The Associate Counsel will be responsible for providing legal advice and counsel to the State University Construction Fund (Fund), in legal matters and transactions to ensure compliance with legal requirements, to support the Fund's strategic plans and mission, and to identify and creatively address potential legal issues/concerns. The Fund is a New York State public benefit corporation charged with providing and expediting the construction and improvement of buildings and other facilities for campuses and colleges under the jurisdiction of the State University of New York (SUNY).
Duties include advising the Fund on a broad range of legal issues to progress the Fund's mission, including procurement, design, construction, contract, insurance, real estate, MBE/WBE, environmental, legislation, litigation and employment issues. The Associate Counsel will also provide management and administrative advice in addition to legal counsel.
Specific Duties and Functions:
- Represent the Fund or coordinate and direct outside counsel, including the Attorney General's Office, in connection with administrative proceedings, liens and litigation involving the Fund.
- Develop and revise appropriate legal strategy for the resolution of claims, disputes and the handling of trials/hearings.
- Conduct and manage necessary and appropriate discovery, hearings, trials, depositions, oral arguments, mediations, arbitrations and similar proceedings.
- Provide legal advice and opinions to Fund staff on State government issues, including but not limited to procurement, construction, insurance, environmental matters, labor relations and legislation.
- Draft, review, negotiate, and interpret a variety of agreements and associated documents to implement the Fund's billion dollar construction program.
- Create, update, analyze and manage forms and legal documents for the procurement and administration of construction, design, consultant and vendor services necessary for the delivery of the Fund's projects.
- Advise, communicate and confer with Fund and SUNY Campus staff in a variety of disciplines as part of a team, rendering clear, unambiguous legal and opinions and advice to promote Fund objectives and resolve issues related to construction project implementation.
- Interact and negotiate with construction and consultant entities and insurance industry personnel.
- Keep the Counsel apprised of any significant legal and policy issues that may arise in connection with the various matters to which the Associate Counsel is assigned.
- Prepare legislation; render advice with respect to the formulation, coordination and execution of the Fund's legislative program, and prepare reports to the Governor with respect to legislation before him for action.
- Render legal advice with respect to general corporate matters such as FOIL requests, insurance matters, and systems issues.
- Supervise employees as required.
- Perform other duties/projects as requested by the Counsel and/or General Manager.
Qualifications and Experience Requirements:
Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Juris Doctorate from an accredited law school, and licensed to practice law and in good standing in the State of New York at the time of hire and throughout employment.
Ten (10) years of legal experience, preferably in a private practice setting and as an in-house counsel in support of all aspects of complex public or private construction projects.
Experience required in construction, public procurement, and insurance law.
Substantial litigation experience is needed. Construction, personal injury and government defense experience will be a plus.
Managerial experience supervising other attorneys and non-attorney staff is desired, as well as experience managing outside counsel.
- Sound business judgment, ability to work well under pressure, and flexibility/adaptability to manage multiple wide-ranging matters, conflicting deadlines, and new areas of expertise as Fund needs change.
- Ability to work independently and interact collaboratively as part of a team with legal and Fund personnel of all levels.
- Strong academic credentials.
- Demonstrated ability, in a positive and practical manner, to proactively identify, prioritize and resolve legal issues quickly and effectively.
- The ability to effectively communicate and persuade by written and spoken word is critical.
- Excellent oral and written communications skills.
- Demonstrated analytical and conceptual skills.
- Demonstrated ability to work independently and exercise sound judgment.
- Demonstrated ability to oversee a project or program.
- Proficiency in PC applications such as Microsoft Outlook and Word.
- Travel may be required, including overnight stays.
- Requires complex and time-pressured decision making.
- Must be able to work overtime or extended work hours as needed
The Fund offers a competitive salary and excellent benefits package, including New York State retirement, generous health, dental, vacation, sick and personal time.