Los Angeles, California, Southern California Association of Governments is seeking a highly motivated legal professional to serve as a Deputy Legal Counsel II, providing senior-level support within SCAG’s legal division. The Deputy Legal Counsel II will provide unparalleled legal support to the organization through exceptional communication skills and careful exercise of judgement. Reporting directly to the Chief Counsel, the Deputy Legal Counsel II will have a collaborative work style that supports transparency, innovation, and timely response in a dynamic and fast-paced work environment. It is critical that the Deputy Legal Counsel II possess a dedication to public service, a strong work ethic, and sound judgement. When you join SCAG, you can expect a culture where collaboration and teamwork is fostered. SCAG's workforce is highly educated, passionate, and committed to innovation that improves the quality of life for all Southern Californians. SCAG is proud to support a work environment that promotes meaningful work while encouraging work/life balance. At SCAG, we are committed to ensuring employee safety and well-being. Therefore, all SCAG staff are working remotely until further notice.
OUR LOCATION SCAG headquarters is located in the bustling hub of downtown Los Angeles, at Figueroa and 7th streets. SCAG is located at the 900 Wilshire Building, a new, multi-use hotel and office complex that features state of the art architecture and technology. The downtown area has expanded with LA Live, new restaurants, music, sports, shopping, libraries, museums and theaters. SCAG is in a culturally diverse area near Koreatown, Little Tokyo, Chinatown, Olvera Street and Grand Central Market. Southern California boasts near-perfect weather and close proximity to mountains, beaches and deserts, which encourages physical fitness and year-round activities. For ease of commuting, the LA office is located across the street from the Metro Red Line 7th St. station and is easily accessible by commuter trains and buses serving surrounding areas. Metro's light rail and subway connect downtown LA to Hollywood, Universal City, Santa Monica, Pasadena, Azusa, Long Beach and many vibrant and up-and-coming neighborhoods. WHO WE ARE Founded in 1965, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is a Joint Powers Authority under California state law, established as an association of local governments and agencies that voluntarily convene as a forum to address regional issues. Under federal law, the SCAG region encompasses six counties (Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura) and 191 cities in an area covering more than 38,000 square miles. SCAG develops long-range regional transportation plans (as required by federal law), the sustainable communities' strategy (pursuant to state law), regional transportation improvement programs, regional housing needs allocations (pursuant to state housing law) and is responsible for a portion of the South Coast Air Quality management plans. Currently, the Regional Council, which is SCAG’s governing body, consists of 86 members. WHAT WE BELIEVE MISSION To foster innovative regional solutions that improve the lives of Southern Californians through inclusive collaboration, visionary planning, regional advocacy, information sharing, and promoting best practices. VISION Southern California's Catalyst for a Brighter Future. SCAG CORE VALUES Be Open: Be accessible, candid, collaborative and transparent in the work we do. Lead by Example: Commit to integrity and equity in working to meet the diverse needs of all people and communities in our region. Make an Impact: In all endeavors, effect positive and sustained outcomes that make our region thrive. Be Courageous: Have confidence that taking deliberate, bold and purposeful risks can yield new and valuable benefits. ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: This position is expected to perform diverse responsibilities and job duties under the direction of the Chief Counsel:
Provide legal advice and opinions to SCAG’s executive leadership, management, employees and SCAG's Regional Council and its committees and task forces; advise staff and officials on legal requirements and consequences of proposed actions.
Perform complex legal research; provide legal opinions to and on behalf of SCAG; draft complex contracts and other legal documents. Counsel SCAG on procurements, review bid documents, contracts, administrative actions, rules, regulations, and policies to ensure legal compliance.
Represent (or manage outside counsel in representing) SCAG, the Regional Council and its committees and task forces in legal proceedings before courts, administrative bodies, boards, and arbitrators ; prepare or manage outside counsel in preparing pleadings and other court documents; negotiate resolution of legal disputes with subregional entities, contractors, and vendors.
Advise SCAG with respect to its interaction with the California Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Agency, including with respect to procurement activity and certification requirements.
Monitor legal developments, including proposed legislation, regulation and court decisions; evaluate their impact on SCAG operations and recommend appropriate action; support SCAG’s legislative advocacy team in pursuing legislation and regulations of importance to the organization.
Present and explain legal issues and opinions in public meetings; respond to and resolve difficult and sensitive citizen inquiries and complaints.
Assist Chief Counsel in reviewing and conducting sensitive investigations.
Provide legal staffing assistance to the Regional Council and its committees, subcommittees and task forces, and to the Executive Director; prepare and present staff reports in connection with meeting of the Regional Council and its committees, subcommittees and task forces.
Provide advice on open meeting, public records and conflict of interest laws applicable to SCAG.
May act as the Chief Counsel in their absence.
Attend and participate in professional groups to stay abreast of trends and innovations in the field of law.
Other related duties as assigned.
EDUCATION: A Juris Doctorate degree from an accredited law school. LISCENSE REQUIREMENT: A current and active member of the State Bar of California. EXPERIENCE: Eight years of increasingly responsible experience in municipal law or other areas of government/public agency law.
WHO YOU ARE The Ideal Candidate will have:
Very high ethical standards, with exceptional character
The ability to naturally earn the confidence and trust of others while not compromising under pressure
Strong experience in procurement and contracts
Substantial public law experience, with significant expertise in transportation law
Expertise in California public meeting law and labor law and experience advising Brown Act bodies
Experience with municipal finance law
A demonstrated ability to creatively and strategically solve problems
Strong negotiating skills and experience working with politically sensitive issues.
A collaborative nature, valuing the input and expertise of staff, while supporting professional development and fostering an internal culture of open communication, trust and accountability
High level of integrity, honesty, and ethical leadership skills
Knowledge of: Operational characteristics, services and activities of a comprehensive law department; specific laws relevant to California local government agencies; federal and state transportation law; state housing law; employment and personnel law; environmental , land use and planning law; civil and administrative law, including those relative to SCAG operations; parliamentary procedures; judicial procedures and rules of evidence; public meeting laws; public records laws; conflict of interest laws; principles, methods and techniques of legal research and investigation; safe driving principles and practices. Ability to: Conduct research on complex legal problems and prepare sound legal opinions; analyze a wide variety of legal issues and prepare diverse legal documents; exercise good judgment, flexibility, creativity, and sensitivity in response to changing situations and needs; identify and respond to member agencies, Regional Council and community issues, concerns, and needs; present statements of law, fact, and argument clearly and logically; represent SCAG in a wide variety of judicial and administrative proceedings; prepare and present difficult cases in court (or manage outside counsel in such activities); analyze problems, identify alternative solutions, project consequences of proposed actions, and implement recommendations in support of goals; research, analyze, and evaluate new service delivery methods, procedures, and techniques; communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing; establish, maintain, and foster positive and harmonious working relationships, team spirit, and collaboration with those contacted in the course of work.
Important Applicant Information: Candidates must fill out the application and supplemental questions completely. Incomplete applications including references to see the resume for qualifications are incomplete and will be disqualified. Candidates are encouraged to provide accurate answers as SCAG will verify the qualifications for each candidate. SCAG is an equal opportunity employer. SCAG's policy is to provide employment opportunity for all qualified persons. All applicants will be considered without regard to race, religion, sex (including gender, gender identity, gender expression and pregnancy), national origin, ancestry, disability, medical condition, genetic characteristics or information, marital status, age, sexual orientation, military and veteran status. The provisions of this job announcement do not constitute a contract, expressed or implied, and any provision contained in this job announcement may be modified or revoked without notice.