The Pennsylvania Governors Office of General Counsel (OGC) seeks a dynamic leader and experienced practitioner to head its Office of Chief Counsel at the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). DEP’s mission is to protect Pennsylvania’s air, land, and water from pollution and to provide for the health and safety of its citizens through a cleaner environment. DEPs Office of Chief Counsel (OCC) is comprised of its Harrisburg headquarters and six Regional Offices around the Commonwealth; the Chief Counsel is based in Harrisburg.The Chief Counsel will provide complex legal advice, counsel, and representation to the General Counsel and senior DEP leadership. This position oversees, coordinates, and trains lower-level attorneys and professional staff. The Chief Counsel is responsible for providing legal assistance and policy recommendations on counseling and enforcement matters involving the whole range of environmental issues handled by DEP. Additionally, the Chief Counsel provides legal advice, counsel, and representation of DEP in legal matters pertaining to litigation and adversarial proceedings, labor and employment law, governance, statutory interpretation, regulation, and compliance. The Chief Counsel independently anticipates, identifies, and resolves legal issues of concern to senior DEP administration; often in situations of high risk to the department, with limited time for assessing alternatives.

The work requires close coordination with DEPs management and technical staff, including geologists, engineers, chemists, and biologists, and applicants must be comfortable with learning aspects of these scientific disciplines as necessary to provide direction to OCC attorneys, sound counseling advice, and to conduct effective direct and cross-examination of both lay and expert witnesses during litigation. The Chief Counsel also oversees outside counsel who provides services to the department and manages the aforementioned litigation and adversarial proceedings in a range of settings.The candidate must have a Juris Doctor degree from an ABA-accredited law school and be a member in good standing with the Pennsylvania Bar.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATION: At least ten (10) years of legal experience, including extensive substantive knowledge of Pennsylvania and federal environmental law, as well as litigation experience in state and federal tribunals.

The successful candidate for this position will have:

  • strong legal skills and experience working in state agencies;
  • experience in supervising and organizing the workload of other attorneys;
  • an ability to plan, organize and coordinate large projects;
  • strong interpersonal and communication skills;
  • the capacity to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies;
  • an ability to identify and resolve complicated and sensitive problems creatively and with professional discretion;
  • an ability to interact and function successfully within both the greater legal community and governmental organizations;
  • outstanding interpersonal skills, including the ability to foster trust and respect and to create friendly and collaborative internal working relationships with Commonwealth clients;
  • as one of OGCs largest agency legal offices, the DEP OCC seeks strong leadership and management skills.

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Monday through Friday
Lunch period: 1 hour

The Commonwealth is an equal employment opportunity employer and is committed to a diverse workforce. The Commonwealth values inclusion as we seek to recruit, develop, and retain the most qualified people to serve the citizens of Pennsylvania. The Commonwealth does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religious creed, ancestry, union membership, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, AIDS or HIV status, disability, or any other categories protected by applicable federal or state law. All diverse candidates are encouraged to apply.

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