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Virginia Education Association

Virginia Education Association


General Counsel / Director of Legal Services

Based in Richmond, VA

 

Date of Posting: June 2, 2022
Deadline for Applying: Open until filled
Reports to: VEA Executive Director

The VEA is seeking applicants for General Counsel/Director of Legal Services. VEA is a statewide community of more than 40,000 teachers and school support professionals working for the betterment of public education in the Commonwealth. VEA is the state affiliate of the National Education Association with more than 3.2 million members. See our website at: www.veanea.org.

Position Description
The General Counsel/Director of Legal Services is responsible for managing VEA’s legal services program and the organization’s legal matters related to both member advocacy and corporate issues. The General Counsel/Director of Legal Services is a managerial employee who supervises a small staff and reports directly to the VEA Executive Director. The General Counsel/Director of Legal Services will work out of the VEA Headquarters office in Richmond, VA.

Minimum Qualifications and Experience:

  • Graduation from a school of law accredited by the American Bar Association and current admission or the ability to secure admission to the Bar of the Commonwealth of Virginia in a reasonable amount of time.
  • Experience and knowledge in areas of labor, employment, education, civil rights, administrative, election and general corporate law
  • Recent experience with collective bargaining.
  • Recent experience and demonstrated success in litigating educational employee employment disputes.
  • Experience with general corporate matters in the National Education Association, state affiliate level or similar organization.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Extensive ability to work collaboratively as well as individually.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Valid driver’s license.

Core Job Functions and Responsibilities

Member Advocacy

  • Represent/advise individual members as designated by VEA policies and procedures.
  • Advise VEA and local associations on issues pertaining to collective bargaining.
  • Coordinate legal services to members, primarily through initial consultations. Serve as a resource person for members and staff in matters that relate to rights, responsibilities, and legal options available to employees when matters impact educational employment.
  • Provide legal opinions on matters pertaining to VEA, its structure and organization, or other matters raised by members which concern educational employment or policy.
  • Approve and monitor the use of outside counsel, make referrals, and assist other attorneys by brainstorming, offering second opinions, editing work, researching, etc.
  • Maintain legal research files to benefit staff and outside counsel.
  • Provide high quality legal information, advice, and training to the VEA members, staff and to outside attorneys as appropriate.
  • Assist with increasing advocacy capacity at the local level. Provide high quality advocacy information and training to local leaders and advocacy teams.
  • Provide current information concerning the handling of cases by the routine inclusion of information in each client’s file, and submission of time records as to time spent on matters which involve individual case, as well as requests for legal opinions.

Public Policy

  • Maintain familiarity with and serve as consultant on various codes, rules, policies, regulations, and laws at all levels of federal, state and agency organizations.
  • Provide centralized direction of legislation and general conditions of law by helping to develop/review legislation design to achieve Association goals and objectives and targeting and directing issues and cases to build case law favorable to organizational goals.
  • Provide advice and serve as a consultant to matters involving elections and campaign finance.

Member Legal Services Program

  • Develop and manage the system for delivery of legal services. Provide ongoing assessment and recommendations for expansion and changes.
  • Serve as the liaison for NEA legal services programs, such as Educator’s Employment Liability, Association Professional Liability, Fidelity Bond, and the Attorney Referral Program.
  • Review Legal files for compliance with NEA guidelines for reimbursement.
  • Review caseloads and advise the Executive Director when problems arise in advising a member or when problems arise in the litigation of disputes.
  • Participate regularly in attorney conferences for discussing current developments in cases or case law.
  • Serves as staff liaison to the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Commission, the VEA body which has the authority to investigate problems arising out of professional relationships and to provide and promote quality representation and advocacy to educators, and to oversee VEA’s legal services to protect and enhance the employment rights, benefits and conditions of public school employees.

Managerial Responsibilities

  • Supervise bargaining and non-bargaining unit members.
  • Provide feedback, coaching and evaluation to staff, monitor workload, and adjust as necessary.
  • Prepare annual budget for the department and recommend budget adjustments to the Executive Director.
  • Serve with other VEA Managers on the VEA Leadership Team with the Executive Director.

Corporate Advisor

  • Serve as advisor and consultant to the Executive Director, President, Board of Directors on questions of VEA compliance as an employer, corporation, and a business organization and as otherwise needed.
  • Provide the Executive Director with regular briefings on legal and corporate services program needs and achievements
  • Provide regular and year-end financial case reports on legal expenses.

Salary and Fringe Benefits
Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. This position also includes an excellent fringe benefits package.

Application Procedure
To apply, please visit www.veanea.org and click on the link under About/VEA Careers. A cover letter supporting your qualifications and salary expectations for the position is required.

VEA IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER

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