The purpose of this position is to perform highly responsible legal, quasi-judicial and administrative duties for the Commission; provide legal advice and support to the Executive Director, the Board of Commissioners and upper management; direct the Law Department and supervise the work of all other attorneys and support staff; maintain liaison with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) local counsel; and provide legal advice regarding administrative, regulatory, and real estate law, as well as labor, employment and civil rights, and other matters. Work involves the development of legal procedures, contracts, guidelines and policies.
The General Counsel has supervisory responsibility for the attorneys and other staff assigned to the Law Department.
Essential Job Functions
Supervise all activities of the Law Department, including transactional work on real estate, real estate finance, tax and bond matters, as well as administrative, regulatory, labor, employment, and civil rights matters. Supervise legal work of all Commission attorneys and consult on difficult or sensitive issues.
Design, establish, and maintain an organizational structure and staffing to effectively accomplish the Law Department’s goals and objectives; recruit, employ, train, supervise and evaluate Law Department staff.
Develop and manage annual budgets for the Law Department and perform periodic cost and productivity analyses.
Maintain a strong, ongoing relationship with the Board of Commissioners,
Department Directors and Division Managers
Advise the Board of Commissioners, the Executive Director, Department Heads and staff on legal matters.
Review and interpret federal, state and local laws, rules, regulations, and court
and/or administrative decisions.
Anticipate and identify legal issues and counsel Commission officers and upper
management in order to develop legal strategies and solutions, often in situations of great political, public relations, or financial risk or significance, and with limited time for assessing alternatives.
Represent and/or oversee the representation of the Commission and its officers and employees in litigation before all federal and state courts and/or administrative agencies including preparing pleadings, briefs, motions and other documents.
Represent, at the request of the Executive Director, the Commission to the public and press about legal matters affecting the Commission.
Recommend appeal and/or settlement of litigation and/or claims to the Executive Director and/or Board of Commissioners.
Collect damages and debts due the Commission.
Draft, review and approve policies and procedures, regulations, bylaws and other legal documents. Prepare and/or review opinions and/or memoranda of law.
Manage or coordinate work of outside counsel. Liaison with the HUD local counsel, as appropriate
Develop and conduct or arrange/facilitate training for clients, as appropriate, on legal requirements.
Enhance professional growth and development through participation in seminars and workshops; maintain professional affiliations to keep abreast of developments and trends in relevant areas of law.
Maintain client confidences.
Perform other duties as assigned.
Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
To perform this job successfully an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.
Advanced knowledge of contract law
Advanced knowledge of law office management
Advanced knowledge of labor and employment law
Knowledge of common law, city, state, and federal laws, rules of evidence and judicial procedures
Knowledge of human resources concepts, practices, policies and procedures
Knowledge of traditional and electronic legal research methods
Knowledge of the range of laws and regulations which impact on all facets of Commission legal and policy issues
Knowledge of computer operations and applications including, the Internet, email, word processing, spreadsheet, database and presentation software with particular knowledge of the Microsoft and WordPerfect Office Suites
Knowledge of parliamentary procedure
Ability to professionally and administratively manage the provision of legal services including budgeting and planning
Ability to analyze and interpret legal issues and develop and implement appropriate responsive strategies and solutions
Ability to analyze and interpret complex legal documents
Ability to effectively communicate legal knowledge, principles and techniques
Ability to work independently and display creativity, exercise sound judgment, and demonstrate initiative
Ability to understand the business implications of decisions
Ability to maintain client confidentiality
Ability to respond effectively to sensitive inquiries or complaints
Ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies
Ability to assess training and in-service needs and to develop and conduct training and/or to arrange/facilitate training
Ability to manage time in order to accomplish tasks and meet deadlines
Ability to develop and maintain recordkeeping systems
Ability to speak and write clearly, concisely and effectively
Ability to negotiate effectively
Ability to serve as parliamentarian to the Board of Commissioners
Ability to supervise and train support staff
Physical Effort and Working Conditions
Work is principally sedentary. No special physical demands are required. The work involves normal risks or discomforts associated with an office environment. The work area is usually adequately lighted, heated and ventilated.
The incumbent must be capable of obtaining federal, state and city police and criminal investigation clearances and pass a drug screening test administered by the Commission or other source as designated by the Commission.
Education and Licensure: Possession of a law degree from an accredited law school and admission or eligibility for admission to the Bar of the State of Michigan, the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Ten (10) years experience in the practice of law with preferred experience in the areas of public administration, housing, real estate, affordable housing finance, bond financing, administrative law, tax credits, or general commercial transactions, of which two (2) years shall have been in a position of management of a law office or three (3) years of which shall have been as a supervisor of attorneys. Public sector experience preferred.
Any equivalent combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities will be considered. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
This description is intended to indicate the kinds of tasks and levels of work difficulty that will be required of this position. It is not intended to limit or in any way to modify the right of any supervisor to assign, direct, and control the work of employees under his or her supervision. The use of a particular expression or illustration describing duties shall not be held to exclude other duties not mentioned that are of similar kind or level of difficulty.
Although marijuana has been legalized under Michigan law, it is a Schedule I controlled substance and is illegal under federal law. As a federally funded agency DHC’s employees are NOT permitted to use or possess any form of marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. Any applicant for employment who tests positive for marijuana during a pre-employment drug screening shall be ineligible for employment with DHC. Any applicant for employment who advises DHC that s/he uses any form of marijuana will be ineligible for employment with DHC. DHC is unable to grant a request for a reasonable accommodation to use marijuana under any circumstance.
To Apply: Please visit DHC’s website @www.dhcmi.org under the careers tab.