In House Counsel/Legal Affairs in Higher Education

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SouthernSoul
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In House Counsel/Legal Affairs in Higher Education

Postby SouthernSoul » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:08 pm

Anyone ever worked in legal affairs for a college/university or know what this work is like? Can you get a job in legal affairs for a university right out of law school? How competitive is it?

Just wondering if anyone had any experience or knew of anyone working in this field...

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: In House Counsel/Legal Affairs in Higher Education

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:50 pm

I didn't end up doing this, but I thought quite a bit about it, and I know people who have got these jobs right out of school. Some have ended up doing things like tech transfer and have hard science backgrounds, but I know one woman in the regular legal affairs section of the state university system. From what I found out, what people like is that it's quite varied - there are potentially interesting constitutional issues (e.g. First Amendment, Fourth Amendment - searches of dorms or the like, 14th Amendment Due Process for school discipline), and there's a lot of employment/labor stuff. I'd imagine tort liability would come up, too. And there's both transactional and litigation work.

I personally decided not to go that route because I'm not at all interested in transactional stuff, and there was a high potential to be working on nothing but contracts (rather than litigating First Amendment lawsuits or such), but I think they're considered pretty good jobs in terms of interesting work and quality of life. I think the starting pay is around $45-50K (for my university system - not a very high COL state).

The woman I know who got the job right out of school went to CCN and had local ties to this area (I don't know if she had any connections to the university itself). I don't know how she did at CCN gradeswise (though, and sorry if this sounds bad, I have no evidence she did particularly well). There are also people with JDs from the university itself (lower T1). I think most people have at least a year or so of other experience before getting these kinds of jobs, but entry level is possible. I would imagine that the bigger the university system, the more entry level positions there are; if you're looking at a smaller college, they will have a smaller staff and probably will therefore want more experienced people.

You might find this helpful: http://www.nacua.org/

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SouthernSoul
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Re: In House Counsel/Legal Affairs in Higher Education

Postby SouthernSoul » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:04 pm

Thanks for your response and for that link.

I'll have to look more into it and into NACUA. It does seem like an interesting field of work, it's just one I don't hear mentioned frequently when it comes to discussions of legal job opportunities. I thought I'd see if anyone was familiar with it.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: In House Counsel/Legal Affairs in Higher Education

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:36 pm

SouthernSoul wrote:Thanks for your response and for that link.

I'll have to look more into it and into NACUA. It does seem like an interesting field of work, it's just one I don't hear mentioned frequently when it comes to discussions of legal job opportunities. I thought I'd see if anyone was familiar with it.

Yeah, it's not a very high-profile kind of job around here. I think in the grand scheme of the profession, it's a pretty small percentage of lawyers, and it kind of falls under "in-house" positions. But the people I know who've done it really enjoy it.

Aristophanes
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Re: In House Counsel/Legal Affairs in Higher Education

Postby Aristophanes » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:45 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
SouthernSoul wrote:Thanks for your response and for that link.

I'll have to look more into it and into NACUA. It does seem like an interesting field of work, it's just one I don't hear mentioned frequently when it comes to discussions of legal job opportunities. I thought I'd see if anyone was familiar with it.

Yeah, it's not a very high-profile kind of job around here. I think in the grand scheme of the profession, it's a pretty small percentage of lawyers, and it kind of falls under "in-house" positions. But the people I know who've done it really enjoy it.


SouthernSoul, thank you for bringing up this topic, and A. Nony Mouse, thank you for the information and link. I was a college professor in my previous career, so I've been wondering too about a possible career in this field of law.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: In House Counsel/Legal Affairs in Higher Education

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:12 pm

Aristophanes wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
SouthernSoul wrote:Thanks for your response and for that link.

I'll have to look more into it and into NACUA. It does seem like an interesting field of work, it's just one I don't hear mentioned frequently when it comes to discussions of legal job opportunities. I thought I'd see if anyone was familiar with it.

Yeah, it's not a very high-profile kind of job around here. I think in the grand scheme of the profession, it's a pretty small percentage of lawyers, and it kind of falls under "in-house" positions. But the people I know who've done it really enjoy it.


SouthernSoul, thank you for bringing up this topic, and A. Nony Mouse, thank you for the information and link. I was a college professor in my previous career, so I've been wondering too about a possible career in this field of law.

Heh - me too; hence the interest.

Aristophanes
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:27 am

Re: In House Counsel/Legal Affairs in Higher Education

Postby Aristophanes » Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:50 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Aristophanes wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
SouthernSoul wrote:Thanks for your response and for that link.

I'll have to look more into it and into NACUA. It does seem like an interesting field of work, it's just one I don't hear mentioned frequently when it comes to discussions of legal job opportunities. I thought I'd see if anyone was familiar with it.

Yeah, it's not a very high-profile kind of job around here. I think in the grand scheme of the profession, it's a pretty small percentage of lawyers, and it kind of falls under "in-house" positions. But the people I know who've done it really enjoy it.


SouthernSoul, thank you for bringing up this topic, and A. Nony Mouse, thank you for the information and link. I was a college professor in my previous career, so I've been wondering too about a possible career in this field of law.

Heh - me too; hence the interest.


Cool! What field were you in, and at what kind of institution? I taught Greek and Latin at a small liberal arts college and enjoyed it tremendously, but I'm ready for a change.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: In House Counsel/Legal Affairs in Higher Education

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:04 pm

Aristophanes wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Aristophanes wrote:SouthernSoul, thank you for bringing up this topic, and A. Nony Mouse, thank you for the information and link. I was a college professor in my previous career, so I've been wondering too about a possible career in this field of law.

Heh - me too; hence the interest.


Cool! What field were you in, and at what kind of institution? I taught Greek and Latin at a small liberal arts college and enjoyed it tremendously, but I'm ready for a change.

Brother! I taught medieval history (my Latin sucks, but technically it's one of my languages), at small liberal arts colleges also. It was a good gig for a while, until it wasn't. :wink:

Aristophanes
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:27 am

Re: In House Counsel/Legal Affairs in Higher Education

Postby Aristophanes » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:50 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Aristophanes wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Heh - me too; hence the interest.


Cool! What field were you in, and at what kind of institution? I taught Greek and Latin at a small liberal arts college and enjoyed it tremendously, but I'm ready for a change.

Brother! I taught medieval history (my Latin sucks, but technically it's one of my languages), at small liberal arts colleges also. It was a good gig for a while, until it wasn't. :wink:


Medieval history? Small liberal arts colleges? Awesome. By the way, I'll bet your Latin is way better than you think. Ugh, I know what you mean about it being a good gig until it isn't . . . .

Is it OK if I send you a PM sometime? I'd like to ask you for your insights, if I could, about transitioning from an academic career to a legal one.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: In House Counsel/Legal Affairs in Higher Education

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:00 pm

Aristophanes wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Aristophanes wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Heh - me too; hence the interest.


Cool! What field were you in, and at what kind of institution? I taught Greek and Latin at a small liberal arts college and enjoyed it tremendously, but I'm ready for a change.

Brother! I taught medieval history (my Latin sucks, but technically it's one of my languages), at small liberal arts colleges also. It was a good gig for a while, until it wasn't. :wink:


Medieval history? Small liberal arts colleges? Awesome. By the way, I'll bet your Latin is way better than you think. Ugh, I know what you mean about it being a good gig until it isn't . . . .

Is it OK if I send you a PM sometime? I'd like to ask you for your insights, if I could, about transitioning from an academic career to a legal one.

Well, the thing is, most of the Latin I ever had to read was written by late medieval bureaucrats who were pretty bad at it themselves, so I'm great at reading bad Latin...

And sure, PM any time!




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