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Agency Legal Director

Agency Legal Director

Job Location: New Britain, CT

Job Type: Full Time

Company

State of Connecticut Office of Consumer Counsel

About The Company

The OCC is an independent State agency that acts as the advocate for consumer interest in matters which may affect Connecticut consumers relating to electricity, natural gas, water, and telecommunications. The OCC works on cutting edge energy policy issues as the voice of the consumer. We are a statutory party to all proceedings before the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) and are authorized to appear and participate in any regulatory or judicial proceedings, federal or state, in which the interests of Connecticut utility consumers may be involved. 
 
In addition to representing consumer interests before PURA, the OCC:
  • Participates in proceedings before federal agencies, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC);
  • Advocates on behalf of consumer interests in state and federal courts; and
  • Promotes the interests of consumers at the Connecticut legislature and in regional and national forums. 
The OCC is also a member of New England Power Pool (NEPOOL) as the representative of Connecticut ratepayers. 
 
Our work covers a wide range of topics, including:
  • Energy infrastructure (e.g., electric transmission lines, non-wires alternatives)
  • Renewable energy, distributed generation, and grid modernization
  • Energy efficiency and demand response
  • Wholesale and retail electric and gas markets and rates
  • Water rates, infrastructure, and resource planning
  • Utility service quality and storm response
  • Electric vehicles and energy storage
  • Telecommunications service, service quality, and infrastructure, broadband access, and telecommunications policy

About The Position

This role reports to the Consumer Counsel and plays a critical role in ensuring affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy and water in the state of Connecticut. The Legal Director will have the opportunity to supervise an excellent team of attorneys and program staff, and participate in cases in both administrative and judicial settings, including directly litigating cases in state and federal appellate courts. This role is also responsible for overseeing policy development on issues relating to utility regulatory reform, grid modernization, electrification, energy affordability and water quality and service. 
 
Responsibilities may include directing the legal staff of the agency, acting as legal advisor to the Consumer Counsel, and functionally serving as General Counsel to the agency. Specifically, the Legal Director will:
  • In coordination with the Consumer Counsel, direct staff and operations of the agency’s legal division, including a team of high-performing attorneys and paralegal;
  • Coordinate, plan and manage OCC activities before state and federal administrative and judicial entities;
  • Coordinate with legal and technical staff on formulating OCC priorities and objectives and the development of OCC positions on state and federal policies and law;
  • Supervise and directly engage in OCC work in regional and federal forums, including FERC, ISO-New England, the New England Power Pool (NEPOOL), and federal courts.
  • Coordinate and oversee OCC’s work on state, regional and federal initiatives associated with the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA);
  • Model and facilitate effective and open communication throughout the agency;
  • Partner with the Consumer Counsel and Supervisor of Technical Analysis on high level organizational management, a coherent strategic framework, and budget setting;
  • Manage departmental structures, individual workplans, and evaluation processes; support individual lawyers’ professional development;
  • Maintain contacts with individuals both within and outside of Agency who might impact program activities;
  • Direct and conduct research on legal issues or relating to the agency’s regulatory and legislative work;
  • In coordination with legal team, examine potential litigation and appeals and makes recommendations to Consumer Counsel;
  • Draft and review staff attorney drafts of legal memoranda, briefs, legal opinion letters, and regulatory filings;
  • Participate in the drafting and review of all proposed legislation, regulations, agency policies, contracts and agreements;
  • Manage or oversee responses to FOIA requests for the agency;
  • Monitor Agency activities to ensure that they confirm with policy, procedures, regulations, legislation and state and federal laws;
  • Testify before legislative committee and perform related legislative duties; and
  • Perform other related duties as deemed necessary.

The State of Connecticut, Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC), has an exciting opportunity for a motivated and energetic attorney to serve as Agency Legal Director in our New Britain office.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Experience with Administrative law, including but not limited to interpreting state or federal statutes and regulations, experience with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act (UAPA), and/or appearing before administrative bodies for hearings and other proceedings;
  • Experience working on issues related to renewable energy, natural gas, electricity, telecommunications, water, energy market, or public service companies/utilities;
  • Substantial experience in state, federal and/or appellate litigation;
  • Experience addressing complex policy challenges in the energy sector, including comprehending, analyzing, and applying technical data to legal standards and understanding the interaction between technological and market innovation and the law; 
  • Experience supervising and creating strong and effective teams working in cultures defined by excellence, professionalism, trust, and respect;
  • Experience formulating program or organization goals and objectives, developing and implementing procedures, initiating and developing policies and developing reports; 
  • Experience with communication, listening and negotiating skills to facilitate conversation and drive decision-making;
  • Experience with contracting, corporate or organizational governance and/or FOIA or auditing functions.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Must be admitted to practice law in the State of Connecticut.

Requirements

Considerable knowledge of and ability to apply management principles and techniques; considerable knowledge of relevant state and federal laws, statutes and regulations; considerable knowledge of the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act; considerable knowledge of relevant agency policies and procedures; considerable knowledge of and ability to interpret relevant State and Federal laws, statutes and regulations; considerable knowledge of legal practices and procedures in federal courts and state venues; considerable knowledge of legislative processes; considerable interpersonal skills; considerable oral and written communication skills.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS – GENERAL EXPERIENCE

Five (5) years of experience as an attorney with some responsibility for research, development, planning and review of legislative and/or regulatory programs.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS – SPECIAL EXPERIENCE

Two (2) years of the General Experience must have been in a supervisory or managerial capacity.

NOTE: Managerial experience is defined as formulating program goals and objectives, developing and implementing program procedures, initiating program policies and developing and/or monitoring a budget.

Education

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