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Vice President and General Counsel

St. John's University
Posted Apr 18
Full Time
Queens, New York

St . John’s established in 1870, has three New York City campuses; international locations in Rome, Italy; Limerick, Ireland; and Paris, France; and study abroad locations around the world. The Princeton Review and other top rankings consistently recognize the University’s outstanding academics, diverse student body, dynamic internship and volunteer opportunities, focus on student life, and diverse study abroad offerings. St. John’s University offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs in its six colleges and schools, with a growing number of programs offered online. The University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and 12 other major academic and professional associations.

A dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion is at the heart of our mission. As a Catholic and Vincentian university, St. John’s is committed to institutionalizing practices of inclusive excellence to ensure that we welcome and celebrate the intrinsic worth of all members of our community. We will become an even stronger university as we enhance equity at every level of our institution. Our graduates will excel in the competencies and values required for leadership and service in a rapidly evolving world .

Job Title: Vice President and General Counsel

Reports to : President

Campus: Queens

Job Summary

The Vice President and General Counsel serves as the chief legal officer of St. John’s University, providing strategic legal advice and guidance to senior leadership, the Board of Trustees, and other stakeholders. Reporting directly to the President, the Vice President and General Counsel plays a critical role in safeguarding the university’s legal interests, ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and mitigating legal risks across all aspects of university operations.

Essential Functions

Legal Advisory Services:

  • Provide expert legal counsel and guidance to the President, Board of Trustees, senior administrators, and other university officials on a wide range of legal matters affecting the institution.
  • Manage and direct the work of in-house legal staff, outside counsel, and other legal resources to effectively represent the university’s interests in legal matters.
  • Advise on the legal aspects of a broad range of topics, including but not limited to:
  • Academic affairs
  • Compliance with federal and state regulations
  • Contracts
  • Employment law
  • Financing, including assessing and advising on current and future business structures and legal entities
  • Governance
  • Institutional policies
  • Intellectual property
  • Litigation
  • Name, image, and likeness rights in athletics, including compliance with applicable laws and NCAA rules
  • Real estate transactions
  • Research compliance
  • Risk management
  • Student affairs
  • Negotiate collective bargaining agreements and collaborate with unions representing university faculty, ensuring compliance with applicable labor laws and fostering constructive relationships between the university and union representatives.
  • Plan and direct all aspects of the university’s legal affairs and ensure maximum protection of legal rights.

Legal Compliance And Risk Management

  • Monitor and assess legal and regulatory developments impacting higher education, and ensure the university’s compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and accreditation standards.
  • Identify legal risks and vulnerabilities across the institution and develop strategies to mitigate potential liabilities and safeguard the university’s interests.

Policy Development And Review

  • Participate in defining and developing institutional policies, procedures, and contracts to ensure legal compliance, clarity, and consistency with best practices and industry standards.
  • Collaborate with relevant stakeholders to develop and implement policies and practices that promote ethical conduct, transparency, and institutional integrity.

Litigation Management And Dispute Resolution

  • Oversee the management of legal disputes, litigation, and regulatory proceedings involving the university, including coordination with external legal counsel as needed.
  • Represent the university in negotiations, mediation, arbitration, and other dispute resolution processes to achieve favorable outcomes and minimize legal exposure.
  • Participate in senior management policy deliberations, interact with the university Board of Trustees on university legal matters.
  • Judge the merits of all litigation brought against or on behalf of the university.

Intellectual Property And Technology Transfer

  • Provide guidance on intellectual property matters, including patents, copyrights, trademarks, and licensing agreements, to protect the university’s research and innovation assets.
  • Facilitate technology transfer and commercialization activities in collaboration with academic researchers, industry partners, and legal experts.


  • Knowledge of relevant laws, regulations, and best practices in higher education administration.
  • Strong analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making skills, with the ability to assess complex legal issues and provide pragmatic solutions.
  • Excellent communication, negotiation, and interpersonal skills, with the ability to build effective relationships and collaborate across diverse stakeholder groups.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion with the ability to promote a culture of belonging and respect, and a track record of promoting these values in legal practice and institutional policies.

Required Education And Experience

  • Juris Doctor (JD) degree from an accredited law school and admission to the bar in the relevant jurisdiction.
  • A minimum of 10+ years’ experience practicing law, preferably in-house within the area of higher education.
  • Expertise in revelent areas of law, including higher education, employment law, intellectual property law, and regulatory compliance.

To Apply Provide The Following

  • Letter of interest
  • CV
  • Diversity Statement

For best consideration, applications should be received by May 15, 2024.

In compliance with NYC’s Pay Transparency Act, the annual/hourly salary range for this position is $4 00,00 0 - $410,000 . St. John’s University considers factors such as (but not limited to) scope and responsibilities of the position, candidate’s work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, as well as market and organizational considerations when extendi n g a n offer .

St. John’s offers a competitive compensation program which is commensurate with your qualifications, experience, and contingent upon the departmental budget. We also offer an extremely comprehensive benefits program to meet the diverse needs of our workforce. Along with exceptional benefits such as medical, dental, life insurance, long term disability insurance, tuition remission, generous 403(b) employer contribution, employee assistance program, and liberal paid time off policies, faculty and staff can also enjoy St. John’s performing arts, libraries, bookstores, dining facilities, campus recreation and sporting events

Any offer of employment is subject to receipt by St. John’s University of satisfactory references, verification of employment and education.

St. John’s University is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages applications from women and minorities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.