The Town of Chapel Hill, NC is seeking an experienced lawyer to be its Assistant Town Attorney. Reporting to and working at the direction of the Town Attorney, the Assistant Town Attorney will handle a wide variety of legal matters. The attorney will work with a variety of stakeholders including the Town Manager’s office, department heads, and the Town Council, and will aid the Town in its service to a highly engaged community. This is the ideal job for a local government law generalist who shares the Town of Chapel Hill values of equity, inclusion, and social justice.
About the Department and Position Responsibilities: The Town Attorney’s office currently consists of the Town Attorney and a highly skilled Legal Services Administrator. The Assistant Town Attorney will be an important addition to this small but mighty team of professionals who work hard for the Town but also care for each other and maintain a warm, respectful, flexible, and balanced work environment. The office also works with an experienced attorney in the Police Department and collaborates as needed with retained counsel on specialized matters.
Over time, the Assistant Town Attorney can expect to participate in nearly all aspects of the office’s work, from reviewing contracts, to advising on land use and zoning matters, to negotiating settlements, to drafting and revising ordinances and policies. The successful candidate must be willing to learn new areas of the law and adapt to challenges. Every day is likely to look different than the one before. The position is full time. The vast bulk of the work will take place during Town daytime business hours, but attendance at monthly evening Board of Adjustment meetings will often be expected, and attendance at Council and advisory board meetings will occasionally be necessary. The Assistant Town Attorney must exercise independent judgment and initiative and must communicate promptly, courtesy, and clearly about Town legal matters. Impeccable legal ethics and a commitment to fairness are essential.
About the Community: Chapel Hill is a multicultural university town of over 64,000. As home to the nation's first public institution of higher learning and a renowned college sports program, Chapel Hill is a picturesque community of 21 square miles filled with trees, historic and mid-century architecture, and a thriving downtown. Along with Durham, Raleigh, Cary, and the Research Triangle Park, Chapel Hill is part of a much larger metropolitan area consistently rated as one of the best places to live and work in the U.S.
Chapel Hill is a recognized pioneer in education and research. It is also home to award-winning restaurants, innovative businesses, outstanding public schools, and a vibrant arts scene, all connected by parks, greenways, and free public transportation.
Located in the piedmont region, Chapel Hill sits within a few hours of the coast and the Blue Ridge Mountains and is less than a 30-minute drive from RDU International Airport. Major employers are the University of North Carolina and UNC Health. These thriving institutions help create a stable employment base consistently rated above state and national benchmarks.
Chapel Hill welcomes and works to foster diversity. 17% of residents were born in countries outside the United States. In the 2020 census, 72% of Chapel Hill residents identified as white, 13% as Asian, and 11% as black, and about 6.3% as Hispanic or Latino. Chapel Hill has a relatively young population, and it is considered North Carolina’s best-educated municipality, with 77% of adults over 25 having a bachelor’s degree or higher.
About the Organization: Chapel Hill operates under a Council-Manager form of government led in its policies by a Mayor and eight at-large Council members. The Town Manager oversees operations and guides the work of over 700 employees. The Town Manager and Town Attorney report directly to the Town Council.
The Town’s RESPECT values (Responsibility, Equity, Safety, Professionalism, Ethics, Communication, and Teamwork) are the foundation for Town decisions. Residents consistently rate Chapel Hill as “high-performing” in biennial community surveys. With a solid economic base and careful management, the Town has bond ratings of AAA and time and again wins awards for its annual budget and financial report.
Salary and Benefits: The hiring range for this position is $120,000 to $130,000. Information about the Town’s competitive benefits can be found by clicking here (or by copying and pasting: https://www.townofchapelhill.org/government/departments-services/human-resource-development/employment/job-openings .There is no requirement that the Assistant Town Attorney live in Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill currently requires employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or participate in weekly COVID-19 testing.
To apply, go to https://www.townofchapelhill.org/government/departments-services/human-resource-development/employment/job-openings . Applicants must submit a resume, three or more references, a cover letter succinctly describing their interest in the position, and a writing sample that represents their legal work. Applications are being accepted immediately and will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Applications should be submitted no later than October 25, 2021 to be considered, but the Town considers the position open until filled. Select candidates can expect to participate in a round of virtual initial interviews. Further stages in the selection process may include a skills assessment and/or applicant presentation and will occur either virtually or under careful COVID protocols. Final candidates can expect to participate in a further interview that may take place on site. The Town of Chapel Hill is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
QUALIFICATIONS for Assistant Town Attorney:
- Graduation from an accredited school of law
- License to practice law in North Carolina in good standing, or licensure reciprocity
- Three years of experience as a practicing attorney performing relevant, high-level legal work; or comparable legal teaching experience; or a combination thereof
- Strong verbal and writing skills
- History of strong academic achievement
- Strong research, organizational, and problem-solving skills
- Licensure in North Carolina
- Experience in local government or public entity law, particularly North Carolina municipal law
- Experience with public contract law
- Experience with land use and zoning law
- Experience with litigation, quasi-judicial proceedings, and/or administrative hearings