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General Counsel - Pierre / Possible Remote within SD

General Counsel - Pierre / Possible Remote within SD

South Dakota Education Association (SDEA)

Posting Announcement for General Counsel

The SDEA is seeking qualified applicants for the position of General Counsel. The SDEA is a professional organization representing public educators in the state of South Dakota.  The General Counsel provides legal services in a variety of employment-related matters including contract negotiations and enforcement, public employee union matters, disciplinary matters such as suspension, termination and nonrenewal of employment contracts, teacher licensure certification matters, and complaints regarding teacher ethics. Additionally, the position works with SDEA leadership to provide support to the organization’s elected governing officers including its Board of Directors and to the Executive Director. 

Position Details

Posting Date: April 16, 2024

Open Until Filled: Yes

First Consideration Date: May 16, 2024

Advertised Salary: $70,000 - $95,000

Location: Headquartered in Pierre, remote location within South Dakota negotiable 

Who We Want

    An attorney interested in practicing in the areas of school law, employment law, and labor law. 

    A highly motivated attorney with a passion for service and a desire to make a difference in the lives of educators.

    An individual who can analyze the complex intersectionality of the enforcement of labor law and the supports necessary for strong local organizations affiliated with the SDEA. 

    A dedicated individual willing to develop a broad and comprehensive understanding of the functions of the organization and its interplay with state agencies and local school boards and who will demonstrate leadership skills in the execution of their duties. 

What You Will Do

    Represent local affiliates and their members before the South Dakota courts, administrative agencies, and school boards. 

    Provide legal review, advice and counsel, and written opinions to staff and members regarding pertinent legal issues and legislative activity.

    Assist regional direct advocacy representatives in examining fact sensitive situations in local affiliates to make determinations on potential violations of labor law, employment law, and contract law as well as prescribing potential resolutions or courses of action. 

    Develop and present training and materials on issues affecting staff and members.

    Serve as the legal counsel to the SDEA Executive Officers, the SDEA Board of Directors, and operate as staff liaison for SDEA commissions and committees.

    Provide legal assistance to the SDEA Executive Director regarding organizational strategy, state and federal regulations, and internal employment matters. 

    Serve as a member of the SDEA legislative lobby team.

What You Need

    J.D. from accredited law school

    License to practice law in South Dakota

    Experience in presenting cases in administrative proceedings and/or state court preferable.

    Knowledge of litigation, practices and strategies preferable. 

    Skills and experience writing clearly and concisely for all types of audiences including legal pleadings and briefs; assessments and opinions; letters and messages; policy, legislative and contract provisions, and articles or stories. 

    Skills and experience counseling, advising, persuading, and dealing with individuals and local associations.

    Skills and experience with all types of oral communication for various audiences including legal argument, advocacy and representation, training or explaining, and lobbying.

    Familiarity and interest in public education, collective bargaining, other labor matters, employment, benefits and retirement, organizing and politics, and general legal matters affecting SDEA members, leaders, and affiliates preferable. 

    Experience managing or supervising staff members preferable. 

The position will require travel to School Districts across the state of South Dakota. The amount and frequency of the travel is fully dependent on the amount and level of severity of issues occurring in local affiliates. SDEA employs five advocacy representatives (UniServ Directors) across the state who work with the General Counsel to determine whether an advocacy issue necessitates the in-person presence of the General Counsel. The General Counsel will also be required to attend SDEA Board of Directors meetings and other occasional staff-related meetings in Pierre. 

Compensation and Benefits:

The salary for this position is negotiable based on experience within the range of $70,000 - $95,000. Fringe benefits include a robust leave package which includes vacation, sick, personal, and bereavement leaves in addition to 13 observed federal holidays and paid time off between Christmas and New Year’s Day. SDEA provides a generous health plan with employer contributions to a Health Savings Account as well as Dental and Vision insurance. Each employee participates in a defined benefit pension plan with substantial employer contributions. The position also receives a life insurance policy as well as an accidental death policy. 

Application Procedure:

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, current resume, writing sample, and at least three references to SDEA’s Executive Director, Ryan Rolfs. 

Electronic submissions may be sent to 

Questions regarding the position can be directed to the email above, or directed to 605-222-4291. 

Additional Info

Job Type : Full-Time

Education Level : Doctoral

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