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Senior University Counsel

University of the Pacific
California, United States
Salary Not specified
Date posted
Mar 7, 2024

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Senior University Counsel

Primary Purpose:
Immediate opening for a full-time Senior University Counsel in the Office of the General Counsel at University of the Pacific. This position reports to the Chief General Counsel. The attorney in this role will primarily provide legal advice on business transactions and contracts, policy development and review, research, tax, corporate, and intellectual property matters. Subject matter knowledge in other areas of university law, such as employment, faculty matters, student affairs, and privacy a significant plus. This position requires discretion, flexibility, excellent client service, and the ability to execute projects with competing interests in a constantly changing environment. The role is 100% in-person at the University of the Pacific's beautiful Stockton campus.

Essential Functions:
  • Negotiates, drafts, and administers a broad variety of contracts, MOU’s, services agreements, licensing agreements, real estate agreements, and other legal instruments memorializing the diverse activities of a large dynamic organization.
  • Supports, demonstrates and contributes to the ethical vision and direction of the University’s legal affairs. Serves as a key member of the Office of General Counsel team and advises on the legal implications of issues before they escalate into legal matters and/or to minimizes the impact of matters that already have legal ramifications.
  • Supports the mission and functions of the University through delivery of legal support on topics including, but not limited to, transactional matters, research, intellectual property, regulatory compliance, insurance and risk management, development and accreditation.
  • Works on a level of parity with experienced and sophisticated outside counsel and interacts successfully with senior officers, faculty, and staff of the University, often in situations of substantial ambiguity.
  • Reviews and advises on current policies, procedures and handbooks and updates thereto; provides guidance on policies or procedures that should be developed to promote compliant and efficient operations.
  • Supports process management of contracts into which the University enters so that they best serve the institution’s needs and mission.
  • Provides timely support to University clients.
  • Monitors trends in higher education, as well as legislative, regulatory and legal matters and educates University constituencies as appropriate.
  • Facilitates the University operating within an appropriate legal framework, and provides training or background materials as needed.
  • Supports the management of the quality, delivery and costs of legal services in a cost-effective and efficient manner. Assists in the development of and follows record keeping protocols for the Office of General Counsel. Reviews and makes recommendations for the better management and operations of the Office of General Counsel.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.

University of the Pacific recognizes that diversity, equity, and inclusion is foundational to the success of our valued students and employees. We prioritize policy and decision-making that demonstrates awareness of, and responsiveness to, the ways socio-cultural forces related to race, gender, ability, sexuality, socio-economic status, etc. impede or propel students, faculty, and staff.

Minimum Qualifications:
  • JD and be a member of the California State Bar or any other state Bar and registered to practice law in California.
  • Four (4) years of progressively responsible legal work in or serving higher education clients.

Preferred Qualifications:
  • Experience working in higher education or with higher education clients.
  • Broad experience representing higher education clients, particularly in areas of contracts and policy development.
  • Experience serving as legal counsel to a comparable private, non-profit institution.
  • Strong analytical, evaluative, and objective critical thinking skills.
  • Ability to interrupt and implement law/regulation into policy.
  • Knowledge of laws and regulations affecting business operations and the sources for information regarding the same in sufficient detail to support the roles of the position.
  • Demonstrated understanding of compliance systems and controls.
  • Knowledge of local, state, and federal accounting and auditing compliance laws.
  • Knowledge of employment, research, privacy, and educational regulatory requirements, guidelines, and procedures.
  • Ability to use independent judgment and to manage and impart confidential information.
  • Knowledge of current and emerging equal opportunity and affirmative action legislation, issues, and trends
  • Knowledge of public policies, legislation, guidelines, and standards pertaining to discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • Knowledge of investigation and complaint resolution processes sufficient to support the work of compliance leads in managing compliance investigations and resolution.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop institutional policies and procedures.
  • Supervisory, employee development, and leadership skills.
  • Knowledge of team building principles and techniques.
  • Strong critical thinking skills and the ability to analyze, summarize, and effectively present data.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work effectively with various constituencies in a diverse community.
  • Knowledge of fiscal principles to oversee budgets and financial activity within the areas of oversight.
  • Experience and sensitivity in working with people of diverse backgrounds and cultures.
  • Demonstrated experience in advancing social justice, equity, and inclusion in a university setting.
  • Ability to engage and integrate culturally responsive practices and knowledge in their work.

Physical Requirements:
The physical demands described here are representative but not definitive of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

There are extended periods of sitting, moderate periods of standing or walking and infrequent bending, kneeling, stooping and climbing stairs. Moderate repetitive use of hands and wrist primarily through use of computer keyboard. May be requested to lift up to 25 lbs.

Work Environment/Work Week/Travel:
Work is primarily performed in a standard office environment. Work performed during standard business hours, additional time may be required to meet business needs. Work requires periodic travel between the three campuses of the University. Occasional travel required including to other University campuses, training programs and conferences.

Hiring Range: $125,000 - $175,000 per year. We consider factors such as, but not limited to, scope and responsibilities of the position, candidate’s qualifications, internal equity, as well as market and organizational considerations when extending an offer.

Background Check Statement:
All applicants who receive a conditional offer of employment are required to execute a release and authorization for a background screening.

To apply, visit

University of the Pacific is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer dedicated to workforce diversity. In compliance with applicable law and its own policy, Pacific is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty and staff and does not discriminate in its hiring of faculty and staff, or in the provision of its employment benefits to its faculty and staff on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, genetic information, sex/gender, marital status, military and veteran status, sexual orientation, medical condition, pregnancy, gender identity, gender expression, or mental or physical disability.


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