In a dynamic and evolving legal office at the heart of many critical decisions and all litigation related to Milwaukee County, the Office of Corporation Counsel seeks a senior attorney with management experience to oversee the OCC’s entire civil litigation team, including internal and outside counsel, coordinate staffing of litigation matters, occasionally litigate on behalf of Milwaukee County before federal and state courts, advise various County administrative bodies and elected officials on a wide swath of transactional, regulatory, and litigation matters, work cooperatively to find forward-looking, operationally-responsive solutions to complex challenges identified by client departments. The ideal candidate will have significant governmental or inside counsel experience, and understand the interactions between multiple business units and among various decisionmakers within a large organization, and the required diplomacy and analytical flexibility required to efficiently and effectively assist clients in fulfilling their operational objectives in that context. We are looking for an attorney with a desire to serve the public, with boundless good humor, intelligence, and patience, but most of all, a strong desire to take on important challenges that have a real and meaningful impact on Milwaukee County residents.
Milwaukee County’s vision is: By achieving racial equity, Milwaukee is the healthiest county in Wisconsin. The OCC is committed to this vision and everything we do is driven by this pledge. OCC sees the hiring of diverse talent as an extension of who we are. We strive to create a workplace that reflects the community of which we are part of and serve. Our leadership has prided itself on creating a foundation for our department that is based upon strong beliefs in equity and justice. Long before Milwaukee County declared racism a health crisis, the OCC was working toward transformative change leading to racial equity. Racial equity is larger than ensuring that race will no longer be a predictor of a resident’s health. When racial equity is achieved, the outcomes for everyone will improve.
If you are looking for a chance to serve the public by taking a leadership role in OCC, to continue an established tradition of high-quality delivery of legal services in Milwaukee County, while being encouraged to bring forward opportunities for continued improvement, and have a passion for community, our vision and working alongside a cordial and respectful group of colleagues, then this position is for you!Essential Duties and Responsibilities
: With no day-to-day supervision,
- supervise and manage, mentor, and coach Assistant Corporation Counsels with regular written reporting and check-ins
- supervise and manage outside counsels’ handling of all litigation matters with regular written reporting and in-person meetings
- assist Corporation Counsel in managing the County’s litigation portfolio with short, medium, and long-term benchmarks
- on a near daily basis, interact with the County’s insurers to ensure cost-efficient, effective representation of the County.
- demonstrate analytical flexibility and quick thinking in a high-stakes setting where there may be differing interests among clients
- possess judgment and ability to manage numerous ongoing tasks with varying priorities
- possess judgment to foresee when an issue could grow into a politically or legally sensitive matter and identify strategies to abate such risks in cooperation with a diverse group of clients
- able to identify opportunities to assist clients through education, new policies, or otherwise to reduce operational challenges, political risks, and legal risks
- apply and understand Wisconsin’s sunshine laws
- prosecute and defend civil litigation, including employment, civil rights, and administrative matters
- provide advisory services to public officials and departments where there are stakeholders with differing policy objectives in issue areas of acute public interest
- facilitate and negotiate simple to complex multi-year, multi-million dollar contracts (particularly related to commercial real estate) or an individual that can apply civil litigation/advisory experience in a contract negotiating setting, where the operational and business objectives of the client must drive the negotiations
Please note that the Office of Corporation Counsel is seeking a Deputy Corporation Counsel with robust civil litigation experience who can lead and manage the civil litigation team, but who also can produce sophisticated advisory work in a challenging and dynamic environment, and, as needed, address contractual matters. The OCC encourages talented individuals to apply that may not have all three skills sets, but have the experience, analytical flexibility, macro-thinking, and desire to grow into those other functions.Minimum Qualifications:
Required Skills and Abilities:
- Minimum Education & Years of Experience Required: Juris Doctorate (JD) with ten (10) or more years of experience in a legal setting with eight (8) years of civil litigation or appropriate equivalent experience. Experience in a municipal or government setting preferred. Previous experience prosecuting and defending civil litigation and administrative actions, especially in a municipal setting, is preferred.
- License/Certification: Admission to the Wisconsin State Bar.
- Management know-how is a must, including ability to stretch resources, assist others in professional development, establish and exceed data-driven performance benchmarks, etc.
- Ability to communicate effectively with a wide swath of personalities in an “open government” setting.
- Ability to provide testimony and to explain complex topics in straightforward, actionable lay terms in public, televised, governmental hearings with ease.
- Ability to show deference to clients and their operational objectives.
- Deep knowledge of federal and state civil procedures; Wisconsin state statues and case law; trial practices.
- Experience with budgeting (experience managing outside counsel billing expenses preferred).
- Ability to make independent legal decisions, conduct legal research; analyze and appraise facts and evidence.
- Trial skills a must-have, with ability to handle a high volume of a variety of work outside of casework, with flexibility and initiative and a dedication to positive outcomes.
- Ability to find creative solutions to legal questions and related issues when clients and stakeholders may have differing interests.
- Preferably, skills appropriate to take on contractual matters as needed.
- Ability to work independently, effectively and harmoniously with others.
- Good humor a must.
- Interpersonal dealings with staff, citizens, county officials/employees and outside business are frequent and must be conducted in an ethical, professional manner.
- Frequent internal and external communication; building strong working relationships internally and externally; high degree of authority in securing understanding and cooperation of multiple departments or interests.
- Read, write, and comprehend complex reports, procedures and/or government regulations; speak effectively before both internal and external groups; prepare and/or present written communications that pertain to complex topics.
- Make decisions of responsibility daily, involving evaluation of information; decisions may require development or application of alternatives or precedents.
- Difficult or complex work; generally governed by broad instructions and objectives usually involving frequently changing conditions and problems.
- Knowledge of all related computer and software applications such as word processing and spreadsheets.
- Knowledge and understanding of ESI and e-discovery a plus, as well as document management and case management software.
- Knowledge of Wisconsin open meetings and public records laws a plus.
- Exemplary writing skills required.
: In accordance with Rule III, Section 12 of the Civil Service Rules, a noncompetitive examination will be held for this position. The noncompetitive examination will consist of criteria deemed appropriate by the Director of Human Resources to rank applicants on the eligible list for this position. Applicants must possess the minimum qualifications at time of filing application.