Senior Director of Legal Affairs

Chicago, IL
Full Time
Job #: R975 Exp.: 5+ Years
Reporting directly to the Chief Operating Officer, this role will both effectively manage general legal issues that surface within the organization and also ensure that we are proactively undertaking the necessary and appropriate legal reviews internally to ensure effective and legally compliant operation of the franchise.. As the Senior Director of Legal Affairs, you will help build and maintain effective relationships with key stakeholders, such as students, staff, and legal partners. You will also provide high-quality professional support on a range of legal, regulatory, and compliance issues and be a key advisor to YU’s senior leadership.

To be successful in this role, you will be a highly motivated and energetic individual who can be part of an interdisciplinary team of all career stages, departmental teams and geographies. This individual will engage in partnerships and professional development opportunities from the legal profession and community.

The Senior Director of Legal Affairs will also interact with students as a coach and/or mentor, participating in building a positive educational environment.

Key Responsibilities:
  • Draft and/or review contracts and agreements and monitor legal obligations under agreements, as requested; includes, but is not limited to: corporate partner agreements, operating agreements with community colleges, consulting agreements, marketing agreements, etc.
  • Engage in contract negotiations, including leases
  • Develop business processes to execute contracts and other agreements that are consistent with laws and internal policies; develop educational training materials for staff in order to implement such processes
  • Support development of new contract templates for new ventures, including consulting services and other new products. Also help to guide and lead our contract monitoring and tracking efforts.
  • Draft and review internal policies related to student affairs, HR, privacy, development, and other areas of compliance
  • Manage pro-bono relationships with law firms; manage outside counsel and insurance representatives on litigation or other matters
  • Conduct legal research in relevant areas
  • Conduct policy and program legal compliance assessments where required
  • Provide sound legal, regulatory, and compliance advice to the organization and make recommendations to management as necessary
  • Partner with Human Resources and line managers on employment issues, including compliance with state and federal laws, policies and procedures, and employee relations matters
  • Partner with the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging team to address issues of inclusivity and culture, as well as relevant employee relations issues
  • Provide advice regarding intellectual property and use of data, working closely with the IT, Business Intelligence and Research & Evaluation teams
  • Offer opinions on tax, insurance, and financial/audit compliance questions, often working in concert with Finance colleagues
  • Draft resources for staff related to changes in law affecting any aspect of Year Up’s work
  • Provide specific assistance related to employment status/wage/hour/other labor laws for Year Up’s internship model and for new models as they emerge
  • Maintain current working knowledge of federal policy proposals and actions that affect our students or other stakeholders, collaborating with external policy consultants as needed to promote certain issues
  • Identify opportunities for student and staff civic engagement, as well as opportunities to provide amicus support to stakeholders in cases of regional or national importance
  • Select and supervise law fellows
  • Assess legal issues that surface, make recommendations, and drive implementation strategies to improve the process for surfacing and managing student and staff-related situations that need legal attention
  • Participate in staff meetings and trainings
  • Other duties as assigned

  • A minimum of 5 years of relevant experience in the workforce
  • Qualified to practice law in Massachusetts or New York
  • Proactive problem-solving instincts, both with people and projects
  • Demonstrated ability to identify ways to meet legal challenges and push back on proponents when we cannot meet those challenges.
  • Strong organizational and time management skills and the ability to work under pressure
  • A passion for working with young adults, an unshakable belief in their potential and a strong commitment to the mission of Year Up
  • Understanding of the Opportunity Divide and its drivers
  • Commitment to diversity and inclusion

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