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Staff Attorney (Immediate Opening)

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School Year: 2022-2023
Location: Headquarters-Rio Grande Valley
Region: Headquarters - Rio Grande Valley, TX
Category: Headquarters
Job Type: Full-Time


Role Mission: The Staff Attorney supports IDEA’s day to day operations regarding contract review, policy creation and review, ensuring alignment to state, federal and local law, and acts as a liaison for IDEA’s personnel matters.  Moreover, the staff attorney provides training and solutions-oriented support across the organization to build capacity of managers on a variety of issues to mitigate risk. The Staff Attorney oversees strategies to reduce external legal billing with support of the paralegal team. The Attorney completes projects and tasks as assigned by the VP of Legal Affairs.


What You’ll Do -- Accountabilities


Manage year to year decrease in $650,000 of external legal cost for 2022-23 for TX (non-board legal fees)

  • Execute and operationalize internal standard operating procedures for routing to internal legal team
  • Execute on internal training program for building staff capacity and knowledge, reducing questions to external counsel
  • Remains current with Federal and state laws and rules impacting IDEA policies and procedures.
  • Partner with Director of Special Projects on Administrative Services team to process open records/FOIA legal review, partnering with internal leaders and external counsel, as appropriate
  • Monitors hearings related to Special Education matters handled by outside law firms, and/or prepare for and represent the District in Special Education hearings when necessary and appropriate


Review and appropriately respond to legal correspondence, mail, and subpoena responses

  • Coordinates responses to investigations by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, Texas Education Agency, and other state and federal agencies
  • Manage processes for meeting timelines with various requestors


Serve as primary resource and counsel for all personnel items, prior to potential engagement of outside counsel

  • Assists in grievance and employee disciplinary matters as assigned, including termination and
    non-renewal hearings and escalated grievance proceedings
  • Provides leadership to all personnel in legal services to ensure that all divisions are
    coordinating efforts to provide efficient and effective operation of the organization
  • Support legal and policy interpretation of handbooks and other guidelines
  • Provide guidance and support on investigations, as necessary


Support VP of Legal Affairs in general daily operations to meet compliance, efficiency, and organizational needs. 

  • Identify internal operating mechanisms, partners, and creating procedures and protocols for engagement
  • Create standard operating procedures for legal work to ensure that IDEA operates within requirements while meeting needs for students and staff
  • Partner with other compliance-oriented leaders to break down silos and create synergy in work
  • Ensure all contracts are legal and risk management approved prior to execution


Champion a culture of compliance across IDEA Public Schools, while not sacrificing the swiftness necessary for student achievement

  • Partner with Business Office and Human Resources team on training and development to build understanding of processes
  • Create templates, plans and skills to build efficiencies and capacity
  • Ensure that individuals and teams know how to access guidance 


What You Bring -- Competencies:

  • Ability to manage through layers, including managing through influence
  • Detail orientation
  • Strong written and oral communication
  • Ability to interpret the law and policy



  • Education:  Bachelor’s degree required; JD required, valid Texas license to practice law
  • Experience:  1- years similar or relatable experience in education sector; Spanish language preferred


Knowledge and Skills:

  • Knowledge of school law, specifically personnel


What We Offer


Salaries for people entering this role typically fall between $100,700 and $125,800, commensurate with relevant experience and qualifications and in alignment with internal equity. This role is also eligible for a performance bonus based on team goal attainment.



Other Benefits:

We offer a comprehensive benefits plan, covering the majority of the employee premium for the base medical plan and subsidizing the majority of costs for a spouse/domestic partner and children. Other benefits include dental and vision plans, disability, life insurance, parenting benefits, flexible spending account options, generous vacation time, com‐muter benefits, referral bonuses, professional development, and a403(b) plan. We also offer an inclusive environment where staff are encouraged to bring their whole selves to work every day. IDEA may offer a relocation stipend to defray the cost of moving for this role, if applicable.

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