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Vice President and General Counsel

Job Details

Founded in 1764, Brown is a leading institution for education, discovery, and global intellectual progress as well as one of the largest employers in Rhode Island. Working at Brown brings more than just a paycheck and generous benefits; it offers an opportunity to contribute to a greater good. Join us in supporting the pursuit of knowledge and individual growth that defines higher education and enriches our community.

Job Description:

Located in historic Providence, Rhode Island, Brown University was founded in 1764, making it the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. A member of the Ivy League and the Association of American Universities (AAU), Brown is renowned for the quality of its teaching, research, and student-centered curriculum. Brown prides itself on its open curriculum for undergraduates which provides students with an opportunity to pursue their education with a passion. This commitment to active learning permeates the Brown culture. Brown is an independent, coeducational institution comprising undergraduate and graduate programs, including the Alpert Medical School, School of Public Health, School of Engineering, and School of Professional Studies. For generations, Brown University has been a leader in educational innovation and groundbreaking scholarship. The people of Brown have consistently found the freedom to create, discover, and advance knowledge that serves and transforms the community, the nation, and the world. Members of the Brown community are committed to the university’s mission of education and scholarship in the service of society.

With its talented and motivated student body and accomplished faculty, Brown is a leading research university that maintains a particular commitment to exceptional undergraduate instruction. Brown’s vibrant, diverse community consists of about 7,000 undergraduates, 2,600 graduate students, 585 medical school students, more than 6,000, summer, visiting, and online students, and over 800 faculty members. Brown students come from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Brown is frequently recognized for its global reach, many cultural events, numerous campus activities and groups, active community service programs, highly competitive athletics, and beautiful facilities located in a richly historic urban setting.

The Vice President and General Counsel is Brown’s chief legal officer and advises the Brown Corporation, the President, the Provost, academic and administrative leaders, faculty, and staff of the University on a broad range of legal and strategic matters. The general counsel advances Brown’s mission by anticipating, understanding, and explaining the legal ramifications of important issues in higher education and how they impact the university. The successful candidate will also be able to quickly understand the intricate workings of the university and be able to provide guidance that assists the President and her senior leadership team in implementing Brown’s strategic goals. The general counsel is responsible for operations, budgets, and staffing issues of the Office of the General Counsel (OGC). Currently, the OGC is composed of two Deputies and three Associate Counsels. The operation of the OGC also includes the retention and management of all outside counsel. The general counsel will report directly to the president and serve as a member of her senior leadership team.

Candidates with diverse professional backgrounds will be considered, although ideal candidates will have demonstrated experience and success in many of the following areas:
  • Oversees and maintains full responsibility for a full array of in-house legal services for Brown and its officials, including advice and counsel, transactions, and judicial and administrative litigation in areas such as employment and labor relations, governance, student affairs, development and gift agreements, real estate leasing, development and financing transactions, research administration, civil rights (including Title IX), internal investigations, international student and scholar services, immigration and visa issues, contracts with public and private organizations, and regulatory compliance.

  • Provides counsel to the president, provost, executive vice presidents, and other senior officers on policy and procedure governing Brown operations.

  • Assists the Advancement division and other administrative officers in connection with the solicitation and acceptance of gifts involving specific donors or special items of property.

  • Assists Brown officers and faculty in securing proprietary interests in original works of authorship and inventions, as appropriate, and in complying with laws affecting copyrights, patents, and other proprietary interests.

  • Supervises the legal, paralegal, and administrative staff of the Office of the General Counsel.

  • Counsels on issues concerning real estate and facilities, as well as environmental and other matters pertinent to the research, facilities, and operations.

  • Engages, assigns work to, and oversees law firms and others providing Brown with assistance and advice with respect to legal matters and governmental relations.

  • Advises on the protection and licensing of the use of Brown’s name, logos, and other property rights for commercial and other purposes.

  • Provides the Office of the President with assistance and advice as needed and performs such tasks and additional duties as may from time to time be required or requested.

  • Provides clear, creative, and supportive long-term leadership for the Office of General Counsel, and assures that its personnel, structure, culture, outside counsel relationships, and operations best serve the missions and priorities of all components of Brown.

  • Possess a willingness and ability to support a diverse and inclusive environment.

Brown University is being assisted in this process by Spencer Stuart and welcomes nominations or expressions of interest. If you wish to submit your own application materials or nominate someone to serve as the next Vice President and General Counsel of Brown University, please send an email message with supporting materials to: .

All offers of employment are contingent upon successful completion of a background check.

Brown University provides equal opportunity and prohibits discrimination, harassment, and retaliation based on a person’s race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other characteristic protected under applicable law and caste which is protected under this policy, in the administration of its policies, programs, and activities. The University recognizes and rewards individuals on the basis of qualifications and performance.

Recruiting Start Date:


Job Posting Title:

Vice President and General Counsel


Office of the President


Ungraded Staff

Worker Type:


Worker Sub-Type:

Fixed Term (Fixed Term)

Time Type:

Full time

Scheduled Weekly Hours:


Position Work Location:

Hybrid Eligible

Submission Guidelines:

Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any staff position at Brown University you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions. Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.

Still Have Questions?

If you have any questions you may contact .

EEO Statement:

Brown University is an E-Verify Employer.

As an EEO/AA employer , Brown University provides equal opportunity and prohibits discrimination, harassment and retaliation based upon a person’s race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other characteristic protected under applicable law, and caste, which is protected by our University policies.


Brown University

Founded in 1764, Brown is a nonprofit leading research university, home to world-renowned faculty, and also an innovative educational institution where the curiosity, creativity and intellectual joy of students drives academic excellence.

The spirit of the undergraduate Open Curriculum infuses every aspect of the University. Brown is a place where rigorous scholarship, complex problem-solving and service to the public good are defined by intense collaboration, intellectual discovery and working in ways that transcend traditional boundaries. As a private, nonprofit institution, the University advances its mission through support from a community invested in Brown's commitment to advance knowledge and make a positive difference locally and globally.

Brown is a leading research university, where stellar faculty and student researchers deploy deep content knowledge to generate new discoveries on those issues and many more. What sets their work apart? Collectively, Brown's researchers are driven by the idea that their work will have a positive impact in the world.

Brown students and faculty are tackling the nation’s opioid crisis. Planning the next Mars landing site. Uncovering the locations of ancient civilizations. Advising world leaders on new political models. Exploring new frontiers in multimedia arts. In each of their intellectual endeavors, our scholars and researchers are uncommonly driven by the belief that their work must — and will — have an impact in their communities, in society and the world.

We are a learning community grounded in a commitment of respect for the diversity of viewpoints that is fundamentally essential to intellectual discovery. We encourage the right of all individuals to express ideas and perspectives — and we embrace the value of vigorous debate in pursuit of knowledge.

Providence, Rhode Island — Brown's home for more than two and a half centuries — is a vibrant place to live, work and study, a stimulating hub for innovation, and a city rich in cultural diversity. 

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