
  • Travel occasionally for work assignments (generally less than one percent of time).

Application Requirements:
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is an Equal Opportunity Employer. A State of Texas application is required to apply. For more information on how to apply for this position, go to the Coordinating Board's employment opportunities website at??http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/about-us/human-resources/career-opportunities/.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board participates in E-Verify for each new employees' Form I-9 to confirm work authorization. For questions, please call the HR Department at 512-427-6190. For vocal and/or hearing assistance call 7-1-1.

Notes to Applicant:
If you require any reasonable accommodation for the interview process, please inform the hiring representative who calls to schedule your interview. This position has been designated as a security sensitive position. A criminal background investigation will be conducted on the final candidate for this position.

Your job application must be completely filled out. Your application must contain dates of employment, job titles, name of employer and a description of duties performed in a way that demonstrates you meet the minimum qualifications for the position for which you are applying. Resumes do not take the place of the requirement to include this information on the application. If this information is not submitted, your application may be rejected because it is incomplete.

Veterans Information: THECB is committed to hiring Veterans. To receive Veteran's Preference, a copy of the FORM DD214 -member #4, must be attached when submitting your application.

An Equal Employment Opportunity Employer: THECB does not discriminate on the basis, of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability in employment or the provision of services.

Job offer and continuation of employment with THECB is contingent upon:
  • Proof of education and experience listed on the application.
  • Eligibility/authorization to work in the U.S.
  • Satisfactory results from a pre-employment criminal history background check.
  • Compliance with the Selective Service Law for males ages 18-25. Please be advised that under Texas law, names and other information concerning applicants or nominees may be subject to disclosure upon request.

THECB does not allow dual employment with other state of Texas agencies or institutions.

Skills assessment may be conducted at time of interview

No phone calls or emails, please. Due to the high volume of applications, we do not accept telephone calls and cannot reply to all email inquiries. Only candidates selected for interview will be contacted.