Position Summary: Under the direction and supervision of the New York City Department of Education’s Deputy Counsel, Records Access Unit (“Deputy Counsel”), the Assistant Deputy Counsel is responsible for ensuring that the DOE remains in compliance with New York’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) and in other matters under the purview of the Records Access Unit. The Assistant Deputy Counsel acts as the managing attorney of the FOIL Unit and its lead records access officer within the central administration of the New York City Department of Education (“DOE”), and supervises and oversees the long-term and day-to-day functioning of the FOIL Unit. The Assistant Deputy Counsel engages in difficult and complex legal work having significant financial, legal, procedural, and policy consequences. The Assistant Deputy Counsel formulates and proposes FOIL-related policies and procedures for consideration by senior officials at the DOE. Under the direction of the Deputy Counsel and other senior officials, provides support and assistance with respect to subpoena processing. Performs related work.
Reports to: Deputy Counsel, Records Access Unit
Direct Reports: Attorneys and Administrative Staff within the Records Access Unit
Key Relationships: Chancellor’s Office, Office of Communications and External Affairs, Division of Operations, Office of School Support and Supervision, Division of Teaching and Learning, Division of Specialized Instruction and Student Support, Office of the Chief Financial Officer, Office of Student Enrollment, NYC Law Department.
Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) Responsibilities.
- Manages and supervises the long-term and day-to-day operations of the FOIL work stream, including assigning and reviewing the work of other attorneys and administrative staff members, and ensuring that the DOE is in compliance with its FOIL-related obligations.
- Coordinates requests; ensures that records are gathered from DOE offices and reviewed for responsiveness and redactions permitted pursuant to Public Officers Law § 87(2); and delegates related tasks as appropriate. Ensures that appropriate and timely responses are sent and that requests are forwarded to the appropriate schools/offices for substantive response.
- Determines FOIL requests as the DOE’s leading records access officer within the central administration of the DOE.
- Implements Department policy and legal mandates related to FOIL requests.
- Communicates with the press, government officials, and other individuals on actual or potential requests and coordinates press requests with the Office of Communications and Media Relations.
- Provides ongoing technical assistance to other DOE legal and non-legal staff on FOIL-related matters and legal questions.
- Consults with DOE senior officials and other agencies including the NYC Law Department on strategy, papers and discovery for litigation, appears in court on an as needed basis, and recommends settlements and adjustments.
- Supervises and reviews the work of FOIL Unit staff attorneys and administrative support staff.
- Formulates and prepares reports with respect to FOIL compliance.
- Maintains and utilizes databases and other time management tools to monitor compliance, e.g., timeliness of responses, appropriateness of released materials, etc.
- Works closely with the DOE’s Privacy Unit in determining rights to access protected student and staff information
- Makes recommendations to the Deputy Counsel, Executive Deputy Counsel and/or the General Counsel regarding FOIL appeals.
- Conducts legal research on complicated legal issues.
- Performs other FOIL-related work.
Subpoena and Other Records-Related Responsibilities
- On an as needed basis, assists with providing ongoing technical assistance on various subpoena and records issues, discovery demands for tort litigation and records retention; assists with the supervision of the Subpoena Unit.
- Works closely with the DOE’s Privacy team in determining rights to access protected student and staff information
- Prepares documents in response to court orders on subpoenas and appears in court if needed.
- Coordinates with the NYC Law Department and other agencies on strategy, papers and discovery in related litigation and recommends settlements and adjustments.
- Upon consultation with and under the direction of the Deputy Counsel, drafts rules and regulations for the DOE.
Admission to the New York State Bar; and four years of recent full-time satisfactory, relevant legal experience subsequent to admission to any bar, eighteen months of which must have been in the supervision of other attorneys, in an administrative, managerial or executive capacity, or performing highly complex and significant legal work.
NOTE: Selected candidates must remain members of the New York State Bar in good standing for the duration of their employment.
- Experience supervising other attorneys, in an administrative, managerial or executive capacity.
- Strong project management experience.
- Experience with document review software.
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
- Excellent organizational and time management skills; ability to rapidly respond to time-sensitive issues.
- Experience with processing and responding to FOIL requests.
- Experience in FOIL and other related laws.
- Ability to quickly understand, interpret, and apply relevant law and regulations.
- Ability to write clearly and concisely.
- Experience with the full Microsoft Office suite, including intermediate-level or higher experience with Excel.
(Internal candidates who are selected for this position and who currently hold comparable or less senior positions within the DOE will not earn less than their current salary.)
Please include a resume and cover letter with your application.
NOTE: The filling of all positions is subject to budget availability and/or grant funding.
As of August 2, 2021, all NYC Department of Education new hires (who are not currently employees of the City of New York) must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination prior to beginning their employment unless they have been granted a reasonable accommodation for religious or medical reasons. More information can be found in Executive Order 75.
DOE Non- Discrimination Policy
It is the policy of the Department of Education of the City of New York to provide equal employment opportunities without regard to actual or perceived race, color, religion, creed, ethnicity, national origin, alienage, citizenship status, age, marital status, partnership status, disability, sexual orientation, gender (sex), military status, unemployment status, caregiver status, consumer credit history, prior record of arrest or conviction (except as permitted by law), predisposing genetic characteristics, or status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual offenses and stalking, and to maintain an environment free of harassment on any of the above-noted grounds, including sexual harassment or retaliation. For more information, please refer to the DOE Non-Discrimination Policy.