General Counsel

Argonne National Laboratory

Argonne, IL

Job posting number: #7112381 (Ref:414165)

Posted: September 27, 2022

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

Chartered in 1946 as the nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne’s mission is solving the major scientific and engineering challenges of our time: sustainable energy, a clean environment, understanding our world and universe, and national security. Argonne is home to a staff of over 3,500 employees including over 1,500 scientists, engineers and postdoctoral scholars and, with world-renowned scientific user facilities, hosts over 6,700 facility users annually.


Argonne is currently inviting applications for the position of General Counsel. To support the Laboratory’s mission by navigating complex regulatory, contractual, governance and litigation matters, the General Counsel serves the lab as the Chief Legal Officer for strategy and management of legal matters.


Reporting to the Argonne National Laboratory Director, the General Counsel will serve as the senior legal advisor to Argonne and will provide legal advice and counsel on all matters affecting the Lab. This individual will be a member of the senior management team and will lead and manage the legal function, as well as coordinate external legal resources. Candidates must be self-motivated and exhibit a passion for understanding the Lab and contributing in a meaningful way to its developing and executing on its long-term strategic goals. In addition to possessing the requisite legal and technical skills, the successful candidate must approach this role from an experienced business perspective and demonstrate a high degree of initiative, ethics and integrity, as well as strategic/conceptual thinking capabilities.


The General Counsel will provide strategic advice and implement plans and actions for non-routine, difficult and/or sensitive legal issues as well as analyze risk exposure inherent in the Lab’s operations and research programs . They will negotiate and manage significant transactions, including joint ventures, strategic alliances, and related governance issues. They will consult on complex commercial contract matters, including government contracts as well as collaborate with relevant stakeholders to ensure that the organization is in compliance with the terms of the Lab Prime Contract with the Department of Energy and other legal and regulatory requirements. They will also help select, direct, and manage outside counsel to ensure client-centered, high quality and cost-effective provision of legal services to the Lab. In addition, they will regularly communicate and interact with the General Counsel and other representatives of the University of Chicago and the laboratory’s Board of Governors in furtherance of these bodies oversight responsibilities for the lab.

Position Requirements

  • Must hold a J.D. from an accredited law school and be licensed to practice in Illinois or admitted to a State Bar of any US State or the District of Columbia and eligible to be admitted to the Illinois Bar within a reasonable time following the commencement of the position.
  • Experience managing both an internal law department and outside counsel.
  • Experience in the following legal areas: Drafting and negotiating contracts, including contracts involving federal agencies and/or federal funding (e.g., procurements, cooperative agreements, strategic partnerships, etc.), Knowledge of laws and regulations applicable to various types of federal contracts, Employment and labor law; Environmental law; Intellectual property and technology transfer, particularly in the context of partnerships with industry and technology-based start-ups; and Litigation management.
  • Demonstrated skill in identifying and addressing matters beyond the applicable legal issues of a project; strong, pragmatic business acumen with the ability to recognize the business consequences of legal advice; a strategic and innovative thinker who can bring value to their clients and find creative solutions to complex legal problems.
  • Highly effective in communicating complex technical legal matters to a variety of stakeholders.
  • Experience leading a multi-disciplinary legal team, including the ability to develop strategies to attract, develop and retain a high-performing diverse staff.
  • Experience working with government agencies generally is required; specific experience with the Department of Energy or Department of Defense is preferred.
  • Ability to model Argonne’s Core Values: Impact, Safety, Respect, Integrity, and Teamwork.

Job Family

Professional Administrative (PA)

Job Profile

Legal Counsel Leader 5

Worker Type

Regular

Time Type

Full time

As an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer, and in accordance with our core values of impact, safety, respect, integrity and teamwork, Argonne National Laboratory is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace that fosters collaborative scientific discovery and innovation. In support of this commitment, Argonne encourages minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities to apply for employment. Argonne considers all qualified applicants for employment without regard to age, ancestry, citizenship status, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

Argonne employees, and certain guest researchers and contractors, are subject to particular restrictions related to participation in Foreign Government Sponsored or Affiliated Activities, as defined and detailed in United States Department of Energy Order 486.1A. You will be asked to disclose any such participation in the application phase for review by Argonne's Legal Department.  

All Argonne offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes an assessment of criminal conviction history conducted on an individualized and case-by-case basis.  Please be advised that Argonne positions require upon hire (or may require in the future) for the individual be to obtain a government access authorization that involves additional background check requirements.  Failure to obtain or maintain such government access authorization could result in the withdrawal of a job offer or future termination of employment.

Please note that all Argonne employees are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. All successful applicants will be required to provide their COVID-19 vaccination verification as a condition of employment, subject to limited legally recognized exemptions to COVID-19 vaccination.



Argonne is an equal opportunity employer, and we value diversity in our workforce. As an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer, Argonne National Laboratory is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace that fosters collaborative scientific discovery and innovation. In support of this commitment, Argonne prohibits discrimination or harassment based on an individual's age, ancestry, citizenship status, color, disability, gender, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.


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