General Counsel

Hartford, CT
Full Time
CSCU System Office


Posted: May 31, 2024
Level: Management / Confidential (Executive 4)
Hours: Full-time, 40 hours per week
Closing Date: The committee will begin review of applications immediately. Applications must be submitted by 5:00pm (EST) on Wednesday, June 26, 2024.


CSCU System Office
61 Woodland Street Hartford, CT 06105 
**This position is not remote**
For more information, please visit the campus website or

Connecticut State Colleges & Universities Mission:

The Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (CSCU) contribute to the creation of knowledge and the economic growth of the state of Connecticut by providing affordable, innovative, and rigorous programs. Our learning environments transform students and facilitate an ever-increasing number of individuals to achieve their personal and career goals.

CSCU Vision:

The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities will build on its long and successful history by working collectively - within and across institutions - and by engaging external partners to increase the number of students pursuing and completing personally and professionally rewarding certificate and degree programs, improving their social mobility, and helping the state to meet its current and future workforce demands.

CSCU Equity Statement:

The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities commits to bold and disruptive change by actively identifying, naming, and dismantling structural racism, systemic poverty, and other barriers; establishing equitable and anti-racist policies and practices; and empowering students, faculty, staff, and administrators to advance racial, social, and economic justice. Our core collective responsibility is to continuously assess practices and policies and transform the world we live in by eliminating inequities.

Anticipated Start Date: 

August 2024

Position Summary:

The CSCU General Counsel directs and coordinates the specialized and general legal activities for the entire CSCU System Office including the Board of Regents, CT State Community College, Charter Oak State College as well as the Connecticut State Universities. The CSCU General Counsel is responsible for directing a team of legal professionals in researching and providing legal advice and guidance on matters pertaining to legal precedent, legislation, regulations, administrative policy and other highly specialized technical legal issues to all constituent units and for ensuring that litigation risks are identified and mitigated.

The CSCU General Counsel acts as the Chief Legal Officer and serves as a member of the CSCU Executive Team. The CSCU General Counsel represents the entire CSCU System on a wide range of legal matters in a variety of legal forums, working closely with the Attorney General’s office and external legal firms as needed. As Chief Legal Officer, the CSCU General Counsel identifies emerging legal and compliance trends in higher education, employment, and other areas of law impacting the colleges and universities within the jurisdiction of the Board of Regents. The CSCU General Counsel is responsible for advising executive leadership in formulating strategies and system-wide policies to manage evolving legal and compliance changes and risks as well as to meet both existing statutory and regulatory compliance.

This position is located at the System Office. Reporting to the CSCU Chancellor, the CSCU General Counsel formulates long term legal plans, goals and objectives, and provides strategic legal guidance to the CSCU Chancellor, the Board of Regents, CSCU Executive Staff, CSU Presidents, CT State President, and the Chief Executive Officers of the community colleges and those in policy making positions across the entire system.

Example of Job Duties:

The following examples of duties illustrate the general range of tasks assigned to the position but are not intended to define the limits of required duties. Other essential duties may be assigned consistent with the general scope of the position:
  • Acts as Chief Legal Officer directing and coordinating the specialized and general legal activities for the entire CSCU system.
  • Formulates long term legal plans, goals and objectives, and provides strategic guidance to the CSCU Chancellor, the Board of Regents, CSCU Executive Staff, CSU Presidents, CT State President, and the Chief Executive Officers of the community colleges and those in policy making positions across the entire system.
  • Manages and directs legal team in conducing legal research on complex issues on a substantial array of topics including but not limited to higher education, public procurement, governance and ethics, labor and employment, litigation oversight, immigration, intellectual property, student affairs, and real property transactions.
  • Researches and provides legal advice and guidance in the form of written memoranda and oral presentations on matters pertaining to legal precedent, legislation, regulations, administrative policy, system-wide priorities and initiatives.
  • Ensures proper implementation of relevant court decisions and orders as well as identifies emerging legal and compliance trends in higher education, employment, and other areas of law impacting the colleges and universities within the jurisdiction of the Board of Regents.
  • Drafts and reviews all proposed regulations, and policies to ensure compliance and legal risk are properly addressed.
  • Advises on strategic communications on legal-related media inquiries.
  • Represents the entire CSCU System on a wide range of legal matters in a variety of legal forums, working closely with the Attorney General’s office and external legal firms as needed. Manages and oversees litigation and discovery for administrative state and federal litigation and makes recommendations to the CSCU Chancellor.
  • Develops, plans and recommends compliance and legal strategies to mitigate risk for CSCU.
  • Selects, manages and retains outside counsel, as required, to obtain legal opinions or representation for all institutions within CSCU.
  • Negotiates, drafts and reviews a myriad of complex transactional documents such as contracts, leases, licenses, royalty agreements and other documents through which CSCU transacts its legal business.
  • Directs and conducts investigations and student appeals as required.
  • Serves as principal Legal Counsel to the Board of Regents, providing legal counsel, guidance and support on a myriad of matters including reviewing proposed Board resolutions, monitoring statutory compliance as well as advising on Roberts Rules of Order and Open Meeting requirements.
  • Advises Senior Director of Government Relations in reviewing public testimony, analyzing legislative proposals, and drafting proposed legislation.
  • Develops and ensures an effective Freedom of Information Act policy and practice is in place. Reviews complex requests made pursuant to the CT FOIA and may assist, as requested, with the management of FOIA requests for all institutions within CSCU.
  • Represents CSCU on a variety of Governmental, Higher Education task forces and commissions, including representing CSCU before municipal governmental bodies as well as accrediting institutions of Higher Education.
  • Keeps abreast of issues and developments in legal specialty areas by reading journals, attending professional conferences and conferring with colleagues nationwide ensuring critical trends and risk are identified, raised and addressed.
  • Develops and manages annual budgets.
This posting includes qualifications, experience and skills but is not limited to the full specifications stated in the job description.

Incumbents must possess proven ability to effectively work with culturally, linguistically, and ethnically diverse faculty, staff, and students. They are expected to have excellent oral and written communication skills along with strong Information technology literacy skills such as Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, Teams etc.)

Minimum Qualifications:

Must be admitted to practice law in the State of Connecticut and is in good standing. Ten (10) or more years of experience is required of which three (3) years of experience must be related to education or employment.

Substitution allowed: Three (3) additional years of experience practicing law at the advanced working level within the Connecticut legal system may be substituted for the employment or education experience.

Incumbents are required to have demonstrated advanced knowledge and abilities in the following: 

  • Ability to analyze the risk presented in a wide variety of situations, develop sound strategic guidance and to advise internal clients on acceptable levels of risk and risk mitigation strategies.
  • Consistent exercise of sound judgment, extreme discretion and creative problem solving, often under time pressure, over a broad range of issues and without complete information
  • Ability to think quickly and strategically without detailed research to relevant stakeholders.
  • Strong, strategic thinking, organizational and communications skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, with a team and external third parties.
  • Ability to learn quickly, to assess a situation accurately and render timely, practical advice.
  • Ability to translate legal research and analysis into advice that is pragmatic, actionable and understandable.
  • Considerable knowledge and ability to interpret relevant state and federal laws, statutes, and regulations.
  • Considerable knowledge of legal practices and procedures in federal courts and state venues.
  • Considerable knowledge of legislative processes at the state and federal level.
  • Considerable knowledge of management principles and techniques.
  • Substantial experience in negotiating, drafting, analyzing, and enforcing contracts; mediation and other alternative dispute resolution practice.

Substitutions Allowed:

Applicants who do not meet the minimum qualifications as stated are encouraged to put in writing precisely how their background and experience have prepared them for the responsibilities of this position and by providing appropriate references. Exceptions to the degree requirements may be made for compelling reasons.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience providing legal advice to boards of directors or regents, to senior executives, and non-represented management employees.

Starting Salary:

Anticipated Salary; $218,403 - $273,003 Commensurate with experience, plus excellent State of CT medical insurance, retirement, and related fringe benefits.

We offer a comprehensive benefits package to help you stay well, protect yourself and your family, and plan for a secure future. Benefits include generous leave policies; several retirement plans; and many choices for comprehensive health insurance. You also have access to many additional benefits to save for retirement, protect your family & more with supplemental benefits. Tuition reimbursement may apply if applicable. 

Application Instructions:

To apply you must submit a cover letter and resume. The cover letter may be entered as text in the corresponding box, or it can be uploaded as a combined file with the resume.  

Incomplete applications or those submitted after the closing date will not be considered and links to other sources to view resumes are not acceptable.

For more information or to apply via our website at

Selection Procedure:

Following the closing date, application materials will be evaluated by a selection committee. Candidates selected for further consideration will be limited to those applicants who are best qualified based on the minimum and preferred qualifications and who have submitted all the required documents by the closing date and time listed on the job announcement. Candidates who have been selected and approved to Interview will be contacted, and finalists will be recommended for further consideration by the Hiring Manager for final selection and recommendation for employment. 

Background Screening:

All employment, if offered, is contingent upon proof of citizenship or employability under the requirement of the Immigration and Control Act (IRCA) and the successful passing of a background check, including granting permission to contact current and previous employers for verification. CSCU is committed to providing a safe campus community. Background investigations include reference checks, a criminal history record check and, when appropriate, a financial (credit) report or driving history check.

Continuing Notice of Nondiscrimination

CSCU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religious creed, age, gender, gender identity or expression, national origin, marital status, ancestry, present or past history of mental disorder, learning disability or physical disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, genetic information or criminal record. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: John-Paul Chaisson-Cardenas, PhD, MSW, Vice-president of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, ([email protected]).



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