General Counsel / General Council on Finance and Administration

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General Counsel 

The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) is currently seeking candidates for the position of General Counsel. The General Counsel, in conjunction with the other attorney(s) in the agency, protects the legal interests of GCFA and the denomination by providing proactive strategies, and when necessary, defending or initiating lawsuits and claims.  As legally and ethically permissible, the General Counsel provides legal guidance and counseling to other entities of The United Methodist Church.  This position serves as the primary GCFA resource on a wide variety of issues including constitutional, contract, corporate, real property, and ecclesiastical law.

Essential functions:

  • Oversees all functions of GCFA’s legal department, including its respective roles regarding GCFA contract, insurance, department budget, and tax and tax-exemption matters.
  • Ensures all GCFA legal policies and procedures meet the applicable legal and regulatory requirements.  Ensures agency compliance with existing regulatory and contractual obligations, as well as federal and state legal requirements.
  • Works in collaboration with GCFA Board, Coordinating Committee, Committee on Legal Responsibilities and Corporate Governance (CLRCG), President of GCFA, the General Secretary as well as staff to enable the agency to fulfill GCFA’s legal responsibilities.
  • Acts as the senior legal advisor to GCFA Board, attending all GCFA board meetings. Monitors the legal department’s support to the Board, CLRCG, and the Coordinating Committee with recording minutes.
  • As legally and ethically permissible, and within budgetary constraints, serves as a resource for other United Methodist organizations.  (Does not act as legal representation for any entity other than GCFA.)
  • Serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the United Methodist Church Conference Chancellors Association; coordinates with and supports the Chancellors Association with meetings, education and training.
  • Provides legal guidance to GCFA in its role as Program Administrator of the General Agencies Welfare Benefits Program.
  • All other duties as assigned by the General Secretary, members of CLRCG, and the GCFA Board.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree and J.D. from an accredited law school is required.
  • Must be qualified to practice law in Tennessee, by either examination, reciprocity, or registration as an in-house counsel.
  • 10-15 years post law school experience required.
  • Experience advising an organization required.
  • Strategic thinker with focus on practical client advice and the ability to advise on legal risks within a business context.
  • Ability to work independently and as a team member, while using discretion in decision-making and sound judgment in problem-solving.
  • Ability to gather and analyze information to quickly formulate a legal analysis and recommendation.
  • Effective time management skills and the ability to manage multiple tasks and priorities.
  • Member of The United Methodist Church is preferred.  Must be willing to uphold the doctrinal and ethical standards of The United Methodist Church as set forth in the Doctrinal Standards in The Book of Discipline and Social Principles.

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