Job Category
Professional
Exemption Status/Test
Exempt
Reports To
District General Counsel
Date Revised
05/10/2021
Department
Office of the General Counsel
Primary Purpose
Assists the general counsel in providing time and quality legal advice, services, and professional training to the Board of Trustees, the Superintendent and administrative staff relative to all laws, rules, and regulations affecting education. Responds to records requests. Represents the District and administrative staff in administrative proceedings, grievances, employee disciplinary matters, and coordinate responses to investigations by state and federal agencies.
Education Certification

Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from and accredited university

Licensed to practice law in the State of Texas for at least three (3) years

 

Special Knowledge/Skills

Knowledge of local, state, and federal laws, regulations relating to public education law, employment law, contract law and related issues affecting a school organization

Strong organizational, communication and interpersonal skills required to achieve the goals of the position

Ability to anticipate, manage, analyze, evaluate, and summarize legal issues and findings, and to present legal issues, findings, and recommendations in a clear and concise manner to District personnel and other individuals or at proceedings

Skills to represent the District in negotiations with vendors, contractors and other entities

Ability to analyze complex legal issues; manage multiple projects/programs; problem solve; and use of technology

Ability to analyze and solve legal problems and interpret laws, policies, and procedures affecting the District

Ability to work independently and as a team member

Ability to represent the District in administrative hearings before the Board of Trustees

Experience

Litigation experience and/or experience in the public or private sector with school law, administrative or government law

Major Responsibilities and Duties
  • Assist the General Counsel in ensuring the operations of the Legal department in support of the goals and objectives of the District
  • Provide legal advice on complicated, high profile, or high exposure matters to Board Members, the Superintendent of Schools, and senior management.
  • Assist in the planning and development of legal policy an office procedures and processes for the District.
  • Provide legal advice on a regular basis to the Board of Trustees, the Superintendent of Schools, the central office and school administrative staff on multiple legal issues.
  • Review requests for professional staff development and renders appropriate training as approved by the General Counsel to the Board of Trustees and District staff.
  • Assist the General Counsel in advising the Board of Trustees and Superintendent in the execution of contracts, the formulation and execution of policy and other legal issues.
  • Provide direction and assistance to legal staff as directed by the General Counsel during the General Counsel’s absence from the office.
  • Attend Board meetings and other administrative meetings to provide legal counsel as directed by the General Counsel.
  • Assists in the monitoring and handling of cases assigned to outside counsel as directed by the General Counsel.
  • Assist with coordinating and overseeing timely compliance with subpoenas, including subpoenas for student records, employee records or other types of records.
  • Accept and respond to notices of claims and demands against the District.
  • Provide advice to the appropriate district representatives regarding all matters of student discipline involving suspensions and student appeals for the purpose of ensuring all laws, regulations and policies are followed.
  • Handle complaints, hearings and litigation related to Special Education (or delegating the same to staff or outside counsel).
  • Provide assistance and advice regarding district records, including but not limited to requests made under the Texas Public Information Act.
  • Monitor compliance with the Texas Open Meetings Act.
  • Provide legal counsel on the use of District facilities.
  • Draft legal documents, rules and regulations, resolutions, applications of diverse kinds, inter-local agreements, and all other legal or quasi-legal papers as needed.
  • Negotiate and draft contracts for the acquisition of real and personal property, the employment of architects, contract management firms, contractors, and other entities.
  • Review legislation introduced in the State Legislature and interpret the impact of such legislation on the interests of the District.
  • Request advice and information from governmental agencies and regulatory bodies, as needed.
  • Provide counsel to District employees on legal problems arising in the course and scope of their employment.
  • Render legal services as directed by the General Counsel.
  • Assist with the responses to investigations by the Texas Education Agency, U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, and other administrative, regulatory, or law enforcement agencies.
  • Assist and/or conduct professional development and training, including preparing training materials for staff.
  • Assist campuses and departments in day-to-day operations to identify and manage potential legal issues early in consultation with the General Counsel.
  • Comply with policies established by federal and state law, State Board of Education rules, and local board policies.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Communication

  • Maintain a positive and effective relationship with superintendent, administration, and district staff.
  • Able to respond effectively both verbally and in writing, to the most sensitive inquiries or complaints.

 Supervisory Responsibilities

  • No supervisory or direct people management responsibilities.  May provide occasional work guidance, technical advice, and training to staff.
Tools/Equipment Used
Standard office equipment including personal computer and peripherals
Posture
Prolonged sitting; occasional bending/stooping, pushing/pulling, and twisting
Motion
Repetitive hand motions, frequent keyboarding and use of mouse, occasional reaching
Lifting
Occasional light lifting and carrying (less than 15 pounds)
Environment
Frequent district and statewide travel, frequent prolonged and irregular hours
Mental Demands
The employee will work in an administrative office environment which may be fast paced and high pressure, with multiple campuses assigned. Able to work with frequent interruptions, maintain emotional control under stress