The Supreme Court of Ohio is seeking to fill the position of Legislative Counsel in the Office of Chief Legal Counsel. Under the direction of the Administrative Director and the Chief Legal Counsel, the Legislative Counsel serves as the primary liaison between the Supreme Court and the legislature, with extensive responsibility for communication with the General Assembly, other governmental entities, the Supreme Court personnel, and judicial associations on legislative matters affecting the judicial branch.
The following duties are normal for this position. These are not to be construed as exclusive or all-inclusive. Other duties may be required and assigned.
- Serve as the primary Supreme Court liaison to the Ohio General Assembly, executive branch officials, state agencies, regulatory bodies, other governmental entities, judicial associations, bar associations, and court personnel associations on legislative matters by monitoring legislation, attending and presenting testimony at legislative committee meetings, attending interested party meetings and discussing initiatives. Coordinate contact and communications with legislators and legislative staff.
- Prepare, draft, analyze, and monitor proposed legislation. Track and monitor pending legislation affecting the courts, informing affected parties of its status, taking appropriate action, and drafting talking points and other communication tools.
- Advise the Chief Justice; justices; directors; managers; staff; and Supreme Court boards, commissions, advisory committees, and task forces regarding legislative issues and initiatives and provide updates on the status of legislation that is proposed or pending before the Ohio General Assembly. Make presentations to judicial and court personnel associations regarding legislative issues and initiatives, including preparing and providing updates regarding the status of legislation that is proposed or pending before the Ohio General Assembly.
- Interact regularly with the Judicial Conference and court-related associations. Prepare and make presentations to judges and court personnel on the status of legislation, legislative activities during the session, and new laws after adjournment.
- Develop Supreme Court’s communication strategies and annual communication plans in support of the strategic plan and legislative initiatives.
- Research unique legal issues impacting the judicial branch by identifying applicable statutes, judicial decisions, and rules. Prepare memoranda and oral and written reports.
- Collaborate with other members of the Office of Chief Legal Counsel on related matters and make recommendations on policy changes affected by legislation. Provide policy analysis and research support within the Office of Chief Legal Counsel.
- When not engaged in legislative duties, review contracts; coordinate responses to public records requests; provide advice on employment law questions; review pleadings, motions, memoranda, and briefs in litigation against the Court; and provide guidance to judicial officers on matters related to court administration.
- Participate on or act as staff liaison to committees, boards, task force, commissions, and workgroups. Provide research and rule drafting expertise on work related to the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio, the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure, the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Ohio Rules of Appellate Procedure, the Ohio Rules of Juvenile Procedure, the Ohio Rules of Evidence, and the Ohio Traffic Rules.
- Attend staff and other work-related meetings, workshops, seminars, and continuing education opportunities in order to stay informed of legal updates.
- Provide assistance with issues involving judgeship consolidations and the proposed creation of new judgeships.
- Complete special projects as assigned.
- Regular, reliable, and punctual attendance is required.
- Juris Doctor required, additional Master’s Degree in Public Administration preferred.
- An Ohio law license is required.
- A minimum of five years of experience in Ohio government relations or working with the Ohio General Assembly strongly preferred. Experience in judicial affairs is a plus.
- Requires thorough knowledge of the Ohio legislative process and state government and of the structure, organization, and operation of the Ohio court system.
- Requires the ability to problem solve and troubleshoot, think analytically, multitask effectively, and work independently with minimal direct supervision. Requires judgment, decisiveness, and creativity in evaluating information.
- Requires proven ability to take initiative, distinguish higher from lower priorities, and independently plan and implement new procedures when appropriate.
- Must have or be eligible to obtain Ohio lobbying license.
- Demonstrated proficiency drafting policies, rules, or legislation preferred.
- Knowledge of the procedural operations of all levels of Ohio court preferred.
- Requires strong writing skills and the ability to construct complete and concise sentences using proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
- Requires the ability to read, write, speak, and understand English fluently and to use technical and legal language.
- Requires substantial skills in legal research, analysis, writing, editing, and proofreading.
- Requires the ability to work under pressure, discreetly handling all aspects of the job with professionalism, patience, and confidentiality.
- Requires the ability to communicate tactfully and effectively, both verbally and in writing.
- Requires the ability to effectively interact and communicate with supervisor, co-workers, justices, judges, other public officials and employees, attorneys, judicial branch personnel, and the public.
- Requires the ability to establish and maintain collaborative, effective working relationships with supervisors, colleagues, subordinate staff, department directors, managers, employees, public officials and employees, state agencies, and agency liaisons. Requires the ability to handle sensitive, face-to-face contact with the public and government officials in a composed, hospitable, and approachable manner.
- Requires a high level of proficiency with Microsoft Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint; the Internet; and Westlaw, Lexis and other legal-research resources.
*Special Requirements: This position is regularly exposed to sensitive information and the incumbent is expected to keep any such information strictly confidential.
The Supreme Court of Ohio is an at-will employer that seeks to attract, employ, and retain highly skilled and motivated individuals, attempts to maintain staff continuity for the efficiency of its operation, and desires to foster and maintain an ethical, professional, and impartial work environment. Pursuant to Adm. P. 4 (At-Will Employment), no person shall be offered or denied a position of employment with the Court, and no employee shall have the employee's employment terminated based upon political party affiliation, political activity permitted under Adm. P. 17 (Employee Code of Ethics), or other partisan considerations. Further, no employee shall have the employee's employment terminated with or without cause unless upon the concurrence of a majority of the Court.
Major Worker Characteristics:
The Court seeks to recruit and retain talented individuals with a commitment to public service.
This is an exempt unclassified position that reports to the Chief Legal Counsel.
The salary is commensurate with experience.
The Court offers a generous compensation package, which includes salaries reviewed annually for market adjustments; health, vision, dental, and life insurance; 14% employer contribution to the state retirement plan (OPERS); tuition reimbursement; flex time; and paid vacation, personal, and sick time earned in the first month of employment.