Description:

About the job
Under the leadership of the Chief Legal Officer, the Office of Legal Counsel provides cost-effective, high-quality, creative, and proactive legal problem solving. The Office supports the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners ("Board"), the CEO, and school system employees to navigate legal requirements, evaluate and manage legal risk, align, and conserve resources, promote collaborative dispute resolution, and reduce avoidable litigation, if possible, and engage in strategic decision-making to promote equity and academic excellence for all students. Attorneys who serve as Senior Counsel are responsible for providing high-quality legal counsel and representation on a wide variety matters related to education law and school system operations. Each Senior Counsel is assigned leadership responsibilities, under the direction of the Chief Legal Officer, in one or more of the primary legal practice areas in the Office of Legal Counsel (e.g., contracts and transactions, labor and employment, special education and school support services, and litigation), depending on organizational needs and priorities.

Essential Functions
  • Oversees and provides legal services in one or more of the primary legal practice areas in the Office of Legal Counsel.
  • Provides supervision, as designated by the Chief Legal Officer, for assistant and associate counsel, as well as support staff.
  • Manages litigation and other legal projects assigned to outside counsel and serves as liaison with such counsel to coordinate their activities in a cost-effective manner.
  • Participates in system-wide cross-functional teams to provide legal counsel and feedback.
  • Provides leadership support to the Chief Legal Officer for effective operation of the Office of Legal Counsel.
  • Provides legal advice and counsel to the Board, the CEO, and other school system employees on legal requirements, best practices, and legal developments in the legal practice area(s) of assignment, as well as a wide variety of other matters, including but not limited to, litigation, labor and employment, student civil rights, special education, procurement, contracts, transactions, and land use.
  • Represents the Board, CEO, and other school system employees in cases and matters before federal and state courts and in administrative hearings, including preparing and reviewing briefs, motions, and pleadings; organizing complex discovery and production of documents; preparing for and conducting trials; and closely coordinating and consulting with relevant school system staff.
  • Provides legal support to the school system in response to complaints and investigations by government agencies regarding labor and employment, special education, civil rights, and other matters, which may require written responses that include extensive legal analysis of relevant issues.
  • Represents the interests of the school system in negotiating settlement or resolution of legal matters.
  • Coordinates responses to public information requests and subpoenas.
  • Conducts research and drafts legal opinions regarding legal questions and issues, interpreting laws, rulings, policies, and addressing current or potential litigation exposure.
  • Provides advice regarding federal and state legislation of concern to the school system.
  • Prepares and conducts legal review regarding policies, regulations, contracts, transactions, agreements, union contracts, materials, and other documents to promote the interests of the school system.
  • Proactively anticipates legal issues relevant to decision making.
  • Keeps abreast of all pertinent federal and local legislation, regulations, and case law in the legal practice area(s) of assignment.
  • Provides updates to school system staff on relevant legal decisions, legislation, policies, or regulations which may impact school system policy or practice.
  • Develops and facilitates appropriate in-service activities and trainings for staff on education law, legal interpretations, and related areas.
  • Provides direct support to school-based staff on custody disputes and other legal matters.
  • Utilizes resources appropriately to complete work in the most efficient manner; proactively communicates the status of work; participates and contributes fully as a team member; and exercises sound judgment and decision-making skills to resolve sensitive matters.
  • Performs and promotes all activities in compliance with equal employment and nondiscrimination policies; follow federal and state laws, school board policies and the professional standards.

Desired Qualifications
  • Possession of a Juris Doctorate Degree from an accredited law school, plus a minimum of ten years of recent progressively more responsible professional experience in public or private sector practice of law, preferably which deals with public school legal issues.
  • Membership in the Maryland State Bar highly preferred.
  • Documented successful experience with management and supervisory responsibilities, preferably in a legal setting.
  • Extensive experience in managing large-scale projects that require substantial interaction within all levels of an organization and community stakeholders.
  • Thorough knowledge of legal principles and their application, and expertise in one or more of the primary legal practice areas of the Office of Legal Counsel (e.g., contracts and transactions, labor and employment, special education and school support services, and litigation).
  • Demonstrated organizational skills and experience in assessing, interpreting, and resolving complex legal problems/situations.
  • Excellent skills in managing legal matters and negotiating resolutions that accommodate conflicting interests and viewpoints.
  • Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing, as well as excellent skills in legal research and in presenting, explaining, and defending policies and procedures.
  • Ability to develop and maintain strong working relationships with school system employees and managers at all levels, as well as external attorneys and law firms, government leaders, and community stakeholders.
  • Ability to interact with diverse constituencies and convey complicated information with tact and diplomacy.
  • Ability to multi-task, prioritize changing assignments, and organize busy workload, meet deadlines, and work well under pressure, while exercising excellent attention to detail.
  • Proficient in the use of technical computer applications, in manipulating electronic databases, and in the use of Microsoft Office applications, particularly Excel, and case management systems.
  • Other combinations of applicable education, training, and experience which provide the knowledge, abilities, and skills necessary to perform effectively in the position may be considered.

Additional Details
Qualified candidates for the above position must submit the following:
  • Completed online application
  • Resume that clearly demonstrates the above minimum qualifications. It is important that you include all experiences and education related to the position to which you are applying.
  • Upload copies of all transcripts -undergraduate, graduate and all MSDE Certifications
  • Must provide three (3) professional references to include: name, title, business address, e-mail address and phone number
  • All documentation/certification necessary (scanned copies accepted) to substantiate minimum qualifications; must be uploaded into application
  • All documentation must be scanned and uploaded to application

Benefits -- This position is eligible for benefits. To review the available options please see the information relevant to the union for this position by viewing the following link: http://www.baltimorecityschools.org

Baltimore City Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ancestry or national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, disability, veteran status, genetic information, or age in its employment, programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts of America and other designated youth groups. For inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies, please contact Equal Opportunity Manager, Title IX Coordinator Equal Employment Opportunity and Title IX Compliance Office 200 E. North Avenue, Room 208 Baltimore, MD 21202; 410-396-8542 (phone); 410-396-2955 (fax).

This position is not affiliated with any bargaining unit.

This position is affiliated with the City Retirement Plan.