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Associate Counsel

Long Island City, NY
Full Time
Job #: 91633 Exp.: 4+ Years Salary: $101,403 - $128,142 Yearly
Minimum Qualifications:
Must be NYS Bar Certified and have 4 years of Post Bar experience.

Duties Description:
  • Performance Program, Tasks, Objectives and Performance Standards:
  • The Regional Attorney oversees the regional legal staff as the General Counsel’s representative and provides legal services to the Regional Director and regional staff in accordance with Regional and Departmental priorities and in support of DEC’s mission. The Regional Attorney provides advice and guidance on legal matters by responding to questions regarding the interpretation of law, legal procedure, enforcement priorities and the legality of proposed actions. The Regional Attorney works with Permits staff on legal issues that may result in a hearing and may participate in all aspects of such administrative hearings. The Regional Attorney participates in the selection of enforcement mechanisms, drafting and reviewing of enforcement documents and represents the Department in administrative enforcement hearings. The Regional Attorney directly supervises and manages a Legal Secretary, Paralegal, Assistant Regional Attorneys, and other assistants, interns and staff as assigned.
  • Supervise and Manage the DEC Region 2 Office of General Counsel:
    • Maximize Regional Compliance by Enforcing Applicable Laws, Rules, and Regulations. Determine appropriate enforcement mechanisms for violations of environmental laws, rules, and regulations. Negotiate settlements and initiate appropriate enforcement actions. Appear on behalf of and represent DEC in all necessary forums, including administrative enforcement proceedings. Foster a proactive multi-disciplinary team approach to developing and implementing measurable solutions to environmental compliance violations. Work with environmental quality programs to identify enforcement priorities and secure resolution of priority cases.
    • Supervise Legal and Enforcement Staff and Appropriately Manage Resources. Guide, direct, counsel, train and manage all legal staff. Distribute, review and evaluate staff work. Develop meaningful individual performance plans for Office of General Counsel (OGC) staff. Keep the Regional Director fully informed and involved in decision making with regard to supervision and management of these staff and advise the regional Administrative Specialist and Regional Director of emerging personnel issues. Manage the effective use of fiscal and administrative resources. Ensure that the legal/enforcement team is professional, efficient, and consistent in the pursuit of environmental compliance.
    • Manage and Organize the Legal Docket. Maintain a docket of the work being performed by legal staff and review, manage and re-evaluate as necessary to meet Regional and Departmental priorities including addressing violations and compliance issues. Ensure that reports are completed on the status of the docket, as required.
    • Represent Department Staff in Administrative Permitting Proceedings. Prepare for administrative proceedings, discuss strategy and confer with Department staff regarding legal options in permitting cases. Ensure that the Department is represented by legal staff in permitting proceedings and prepare necessary legal memoranda and other relevant legal documents.
  • Provide Legal Support for Regional Staff, including the Regional Director and Permits.
    • Provide Counsel to DEC Staff and Programs, both proactive and as requested: Provide legal advice and opinions to Department staff, and outside parties in connection with activities and services provided by the Department. Suggest how parties can support environmental protection and restoration and proactively comply with the Environmental Conservation Law. When necessary, comment on legislation and other Departmental priorities and initiatives.
    • Maintain Confidentiality. Maintain the strictest standards of confidentiality regarding all oral and written communication and records in the Region and in the Department, and regarding the management of staff, and meet professional standards and expectations.
    • Implement and Advance Commissioner’s, Regional and DEC’s Mission and Priorities. Maximize the use of all available legal mechanisms to reinforce the Commissioner’s priorities for full, thorough and fair enforcement of environmental laws, to meet Regional priorities, and to achieve the Department’s mission to conserve and protect the environment of New York.
    • Effectively Communicate. Effectively communicate orally and in writing with Department staff and all outside parties, increase awareness in the Region of the appropriate use of enforcement in fulfilling the Department’s mission, and effectively communicate the mission and priorities of the Department. Ensure that monthly legal reports are provided to the Regional Director and General Counsel. Participate in monthly calls with Central Office OGC. Represent the Department at meetings, conferences and workshops as requested or appropriate. Prepare briefings on significant or sensitive enforcement actions and/or policy questions.
    • Ensure Team Work within Region 2 OGC and between OGC and other Programs: As a member of the regional executive team, ensure that all OGC, compliance programs, staff, and teams function as an integrated component of the Region. Promote team-orientated problem solving amongst staff that results in their effective participation in meetings and decision making. Participate in regional team-based prioritization and decision making. Bring appropriate OGC and team decisions that have more than minor potential impacts with regard to other programs to the larger regional executive team. Consult with and advise the General Counsel and Central Office staff on matters in the Region as necessary and appropriate.
  • Celebrate Successes and Meet Professional Expectations:
  • Highlight and Celebrate Successes Monthly: In monthly reports, staff meetings, and in regular communications with Central Office OGC, highlight compliance successes that reflect positively on your program and the Department.
  • Meet Professional Expectations and Maintain the Quality of the Work Place: As a member of the Regional Executive Team, through action and example, be a positive role model to staff in your program, other DEC staff, the public, and private and governmental agencies. Actively manage workload and available time to complete assignments and fulfill responsibilities as an effective member of the DEC team. Arrive at work prepared and be professional, courteous, respectful, responsible and as necessary patient when interacting with staff, the public and other stakeholders. Foster a positive attitude to promote and encourage a good morale among staff, both within the office and while representing the Department outside the office. Ensure you and your staff adhere to Public Officer, Ethics and Conflict of Interest laws and guidance.
  • Where possible minimize or avoid the need for overtime, and delegate effectively or recruit assistance from other staff or programs to ensure effective program operation when you are not available. Stay current with LATs and ensure all entries are accurate for both yourself and anyone you supervise. Ensure that you and staff you supervise are familiar with opportunities and resources available through EAP. Find and propose professional development and skills training for yourself and your staff as resources permit. Foster a positive attitude to promote and encourage a good morale among staff, both within the office and while representing the Department outside the office.
  • Perform Other duties as assigned:
    • As assigned, perform duties related to and in response to emergency situations requiring DEC assistance and response.
    • Perform other duties and accept other responsibilities, as assigned or directed by the Regional Director.

Additional Comments:
Must have a valid driver's license or demonstrate the ability to meet the transportation needs of the position. Travel, overtime, and overnight travel may be required.

Closing Date: 5th October, 2021

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