General Counsel - Metra Commuter Rail System - Chicago, IL
Metra Commuter Rail System
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Type: Full Time
Salary: $197,603 - $247,004 +/- DOQ&E
Chicago, IL Metra is a nationally recognized commuter rail system serving the City of Chicago and surrounding suburbs. The system operates 242 stations on 11 rail lines and is the fourth busiest commuter rail system in the United States. The 2023 operating and capital budget is $1.49 billion. Metra is seeking a skilled, experienced attorney to serve as its next General Counsel. Reporting directly to the CEO/Executive Director and Board of Directors this position is responsible for representing Metra’s interest in all rail operations and business matters, including contracts, procurements, risk management, litigation, real estate, construction, corporate, labor relations and employment law and other agency matters.
The General Counsel reports to the Metra CEO and Board of Directors and provides executive level leadership over the Legal Department. The staff of the department is approximately 27, including thirteen attorneys and 12 legal staff members and an office manager. All positions are full-time.
The General Counsel regularly presents and provides guidance to the Metra Board, General Manager and Executive Team and must be diplomatic and collaborative with board members, other governmental agencies, and various internal and external stakeholders.
Metra is a large, complex organization consisting of more than 2,800 employees of which approximately 2,200 are represented by 17 collective bargaining agreements in 14 unions. Metra has a diverse workforce and is committed to diversity and inclusion at all levels of the organization. Like many agencies, Metra also has an aging workforce, with 21% of its workforce eligible to retire by 2023.
The General Counsel serves as a key expert and advisor on all major legal and business transactions including corporate policies, programs, ordinances and bylaws and applicable provisions of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) Act.
The General Counsel is a proactive leader, identifying potential risks and advising on mitigation strategies to protect the agency and its resources.
Candidates must have a Juris Doctorate, and 15 years of experience as an Attorney in a combination of the following: government, railroad/transit operations, litigation management, contract negotiations, real estate, federal or state regulations and regulatory proceedings and audit. Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) experience is preferred.
Candidates must be licensed or able to be licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois.
Candidates should also have ten years of progressively responsible managerial experience in law firms, corporate law offices, transportation, or related industries.
Successful candidates will demonstrate collaborative leadership skills with the ability to develop and maintain productive relationships both internally and externally are a must.
Starting salary range is $197,603 - $247,004 +/- depending on qualifications and experience. Metra offers an excellent benefits package including pensions, and 401k/457 deferred compensation options. Residency in the City of Chicago is not required. Limited relocation expenses are available. Apply at once -- position is open until filled.
This position is covered by the “Revolving Door” prohibition within the State Officials and Employees Act (5 ILCS 430/5-45), which prohibits certain Metra employees (or their spouse or immediate family member) from accepting employment or compensation from a non-Metra employer for one year from the date of separation, if the employee was personally and substantially involved in the award of a contract of $25,000 or more to that non-Metra employer.
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