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General Counsel, Director of Legal Services
Florida Education Association

Based in Tallahassee, FL
(extensive travel required)


Job Title: General Counsel, Director of Legal Services – Florida Education Association
Classification: Management
Supervisor: Chief of Staff
Location: Tallahassee, Florida (extensive travel required)

Florida Education Association is the largest professional and labor organization in the state of Florida and represents more than 144,000 education employees. FEA members include teachers and education staff professionals, higher education faculty, retirees, and students seeking degrees in education. FEA represents the professional and working interests of its members and plays a prominent role in shaping state policies that affect public schools. FEA is a merged state association affiliated with both the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

Position Summary: FEA seeks an experienced General Counsel to serve as a member of the executive team and strategically lead the Legal Services Department. The primary role of the General Counsel is to serve as an advisor to FEA’s executive officers and management team on a wide variety of issues including union activities, lobbying, political engagement, board governance, civil rights, constitutional issues, employment law, organizational policies, contractual issues, and education law. Additionally, the General Counsel is responsible for ensuring the efficient operations of the Legal Services Department, ensuring the consistent provision of excellent customer service to members.

Primary Responsibilities:

  1. Research and provide legal advice and counsel to FEA’s Executive Officers, Chief of Staff, Governance Board, and management team on corporate, contractual, labor and employment law, and organizational policies.
  2. Strategically lead the Legal Services Department to ensure efficient operations and the provision of excellent customer service.
  3. Advise and represent FEA management on matters of employee-employer relations with its staff organization.
  4. Oversee and strategize with outside counsel on major, statewide-impact litigation.
  5. Oversee and strategize with outside counsel on member representation cases, such as district termination and discipline cases, including matters before the Florida Commission on Human Relations and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  6. Oversee and strategize with outside counsel on arbitration matters and ULP cases.
  7. Represent FEA in legal proceedings in various administrative and judicial forums.
  8. Provide sound legal advice and strategies that align with FEA’s vision and goals.
  9. Effectively resolve issues through creative and sound problem solving.
  10. Administer and manage the Attorney Referral Program and the Educators’ Employment Liability Program, Association Professional Liability Program, and Fidelity Bond.
  11. Oversee the coordination with national organizations on funding and reimbursement under all legal programs.
  12. Work closely with the Director of Field Services on collective bargaining matters, including the development of training programs for leaders and field staff and in the publication of collective bargaining/legal publications.
  13. Serve as a Staff Liaison to the FEA Constitution, Bylaws and Rules Committee and assist on legal matters with the FEA Credentials and Elections Committee.
  14. Advise and support the Credentials and Elections Committee regarding election processes and best practices.
  15. Recommend employment, assigns, supervises, and directs all legal staff.
  16. Coordinate the development and delivery of legal training sessions, workshops, etc., for FEA and its locals, Service Unit leaders, and staff.
  17. Develop and maintain an information and legal opinion distribution system to provide legal services information and training to staff; specifically utilizing the FEA Regional Resource Meetings as distribution vehicle.
  18. Perform other duties and inter-Division activities as assigned by the Chief of Staff.

Management Responsibilities:

  1. Advance FEA’s vision and mission by identifying opportunities for increased organizational effectiveness and efficiency through shared organizational learning.
  2. Recommend programs, policies, and services that are aligned with FEA’s vision, mission, and strategic goals.
  3. Report to and advise the Chief of Staff or designee on FEA programs, policies, and services.
  4. Manage, execute, and be a steward of the departmental and organizational budget, finances, and other resources.
  5. Educate staff on FEA’s mission and goals, and responsibilities to members as owners of FEA.
  6. Contribute to the functioning and deliberations of the management team.
  7. Support planning, coordination, and implementation of programs and services across departmental and cross-domain boundaries.
  8. Continually review and assess programs and services to assure alignment with FEA’s mission and strategic goals.
  9. Uniformly and consistently manage, implement, and enforce FEA’s programs, policies and the FEA/FSO Collective Bargaining Agreement.
  10. Effectively manage FEA’s human resources through assigning, supervising, and evaluating department staff.
  11. Assist in assessing FEA’s plan for becoming a learning organization including systemic thinking and other appropriate strategies.
  12. As assigned, act as liaison for cooperative projects and programs with the National al State Organizations and coordinate activities of committees, task forces, and special projects.
  13. Explore, coordinate, and facilitate available human, fiscal, and programmatic resources applicable to the department that are available through National Affiliates.
  14. Provide coordination and direction for meetings/conferences/training in conjunction with the Department of Human Resources.
  15. Actively support FEA’s Affirmative Action Program and policies.

Qualifications:

  • Must be a member of The Florida Bar with current good standing.
  • At least seven years’ experience as licensed attorney is required.
  • Experience supervising other attorneys is highly desired.
  • Experience managing/supervising outside counsel is highly desired.
  • Experience with public and private sector labor law and the collective bargaining process is highly desired.
  • Experience advising executive officers/leaders is highly desired.
  • Ability and willingness to travel extensively, including overnight travel, is required.

Compensation & Benefits: Salary will be based on relevant experience and qualifications. FEA provides medical, dental, vision, life, and long-term-disability insurance to its employees with no employee premiums. Additionally, FEA provides retirement options, vacation leave, sick leave, and paid holidays.

How to Apply: Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and résumé by clicking on the link provided below –
https://organizers.applicantstack.com/x/detail/a2gb5rizxxz1/aaak

Candidates will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Candidates that apply on or before August 7, 2019 will receive preferential treatment. Submitted candidate materials will be held in confidence.

FLORIDA EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
IS AN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION/EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER

Consistent with the FEA’s Affirmative Action Plan, minority, female, and physically challenged applicants are encouraged to apply. Please contact FEA’s Office of Human Resources at 850-201-3215 or feahr@floridaea.org to request an accommodation during the application process.

WHEN APPLYING: Be sure to indicate that you saw this information at UNIONJOBS.COM.