Orange County Women
 Lawyers Association
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Open Position - University of California, Principal Counsel, Core Litigation

Sunday, April 16, 2023 6:51 PM | Executive Director (Administrator)


At the University of California (UC), your contributions make a difference. A world leader producing Nobel and Pulitzer prize recipients with over 150 years of groundbreaking research transforming the world. Choose a career where you can leverage your knowledge, skills and aspirations to inspire and support some of the greatest minds in the world, and those who will follow in their footsteps. Working at the University of California is being part of a unique institution, and a vibrant and diverse community. At the University of California, Office of the President, we propel our mission through impactful work locally, in government centers and systemwide. We are passionate people, serving the greater good.

The University of California, one of the largest and most acclaimed institutions of higher learning in the world, is dedicated to excellence in teaching, research and public service. The University of California Office of the President is the headquarters to the 10 campuses, six academic medical centers and three national laboratories and enrolls premier students from California, the nation and the world. Learn more about the UC Office of the President


UC Legal - Office of General Counsel is located in Oakland, California, and is staffed with system-wide legal experts who provide an extraordinary range of legal services to the University of California (UC) and its Office of the President, its 10 campuses and 5 medical centers, as well as its reserves and field stations. For more information, visit


The Principal Counsel, Core Litigation oversees outside counsel and directly handles various types of litigation and adversarial proceedings involving the University. Core Litigation may involve some or all of the following areas of law: direct handling of internal administrative hearings and writ petitions challenging those decisions; proceedings under the California Public Records Act; commercial disputes; consumer class actions; bankruptcy; collections and pursuit of affirmative recoveries; trusts and estates; and third-party subpoenas. The attorney will be involved in all phases of litigation, including trial, appeal, and representation of University witnesses in depositions. The position involves providing advice on legal issues affecting all campuses, medical centers, the Office of the President and the University at-large, including assisting with the development of effective compliance and risk mitigation strategies to facilitate the University's complex operations.

This position does not handle matters that are covered by the University's employment, general liability, and medical malpractice insurance programs. The position requires the ability to handle complex and challenging legal matters, litigation and projects.

The position demands that the successful candidate be able to provide actionable and practical advice based on sophisticated interpretation of facts and law in an atmosphere of ambiguity. The position may require the provision of functional advice, training, and/or guidance to less-experienced attorneys, and participation in the review, revision and establishment of University-wide policies and procedures. The position will require management and oversight of outside counsel. The successful candidate will need to be able to work independently with minimal supervision. All team members are expected to actively participate in initiatives to promote diversity, equity, and/or inclusion, whether at UC or in the community.


80% Core Legal Services

·     Establishes effective relationships with key internal and external constituencies.

·     Recognizes strategic needs of organization and proactively builds relationships with appropriate stakeholders to ensure successful outcomes.

·     Serves as a trusted strategic partner with University business units, providing practical advice and alternative solutions to business issues.

·     Advises and renders opinions to senior leaders with respect to the legal implications of establishing or changing policy.

·     Works with colleagues at the Office of the President or campus/medical center locations to develop and modify practices and procedures to conform with changing legal requirements.

·     Provides substantial expertise, advice, and counsel on highly complex legal matters in civil litigation.

·     Directly negotiates matters on behalf of The Regents.

·     Manages and oversees outside counsel, and/or directly represent the University in complex litigation.

·     Develops objectives and ensures service according to established priorities.

·     Independently handles full range of legal matters and projects, to include those which hold substantial importance and impact. Represents institutional concerns persuasively to internal and external parties.

15% Compliance & Resource Management

·     Delegates work effectively to maximize efficiencies.

·     Makes recommendations concerning areas of work to perform in-house, versus payment for an outside firm.

·     Ensures accurate record keeping in compliance with OGC data quality protocols.

·     Complies with delegations of authority for committing University funds.

5% Leadership

·     Provides functional advice, training and/or guidance and effectively mentors less-experienced attorneys.

·     Provides clear expectations and mentors legal support staff to meet expected levels of productivity and accuracy.

Required Qualifications

·     Minimum of 8 years of Litigation experience in a law firm, or in-house counsel for an academic institution, corporation or other entity.

·     Proven abilities in collaboration, facilitation, and strategic and creative thinking.

·     Thorough understanding of complex legal issues.

·     Strong interpersonal communication skills, including proven ability to actively listen, negotiate, persuade and educate.

·     Able to build credibility with a broad group of colleagues and clients, to include senior leaders.

·     Strong written communication skills and ability to create and deliver effective materials and/or presentations appropriate to a particular audience.

·     In-depth research skills to draft accurate, complete and persuasive legal documents, such as pleadings, legal responses, affidavits, position statements and briefs.

·     Proven decision making ability, even when unpopular, earning credibility and support from colleagues.

·     Strong coaching and leadership skills to provide clear expectations and guidance to less experienced attorneys and legal support staff.

·     Proven ability to maintain confidentiality and exercise discretion and tact when handling sensitive or potentially sensitive issues.

·     Demonstrated commitment to the highest ethical standards.

·     Advanced skills in project management, and facilitating policy review and changes.

Preferred Qualifications

·     Ability to foresee implications in a University setting, even when ambiguous or hidden.

Education: Required - Advanced degree in related area

License/Certifications: Required - Must be a member in good standing of the California Bar.


The person hired will be required to reside within California and report to work on-site at UC’s Office of the President (UCOP) located in Oakland, CA on a regular basis.  Current policy requires that a new employee work on-site at least two days a week on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (“anchor days”). In exceptional circumstances, approved by the General Counsel, candidates residing in or willing to relocate to California may be considered for a fully remote work arrangement.


Job Title: Counsel 4

Job Code: 000201

Salary Grade: Grade 29

Payscale: $211,000 - $247,000, commensurate with experience

Full Salary Range: $158,400 - $320,200

The University of California, Office of the President, is required to provide a reasonable estimate of the compensation range for this role. This range takes into account the wide range of factors that are considered in making compensation decisions including but not limited to experience, skills, knowledge, abilities, education, licensure and certifications, and other business and organizational needs. It is not typical for an individual to be offered a salary at or near the top of the range for a position. Salary offers are determined based on final candidate qualifications and experience. The full salary range shows the growth potential for this position and the pay scale is the budgeted salary or hourly range that the University reasonably expects to pay for this position.

Benefits: For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University visit: Benefits of Belonging



Please be prepared to attach a cover letter and resume with your application.


The first review date for this job is May 3, 2023. The position will be open until filled.


Background Check Process: Successful completion of a background check is required for this critical position. Background check process at UCOP

Smoke Free Work Environment: The University of California, Office of the President, is smoke & tobacco-free as of January 1, 2014. UC Smoke & Tobacco Free Policy

August 2021 Update:  The University of California has issued a policy requiring employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID -19 before physically accessing the University location or programs. Upon hire into a UCOP position, you will be provided detailed instructions on how to comply with this policy including access to the COVID vaccination at no cost. New hires to UCOP who work onsite or will come onsite for any activities at a UCOP or other UC location must comply with this policy within 8 weeks after their start date. The policy allows for employees to request approval for an exception or deferral. UC COVID-19 Vaccine Policy


The University of California, Office of the President, is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. EEO/AA Employer UC Nondiscrimination Policy

The University of California, Office of the President, strives to make this job board accessible to any and all users. If you have comments regarding the accessibility of our website or need assistance completing the application process, please contact us at: Accessibility or email the Human Resource Department at:


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