Associate General Counsel
State of Minnesota
 Saint Paul, MN

Job Details

Associate General Counsel

Job Class: Corrections Alternative Program Manager

Who May Apply: Open to all qualified job seekers

Date Posted: 11/05/2019

Closing Date: 11/25/2019

Hiring Agency: MN Department of Corrections

Location: Central Office - St. Paul

Division/Unit: Office of Legal Affairs

Work Shift/Work Hours: Day Shift

Days of Work: Monday - Friday

Travel Required: No

Salary Range: $34.37- $49.62/hourly; $71,765- $103,607/annually

Classified Status: Classified

Bargaining Unit/Union: 220 - Manager/Unrepresented

FLSA Status: Exempt - Professional

Connect 700 Program Eligible: Yes

Job Summary

Job Summary

The Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC) is seeking an Associate General Counsel to provide legal advice and representation on a wide variety of issues including those unique to correctional operations, including prisoner civil rights, administration of criminal sentences and parole, labor and employment, and administrative law and data practices matters.

Please note: this job announcement may be used to fill up to two Associate General Counsel positions.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Defending the department in state and federal habeas proceedings relating to the administration of criminal sentences, including the revocation of parole, and responding to complaints filed with administrative agencies alleging discrimination under state and federal law.
  • Managing federal civil rights and state tort litigation handled by the Attorney General's Office, including coordination of responses to initial complaints, case assessment and investigation, litigation strategy, responses to discovery requests, and participation in mediation and settlement conferences.
  • Providing advice to ensure compliance with constitutional requirements and statutes relating to prison operations, conditions of confinement, sentence administration, employment and labor agreements, and data practices.
  • Managing programs related to various statutory responsibilities of the Commissioner of Corrections, including investigating and presenting reports on applicants seeking relief from the Board of Pardons; defending recommendations on offender property and injury claims to the legislature; providing direction to agency data practices designees regarding data requests, challenges, and breaches, and providing direction and oversight related to drafting and revising administrative rules.
  • Reviewing or drafting proposed legislation and advising management on associated legal risks and considerations.


Application Requirements

All applicants are required to attach a resume and cover letter with their online application. The cover letter must detail how the applicant meets each of the minimum qualifications below.

Applicants who do not follow the above application instructions will NOT be considered further in the hiring process.

Minimum Qualifications

The following qualifications are required of all applicants seeking consideration for this position:


• Current Minnesota law license or ability to become licensed* in Minnesota within 120 days of appointment to the position.

(*NOTE TO APPLICANTS UNLICENSED IN MINNESOTA: Please include information regarding your license status in your cover letter. The successful candidate MUST possess the licensure within 120 days of appointment to the position to maintain employment.); AND

  • At least three years of post-licensing experience as an attorney in a role in which a majority of time was spent drafting a considerable number of memoranda, appellate briefs, or proposed opinions in judicial proceedings. To be considered, the experience must include handling matters that involve at least two of the following areas of law: (a) constitutional civil rights; (b) criminal, post-conviction, or habeas corpus; (c) employment or public services discrimination; or (d) labor relations or employment.

Applicants who meet the above requirements will be further evaluated based on the following:

  • Strong legal research, analysis, and excellent writing skills.
  • Ability to act independently; be responsive, thoughtful, and proactive; effectively organize, prioritize, and manage multiple matters simultaneously in a time-sensitive defense practice and drive projects to completion.
  • Demonstrated good judgment; initiative, and ability to inspire trust and confidence in managers who seek advice; develop effective and collaborative working relationships with staff at all levels of the organization; and provide clear advice and explanations on complex issues.
  • Demonstrated commitment to high ethical standards and consistent delivery of top-quality work product.

Preferred Qualifications

The following qualifications are strongly desired of applicants seeking consideration for this position:

  • Excellent law school performance as demonstrated by graduating cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude; participation in a law journal; and/or federal court clerkship experience.
  • At least five years of experience drafting motions or appeals in matters involving one or more of the following areas of law: (a) constitutional civil rights; (b) criminal, post-conviction, or habeas corpus; (c) employment or public services discrimination; or (d) labor or employment.
  • Experience in a general counsel role or other direct client contact experience that required researching and communicating advice regarding the legal implications of and risks associated with operational decisions.
  • Experience editing the legal writing of others.
  • Experience making oral arguments or conducting evidentiary hearings or trials.
  • Experience working in or for a corrections agency.

Physical Requirements

The selected finalist is required to review and sign a Physical Demands Analysis (PDA) for this position. For a copy of the PDA, please email Kelly Zappia at

Additional Requirements

The selection process may include screening the top candidate(s) on their criminal history, predatory offender registration, offender associations and/or other applicable background information in accordance with Department of Corrections' policy.

Employment history/reference checks, including incidents of sexual harassment, will also be conducted on the top candidate(s) in accordance with Department of Corrections' policy. This may include a review of job performance and discipline records.

New employees will be fingerprinted within the first 30 days of employment.

Application Details

Why Work For Us

Join a team with a national reputation for excellence! The Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC) is highly regarded nationwide and has provided a model for other corrections systems to follow. Our mission is to reduce recidivism by promoting offender change through proven strategies during safe and secure incarceration and effective community supervision. We offer great State of Minnesota benefits, competitive pay, internal promotional opportunities, free parking, and workout facilities at most locations.

The State of Minnesota offers a comprehensive benefits package including low cost medical and dental insurance, employer paid life insurance, short and long term disability, pre-tax flexible spending accounts, retirement plan, tax-deferred compensation, generous vacation and sick leave, and 11 paid holidays each year.

How to Apply

Click “Apply“ at the bottom of this page. If you have questions about applying for jobs, contact the job information line at 651-259-3637.


If you have questions about the position, contact Kelly Zappia at or 651/361-7318.


The State of Minnesota is an equal opportunity, affirmative action, and veteran-friendly employer. We are committed to providing culturally responsive services to all Minnesotans. The State of Minnesota recognizes that a diverse workforce is essential and strongly encourages qualified women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans to apply.

We will make reasonable accommodations to all qualified applicants with disabilities. If you are an individual with a disability who needs assistance or cannot access the online job application system, please contact the job information line at 651-259-3637 or email Please indicate what assistance you need.

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