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Vanderbilt University Deputy General Counsel in Nashville, Tennessee

Deputy General Counsel (Job Number: 1901252)


*Revised with corrections to the requirements

The Deputy General Counsel is part of the Office of the General Counsel at Vanderbilt University and is a senior leader responsible for providing client advice for numerous departments and leading high-profile special projects. This position will provide strategic counsel to help the University navigate significant legal challenges, including large transactional projects, complex litigation, and government investigations. Reporting directly to the Vice Chancellor and General Counsel, the Deputy General Counsel will work closely with the General Counsel and the Legal Operations Chief to set strategic goals, manage and supervise the distribution of legal work within the Office of the General Counsel, and oversee relationships with outside counsel.

The Deputy General Counsel works with key campus leaders to advise on strategic decisions facing the University. A successful candidate must demonstrate not only legal knowledge, but judgment, analytical speed, a collaborative nature, and the ability to deliver timely, clear, and concise work product. Aptitude for analyzing complex problems, the ability to work well with others, and excellent writing skills are all critical for this role.

The Office of the General Counsel oversees a wide range of complex legal matters for the University. The office provides timely and responsive legal advice to support Vanderbilt’s goals in research and education, delivered with integrity, intelligence and empathy. Our dedicated staff offers proactive and collaborative solutions to the wide range of legal matters affecting the University. The office carries out their responsibilities in an ethical way that furthers the University’s values of equality, excellence, compassion, and intellectual freedom.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with multiple areas of the University to resolve issues and concerns raised by students, faculty, staff, parents, patients, alumni, and the community as needed.

  • Oversee, evaluate and develop legal staff. Manage and supervise the coordination of OGC legal assignments in a manner that ensures timely client response.

  • Represent the University on a variety of subjects, including labor and employment matters.

  • Assist in drafting and reviewing Board of Trust legal reports and other legal documents to ensure a cohesive structure.

  • Confer with Vanderbilt leadership on matters involving legal interpretation and decisions related to operations and policy questions.

  • Work collaboratively with other colleagues in the Office of General Counsel, as needed, to develop and compose presentation materials and speeches for the Vice Chancellor.

  • Manage litigation including but not limited to participation in settlement negotiations, attendance at depositions and other court related matters, investigations, and witness preparation.

  • Research and analyze complex legal issues.

  • Engage and manage outside counsel as needed to represent the University.

  • Draft legal memoranda.

  • Develop and engage in training for University components

  • Perform other functions as needed.

S upervisory Relationships :

This position does have supervisory responsibility, overseeing a team of 6 attorneys; this position reports administratively and functionally to the Vice Chancellor and General Counsel.

Profile of an Ideal Candidate

  • Minimum of 8 years of legal experience is required. 12 or more years of experience is preferred.

  • JD degree is required.

  • Employment contingent upon State of Tennessee licensure or eligibility for receipt of In-House Counsel Practice Certificate. The successful candidate must also apply for and become licensed in the State of Tennessee within 12 months of employment.

  • Evidence of outstanding communication skills - verbal and written - and the ability to establish and maintain collegial and productive working relationships across the University, including the predisposition to listen to and learn from colleagues and clients, is strongly preferred.

  • Experience with or exposure to legal issues relating to higher education is strongly preferred.

  • Experience managing outside litigation counsel is preferred.

  • Ability to identify, lead, and mentor outstanding and diverse talent is preferred.

Writing Sample Required

A formal writing sample must be submitted to receive consideration. Writing sample should be less than 10 pages and demonstrate legal analytical skills. Content is flexible.

About Vanderbilt Benefits

In addition to offering a lively community that encourages learning and celebrates diversity, Vanderbilt University offers a competitive, flexible benefits package including health, dental, vision, life, accidental death & dismemberment, disability insurance, paid time off, and a 403(b) retirement plan with employer match. Vanderbilt offers tuition assistance to employees, spouses and dependent children. Also, after five years of service, Vanderbilt will pay up to 55% of the tuition for up to three dependent children to earn a bachelor's degree. Learn more about Vanderbilt's benefits at VU Benefits Overview at .

About Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University, located in Nashville, Tennessee, is a top-15 private research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Vanderbilt is situated on a 330-acre campus near the thriving city center, serving more than 12,000 students and employing almost 7,000 faculty and staff. The university’s students, staff, and faculty frequently cite Nashville and the surrounding area as one of the many perks of being a part of the Vanderbilt community. Vanderbilt University is a place where your expertise will be valued, your knowledge expanded, and your abilities challenged. It is a place where your diversity is sought and celebrated. Vanderbilt was recently named as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” and the top employer in Tennessee and the Nashville metropolitan area in 2019 (Forbes).

Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Vanderbilt University is committed to achieving the goal of a diverse and inclusive academic community of faculty, staff, and students. We seek individuals who are committed to this goal and our campus values.

Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

Primary Location: United States-Tennessee-Nashville

Organization: 45000 - General Counsel: Office of the Vice Chancellor

Job: Institutional Affairs Professionals

Vanderbilt University is committed to principles of equal opportunity and affirmative action