School Network Staff General Counsel
Position Title: General Counsel
Salary Range: $115,000- $125,000
Contract Length: 12- month
Immediate Supervisor: Superintendent
Application Deadline: The preferred application deadline to apply for this position is April 8, 2022. After this date, we do not guarantee review of submissions.
Basic Function: General Counsel will provide legal advice and strategies to the Superintendent and Cabinet. Main duties include reviewing and writing various legal contracts and MOUs, negotiating and managing client and vendor contracts and ensuring legal compliance regarding the Board, and various bargain units.
Essential Duties & Responsibilities:
- Provide sound legal advice to the Superintendent, and other employees of the district as directed by the Superintendent on all legal matters relating to the operations of District (administrative procedures, public employment, contracts, bids, construction, real property, student rights, general public education law, special education law, juvenile court) for the purpose of ensuring all activities are conducted according to all laws and regulations.
- Recommend changes in policies and procedures for the purpose of ensuring compliance with applicable Federal and State laws and Department of Education.
- Create a system whereby all District policies are reviewed yearly and updated quarterly according to NEOLA standards.
- Coordinate and provide Professional Learning using best practices to inform administrators of the latest changes in the laws and to prevent errors in the application of the law and mitigating effects on district operations, policies, and procedures.
- Provide representation to the school district in administrative hearings, arbitration cases, and litigation matters.
- Coordinate student due process and discipline activities, including all reporting requirements, and provide oversight to hearing officers.
- Negotiate, write, and execute on a variety of legal issues.
- Support and fulfill in a timely manner Freedom of Information requests.
- Maintain a collaborative relationship with all union leadership of NEA, Teamsters, and AFSCME and manage external attorneys for negotiations with bargaining groups.
- Align and support outside attorneys to negotiate all District contracts.
- Prepare reports for the purpose of documenting activities, providing written reference and/or conveying information clearly.
- Draw-up and review contracts and other legal documents.
- Assign outside counsel with the approval of the Superintendent to handle litigation matters.
- Coordinate the work performed by outside counsel (gather evidence, compile research, interpret policies and procedures, interview staff, etc.) for the purpose of ensuring outside counsel has the information and materials available to advise and defend the district.
- Coordinate the processing of tort claims with the district’s insurance agent.
- Coordinate discovery and public records requests made by outside counsel assigned to handle legal matters covered by the district’s insurance policies.
- Attend Board meetings and provide advice to Board Chair on agenda items, policies, and statutes
- Serve as attorney for the School Board.
- Supervise and evaluate the performance of assigned personnel, coordinate subordinate work assignments and review work to assure compliance with established standards, requirements and procedures.
- Maintain current knowledge of educational methods, practices, theories and standards related to school improvement, accountability, student achievement, the use of data to guide instruction, and related laws, codes, regulations, policies and procedures.
- Develop and maintain relationships with local media, including newspapers and electronic outlets.
- Assist administrators with preparation of talking points, speeches, presentations, and supporting materials as needed.
- Research and respond to communications-related inquiries and complaints.
- Attend off-hour District meetings and events to gather information and media for publication.
- Perform related duties as assigned by the Superintendent to meet the particular needs of the building/unit.
Qualifications: Incumbent must have a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from an ABA accredited university, have gained admission to the Indiana Bar Association, strong planning, administrative, supervisory, analytical, computer, organizational, accountability, and oral and written communications skills. Incumbents must possess knowledge of a comprehensive Educational organization, operations, policies and objectives.
It is the policy of SOUTH BEND COMMUNITY SCHOOL CORPORATION to forbid acts of discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, marital status, limited English proficiency, national origin, age or disability in its educational programs or employment policies as required by the Indiana Civil Rights Act, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay act of 1973, Title IX (1972 Education Amendments), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title I and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1991. (Educational Policy #1200)
Information about designated compliance coordinators and grievance processes may be obtained by contacting the receptionist at the Administration Building, 215 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., South Bend, IN 46601 at 574-393-6000.