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General Counsel

Based in Phoenix, AZ


Posting Date: January 12, 2018
Closing Date: February 16, 2018
Anticipated Start Date: April 2, 2018

Application
Candidates interested in the Arizona Education Association (AEA) General Counsel position should present a cover letter, résumé with reference to litigation and representation background, two writing samples, and names and contact information for three references to:

Arizona Education Association
Attn: Mark J. Simons, AEA Executive Director
345 E. Palm Lane
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Or via email to mark.simons@arizonaea.org
or facsimile to 602-240-6887

Position Description
The General Counsel is responsible for managing AEA’s legal services program and the organization’s legal matters related to both member advocacy and corporate issues. The General Counsel is a managerial employee who supervises two employees and who reports directly to the AEA Executive Director. The General Counsel will work out of the AEA Headquarter office located at 345 E Palm Lane, Phoenix, AZ.

Education and Experience

  • Graduation from a school of law accredited by the American Bar Association and current admission or the ability to secure admission to the Bar of the State of Arizona in a reasonable amount of time.
  • Experience and knowledge in areas of education, labor and employment, civil rights, administrative, election, and general corporate law.
  • Recent experience and demonstrated success in litigating educational employee employment disputes.
  • Experience with general corporate matters in the National Education Association, state affiliate level, or similar organization.

General Qualifications and Skills

  • Ability to analyze and interpret complex legal issues and documents, and to develop and implement strategic and innovative solutions to the resolution of complex or sensitive legal issues.
  • Knowledge of principles, practices, methods, materials, and references utilized in legal research.
  • Ability to understand and supervise a wide variety of litigation in all forums.
  • Ability to work as a team leader to provide strategic direction and guidance regarding legal objectives, programs, and processes.
  • Ability to make effective and persuasive speeches and presentations on controversial or complex topics to managers, the Board of Directors, members, employee groups, and outside organizations.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills including conflict management and resolutions.
  • High ethical standards and the ability to maintain confidential information.
  • An understanding of operations of a labor union and organizing principles.

Position Responsibilities
Member Advocacy

  • Represent/advise individual members as designated by AEA policies and procedures. Coordinate legal services to members, primarily through initial consultations. Serve as a resource person for members and staff in matters that relate to rights, responsibilities, and legal options available to employees when matters impact educational employment.
  • Provide legal opinions on matters pertaining to AEA, its structure and organization, or other matters raised by members which concern educational employment or policy.
  • Approve and monitor the use of outside counsel, make referrals, and assist other attorneys by brainstorming, offering second opinions, editing work, researching, etc.
  • Maintain legal research files to benefit staff and outside counsel.
  • Provide high quality legal information, advice, and training to the AEA members, staff and to outside attorneys as appropriate.
  • Assist with increasing advocacy capacity at the local level. Provide high quality advocacy information and training to local leaders and advocacy teams.
  • Provide current information concerning the handling of cases by the routine inclusion of information in each client’s file, and submission of time records as to time spent on matters which involve individual case, as well as requests for legal opinions.

Public Policy

  • Maintain familiarity with and serve as consultant on various codes, rules, policies, regulations, and laws at all levels of federal, state, and agency organizations.
  • Provide centralized direction of legislation and general conditions of law by helping to develop/review legislation design to achieve Association goals and objectives, and targeting and directing issues and cases to build case law favorable to organizational goals.
  • Provide advice and serve as a consultant to matters involving elections and campaign finance.

Member Legal Services Program

  • Develop and manage the system for delivery of legal services. Lead the Advocacy Help Desk and provide ongoing assessment and recommendations for expansion and changes.
  • Serve as the liaison for NEA legal services programs, such as Educator’s Employment Liability, Association Professional Liability, Fidelity Bond, and the Attorney Referral Program.
  • Review legal files for compliance with NEA guidelines for reimbursement.
  • Review caseloads and advise the Executive Director when problems arise in advising a member or when problems arise in the litigation of disputes.
  • Participate regularly in attorney conferences for discussing current developments in cases or in case law.

Managerial Responsibilities

  • Supervise two bargaining unit members, provide feedback and evaluation to staff, monitor work load and adjust as necessary.
  • Recommend budget adjustments to the Executive Director for legal services.
  • Serve with other AEA Managers on the AEA Leadership Team with the Executive Director.

Corporate Advisor

  • Serve as advisor and consultant to the Executive Director, President, and Board of Directors on questions of AEA compliance as an employer, corporation and a business organization and as otherwise needed.
  • Provide the Executive Director with regular briefings on the legal and corporate services program areas, needs, and achievements.
  • Provide regular and year-end financial and budget updates on legal expenses.

Compensation
The Arizona Education Association offers a competitive salary and benefits package.

The Arizona Education Association is an equal opportunity employer with an affirmative action employment program. Minorities and women are encouraged to apply.

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