University Counsel – Princeton University

Princeton Office of the General Counsel Seeks Experienced Attorney to Join the Office as University Counsel

The Office of the General Counsel of Princeton University (OGC) is seeking an exceptional attorney to join its team as a University Counsel. When fully-staffed, the OGC has eight attorneys (the General Counsel, five (5) University Counsel, and two (2) Assistant University Counsel) and four administrative support professionals. Recently, a University Counsel has tendered her resignation to join a preeminent college as its General Counsel, creating an extraordinary opportunity for an attorney with stellar credentials and a minimum of eight (8) years of relevant legal experience. Further information about the position, the OGC and Princeton University is provided below.

About Princeton University:

Princeton University, chartered in 1746, is the fourth-oldest college in the United States. It aims to produce scholarship and teaching of unsurpassed quality. Princeton adheres to the conviction that research and education should be mutually reinforcing pursuits rather than independent priorities, and the University plays a unique role within American higher education by virtue of its distinctive emphasis on undergraduate and doctoral programs. Princeton’s beautiful campus is home to a vibrant residential community, and is located in the beautiful town of Princeton – a community rich in cultural resources that is only an hour away from New York City and Philadelphia, the New Jersey beaches and the mountains.

The University community, including an active and deeply loyal alumni body, is warm, inclusive and is united by a shared sense of purpose. A commitment to the University’s unofficial motto – “Princeton in the nation’s service and in the service of humanity” – is pervasive. Today, a world-class faculty 1,100 faculty members (including several Nobel Prize recipients) instruct approximately 5,200 undergraduate students and 2,700 graduate students. Deeply committed to affordability for all admitted students, the University pioneered a no-loan financial aid program in 2001. Currently, more than 60 percent of undergraduate students receive financial aid.

About the Office of the General Counsel

The OGC is organized philosophically and practically as a collaborative undertaking, recognizing that each member of the office has made a deliberate and informed professional and personal choice to be a higher education attorney. The OGC is run with a view both to delivering prompt and excellent legal services to its University clients, and to empowering each attorney to practice in a way that allows the attorney to grow and thrive. The OGC enables and encourages its University Counsel to be, and be seen as, significant colleagues in sundry corners, and at all levels, of the University, and to embrace the shared passion and satisfaction of the institution’s efforts to achieve the highest levels of excellence.

The OGC prides itself on being a collaborative group of 21st century counselors, often serving as thought partners for our colleagues throughout the University. As such, the expectations of the office generally, and of its lawyers, are dynamic, not static — OGC attorneys must be flexible, intellectually agile, and prepared to embrace and master new areas of the law as University needs warrant.

Each OGC attorney serves multiple University constituencies and maintains a generalist practice, with expertise in specific areas. While OGC regularly engages outside counsel, the desire and presumption is that a University Counsel will serve the University as a lawyer, not a conduit. Thus, before contacting external counsel, the University Counsel will first consider whether the matter can be handled internally.

Position Description

As further described below, about half of the University Counsel’s time will be dedicated to supporting the Vice President of Facilities and the Vice President’s team on issues relating to the ownership, construction, renovation and management of all real property and facilities of the University. The other 50% of the University Counsel’s time will be split among various OGC clients and areas of the OGC portfolio, to be determined based on University needs and the successful candidates’ interests and substantive background.

  • Facilities and Real Estate: About half of the University Counsel’s time will be committed to providing (or coordinating) legal support for the Vice President of Facilities and the Facilities team, which includes the Offices of Design and Construction; Engineering and Campus Energy; Facilities Operations; Sustainability; Real Estate Development; and the University Architect. Such legal support encompasses a broad variety of issues related to facilities, real estate, construction and compliance, as well as related litigation. Areas of focus include, for example:
    • The acquisition and disposition of property;
    • Legal issues pertaining to the design, construction and delivery phases for both new construction and renovations;
    • The planning and execution of large-scale development projects;
    • The maintenance and upgrading of the University’s physical plant;
    • Local zoning regulations and public approval processes for major projects;
    • Affordable housing obligations;
    • Designing relationships with private developers to support the University’s mission;
    • On-going barrier removal efforts to ensure the physical accessibility of the University’s facilities for individuals with disabilities;
    • Construction and design defect litigation; and
    • Compliance aspects of disposal of environmentally hazardous waste.
  • Other Practice Areas: About half of the University Counsel’s time will be spent advising clients, working on transactions, and managing litigation in a broad variety of matters within the OGC’s portfolio. While the precise scope of the new University Counsel’s portfolio will be informed by the needs of the University and OGC, as well as the successful candidate’s interests and prior experience, they may include (a) advising academic and administrative units concerning compliance with state and federal laws for ensuring equal access to educational programs, physical facilities, electronic resources, and programs open to the public; (b) copyright issues; (c) privacy law issues; and (d) any one of more of the OGC practice areas described on our website


To be considered, candidates must:

  • Have at least eight (8) years of relevant legal practice experience at a major law firm, an in-house legal department (including but not limited to a university legal department), and/or government;
  • Have a strong record of accomplishment as a practicing attorney;
  • Have significant complex commercial or construction litigation experience;
  • Have a J.D. from an ABA accredited law school and extraordinary academic credentials;
  • Be a licensed attorney in good standing, who is either licensed in, or willing and able to become licensed in, the state of New Jersey; and
  • Have demonstrated outstanding judgment, the highest ethical standards, and the capacity to deal effectively with a widely varied array of legal issues.

Preference will be given to candidates who

  • Have significant experience working on construction litigation, land management, zoning, and other matters pertaining to real estate;
  • Have worked as a lawyer in a university environment or for a large not-for-profit, or as outside counsel devoting substantial attention to university clients;
  • Can demonstrate a commitment to higher education, an understanding of the legal issues faced by research universities, and a passion for learning.

Desired Traits

  • A sense of urgency and responsiveness when dealing with clients, and an ability to handle multiple tasks focused on University objectives in a timely manner.
  • The ability to work independently and on project oriented teams with minimum supervision, while adhering to pre-established parameters.
  • A collegial approach to problem-solving and a willingness to engage in clear and transparent dialogue about both legal and non-legal issues.
  • Excellent communication and diplomacy skills, oral and written, including superb listening and influencing skills.
  • The ability to perform effectively, calmly and collegially under pressure.
  • A consummate team player who is solutions-oriented, with a demonstrated ability to build relationships.

To apply, go to:, and submit application materials to Requisition #1600987.

Princeton University is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Apply Here:

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