Position: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Senior Deputy General Counsel (Deadline October 4, 2016, Los Angeles, CA)

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a consortium of twenty-six cities and water districts that provides drinking water to nearly 19 million people in Southern California. Metropolitan’s mission is to provide its service area with adequate and reliable supplies of high quality water to meet current and future needs in an environmentally and economically responsible way. Metropolitan’s facilities include the 242-mile Colorado River Aqueduct, five conventional water treatment plants with a combined capacity of 2.6 billion gallons per day, nine surface water reservoirs, 800 miles of pipeline, and 16 hydroelectric power plants.

Job Summary

This position will report to the General Counsel and will have the opportunity to work in an invigorating, collaborative and challenging legal environment as a member of a highly professional and effective team of 20 attorneys plus paralegals and support staff, providing a variety of legal services in many different areas.

This Senior Deputy General Counsel serves as a legal expert for and on behalf of Metropolitan, and is responsible for safeguarding and enhancing Metropolitan’s rights, entitlements, interests, and assets. The job duties and minimum qualifications for the Senior Deputy General Counsel position in general are described below. For the posted position, the ideal candidate will have knowledge and directly related experience in environmental litigation, natural resources, and/or water law as well as knowledge and experience in California water resource issues including those relating to the Law of the Colorado River and the California State Water Project. Knowledge of public agency laws such as the Brown Act and the California Public Records Act and experience working in or for the public sector providing legal advice to and working with boards, committees or legislative bodies, including serving as counsel during public meetings and hearings, is preferred. The Senior Deputy should feel comfortable handling litigation in a variety of substantive areas and be willing to learn new matters. The Senior Deputy needs to work well with others, both internally and externally, and be comfortable working as part of a team. May act as a lead coordinating and reviewing work assignments of employees and outside counsel performing the same general work on a day-to-day basis.

1. Takes lead role in performing complex legal assignments, including document preparation, negotiations, litigation and appeal, in a wide range of highly complex legal specialties that may include water, environmental, natural resources, public finance, public contract, construction, labor, property, power, and/or tort law.

2. Advises the General Counsel, senior management and Metropolitan’s Board on highly complex agreements, negotiations, administrative proceedings, and litigation in respective areas of expertise; performs, and may manage, legal analyses of issues related to areas of expertise; assists General Counsel and management with development of viable courses of action to achieve appropriate management decisions and protect Metropolitan’s interests.

3. Manages an area or areas of legal expertise within the Legal Department and may manage outside counsel and experts in the preparation of materials, documents, and plans related to legal assignments to ensure that the presentation of Metropolitan’s position is complete, accurate, legally sound, and supports near and long-term strategic objectives.

4. Prepares and presents information to the Board, in written form and/or by spoken presentation, on more complex legal matters; conducts legal research and prepares written legal opinions on more complex legal issues responding to questions from staff and the Board.

5. Coordinates activities related to legal assignments with internal and external contacts (including other Legal Department staff and management) to ensure that preparation, negotiations, administrative proceedings, and litigation occur in a timely manner and that Metropolitan’s interests are protected.

6. Reviews, analyzes and drafts legislation in areas of expertise and prepares responses to legislative and regulatory proposals to promote laws, legal interpretations, and regulations that are in Metropolitan’s best interest. May draft resolutions for the Board and amendments to Metropolitan’s Administrative Code and reviews contracts, operating policies, standards, and procedures for compliance with internal guidelines and objectives and conformity with applicable laws and regulations.

7. Serves on ad hoc and formal committees and task forces related to areas of expertise. Represents Metropolitan’s interests in a collaborative, informed, and timely manner.

8. Provides guidance and legal expertise to other employees and external representatives to ensure that actions taken are in compliance with objectives, guidelines, legal requirements, precedents, and policies; assists in the performance of administrative duties related to budget development and administration, approval of Board Letters, and preparation of annual business plans for Legal to ensure timely and cost-effective accomplishment of administrative activities.

9. Performs other related job duties as required.

Job Requirements

Directly related law practice experience includes but is not limited to: experience in environmental litigation, natural resources, and/or water law; experience in California water resource issues including those relating to the Law of the Colorado River and the California State Water Project.

Required Knowledge of: Administrative proceedings and litigation before state and federal agencies and courts in primary and/or assisting capacity; water, environmental, natural resources, public finance, contract, construction, labor, property, power and/or tort law.

Required Skills and Abilities to: Conduct more complex problem-solving related to administrative, regulatory, and legislative law in area of expertise, interpret and apply Federal, State and local policies, laws, and regulations; perform duties using a high degree of independent judgment; communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing to a wide variety of audiences; establish and maintain effective working relationships; prepare detailed, more complex verbal and written communications on a wide variety of legal issues related to Metropolitan’s rights, entitlements, interests, and assets; manage cost effective legal representation; read, understand and accurately interpret more complex rules, regulations, laws, legislation, policy, and guidelines applicable to area of expertise; provide timely and accurate legal analyses and advice in area of expertise to management and the Board of Directors; conduct more complex contract negotiations involving more sensitive and controversial issues and/or conduct litigation on complex assignments; promote mutually beneficial working relationships with member agencies, external regulatory agencies and other government agencies.

Certificates, Licenses and Registrations Requirements:
California State Bar Member (member in good standing, with either active membership or the ability to activate membership prior to employment.)

The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met or may be encountered by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Physical Demands:
The work is sedentary. Typically, the employee may sit comfortably to do the work. However, there may be some walking; standing; bending; carrying of light items such as paper, books, or small parts; driving an automobile, etc. No special physical demands are required to perform the work.

Work Environment: The work environment involves everyday risks or discomforts that require normal safety precautions typical of such places as offices, meeting and training rooms, libraries, and residences or commercial vehicles, e.g., use of safe work practices with office equipment, avoidance of trips and falls, observance of fire regulations and traffic signals, etc. The work area is adequately lighted, heated, and ventilated.

This classification performs work that requires maintaining confidentiality and is routinely privy to matters that either involves confidential information, sensitive personnel issues, or exposure to confidential and sensitive strategic corporate information.

Work Schedule: 9/80 (Alternating Fridays off)



• Competitive compensation

• Excellent medical, dental, life, vision

• Retirement plans, including pension plan and 401k

• Tuition reimbursement

• Training and advancement opportunities

• Excellent working environment

• Public transportation reimbursements and van pools

• On-site fitness center

• Hub of public transportation:  Rail, subway, buses and taxis


For more information on MWD benefits, please use the following link:  http://www.mwdh2o.com/PDF_Careers/benefits.pdf


This job announcement has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work being performed by employees in this classification. It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities and qualifications required of employees assigned to this job. To receive a copy of the complete job description, please send an email to jobs@mwdh2o.com.


The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities. Qualified individuals with disabilities who need a reasonable accommodation during the application or selection process, please call (213) 217-7738 or email jobs@mwdh2o.com.


MWD is a Federal and State EO employer – Veterans/Disabled and other protected categories.

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