Associate Attorney (HR)

The Research Foundation for SUNY
The Research Foundation For SUNY

The Research Foundation For SUNY

Associate Attorney (HR)

Locations: Albany, NY
Posted: Jun 26, '13
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:

The Research Foundation for the State University of New York is seeking an energetic, insightful attorney with 6+ years of relevant experience to focus on employee relations, human relations, and labor matters. The incumbent also will work as a generalist as part of a collaborative 5-lawyer team on the wide variety of legal matters arising out of the Foundation’s sponsored programs, innovation and partnerships activity, and corporate status as a non-profit foundation. This is one of 2 posted opportunities to join our collegial, hard-working team in a dynamic mission-driven enterprise. This position works closely with the corporate Human Resources office to resolve complex legal employment issues. Functions include advice on human relations, employee relations and labor relations in a complex matrixed environment that involves close interrelationships among SUNY, the RF, and affiliated entities. Duties include development and training on policies; contract drafting, review, and negotiation, administrative procedures and litigation management, investigations, and dispute resolution. Reporting to the General Counsel and Secretary, incumbent will work closely with all levels of RF staff, including executive management as well as campus academic and business leadership, managers of entities affiliated with the RF, and SUNY's counsel. Day-to-day responsibilities will involve a wide range of matters reflecting the complex, diverse and extremely interesting work of the Research Foundation.

• Work closely with Human Resources to solve complex human relations and employee relations issues; advising corporate and operation location managers on labor, employment and related benefits issues;

• Work with function owners, to develop and review policies and develop and present labor and employment related training to RF and SUNY campus leaders, managers and employees on issues such as sexual harassment avoidance and prevention, discrimination avoidance and prevention; labor campaigns, and other relevant topics;

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

• Counsel RF and SUNY business and academic leadership on a broad range of complex and novel legal, business, and strategic issues, relating to RF work in support of SUNY sponsored activities;

• Prepare, negotiate, and manage contracts, leases, and other legal documents with contractors, vendors, research sponsors, and governmental entities;

• 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;

• Conduct and/or assist with conducting internal investigations; work with SUNY counsel on corresponding investigations as needed;

• Oversee federal, state and local reporting processes;

• Supervise and work effectively with external counsel as appropriate.

• Work effectively with functional corporate and campus staff to provide expert legal advice and counsel on a wide variety of HR matters.

• 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, assist with the creation, implementation, and enhancement of corporate processes, polices, and procedures, and partner with business unit leaders to identify and facilitate business process improvement initiatives; and

• Perform other legal and administrative functions to support the RF’s strategic and operating plans .


• JD from an accredited law school, membership in good standing or eligibility for membership in NY State bar;

• Minimum of 6 years of legal experience focused on employment and human resource matters, including in-house counsel or related law firm practice.

• Knowledge of compliance issues regarding ADA, ADEA, FMLAA, EEOC and ERISA.

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

• Contracts and corporate transactional experience including: drafting, reviewing, negotiating, revising and advising on a variety of business transactions such as services and consulting agreements, licensing agreements, and vendor agreements;

• Experience with investigations and compliance matters;

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

Additional Information:

• Excellent judgment, business acumen, and common sense.

• Strong work ethic, superior organizational skills, and ability to handle multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment under time constraints and work well independently and as a collaborative team member;

• 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;

• Experience and/or appreciation for issues in representing academic research organizations and/or faculty, researchers, and academic administrators;

• Entrepreneurial spirit and experience.

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

• Optimistic attitude that thrives in a dynamic and complex working environment;

• Ability to accept corrections with grace and a sense of humor;

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

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

To apply, please visit:


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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