Post date:  December 21, 2020
 

The Washington Education Association is seeking applicants for the position of General Counsel in Federal Way, WA.  A job description is included on the following pages.  This position is currently available to internal and external applicants.

To be considered for this position the following documents are required:

  • Cover Letter
  • Updated résumé reflecting qualifications for this position
  • Signed WEA application form
  • List of three professional references (including contact information)

A completed WEA application is required.  This announcement will remain "open until filled."

Please submit your application materials online.  If you have questions or need assistance, contact Karen Knight at the email address or phone number shown below.

Washington Education Association
Attn:  Karen Knight, HR Generalist
PO Box 9100
Federal Way, WA 98063-9100
PHONE (cell): 253-303-1477
FAX: 253- 946-4726
kknight@washingtonea.org

Please note that WEA Staff are currently working from home (subject to change when warranted) due to COVID-19 restrictions and mandates.  If selected for this position, you will be equipped with the necessary tools to fulfill the requirements of your position.

The Washington Education Association is an equal employment opportunity employer. It is the desire of the Washington Education Association to interview applicants from an applicant/interview pool that reflects the diversity of the greater community for each vacancy as it occurs.


The Washington Education Association is committed to a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace where the contributions of each employee are respected as part of the work performed on behalf of 90,000+ WEA members in public education. WEA embraces employees with varied backgrounds and life experiences, including race, ethnicity, gender, age, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical ability, and veteran status.  Only those candidates who can commit to promoting diversity, equity and inclusiveness need apply.

Position: WEA General Counsel

Supervisory: The WEA General Counsel reports to the WEA Executive Director.

Job summary: Supervises, directs, and implements WEA legal program and strategy for WEA staff and governance, UniServ Councils, and Local Associations.


Essential job functions:

  • Provides strategic direction of WEA’s legal program in conjunction with the NEA Dushane requirements, federal, state, and local laws, regulations and rules
  • Evaluates the feasibility of requested legal assistance provided to WEA members, staff, UniServ Councils and Local affiliations
  • Advises the WEA elected leadership, the Executive Committee, the WEA Board of Directors and other WEA entities as needed on legal matters, including interpretation of both federal and state law, including provisions under the Revised Code of Washington Title 28A
  • Advises WEA Representative Assembly regarding legal interpretations of WEA RA New Business Items, resolutions and WEA policies
  • Serves as a member of the WEA Management Team
  • Advises and may represent WEA management on matters of employee-employer relations with its staff organization WEASO, including grievances, arbitrations and possible unfair labor practices
  • Strongly advocates for racial, social and economic justice from a legal and organizational perspective
  • Coordinates the WEA Legal Department budget development process; makes recommendations for the development of the Office of General Counsel budget
  • Serves on and advises WEA work teams and committees
  • Acts as legal representative of the WEA to outside agencies - both private and public - in legal matters
  • Represents and advises or assigns retained counsel to represent and advise members and affiliate associations before administrative and judicial tribunals
  • Stays informed relative to developments in the law related to education employees' rights, labor law, campaign finance, public disclosure law and education law; conducts legal research on new and/or emerging legal issues and/or challenges
  • Recommends department employment; assigns, supervises, and directs all assigned staff
  • Directs and coordinates the work of WEA attorneys, paralegals, legal assistants, and legal interns as needed
  • Reviews and approves billable hours of network attorneys
  • Maintains records of all legal action and administrative matters involving legal counsel
  • May coordinate investigations of financial and/or legal matters in conjunction with other WEA Directors
  • Advises clients as to progress of litigation or administrative proceedings
  • Assumes responsibility for obtaining funding from NEA for litigation; coordinates efforts with NEA on jointly-funded litigation
  • Develops training programs for WEA employees and members concerning legal issues; develops and distributes publications on members' legal rights
  • Serves as a representative of WEA in working with other agencies and community groups to promote the mission, goal, and core values of the WEA
  • Reviews and assesses WEA communications related to legal matters or approaches
  • Demonstrates a high degree of interpersonal skills - building and maintaining cooperative workplace relationships
  • Interacts appropriately with staff, members, and the general public
  • Monitors and ensures the WEA, UniServ and Local Associations’ compliance with all aspects of state and federal campaign finance laws
  • Provides assistance to WEA, UniServ and Local Association governance and staff regarding proper reporting and compliance 
  • Monitors and ensures the WEA, UniServ and Local Associations’ compliance with other regulatory requirements that pertain to non-profit organizations
  • Monitors the WEA’s expenditures to ensure compliance with various regulatory and other legal requirements
  • Provides assistance to and oversight of UniServ and Local Associations to ensure expenditures are in compliance with legal requirements
  • Provides assistance and counsel to WEA, UniServ and Local Association staff and governance regarding school employee and Association rights
  • Other duties as determined by the Executive Director

Minimum job requirements:

  • Licensed to practice law in the state of Washington, or ability to become licensed in the state of Washington within one year of hire
  • Either seven (7) years as a general counsel or advising an organizational client - preferably in a labor and/or education setting directing a legal office and staff
  • Ability to work with diverse groups and individuals
  • Computer skills including word processing and use of legal research programs
  • Demonstrated ability to work calmly under pressure with other staff and members
  • Ability to pay close attention to detail and the ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing to persons within and outside of the organization
  • The ability to obtain a valid Washington state driver's license, have a satisfactory driving record and a dependable automobile for Association travel; proof of automobile insurance with liability limits of at least $100,00/$300,000 required
  • Must support and advance the WEA mission, goal, core values and priorities

Preferred job requirements:
 

  • Experience representing labor organizations in a public education setting


Salary range and benefits
 

Annual salary range:  $170,000.00 to $190,000.00

Benefits:

  • Employer-paid medical, dental, vision and life insurance
  • Generous sick and vacation Leaves (PTO)
  • Long-term disability
  • Defined Benefit Plan
  • Defined Contribution Plan (401k) (w/employer contribution)

Application procedure and references
 

In order to be considered for this position, a completed and signed WEA application form - including resume, cover letter and a list of three professional references (including contact information – i.e., email addresses, phone numbers and relationship to applicant) from associates who have professional knowledge of your background and work experience must be submitted.  The announcement will remain "open until filled."  Please use the online application process. 

Important Note: When submitting your application materials online, select “Save as Draft” until you have all materials together and ready to be attached and uploaded – i.e., cover letter, resume and a list of three professional references. This will ensure your application materials remain together as a single submission.

Online application