Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel

Point Park University   Pittsburgh, PA   Full-time     Education
Posted on June 14, 2024
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Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel


Department: Office of the General Counsel

Reports To: University President


Position Overview:

The Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel is the chief legal officer of the university, responsible for providing legal advice and services to the Board of Trustees, President, senior leadership, and other university stakeholders. This role involves overseeing all legal matters, including compliance, litigation, policy development, and contractual agreements, ensuring that the university operates within the law and in alignment with its mission and objectives.



  • Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from an accredited law school.
  • Minimum of 10 years of legal experience, with at least 5 years in a leadership role, preferably within a higher education or public sector environment.
  • Must be a member in good standing of the bar, licensed, and eligible to practice law in Pennsylvania.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience working in a university setting or public institution.
  • Familiarity with academic governance, research compliance, and intellectual property law.
  • Experience with crisis management and emergency response legal issues.



  • Expertise in higher education law, including compliance, governance, and employment.
  • Strong analytical, negotiation, and communication skills.
  • Proven ability to handle complex legal matters and provide sound legal advice.
  • Experience in managing legal teams and working with senior leadership.
  • High ethical standards and commitment to integrity and confidentiality.


Personal Attributes:

  • Strategic thinker with the ability to anticipate legal challenges and opportunities.
  • Collaborative and team-oriented approach to leadership.
  • Ability to build strong relationships across diverse university constituencies.
  • Commitment to the mission and values of the university.


Key Responsibilities:

Legal Strategy & Compliance:

  • Develop and implement legal strategies that support the university's mission and strategic goals.
  • Ensure compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
  • Advise on legal aspects of strategic planning, risk management, and institutional policy.


Litigation & Dispute Resolution:

  • Oversee and manage all litigation involving the university, including coordinating with external legal counsel.
  • Represent the university in legal proceedings as necessary.
  • Resolve disputes in a manner that minimizes risk and liability to the university.


Contracts & Agreements:

  • Review, draft, and negotiate contracts and agreements, including those related to research, partnerships, employment, and real estate.
  • Ensure that all contracts comply with university policies and applicable laws.


Policy Development:

  • Develop and update university policies and procedures, ensuring legal compliance and alignment with best practices.
  • Provide training and guidance on university policies and legal issues to faculty, staff, and administrators.


Governance & Compliance:

  • Advise the Board of Trustees and university leadership on governance matters, including bylaws and corporate structure.
  • Ensure compliance with higher education regulations, including accreditation requirements and reporting obligations.


Risk Management:

  • Identify and assess legal risks facing the university.
  • Develop strategies to mitigate risks, including implementing effective compliance and risk management programs.
  • Legal Counsel & Advisory:
  • Provide legal advice on a broad range of issues including academic affairs, employment, intellectual property, and student matters.
  • Serve as a resource for interpreting laws, regulations, and university policies.


Leadership & Management:

  • Lead and manage the Office of the General Counsel including supervising legal staff, managing the department's budget, and management and oversight of external legal counsel.
  • Foster a collaborative and supportive work environment that encourages professional development and excellence.


Application Process:

Candidates should submit their interest, electronically to Natalie Rice, VP of Human Resources, search committee chair, at by July 15, 2024.

Materials required for candidacy include:

  • Letter of interest that directly addresses the leadership opportunities outlined in the posting.
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Contact information for at least five professional references with email address and telephone numbers. Please also indicate the professional relationship with each reference. References will not be contacted without prior permission.


Point Park University is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.

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