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Executive Legal Assistant/Paralegal

Rhode Island School of Design
Rhode Island, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted date
Nov 8, 2021

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Professional Fields, Law & Legal Studies, Administrative, Business & Administrative Affairs, Business & Administrative Support, Legal Affairs
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Job Summary:

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is looking for an Executive Legal Assistant/Paralegal to join its Office of General Counsel. This office provides legal advice and representation to RISD’s trustees, officers, employees, and student leaders while acting on the College’s behalf. Services include advice and counsel on all matters having legal significance for the College, coordination of outside counsel handling lawsuits and specialized matters, assistance with policy development, review of major contracts, and preventive law workshops and educational programs.

The Executive Legal Assistant/Paralegal provides executive-level administrative and paralegal support to the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) on a wide range of complex, confidential, and politically sensitive duties, special projects, and events. This position independently examines and evaluates potential possibilities and decides course of action based on examination. The incumbent in this position works closely with and represents the OGC as requested and, with a keen understanding of institutional priorities and the ability to access risk, advances, and coordinates initiatives within the OGC and helps to connect the work of the OGC with other offices across campus. This position makes recommendations on emerging issues and alerts the General Counsel to sensitive matters requiring response, attention, or redirection.

The Executive Legal Assistant/Paralegal manages and coordinates the GC’s and Associate General Counsel’s (AGC’s) dynamic calendar and travel logistics, recording and following up on action items that result. This position responds to and triages all phone, e-mail, and in-person inquiries and ensures that all items of significance are appropriately sequenced, reported, routed, delegated, and answered in a timely and comprehensive manner. It also creates and implements systems, structures, and practices for and ensures legal correspondence and important documents are archived within guidelines. The person in this position oversees the day-to-day operations of the office, including, but not limited to tracking incoming and outgoing mail, managing office supplies and inventory, overseeing monthly credit card reconciliation, filing, planning, and executing logistics for a wide variety of meetings and projects in the OGC office.

Essential Functions
  • Manages and coordinates assigned legal projects, which are often confidential and mission critical in nature, and significant in size, scope and complexity. Develops and maintains processes necessary to organize, prioritize and track activities, projects, and tasks of the OGC. Supports the OGC on an on-going basis to increase the efficiency and efficacy of resolution and completion of their duties, assignments, and responsibilities. Independently identifies and triages issues and tasks needing resolution, bringing such issues to the attention of the GC or the AGC.
  • Conducts research at the local, state, and federal level and drafts briefings, executive summaries, correspondence, documents, materials and presentations utilizing various sources, including on-line resources. Analyzes information gathered and composes documents in order to facilitate clear, concise, and timely responses to inquires received. Summarizes and communicates research verbally and in writing.
  • Designs and prepares ad-hoc and standard reports, University-wide policy statements and various tables, charts, and graphs, the majority of which are confidential in nature, impact the University, and inform strategic decisions. Reviews and responds to correspondence, reports, and requests for clarity of subject matter, ensures proper formatting and that the overall standards of the OGC are maintained. Proofreads documents for grammatical and typographical errors, and edits material for factual accuracy.
  • Utilizes system software (i.e. PowerPoint) and other RISD tools and templates to create presentations and proposals for meetings.
  • Screens and processes all incoming correspondence. Independently prepares and, as appropriate, creates and issues a wide variety of correspondence, on behalf of the OGC, or determines and refers to appropriate employee for response. Gathers, distills and attaches appropriate background material to correspondence for appropriate response.
  • Provides executive administrative and paralegal support to the OGC, which includes dealing with and resolving administrative problems and inquiries. With an understanding of institutional priorities and the ability to balance and protect the GC’s and AGC’s time and control access as appropriate, manages the OGC schedules/calendars. Independently initiates or responds to requested appointments and places those appointments on the GC's and Associate GC’s calendar, prioritizing frequently conflicting high-level events on a daily basis.
  • Coordinates and sets-up various group and committee meetings which require contacting the offices of various administrators, within all levels of the organization, to determine availability of time for all those requested to attend. Reserves meeting room, prepares agenda, and notifies all parties of date, place, and time of meeting and the issues to be discussed. Briefs the GC and the AGC on meetings and provides background materials on items to be discussed.
  • Creates, coordinates, and maintains a contract database and contract administration for the OGC. Develops and/or refines a repository for RISD active and inactive contracts. Ensures compliance with RISDs Records Retention Schedule.
  • Initiates and completes requests and approvals and tracks status of requests of documents.
  • Maintains key corporate governance and compliance documents and related files.
  • Provides notary assistance as requested.
  • Interacts with all the Office of General Counsel and RISD employees in a professional manner.
  • Files documents and records (electronic and hard copy) according to established filing systems.
  • Creates reimbursement documentation and processes office supply orders and billing with Workday.
  • Makes departmental travel arrangements; creates and processes travel reimbursement requests for payment.
  • Creates briefing reports for attorneys on corporate governance issues.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Must have specialized skills and knowledge pertaining to the legal profession, including In-depth knowledge of legal documents and terminology.
  • Three (3) years of related and progressively responsible or expansive legal assistant work experience which must include/support of an executive level position (scheduling, travel, etc.); confidential office protocol, office management skills, ability to compose and edit correspondence and other documents, knowledge of computer and use of word processing, spread sheet and database programs.
  • Must have excellent organizational and time management skills, be able to pay strong attention to details and initiate and follow through on tasks with minimal guidance, and ability to be a valid notary public in state of RI.
  • Must be able to independently evaluate and analyze issues/options and determine best course of action based on findings.
  • Ability to interpret and prioritize request for information and follow up as needed.
  • Must establish strong rapport and effective working relationships with diverse populations, must communicate professionally, confidentially, and courteously with during frequent contact with Senior Leadership, and their office personnel as well as other college personnel as a whole, while gathering and/or providing information on confidential and/or sensitive issues, relaying assignment and/or deadlines, etc.


Work Schedule

35 hours/week; 12 months/year

Employment Status

Full-Time; Regular, Exempt.



Documents Needed to Apply
  • Resume (required)
  • Cover Letter (required)
Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please upload all required documents.

The successful candidate will be required to meet our pre-employment background screening requirements.

RISD recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its learning community and integral to an art and design education. We welcome candidates whose experience has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence. RISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.

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