Position: General Counsel

Department: Office of the General Counsel

Reports To: President/CEO

Direct Reports: 3-5

Position Summary:

Directs the legal affairs of The Housing Authority of the City of Atlanta, Georgia (“AH”) and AH’s affiliated entities. Leads and manages the Office of General Counsel (“OGC”). Provides legal counsel and guidance on normal and special activities of the organization. Ensures maximum protection of the organization’s legal rights, utilizing broad familiarity with most major legal disciplines. A key member of the Senior Management Team and participates in senior management policy deliberations. Directs the defense of the organization against suits and claims and prepares prosecution of the organization’s claims against others. Supervises the provision of legal advice and assistance to the organization by over 25 outside law firms procured to provide general and specialized legal services in areas such as litigation, employment, real estate, affordable housing, federal, state and local government, fair housing and compliance. Oversees the legal aspects of the organization’s transactions and the preparation of reports and statements of a legal nature.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Act as Assistant Secretary to the AH Board of Commissioners and direct and oversee the assigned Board Secretary functions for AH and its affiliated entities.
  • Coordinate the monthly Board meeting agenda with the Board Chair and the CEO and organize and conduct monthly and annual Board meetings.
  • Advise and counsel regarding corporate governance matters.
  • Prepare or supervise the preparation of Board Resolutions and Board Meeting minutes.
  • Provide strategic advice for formulation of high-level policy; advise senior executives on legal issues associated with important strategic objectives, and engage in annual planning sessions associated with major business initiatives.
  • Formulate and recommend policies, objectives, budgets, plans, procedures, and schedules for the department.
  • Advise and counsel Senior Management.
  • Advise and counsel Human Resources regarding investigations and employee disciplinary issues, EEOC, DOL and other complaints, and interpreting and drafting HR policies.
  • Exercise senior management functions with respect to attorneys and administrative support staff, including work reviews, counseling, coordinating staff meetings, and preparing performance evaluations.
  • Exercise management functions associated with the OGC budget and expenditure of funds for OGC related contracts.
  • Coordinate and supervise the preparation of legal documents, including various agreements, memoranda, letters, and transactional documents.
  • Act as Ethics Officer for AH.
  • Coordinate matters and conduct investigations relating to civil, administrative, and other cases to formulate defenses to complaints or to initiate legal action against other persons or entities.
  • Supervise the preparation of documents for real estate and real estate finance-related transactions.
  • Issue legal opinions or supervise the issuance of legal opinions needed to close transactions.
  • Draft, review and negotiate or supervise the drafting and negotiation of strategic business contracts, intergovernmental agreements, subsidy agreements, change orders, and task orders that are to be entered into by AH.
  • Review and provide a legal assessment of policies and procedures relating to AH business operations.
  • Analyze and coordinate monetary and other claims, including making recommendations for settlements, alternative dispute resolution, or judicial action.
  • Provide direction and strategy for litigation.
  • Monitor and coordinate with the Risk Management Department and outside legal counsel litigation matters, claims and other assigned matters, including review of strategy, transactional documents, pleadings, and preparation of witnesses for testimony.
  • Advise and counsel regarding legal aspects of data security and records retention
  • Interpret laws, rulings, and regulations relating to all AH matters and confer with expert outside counsel on related specialty matters, and interface and negotiate with regulators with respect to regulatory compliance.
  • Review and analyze proposed federal, state and local legislation and regulations and draft comments for consideration by the appropriate authorities.
  • Draft and review legislation to be presented before the Atlanta City Council or the Fulton County Board of Commissioners.
  • Provide or supervise the provision of regulatory and administrative guidance to the Housing Choice Voucher Program.
  • Review or supervise the review of administrative hearings decisions regarding the denial of or termination of housing assistance benefits.
  • Advise AH on matters relating to AH authority to carry out business functions.
  • Advise on matters concerning internal affairs, including matters relating to Commissioners, senior staff members and other employees and corporate relations with the general public.
  • Advise on procurement procedures and review requests for proposal prior to publication.
  • Provide advice and regular training or supervise advice and training for conflicts of interest and ethics rules impacting AH’s interactions with third parties.
  • Provide advice and training related to fair housing laws
  • Provide training to AH departments, agents and contractors relating to compliance with federal, state and local statutes and regulations associated with AH operations.
  • Respond to document and information requests from news media, litigants, residents, government agencies and other third parties, including Open Record Act requests, subpoenas, and discovery requests.
  • Hire and promote subordinate attorneys, legal assistants, and paralegals; train subordinates; prepare performance evaluations for subordinates; and assign, direct and review the work of subordinates.
  • Provide strategic legal advice regarding AH business and investment decisions as a member of the AH Investment Committee.
  • Assist with the preparation of liability insurance applications and year-end claims reporting.
  • Supervise the procurement of and manage the use of outside law firms.
  • May be required to perform other related duties as required and/or assigned.

Education/ Experience:

  • Juris Doctorate degree (JD) from an accredited law school required
  • Twenty (20) or more years related experience including at least ten (10) years of management experience.
  • Significant experience providing legal advice to senior executives is required.
  • Membership in the State Bar of Georgia in good standing.
  • Work requires demonstrated leadership performance in positions of increasing responsibility, independent decision-making and judgment, communication and organizational skills.

Knowledge and Skill Requirement:

  • Effective senior management skills are required to effectively manage and evaluate attorneys and administrative staff of eight (8) to twelve (12) persons.
  • Must be able to function in an environment of multiple and possibly shifting priorities.
  • Management skills are required to effectively manage and evaluate attorney and administrative staff.
  • Analytical ability is required to plan, organize, and control various legal matters.
  • Strong judgment and reasoning abilities required.
  • Must be extremely well organized to meet specific internal and external deadlines.
  • Must be results-oriented.
  • Must exercise superior judgment and analysis in review of legal documents, filings or records, because a failure to identify significant areas of exposure in litigation and business activities could have a major impact on operating and projections.
  • Requires extreme attention to detail and a thorough understanding of all current legal issues. Must demonstrate excellent verbal and written communication skills, in addition to possessing strong interpersonal skills.

Working Conditions:
Works in an office environment that is fast-paced with multi-task working conditions. May spend extended periods of time reviewing, reading and writing legal documents. May require frequent bending, stooping, reaching and prolonged sitting and/or standing. May require regular lifting usually not exceeding 15 lbs. Some travel may be required. May require a valid State of Georgia driver’s license and be fully insurable for the purpose of obtaining clearance on the company “Authorized Drivers List”.