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Staff Counsel I

Job Location

Los Angeles, CA


Type of Job



$3,024.80 - $3,676.80 biweekly

Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Aug 31, 2023

About the job

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The Staff Counsel of the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) will provide in-house legal counsel and services to MRCA Governing Board, MRCA Executive Officer, and other MRCA staff as directed, focused primarily on real property, environmental, employment, land use, law enforcement, and government law. This position requires an individual who is self-motivated, organized, and able to work on several projects simultaneously.



This is a full-time, at-will, exempt position.



The Staff Counsel reports to the Chief Staff Counsel. This position does not supervise other staff.




The following duties are typical for this classification. Successful candidates may not perform all of the listed duties and/or may be required to perform additional or different duties from those set forth below to address business or legal needs and changing practices.

  • Oversee and complete acquisitions of real property.
  • Review and draft property lease agreements.
  • Assist with personnel and human resources issues.
  • Review and negotiate contracts for goods and services.
  • Assist in enforcement of MRCA Ordinance.
  • Coordinate responses to requests for public records.
  • Analyze and respond to tort claims and litigation.
  • Work with outside legal counsel on litigation and other special projects.
  • Make court appearances on behalf of MRCA.
  • Attend and represent MRCA at community and other public meetings.
  • Complete continuing education as necessary to maintain a working knowledge of real property, environmental, land use, law enforcement, and government law, and any other area of law to effectively provide in-house counsel.
  • Research and analyze applicable bills, statutes, and other legal issues, with emphasis on real property, environmental, land use, law enforcement, and government law.
  • Other duties and projects as directed.


Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to both remain in a stationary position and travel between multiple buildings as well as remote office locations. The employee is frequently required to understand and communicate with others and utilize close vision abilities, spending extended hours in front of a computer screen. The employee must occasionally transport, move, and position up to 30 pounds.


Hours and Location

This is an exempt, salaried position. The expectation is that the successful candidate will primarily work Monday through Friday, 8 hours per day, 40 hours per week with some scheduling flexibility. Occasional work on evenings or weekends will be required as necessary or as directed. The position is based at the Los Angeles River Center and Gardens (570 West Avenue 26, Los Angeles, CA) but may be required to travel to various agency locations and offsite meeting locations. Remote work may be accommodated, as necessary.


Public Contact

As public parklands, the majority of MRCA properties are open to the general public during operating hours. This position will have contact with members of the public in public areas such as parking lots and shared public/office restrooms, and during public meetings.



The following generally describes the knowledge and ability required to enter the job and/or be learned within a short period of time in order to successfully perform the essential functions. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential job functions.


Education and Experience

  • B.A. or B.S. degree
  • J.D. from accredited law school .
  • Active membership in State Bar of California.
  • Prior experience in the practice of law preferred, but not required.
  • Experience in real estate/real property transactions preferred, but not required.
  • Familiarity with trials, court hearings, and rules of evidence preferred.
  • Ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing.


Knowledge of:

  • Common Windows-based programs including word processing, spreadsheets, and databases.
  • Online legal resources (Westlaw, LexisNexis, etc.).
  • Local and state governmental structures and institutions.
  • News sources and public affairs on a local, state, and national level.


Ability to:

  • Prioritize varying tasks and projects and manage multiple projects at once.
  • Work independently to handle multiple tasks under deadlines.
  • Revise work approach to address changed conditions.
  • Complete projects and follow oral and written directions.
  • Quickly change tasks and focus.
  • Comprehend and analyze legal documents.
  • Learn and use WordPerfect and other less common programs.
  • Research agency archives and other sources to complete assignments.



  • Excellent oral and written English language skills. Not required to be a native English speaker, but fluency in English will be required.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Establish and maintain cooperative relations with those contacted in the course of work including the general public.
  • Bilingual skills in English and another locally common language, such as Spanish, Korean, Farsi, Chinese, Armenian, Yiddish, or Tagalog is highly desired.


Other Requirements

Candidates must have a valid California driver’s license in good standing with a satisfactory driving record. Employees must be willing to participate in agency emergency response.


All employment offers are contingent upon the following:

  • Background check including submission of fingerprints to Department of Justice, and a record clean of violent crimes or felonies.
  • Successful completion of a physical examination including a drug test and TB test.
  • Verification of the right to work in the United States.





$3,024.80 - $3,676.80 biweekly, commensurate with experience.



Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority offers a comprehensive benefits package to meet the needs of its employees and their families. Eligibility for benefits varies depending on the category of employment and how long the employee has worked.


Our employees have access to several benefits, including:

  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Paid Leave: Vacation, Holidays, Sick Leave
  • Retirement
  • Health/Dental Flexible Spending Account
  • Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account
  • Life Insurance
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Paid State Bar of California Membership Fees
  • Paid opportunities for Continuing Legal Education


MRCA offers both Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans for Medical and Dental. A Vision Plan and Life Insurance is included with all options. Eligible employees may enroll in a 457(b) Deferred

Compensation Plan and Flexible Spending Accounts for dependent care and health/dental care.


MRCA contracts with the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) to provide a defined benefits program for eligible employees. Effective January 1, 2013, new members to CalPERS are subject to the provisions of the Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA) with a retirement formula of 2% @ 62. Employees with a hire date on or before December 31, 2012 have a retirement formula of 2% @ at 60.




Submit cover letter, resume, writing sample and references via email to with “Staff Counsel position” included as a subject. No phone calls, please. If applicable, submissions with the requested documents will be accepted through third party websites. The acceptance of your application will depend on whether you have clearly shown that you meet the minimum requirements. Please contact us if you need an accommodation in the recruitment process or an alternate format of this announcement.


The position is open to all qualified applicants. Depending on the applicant pool, not all applicants meeting the minimum qualifications will be selected to continue in the recruitment process. This position will remain open until filled. The eligibility list from this recruitment may be used to fill this vacancy and other vacancies in the future.


If selected to continue in the recruitment process, all notifications will be sent to the email address provided on your application or resume. Candidates are responsible for providing a valid e-mail address.


All information is subject to verification at any point during the recruitment process, including after an appointment has been made. Falsification of any information may result in disqualification or rescission of appointment.




The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) was created in 1985 with a mission to protect and preserve park and open space lands surrounding Los Angeles and is a joint powers authority between the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, the Conejo Recreation and Park District and the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District. These public agencies work together to preserve open spaces, natural wilderness and wildlife habitat of the Los Angeles and Ventura County metropolitan regions and to make

these lands accessible to all residents of Southern California.


The MRCA is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ancestry, national origin, citizenship, religion, age, medical condition, including genetic characteristics, mental or physical disability, veteran status, marital

status, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender, weight, height, linguistic characteristics (such as accent and limited English proficiency, where not substantially job-related), citizenship status, or any other basis prohibited by law. The MRCA strongly encourages diverse candidates to apply for open positions.


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This job announcement is not intended to, and does not, create an employment contract of any kind and does not create any express or implied contractual obligations. Employment at MRCA is at-will without exception. The employee and MRCA may terminate employment at any time with or without advance notice and with or without cause.


Any provision contained in this job announcement may be modified or revoked at any time without notice.

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