California Institute of Technology

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Deputy General Counsel

at California Institute of Technology

Posted: 9/29/2019
Job Reference #: 4967
Categories: Legal

Job Description

Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions. We thrive on finding and cultivating talented people who are passionate about what they do. Join us and be a part of the diverse Caltech community.


Job Summary

Reporting to the General Counsel, the incumbent will exercise department-wide management responsibilities and oversee and direct day-to-day business operations of the Office of General Counsel with budget, planning, and staffing accountability. The incumbent will advise and oversee the professional legal staff in advising on a wide range of legal matters that a private university and a federally funded research and development laboratory encounters.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is managed by Caltech for NASA and the Deputy General Counsel works closely on legal and compliance matters that are unique to JPL. The incumbent will supervise both in-house Associate General Counsel as well as outside counsel in all litigation and other legal proceedings affecting the Institute, including internal and external investigations and interactions with outside agencies, as well as advise the Institute and management on all matters that fall within the scope of the Office of General Counsel’s practice areas.

Job Duties

– Responsible for legal work on a broad range of matters including higher education issues, student affairs, contracts, labor and employment, sponsored research, internal and external audit, finance, ethics, compliance, conflicts of interest, government contracts, investigations, export control, OSHA and other safety issues, environmental, cybersecurity, security, and intellectual property matters
– Responsible for oversight of all litigation in which the Institute is engaged, including supervision of inside and outside counsel and budgets
– Primary responsibility for legal office interactions with government agencies, including but not limited to sponsoring government organizations, Offices of Inspector General, state and federal law enforcement agencies, and other government regulatory agencies
– Works closely with the General Counsel to provide strategic advice relating to high-profile legal activities with significant visibility and impact on the reputation of the Institute
– Proactively represents and promotes the Institute’s interests and acts as counsel to executives and senior management both at Caltech’s campus and JPL
– Works collaboratively with senior management in developing creative solutions for solving a wide array of problems confronting the Institute in a strategic and pragmatic manner while keeping in mind the missions of research and education
– Formulates, implements, and oversees a business plan for the operations of the Office of General Counsel, including oversight of the Office of General Counsel’s operating budget
– Exercises management supervision over the Office of General Counsel organization, conducts performance appraisals for professional legal and support staff; and assigns work and monitors workload of attorneys and administrative staff
– Represents the Institute to major sponsors including NASA and various other federal agencies
– Interprets laws, rulings and regulations impacting the Institute’s business practices

Basic Qualifications

– J.D. degree from an ABA accredited law school
– Minimum of 12 years of relevant legal experience, including experience in a major law firm and a proven record of accomplishment
– Member of California Bar or able to attain admission within one year of starting as Deputy General Counsel
– Extensive litigation and trial experience, including experience as lead trial attorney in complex matters
– Ability to obtain a top secret security clearance within one year of starting position and must maintain clearance while in position. Experience conducting complex internal investigations and supervising external outside investigators
– Familiarity with government contracts and/or government regulatory and investigatory activity
– Broad knowledge of key laws and regulations that affect research universities, higher education in general, federally funded research and development centers, and government contractors. Ability to orchestrate complex, high-profile legal services for the Institute in a strategic and pragmatic manner
– Candidate should have excellent judgment, management experience, and proven experience energizing and managing to expectations of attorneys specializing in a variety of legal areas
Comfortable with and a desire to work in an environment where novel and complex issues of law constantly arise that require creativity, diplomacy, and a problem-solving mindset
– Demonstrated effective communication, negotiation, performance management, client counseling, writing, and analytical skills
– Demonstrated legal and ethical stature, maturity, competence, and confidence
– Ability to work with outside agencies and a demonstrated ability to work flexibly with internal and external stakeholders in a fast-paced, complex environment
– Ability to approach complex issues strategically and tactically both from a non-legal, pragmatic perspective as well as a legal perspective
– Ability to work collaboratively and responsively with legal staff, management, and internal and external Institute partners

Preferred Qualifications

– Experience in higher education
– Experience interacting with state and federal government regulatory, audit and investigatory agencies
– Previous work with a federally funded research and development center
– Curiosity and enthusiasm for Caltech’s scientific mission and achievements

Required Documents

– Resume