Full Job Description
Starting as one school in 1999, the Noble Network of Charter Schools has grown to serve more than 13,000 students from 70 different communities at 18 separate campuses in Chicago, Illinois. Noble is Chicago’s largest and highest performing non-selective public school network. In 2015, Noble won the Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools, which is awarded to the highest-performing network of charter schools in the country. And in 2020, research from MIT economists showed that students who attended Noble schools grew more academically than similar peers who attended elite, selective enrollment high schools.
As an organization of approximately 1,500 full-time employees, tens of thousands of students and alumni, and an operating budget of nearly $200 million dollars, Noble is seeking an Associate General Counsel to lead Noble’s education-related legal work. Ideal candidates will have 4‐6 years of experience representing educational institutions, preferably at a law firm, school district, and/or in‐house legal department, and preferably including experience litigating education disputes and handling investigations initiated by the Illinois State Board of Education and the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. He or she will be detail-oriented and highly organized and will have experience with matters related to curriculum, charter compliance, special education, student privacy, student searches and discipline, and external investigations. The Associate General Counsel will also be an integral figure in executing Noble’s commitment to being an anti-racist organization, especially as Noble reviews key policies, practices, and procedures to ensure that they align with that commitment.
Given that we’re a small, entrepreneurial legal department, the successful candidate will also need to assist as needed on other assorted legal matters, spanning the corporate governance, commercial contract, labor and employment, employee benefits, and intellectual property spaces.
The Associate General Counsel will report directly to the General Counsel.
Possess, maintain and grow an extensive understanding of elementary and secondary education-related laws, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Illinois School Student Records Act, the Illinois Charter Schools Law, and the Illinois School Code.
Provide guidance to Noble’s campus staff and Noble’s Academics team on developing a legally compliant curriculum and relevant state and local graduation requirements.
Develop a deep understanding of our charter, including various compliance requirements.
Provide guidance to staff on a wide range of special education issues, including but not limited to, IEP (Individualized Education Program) and 504 plan development and compliance, manifestation determination reviews, and due process hearings.
Spearhead student privacy compliance, including timely and appropriate document productions to student records requests, FERPA/ISSRA compliance in commercial contracts, and staff training.
Advise staff on student searches, discipline, expulsions, and SB100, balancing Noble’s need to honor the humanity of our students while minimizing unnecessary risk.
Assist with and collaborate on any external investigations, particularly those led by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, the Illinois State Board of Education, the Office of the Inspector General, the Office of Student Protections, and the Department of Child and Family Safety (particularly around mandated reporting, guardianship, and students in temporary living situations).
Provide litigation assistance and support as needed, both on education and non-education related matters
Demonstrate an ability to explain complex legal concepts and positions to internal and external stakeholders, many of whom are non-lawyers, and garner requisite buy-in.
Provide counseling advice and training as necessary to help streamline the resolution of any education law questions that arise.
Develop relationships with external counsel who may also provide education law support and bring best practices to the organization.
Provide thought leadership while working with minimum supervision in a fast-paced environment requiring superior prioritization skills.
Provide strategic advice as Noble seeks to innovate in the educational industry while maintaining a reasonable risk profile.
Stay current on relevant laws and regulations and be an internal subject matter expert.
Skills and Characteristics
A deep-rooted passion for Noble’s mission and work in Chicago as well as a desire to work with highly talented, smart people who are also passionate about Noble’s mission.
An exemplary embodiment of Noble’s core values of results; respect; follow-through; diversity, equity, and inclusion; humility and self-awareness.
An ability to exercise considerable judgment, discretion and high ethical standards in establishing and maintaining good working relationships in a way that is consistent with Noble’s culture and values.
Excellent advocacy, oral, and written communication skills.
Excellent legal reasoning, analytical, and problem-solving skills.
Capacity to analyze and articulate legal concepts and other complex issues to a variety of audiences.
Superior organizational skills.
Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment.
Educational Background and Work Experience
JD from an accredited U.S. law school with strong academic credentials
4-6 years of experience representing educational institutions, preferably at a law firm, school district, and/or in-house legal department.
Licensed to practice in Illinois
Maintain an active and in good standing membership with the Illinois bar
Compensation will be commensurate with experience and qualifications.
Please be prepared to submit a cover letter, resume and at least three professional references. Please direct inquiries about this role to: email@example.com.
Statement of Non-Discrimination
At Noble, our mission is to be a catalyst for educational equity in the city of Chicago that empowers students with the scholarship, discipline, and honor necessary to succeed in college and lead exemplary lives. We know that we only fulfill this mission if we are the best place for a diverse mix of driven, reflective, and innovative educators to come, stay, and do their best work nurturing college-ready students. That is why Noble is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, making all employment decisions, including recruiting, hiring, training, and promoting without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status or any other characteristic or classification protected by law.