The General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer reports directly to the Austin Transit Partnership (ATP) Executive Director. This is an executive management job responsible for ATP’s legal services, community and government relations, and Disadvantage Busines Enterprise (DBE) compliance functions. The incumbent is responsible for performing ATP’s most sensitive and complex legal affairs. Serve as the General Counsel and is responsible for the management of the legal department regarding litigation, policy, contracts, and legal instruments. Advise the organization’s ATP Board of Directors (Board), management team and employees on a wide range of legal, business, financial, and corporate issues affecting the organization’s business and government affairs. Provide strategic leadership for administration including community and government relations and DBE program administration.
Essential Duties and Primary Accountabilities:
- Note: The essential duties and primary accountabilities below are intended to describe the general content of and requirements of this job and are not intended to be an exhaustive statement of duties. Specific tasks or responsibilities may be documented in the incumbent’s performance goals and objectives as outlined by supervisor or manager.
- Manage and/or coordinate the activities of outside legal counsel. Forecast and monitor related budgetary requirements.
- Negotiate agreements and draft related documents relative to ATP’s ongoing and proposed real property interests and real estate transactions, including preparation of license agreements, leases, deeds of trust, easements, releases, and other documents.
- Draft, review, and negotiate a variety of legal documents, including contracts and agreements for all departments, particularly procurements and agreements with other governmental entities
- Engage contractors and vendors on contractual and legal matters pertaining to business with ATP.
- Negotiate legal problems with interest groups, vendors and customers of ATP, the general public and officials of the court.
- Provide direction and advice on litigation risks associated with claims asserted, proposed programs and projects, and contractual activities. Monitor and participate in litigation representing ATP’s interests; participate in or advise participants in hearings and negotiate settlement as appropriate.
- Provide direction and advice on governmental statutes, regulations or policies impacting ATP’s programs, practices, and activities. Inform the management team of laws and upcoming bills effecting transportation and project funding.
- Read and review statutes, legal opinions, and other documents to maintain knowledge of local, state and federal legislation and jurisprudence affecting the ATPs operations, programs, and activities.
- General legal matters that arise pertaining to ATP.
- Proposed policies, programs and projects involving government law activities including procurements, Interlocal agreements and contracts.
- Oversee budget for legal staff, government and public involvement, DBE program and assist with overall budgeting and planning.
- Oversee the DBE program and processes to ensure contracts are compliant.
- Ensure a positive safety culture is maintained by supporting the health, safety, and security of employees within the department.
- Perform other duties as required and/or assigned.
Responsibilities - Supervisor and/or Leadership Exercised:
- Plan, direct, coordinate, and review the work of assigned staff; assign work activities and coordinate schedules, projects, and programs; provide constructive feedback; review and evaluate work and make effective suggestions and recommendations.
- Coach, train, and motivate staff; coordinate and/or provide staff training; and manage employee relations; manage the workflow and prioritization of projects and measure the performance of department staff and take appropriate corrective action when necessary; provide advice and counsel to staff; develop developmental work plans for staff; implement or recommend corrective actions, discipline and termination procedures as appropriate/necessary.
Education and Experience:
- Juris doctorate from an ABA accredited law school and a licensed member of the Texas State Bar or must become licensed by the Texas State Bar within 90 days of employment date.
- Ten (10) years’ experience in practice of law including experience in transactional matters such as contracts, intellectual property (IP), and information technology (IT) and real estate and public law including three (3) years managing contract function within an organization.
- Management experience as either an associate counsel or the deputy counsel, in managing the legal affairs of a public or private organization.
- Experience working for a public transportation agency is desirable.
- Directly related experience in government contracts, construction, environment, transportation, and real estate is highly desirable.
- Demonstrated experience developing and managing staff.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
- Excellent written and oral communication skills; interpersonal skills; and analytical skills.
- Ability to manage and monitor work performance of a department including ability to:
- evaluate program and work objectives and effectiveness;
- establish broad organizational goals;
- realign work and staffing assignments for the department.
- Ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with employees, managers, the board, outside attorneys, and the public.
- Ability to develop and monitor department budget.
- Ability to coach and manage department personnel to improve performance.
- Ability to research, analyze, and apply legal principles, facts, precedents to legal issues
- Ability to advise and counsel ATP staff.
- Ability to state facts, law, and legal arguments clearly and logically in written and oral form.
- Knowledge of public sector laws, regulations and familiarity with federal, state, and local transportation statutes and regulations.
- Knowledge of principles and practices of civil, constitutional, contract, tort, property, employment, environmental, municipal, and administrative law.
- Knowledge of litigation and arbitration procedures and rules of evidence pertaining to state and federal court.
- Knowledge of principles, methods, and practices of legal research.
- Skills in use of personal computer using word processing, spreadsheet applications and computerized legal research.
Equipment and Applications:
Must be proficient in using business and communications software, preferably Microsoft Office 365 which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, and/or other modules as needed.
Minimal travel may be required.
Work Environment and Physical Demands:
- Work is generally performed in an office environment but requires occasional visits to construction job sites. Job may entail considerable levels of stress as this job works with multiple project timelines and is responsible for managing employees performing work of a complex nature.
- Subject to standing, walking, bending, reaching, stooping, and lifting of objects up to 25 pounds; may occasionally be exposed to dangerous machinery, extreme weather conditions, physical harm, hazardous chemicals, and extreme noise when conducting site visits and working in the field.
- ATP promotes a safe and healthy work environment and provides appropriate safety and equipment training for all personnel as required.
- Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disability to perform the essential functions as previously described.
Security Sensitive Job:
This job has been identified as a “Security Sensitive”. ATP will conduct annual background checks on incumbents. The job is “Security Sensitive” if the incumbent handles currency, has access to sensitive computerized databases, has access to master keys, or works in an area of ATP that has been designated as a security-sensitive area.