Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) is currently seeking a highly motivated, intellectually curious, and recognized legal authority to serve as our General Counsel. The ideal candidate will have deep functional expertise, exceptional advisory skills, actively partner with senior management, and lead our talented and seasoned team of Legal & Compliance professionals. TRS is looking towards the future and seeks to attract and retain top talent. We are a mission focused organization, with strong leadership, a culture of member service, and proven success.
Who We Are:
Teachers play a huge role in people’s lives. Lady Bird Johnson believed, “Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.” Beyond instruction, educators and school district employees offer consistency and support in an increasingly uncertain world often in ways they never expected they would. Working for TRS offers you the opportunity to work for one of the nation’s largest public pension funds serving more than 1.6 million teachers and public education system employees by improving their retirement security and making a positive difference in their lives.
Who You Are:
You are ready and enthusiastic to perform highly advanced policy administration and leadership work and will serve as TRS’ chief legal advisor and manage through internal and external resources, all legal services, advice, and representation for the organization. You will lead a team of attorneys and legal professionals to meet the organization’s needs, possess nuanced commercial and operational judgement, and be comfortable interacting with stakeholders in a highly visible manner.
The position involves providing executive direction and oversight to the Legal & Compliance department, performing legal analysis on organizational and fiduciary matters; providing legal advice and guidance on benefits, health care, investment decisions and transactions for TRS, overseeing agency ethics and compliance, and developing and implementing strategies to accomplish the agency’s mission, goals, and objectives. This position directly reports to the Executive Director and has matrix reporting to the Chief Investment Officer. The General Counsel currently has 5 direct reports and a department of just under 40 total people, including attorneys and support staff.
What We Require:
We require candidates to have a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from an accredited law school. Candidates also need fifteen years of progressively responsible experience of law in at least two areas of relevance to the agency, such as administrative law, trusts, investments, healthcare, or employee benefits and six years of experience managing attorneys and other legal support staff.
Candidates must be licensed to practice law in the State of Texas and a member in good standing of the State Bar of Texas. Candidates may hold a valid, active law license issued by another state and be eligible for Texas licensure under Board of Law Examiners Rule XIII: Attorneys From Other Jurisdictions (candidate must obtain Texas license within six months of hire date).
What We Would Prefer:
Our ideal candidate would have the following types of experience:
Working with governmental entities, public pension funds, or state investment boards; transactional experience, and in particular –advising on private funds transactions;
Experience interpreting and providing advice and counsel regarding trust law and fiduciary duties of trustees of a public pension plan or an ERISA plan.
Experience overseeing or working with investment compliance departments and advising on ethics, conflicts of interest and related policies.
Knowledge of federal and state securities law and regulations.
Experience overseeing and managing outside counsel.
Knowledge of the Texas legislative process and Texas state agency procurement laws and regulations, open government laws, statutory interpretation and code construction, and public entity authority issues.
Experience rendering legal advice on employee benefits, healthcare, insurance, IRS requirements, securities issues, and administrative law.
Exhibited leadership within the industry through extra-curricular legal or professional organizations
What We Offer:
Recognized as a Top Work Place in Austin, TRS employees are offered challenging and meaningful work, professional development opportunities, flexible hours, generous holiday time, and the ability to work remotely. Compensation is competitive and includes retirement and a full benefits package. Texas does not have state income tax. You will have the chance to work with a modern organization rooted in the value of service to members and making their retirement secure.
Internal Number: REQ 216
About Teacher Retirement System of Texas
The Teacher Retirement System of Texas is responsible for investing funds under its stewardship and for delivering benefits to members as authorized by the Texas Legislature. TRS is a defined benefit plan, with retirement benefits determined by a pre-established formula. The trust fund is sustained principally by three sources -- contributions by members during their working careers, contributions by the state and investment revenues.
TRS was founded over 80 years ago. With assets at $154 billion, the Trust is the largest public retirement system in Texas in both membership and assets. It is the sixth largest public pension plan in the U.S. and is among the 20th largest in the world. The agency serves more than 1.6 million people. Over 1 million are public and higher education members and over 400,000 are retirement recipients and beneficiaries.
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