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 Lawyers Association
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64014 - Principal Counsel, Tax-Exempt Organizations and Charitable Giving for the University of California, Office of the President in Oakland, CA

Tuesday, March 12, 2024 4:40 PM | Anonymous

Position Base: Oakland
Location: UCOP - Franklin Building


At the University of California (UC), your contributions make a difference. A world leader producing Nobel and Pulitzer prize recipients with over 150 years of groundbreaking research transforming the world. Choose a career where you can leverage your knowledge, skills and aspirations to inspire and support some of the greatest minds in the world, and those who will follow in their footsteps. Working at the University of California is being part of a unique institution, and a vibrant and diverse community. At the University of California, Office of the President, we propel our mission through impactful work locally, in government centers and systemwide. We are passionate people, serving the greater good.

The University of California, one of the largest and most acclaimed institutions of higher learning in the world, is dedicated to excellence in teaching, research and public service. The University of California Office of the President is the headquarters to the 10 campuses, six academic medical centers and three national laboratories and enrolls premier students from California, the nation and the world. Learn more about the UC Office of the President


UC Legal - Office of General Counsel (UCL - OGC) delivers ethical, timely, efficient and high quality legal services to the University of California ten campuses, six medical centers, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, as well as to the Board of Regents, the President, the Chancellors and other officers of the University. Its services include prosecuting and defending litigation, drafting and negotiating agreements, providing advice, counsel and interpretation of laws, regulations and policies, and assisting with development of effective compliance and risk mitigation strategies to facilitate the University's complex operations. The Business, Transactions, and Innovation (BTI) practice group handles a broad range of business transactions including, but not limited to, transactions involving innovative research, joint ventures, collaborations, international activities, public finance, real estate, land use, construction, investments, intellectual property, laboratory affairs, energy, tax-exempt organizations, charitable giving, trusts and estates, and institutional advancement.


The University of California cumulatively raises over $3 billion annually in private support.  Charitable giving is a mission-critical component of revenue to the campuses and has grown significantly in recent years in both volume and in complexity. This position provides substantial expertise in the legal matters of tax-exempt organizations, nonprofits, and charitable giving, including: formation, governance, operation, and termination of tax-exempt and nonprofit organizations; charitable trust law; structuring mergers, asset acquisitions, and affiliations; joint ventures among tax-exempt organizations, nonprofits, and for-profits; private inurement and private benefit rules; unrelated business taxable income and UBIT analysis; lobbying and political activity; complex charitable gifts; endowment; tax reporting; compliance. Knowledge of the following is advantageous: partnership tax, planned giving, and/or estate planning.

Responsibilities require substantial knowledge of and the ability to apply federal tax law governing tax-exempt organizations, state nonprofit corporation law and the bylaws, policies and guidelines of The Regents to transact a variety of matters. Responsibilities also include drafting, reviewing and revising a variety of legal instruments involving the University's interests, including charitable gift agreements and planned giving instruments. This position will assist all campuses and campus foundations in these matters.  The hire will interact with donors, donors' counsel and other professional advisors, campus counsel and University Advancement personnel to achieve successful gift outcomes for the University. All team members are expected to actively participate in initiatives to promote diversity, equity and inclusion, whether at UC or in the community.



  • Provides substantial high-quality, timely, and solution-oriented expertise within the University in the tax-exempt organization, nonprofit, and charitable giving specialty practice area and independently handles a full range of legal matters and projects, including those of the highest complexity and significant importance and impact to the University.
  • Interprets complex facts and the law, as well as University policy and guidelines, in areas of moderate to high ambiguity.
  • Establishes effective relationships with key internal and external constituencies.
  • Recognizes strategic needs of organization and proactively builds relationships with appropriate stakeholders to ensure successful outcomes.
  • Serves as a trusted strategic partner with University business units, providing practical advice and alternative solutions to business issues.
  • Advises and renders opinions to clients with respect to the legal implications of establishing or changing policy.
  • Works with colleagues at the Office of the President or campus/medical center locations to develop and modify practices and procedures to conform with changing legal requirements.
  • Directly negotiates matters on behalf of The Regents.
  • May act as a liaison with outside counsel, and/or represent the University in administrative or court litigation.
  • Keeps informed on changing legislation and case law developments affecting overall operations of the University as they relate to the area of specialty.
  • Demonstrate and promote appropriate risk tolerance.
  • Prioritize objectives and ensure service according to those priorities.


  • Delegates work effectively to maximize efficiencies.
  • Provides clear expectations and feedback to help others to meet expected levels of productivity and accuracy.
  • Provides functional advice, training and/or guidance and effectively mentors less-experienced colleagues.
  • Creates and fosters an environment that ensures collegiality and information sharing, while recognizing the need for timely decision-making.
  • Actively participates in initiatives to promote diversity, equity, and/or inclusion, whether at UC or in the community.

10% Compliance

  • Complies with delegations of authority for receiving and committing University funds.
  • Complies with all policies and standards.

Minimum of 8 years of relevant experience in a law firm or at an academic institution, corporation, or other entity is required.

Skills and Abilities
Required Qualifications

  • Significant experience providing advice related to charitable giving and nonprofit/tax-exempt organizations.
  • Deep understanding of laws and IRS regulations related to nonprofit and charitable organizations and how to apply those laws and regulations in complicated situations involving major gift transactions.
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills, including proven ability to actively listen, negotiate, persuade and educate.
  • Skills to gain trust and build credibility with a broad group of colleagues and clients, including senior leaders.
  • Judgment, tact and diplomacy to partner with senior teams to help them achieve their strategic objectives.
  • Outstanding customer service skills.
  • Effective research skills; ability to readily identify material information in area of specialty.
  • Proven decision-making ability, even when the decision is unpopular, earning credibility and support from colleagues and clients.
  • Ability to lead by influence and consensus.
  • Excellent abilities in collaboration, facilitation, and strategic and creative thinking with UC Legal colleagues, clients and outside vendors and agencies.
  • Commitment to the highest ethical standards.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and exercise discretion and tact when handling sensitive or potentially sensitive issues.
  • Outstanding presentation skills, including the ability to communicate clearly, logically, and persuasively during interactions and utilize active listening skills.
  • Outstanding written skills as defined by the ability to compose a variety of concise, informative written materials appropriate to a particular audience, including persuasive legal documents and transactional documents.
  • Ability to represent institutional concerns persuasively to internal and external parties.
  • Demonstrated ability to act as a team player in all circumstances, as defined by contributing to the successful outcome of initiatives, accountabilities, and operations of others.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Demonstrated understanding of ethical issues in a university setting.
  • Previous experience in UC or other University or public agency as in-house or outside legal counsel.

Advanced degree in a related area is required.

Licenses and Certifications

Must be a member in good standing of the California Bar. (Out-of-state hire would be afforded time to pass the Bar within a reasonable period.)


The person hired will be required to reside within California and report to work on-site at UC’s Office of the President (UCOP) located in Oakland, CA on a regular basis.  Current policy requires that a new employee work on-site at least two days a week on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (“anchor days”). In exceptional circumstances, approved by the General Counsel, candidates residing in or willing to relocate to California may be considered for a fully remote work arrangement.


Job TitleCounsel 4
Job Code000201
Salary GradeGrade 29

Payscale: $220,000 - $255,000, commensurate with experience
Full Salary Range: $165,200 - $333,800

The University of California, Office of the President, is required to provide a reasonable estimate of the compensation range for this role. This range takes into account the wide range of factors that are considered in making compensation decisions including but not limited to experience, skills, knowledge, abilities, education, licensure and certifications, and other business and organizational needs. It is not typical for an individual to be offered a salary at or near the top of the range for a position. Salary offers are determined based on final candidate qualifications and experience. The full salary range shows the growth potential for this position and the pay scale is the budgeted salary or hourly range that the University reasonably expects to pay for this position.

Benefits: For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University visit: Benefits of Belonging



Please be prepared to attach a cover letter and resume with your application.


The first review date for this job is April 3, 2024.  The position will be open until filled.


Background Check Process: Successful completion of a background check is required for this critical position. Background check process at UCOP

Smoke Free Work Environment: The University of California, Office of the President, is smoke & tobacco-free as of January 1, 2014. UC Smoke & Tobacco Free Policy

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California Policy on Vaccination Programsas may be amended or revised from time to time. Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.


The University of California, Office of the President, is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. EEO/AA Employer UC Nondiscrimination Policy

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