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Chief Legal Officer/General Counsel - Memphis Housing Authority

Position Title: Chief Legal Officer/General Counsel
Reports to: Chief Executive Officer
FLSA Status: Exempt
Department: Executive
Employment Status: Full-Time

Applications are accepted at www.memphisha.org/departments/CareerOpportunities.php 

Summary
The Chief Legal Officer/General Counsel (CLO) is responsible for handling all legal matters within a demanding civil, public, and corporate framework on behalf of MHA. Responsible for delivery of legal services on behalf of MHA, including, without limitation, complex transactional work, mixed-finance and real estate development and acquisition deals, federal and state litigation, evictions, housing, contract preparation, fact gathering, legal research, motion practice, and federal/state appellate work, bankruptcy matters, and employment and labor related matters. The CLO will be responsible for establishing, implementing, and monitoring all management policies and procedures to be followed by staff in the Legal and Contracting departments and developing security post orders for MHA's central office and residential sites. Along with other Chief Officers, this position may act as the CEO in his/her absence.
All activities must support the MHA (or "Authority") mission, strategic goals, and objectives.

Direct Reports
Director of Compliance and Training, Contract Officer, Paralegal, MHA Security Staff, Contract Security

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
The position duties and responsibilities listed below describe the general nature and scope of work. Other responsibilities, duties, and skills may be required and assigned as needed.

  • Provides legal counsel, advice, and representation for the MHA; represents MHA and/or coordinates representation for MHA in legal matters in Federal and State courts.
  • Consults with and advises the CEO, the Board of Commissioners, and departments, as designated, on MHA legal matters.
  • Monitors and participates in administrative cases, including resident and employee grievances, EEOC matters, Tennessee Human Rights Commissions, HUD, and like issues.
  • When appropriate, make verbal reports and presentations to the Board of Commission and other bodies. Prepares reports resolutions for Commission review and approval.
  • Maintains all legal records, closing documents, legal instruments, board minutes, and transcripts.
  • Attends meetings with public officials, outside counsel, and consultants to support the goals and objectives of MHA; attends depositions, mediations, arbitrations, and negotiations as required.
  • Prepares legal documents such as contracts, leases, petitions, MOUs, appeals, memoranda of law, and other legal-related notices; prepares monthly reports for the CEO and Board of Commissioner's review; prepares correspondence on behalf of and for the CEO on MHA legal matters.
  • Provides advice regarding procurement issues - reviews requests for proposals and invitations for bids.
  • Interpret federal legislation, documents, and reports pertaining to low-income and other assisted housing for the legal effect of laws, regulations, and appropriate changes.
  • Provides legal advice on behalf of MHA in the negotiation of real estate development and acquisition projects.
  • Participates in budget planning.
  • Handles non-routine situations and recommends solutions or the best course of action for the CEO and staff.
  • Supervises designated personnel as pertains to performance management, time management, job assignments, scheduling, disciplinary actions, promotions, hiring recommendations, training, and attendance responsibilities.
  • The CLO will participate in MHA's nonprofit affiliate, Memphis Housing Strategies (MHS), governing structure as a member of the Board of Directors.
  • Performs any other related and appropriate duties and support of strategic goals as required.

Behavioral Competencies
This position requires the incumbent to exhibit the following behavioral skills:

Job Knowledge: Working knowledge of laws and regulations, including, without limitation, those of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, pertaining to the administration and operation of the assisted housing agency. Working knowledge of Tennessee Code Annotated and the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. Broad background and knowledge in general and specific areas of civil law, contracting, and litigation. Performs tasks that are sensitive in nature and exercises sound judgment in making decisions in accomplishing assignments. Knowledge of judicial procedures, rules of court, rules of evidence, and legal precedents. Demonstrated skill in analyzing and assessing legal issues, organizing facts, evidence, and legal precedents. Must be able to prepare highly competent and professional written and oral presentations. High level of skill in addressing the public and presenting information in a clear, organized, and convincing manner. Demonstrated skill in the management, direction, and supervision of a public, corporate legal environment. Ability to take direction and work with others under stressful conditions. Ability and experience to interpret and apply the many statutory and regulatory provisions pertaining to and involved in the business of the Memphis Housing Authority. Demonstrate mature, professional judgment and a high degree of initiative, and advanced critical thinking.

Commitment: Sets high standards of performance; pursues aggressive goals and works hard/smart to achieve them; strives for results and success; conveys a sense of urgency and brings issues to closure; and is adept at multitasking while maintaining accountability for complete and timely work performance. Demonstrates strong organizational, project management, and problem-solving skills.

Professional Behavior: Exhibits positive, polite, courteous, honest, and conscientious behavior with all internal/external clients. Accepts responsibility for actions and adjusts behavior as appropriate. Must demonstrate a high level of professionalism and maintain the decorum of the office. Must be able to establish and maintain effective working relationships with internal and external customers, clients, and constituents. Must be able to communicate with a variety of audiences and provide excellent customer service. Must display a neat, clean, and professional appearance.

Reliability & Judgment: Employee demonstrates sound reasoning and critical thinking by making decisions in line with established Agency expectations. Performs work in a reliable manner that is both accurate and timely. Must uphold a strict level of confidentiality. Must be skilled in analyzing situations in order to identify problems and offer possible solutions.

Teamwork: Balances team and individual responsibilities; exhibits objectivity and openness to others' views; gives and welcomes feedback; contributes to building a positive team spirit; puts success of team above own interests; supports agency's mission and values.

Education and/or Experience
Must possess a Juris Doctorate degree from an accredited law school. Must be in good standing and licensed to practice law in the Federal and State courts of Tennessee. Must have a minimum of five (5) years of experience in litigation and transactional matters within a civil, public, or corporate legal setting. Housing agency legal experience and mixed-finance housing transactions is strongly preferred. Strong computer and analytical skills, plus excellent written and oral communication skills, are required. Must be licensed to drive in the State of Tennessee. Must pass a criminal background check and drug screening.

Technical Skills
To perform this job successfully, the employee should have proficiency with applicable computer software (e.g., MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and project management). Experience using Yardi Voyager is preferred. Must have the ability to learn other computer software programs as required by assigned tasks.

Physical Demands
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

Must have the ability to drive an automobile, sit for lengthy periods of time, climb stairs/ladders, operate a keyboard, and generally maintain the physical condition and mobility necessary to visit other Authority sites and other housing authorities and agencies. A majority of the work is conducted in a standard indoor office environment. Must be able to travel.

Must provide annual disclosure statements as applicable by law.

Work Environment
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

The work is performed in an office environment.

Office environment. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

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