Associate Attorney

The Research Foundation for SUNY

The Research Foundation for SUNY

Associate Attorney

Department: General Counsel
Locations: Albany, NY
Posted: Dec 17, '12
Type: Full-time

About The Research Foundation for SUNY:
Founded in 1951, the RF exists to serve SUNY and to capitalize on the scope, scale and diversity of SUNY as an engine of New York state’s innovation economy.

The RF supports nearly $1 billion in SUNY research activity annually, providing sponsored programs administration and commercialization support services to SUNY faculty performing research in life sciences and medicine; engineering and nanotechnology; physical sciences and energy; social sciences, and computer and information sciences.

The Research Foundation is committed to diversity and inclusion. We believe that promoting a diverse, inclusive working environment enhances productivity, creates personal and professional opportunities, unleashes each individual's full potential and fuels innovation.

The Research Foundation and its employees are committed to a culture of integrity and accountability, holding each other and the organization to the highest standards of ethical behavior.

Visit and connect with the RF on Facebook. Learn about the Power of SUNY at

Job Description:


Reporting to the General Counsel and Secretary, incumbent will be a generalist responsible for corporate, business transactions, and employee relations legal matters arising out of the Foundation’s sponsored programs, innovation and partnerships activity, and corporate functions. Functions will include contract drafting, review and negotiation, dispute resolution, policy advisement, and litigation management. Incumbent will work closely with Research Foundation executive management as well as campus academic and business leadership, managers of entities affiliated with the Research Foundation and SUNY's Office of General Counsel. Day-to-day duties will involve a wide range of transactions reflecting the complex, diverse and extremely interesting work of the Research Foundation.


• Counsel RF and SUNY business and academic leadership on a broad range of complex and novel legal, business, and strategic issues, including those attendant to nonprofit and academic environments. These include the areas of corporate governance, human resources and employee relations, basic and applied research and industrial research, industry and government contracting, intellectual property transactions, strategic alliances, construction, export controls, finance, accounting and tax procurement, legislative analysis, real estate and other corporate and business transactions;

• Support functional areas in contract template revisions, contract interpretation and guidance, and development and review of policies, and develop and present training for RF and SUNY campus leaders, managers and employees on legal issues relating to the above subject areas;

• Prepare, negotiate, and manage contracts, leases, license agreements, and other legal documents with contractors and subcontractors, vendors, research sponsors, and governmental entities. Contracts may include commercial contracts, master services agreements, lease agreements, license agreements, non-disclosure agreements, material transfer agreements, equipment and real property leases, sales and purchase agreements, procurement contracts, software licenses, and employment and consulting agreements;

• Conduct and/or assist with conducting internal investigations; work with SUNY counsel on corresponding investigations as needed and assist in federal, state and local reporting processes;

• Assist Innovation and Partnership function with intellectual property and commercialization related legal matters, development of transactional documents supporting public-private collaborations and industry partnerships, and facilitate the financial and legal structuring of new business entities;

• Promote and support company policies, procedures, mission, values, and standards of ethics and integrity; support the corporation’s control environment by helping to identify, assess, and manage legal risks and liabilities, assisting with the creation, implementation, and enhancement of corporate processes, polices, and procedures, and partnering with business unit leaders to identify and facilitate business process improvement initiatives;

• Provide legal support to corporate investigations, evaluate findings, and determine appropriate resolutions;

• Research legal issues relevant to the Company’s business;

• Engage in proactive dispute resolution, employing principled negotiation and non-adversarial bargaining;

• Manage both proactive and reactive litigation arising from the Foundation’s corporate affairs, sponsored programs, partnerships, and innovation activity, and in some cases make appearances and present evidence at administrative hearings before administrative agencies, arbitrators, and other entities,. Cases typically involve breach of contract, patent infringement, employee relations, and/or negligence. Management must be strategic; always seeking opportunities to reach consensus with adversaries to minimize impact to the RF;

• Utilize and manage outside counsel as appropriate to meet the Company’s goals and objectives related to assigned caseload;

• Research and prepare briefs, complaints, answers and replies, assist with e-discovery, document collection and review for RF litigation and manage outside counsel as needed in litigation matters; and

• Make appearances and present evidence at administrative hearings before administrative agencies, arbitrators, and other entities, and engage in effective dispute resolution.



• JD from an accredited law school, be a member in good standing or be eligible for membership in NY State bar;

• A minimum of 6 years of experience, including in-house counsel or related law firm practice;

• Proven ability as self-motivated individual with a strong work ethic, superior organizational skills, and a record of accomplishment dealing successfully with complex issues with thorough analysis, the ability to innovate approaches to legal issues in support of strategic objectives, excellent judgment, business acumen, and common sense;

• Ability to handle multiple tasks in a fast-paced, team environment and work well independently and under time constraints;

• Strong commercial contracts and corporate transactional experience including: drafting, reviewing, negotiating, revising and advising on a variety of sophisticated and complex transactions such as research and development contracts, services and consulting agreements, inbound/outbound licensing agreements, technology agreements, and partner and vendor agreements;

• Experience with legal research, discovery, document collection, motions, and other matters relating to litigation;

• Legal experience focused on employment and human resource matters, including
working knowledge of compliance issues regarding ADA, ADEA, FLMA, EEOC and/or ERISA;

• Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including presentation and training capabilities and ability to relate and work well with people of many cultures, disciplines, and levels of experience;

• Willingness to travel to campuses in the SUNY system as needed;

• Proficiency in Microsoft word; competency in PowerPoint and Excel.

The candidate will also:

• Have experience in representing academic research organizations and/or faculty, researchers, and academic administrators and appreciation for the culture needs, and interests of academic research institutions and faculty in connection with research, sponsored program administration, technology transfer, and public-private partnerships;

• Have experience that includes federal contracting, procurement, and regulatory compliance specifically compliance with OMB Circulars A-21 and A-110;

• Have an entrepreneurial spirit and experience in corporate formation;

• Demonstrate confidence and leadership with humility; be self-assured but not self-important;

• Solve problems proactively and with an open-mind;

• Thrive on uncertainty in a dynamic and complex working environment;

• Accept corrections with grace and a sense of humor;

• Be committed to the mission of the RF and our goals to benefit SUNY and the State of New York; and

• Enjoy working.

Application Instructions:
Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

To apply, please visit:;jsessionid=5BAB22CA34393825A4D1F4BD856D60E6?JOBID=36780


The Research Foundation for the State University of New York is not an agency or instrumentality of the State of New York. Employees of the Research Foundation for the State University of New York are not state employees, do not participate in any state retirement system, and do not receive state fringe benefits. The Research Foundation for the State University of New York operates under a contract with The State University of New York and receives no directly appropriated state funding.

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