The New Jersey School Boards Association is seeking a legal counsel/human resources professional to join its team.
The legal counsel will provide training and information to board members, board attorneys and school administrators; provide direct representation for the Association and advocate on behalf of public education matters before courts and administrative agencies. This position will also perform vital human resource responsibilities, including training required by state law, and will oversee the Association’s equal employment/affirmative action program as well as its diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.
- Develop and coordinate the delivery of services and training programs for members and staff relevant to the responsibilities of the department.
- Provide direct assistance/information to school board attorneys, school administrators, school board members and Association staff as requested via staffing of the Attorney of the Day program.
- Plan, prepare and deliver oral presentations on legal topics as assigned. This includes but is not limited to presenting mandated training sessions; NJSBA Legal and Labor Relations programs such as the Law Forums and various Labor Relations workshops; Weekly Webinar Series; Workshop; Spring Symposium; and in-district trainings on requested topics.
- Assist with the coordination of the delivery of services to members of the Associate Membership Program for School Attorneys.
- Oversee the Personnel Administrators Association.
- Read and analyze decisions issued by the commissioner of education, the State Board of Education, State Ethics Commission and decisions of the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, and other related school, election, and labor decisions.
- Write articles for the School Board Notes weekly newsletter and School Leader quarterly magazine.
- Assist in the regular updating and review of NJSBA’s Basic School Law treatise on school law.
- Analyze pending legislation and regulations affecting local school districts.
- Represent the Association as amicus in legal matters having a statewide impact on public schools in New Jersey. This includes but is not limited to preparing amicus review memoranda; preparing and filing amicus briefs and related filings as assigned by the general counsel; orally arguing Association positions in federal and state trial and appellate courts and administrative bodies; and other court appearances.
- Analyze, research, and prepare background materials for Association action on resolution and policy proposals before the Board of Directors and the Delegate Assembly.
- Review labor contracts and write contract wellness check analyses and salary guide analyses for districts.
- Assist as needed with annual Workshop related activities including attendance at October Workshop Convention in Atlantic City.
- Assist with NJSBA cooperative purchasing agreements.
- Other duties as assigned.
Human Resources Responsibilities
- Report to executive director on all HR matters.
- Provide general oversight and coordination of the Association’s human resources program.
- Manage and oversee the Association’s affirmative action/equal employment and training programs.
- Oversee the Association’s employee discipline program.
- Act as line-level hearing officer in disciplinary and grievance matters.
- Maintain confidentiality in all personnel matters and strictly observe the requirement of the Open Public Records Act and government records retention schedules
- Maintain personnel files and records.
- Provide annual mandatory training to staff in the following areas including, but not limited to:
- Equal employment in the workplace – how to file complaints.
- Sexual harassment.
- Open Public Records Act.
- Conscientious Employment Protection Act (“Whistleblower Act.”).
- New Jersey Family Leave Act and Federal Medical Leave Act.
- NJ SAFE Act.
- Liaise with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development when necessary to ensure compliance with all laws that fall thereunder.
- Liaise with Department of Treasury – Division of Pensions and Benefits in all matters that affect NJSBA staff.
- Attend professional development as necessary to remain up to date on all human resource related matters relevant to NJSBA staff.
- Update employee welcome manual and create employee handbook – electronic and online references.
- Other duties as assigned.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Responsibilities
The human resources professional will develop a pilot diversity, equity and inclusion program instilling all staff members with a deep understanding of the conceptual differences in these areas, what is expected of every employee and how staff will be held accountable in each and every area. Attainable goals and areas for improvement will be continually assessed.
- The successful candidate will work with the executive director and other assigned staff to create a written (SMART goals) and clearly achievable DEI plan with corresponding procedures included in NJSBA’s Governance Operations Manual. The plan will be aligned to NJSBA’s mission and strategic goals for 2022-2024.
- The successful candidate will rewrite job descriptions to include DEI responsibilities and accountability mechanisms.
- The successful candidate will oversee mandatory staff DEI training for all levels of employees but beginning with high-level supervisors and managers. Training will be aligned to three levels: 1) Organizational 2) Immediate Supervisor and 3) Work Group. Initial training will be in-person and intensive at the onset of the program. Thereafter, a regular training and maintenance schedule will be set up for mandatory training during the year. Primary training will be in-person and performed by credentialed staff. The subject matter can be supplemented throughout the year by online programs as deemed appropriate by HR staff.
- The successful candidate will ensure that job descriptions and posting/recruitment information will be aligned with the DEI goals and procedures. Various tools and metrics will be researched and implemented to achieve DEI goals.
- Establish diversity metrics to be integrated into posting and job description procedures to ensure diverse candidate pools.
- Create and implement inclusion, climate and culture metrics to be continuously reviewed in addition to data points to get a full picture of success and areas of improvement for NJSBA’s inclusive environment.
- The successful candidate will ensure that all levels of staff are accountable for DEI initiatives and practices in each of the distinct areas of this initiative: Diversity, equity and inclusion.
Education and Experience
- Juris Doctor degree required.
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent required.
- Must be a member in good standing of the New Jersey Bar. Admission to practice before the New Jersey Federal District Court, Third Circuit Court of Appeals and the courts of New Jersey.
- Two to five years practicing in employment law, labor law and public school law.
- Knowledge of school district governance required.
- Working knowledge of human resource procedures, requirements and best practices in a government setting is required,
- Proven track record in administrating affirmative action/equal employment programs in a New Jersey governmental setting.
- Working knowledge of diversity, equity and inclusion principles and programming required.
- Knowledge of virtual platforms like Zoom, Swoogo, Google Meet, etc.
- Experience with online research resources, e.g., Lexis-Nexis, is required
- Proficient in Microsoft Office 365 apps, including Teams, Lists, SharePoint, One Drive, Forms and traditional Office Apps, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.
- Experience in appearing before the Office of Administrative Law and Litigation before state and federal courts experience preferred.
- Working knowledge of BoardDocs platform preferred.
- Fluency in Microsoft TEAMS preferred
Knowledge, Skills and Competencies
Self-initiated, motivated, well organized and with a proven ability to prioritize and complete tasks efficiently. Demonstrated ability to work well with people, coordinate or facilitate projects, communicate effectively and comfortable with public speaking and training. Ability to foster and facilitate collaborations creatively. Excellent verbal communication and writing skills essential, including legal and analytical writing and ability to make complicated legal information understandable. Possession of a valid current New Jersey driver’s license. Ability to serve in a confidential capacity. Computer/technical skills like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Microsoft suite, and must be able to adapt to use of new programs. Ability to apply mathematical and numeracy skills to understand costs of labor contracts and discuss salary guides. Familiarity with administrative law, litigation, legal practice and research as well as policy writing.
Prolonged period of sitting at a desk and working on a computer. Ability to walk, stand and drive and carry items up to 20 lbs.
Flexible hours, including some nights and weekends as required.
Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, and two letters of reference to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, Jan. 2, 2023.
NJSBA complies with the “New Jersey First Act.” This Act requires all NJSBA employees, hired on or after Sept. 1, 2011, to currently reside in New Jersey or relocate within one year of their hire date.
Affirmative action / equal opportunity employer.
Minimum salary of $95,003.