Ohio Education Association

Ohio Education Association

General Counsel

Based in Columbus, OH

The Ohio Education Association (OEA) is seeking a General Counsel to lead the Association’s strategic and tactical legal initiatives and provides advice to and representation of the Association, its affiliates, and its membership in legal matters, including both private and public sector labor law matters. The General Counsel provides effective advice on Association strategies and their implementation, manages the legal function, and obtains and oversees the work of outside counsel.


  • Provides legal representation and advice to the Association as assigned; provides legal advice and consultation to OEA Governance, staff, Association affiliates, and members.
  • Participates in the definition and development of Association policies, procedures and programs and provides continuing counsel and guidance on legal matters and on legal implications of all matters.
  • Serves as legal advisor on all major business transactions.
  • Advises the Association regarding compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
  • Keeps informed of the current state of the law in public and private sector labor law, school law and civil service law and, in conjunction with the Assistant General Counsel, prepares and distributes summaries of same.
  • Assesses the merits of major court cases filed against or on behalf of the Association, works with Association leadership and appropriate manager(s) to define a strategic defense and approve settlements of disputes where warranted. Defends the Association against suits/charges/claims, as assigned.
  • Addresses organizational and staff issues in accordance with staff contracts, OEA policies, and the OEA’s core values.
  • Serves as staff liaison to governance groups as assigned.
  • Evaluates matters of national and state education policy for impact on the Association and reports to management and governance as assigned.
  • Acts as the legal representative of the Association on matters of employer-employee relations with its staff unions, as assigned.
  • In conjunction with other appropriate managers, reviews, develops a course of action with the appropriate immediate supervisor, and maintains responsibility for management's position on all grievances formally filed under existing labor agreements.
  • Serves as the Executive Director’s designee in the administration of the staff union contracts, as assigned.
  • Serves as a member of the management bargaining team(s) for negotiations with staff union contracts, as assigned.
  • Selects, retains, manages and evaluates the work of outside counsel.
  • Assists in the training of staff and local leaders.
  • Prepares and maintains case files, timesheets, and other records and reports as needed.
  • Recommends policy and procedural changes to the Executive Director.
  • Supervises assigned staff in a collaborative team environment and leads the development, alignment, and implementation of strategies to achieve departmental and cross-divisional operational priorities and goals.
  • Works in partnership with the Executive Management Team and other appropriate managers to establish and implement short- and long-term plans consistent with OEA’s strategic and operational priorities and promote integration of operations.
  • In collaboration with the Assistant Executive Director - Business Services and Assistant General Counsel, develops an annual budget for the Legal Department, monitors expenditures and adjusts expenditures to stay within budget.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned by the Executive Director.

Education, Experience and Training:

  • Must possess Juris Doctor Degree and be currently licensed to practice law in Ohio.
  • At least 5 years’ work experience serving in a general counsel or related capacity.
  • Minimum of five years’ experience in public and/or private sector labor law; Association experience preferred.
  • Successful management or supervisory experience.
  • Experience working in a union environment and serving as the legal representative on matters of employer-employee relations.
  • Experience with cost effective management of outside legal resources.

Required Knowledge, Skills, Ability:

  • Knowledge and experience in school law, civil service law and collective bargaining law.
  • Ability to identify risks, propose alternative solutions to mitigate risks and manage complex issues.
  • Excellent analytical research and documentation writing skills. Demonstrated ability to conduct legal research effectively, using both print and electronic means, and to draft legal research memoranda for Association distribution.
  • Evidences of a commitment to excellence and continual improvement in all areas.
  • Demonstrated ability to use independent judgment and discretion to formulate, interpret, implement, compare, evaluate and recommend policies and course of action regarding all aspects of the organization.
  • Ability to provide leadership, take initiative and delegate appropriately while managing organizational priorities.
  • High ability to resolve complaints and recommend courses of action on the interpretation, implementation and development of policies, procedures and union agreements.
  • Familiarity with the collective bargaining process, strategies and concepts, labor relations and contract administration.
  • Ability to maintain utmost level of discretion, work independently and take initiative in a dynamic environment.
  • Ability to collaborate effectively, navigate conflict appropriately and build relationships internally and externally.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing with diverse audiences.
  • Commitment to union principles and values and ability to work in a unionized environment.
  • Ability to work flexible hours and/or extended hours.

About OEA
The OEA represents more than 122,000 teachers, faculty members and support professionals who work in Ohio’s schools, colleges and universities to help improve public education and the lives of Ohio’s children. OEA members provide a wide range of professional education services in communities throughout the state.

Our members teach in kindergarten classrooms, high school labs and university halls. They counsel adolescents and help students carve out career aspirations. We coach athletes and transport students to and from the schools and extra-curricular events. We provide professional services to benefit students, schools and the public in virtually every position needed to run Ohio’s schools.

OEA members are dedicated to children and public education. OEA’s mission is to lead the way for the continuous improvement of public education while advocating for our members and the students we serve. We always have, and always will, work to that end. Through OEA’s more than 150-year history OEA members have been involved in every struggle and effort to advance the finest of America’s dreams: a quality public education for every child.

OEA has been working to make schools better and improve public education since 1847.

The General Counsel serves as a member of the Executive Management Team, reports to the Executive Director, and acts on behalf of the Executive Director to convene meetings, request progress reports and information, and facilitate the assignment of responsibilities and tasks to ensure the delivery of high quality programs and support to the OEA and its affiliates. The General Counsel supervises management staff of the Legal department and the daily operations of staff and others as required.

This position is exempt from the bargaining unit. Salary is commensurate with experience. Fringe benefits include paid vacation, sick leave, health insurance, paid holidays and retirement plans, including 401 (k).

For consideration, please submit a letter of interest and résumé to OEA Human Resources, hr@ohea.org.

Posting Closes: Open until filled.

View the OEA website www.ohea.org for more information about OEA.

The OEA is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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