The Office of General Counsel provides proactive professional advice on critical strategic, legal, and public policy issues, is part of the senior management team, and interacts closely with the District’s senior officers. The size, complexity, scope and diversity of the District, generates a range of complex, cutting-edge legal issues. Many, such as academic freedoms, participatory governance, and student’s rights and obligations, are unique to a community college academic environment and add complexity to the more traditional and predictable legal practice.
The Office of General Counsel is charged with providing advice and support to the Chancellor and District's Board of Trustees on legal issues. The goal of the Office of General Counsel is to:
- Support the District’s functions and business through the delivery of legal support and guidance.
- Develop and implement an ethical vision and strategic plan for the District’s legal services.
- Function as an integral partner with the Chancellor’s senior leadership team.
- Co-ordinate the identification and management of legal risks across the District.
- Identify and prioritize the response to various areas of legal risk and establish a clearly understood framework for legal practices within the Office of General Counsel.
- Lead the internal legal team and contract legal teams and set objectives.
- Be accountable for the management of relationships with external legal partners; monitor such relationships for effective, cost efficient and constructive outcomes on behalf of the District’s stakeholders.
- Establish and manage a budget for the provision of the District’s legal services by both inside and outside counsel, monitoring compliance with the budget, as well as establishing levels of accountability and results.
The Office of the General Counsel represents the Kern Community College District. When the General Counsel or Office of General Counsel staff interact with faculty or staff on legal matters, it is important that the faculty and staff understand that the Office of General Counsel owes its allegiance to the Kern Community College District.