Counsel, Legal Operations

Legal Chicago, Illinois

About the Role

We are seeking a highly motivated and detail-oriented individual to join our Legal and Government Relations team (LGR) at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago.  The Counsel, Legal Operations position will be an integral part of LGR.  The Counsel, Legal Operations will report to the Associate General Counsel and be involved in a wide variety of activities that help drive business growth and improve the operations and maturity of LGR.  This role will provide the opportunity to support mission-critical activities in a sophisticated, innovative environment and to interface directly with the Bank’s senior management.  For the right candidate, this position has the potential to become a supervisory role over time.

LGR is comprised of a number of functions including the Law Department, Compliance Program, Regulatory Affairs, External Affairs and the Corporate Secretary.  The role will coordinate with staff within LGR and also functional business leaders and individual contributors outside of LGR.  The Counsel, Legal Operations function will support all of the LGR’s activities such as strategic planning, the finance and budget management, outside counsel and external spend, vendor management, workflow management, policies and procedures, human resources administration and employee development within LGR.  A significant portion of time will be spent managing the contracts process within the Law Department.

This is a hybrid role that involves handling sophisticated substantive matters, development and execution of Legal Operations strategies and day-to-day process management.  The role and responsibilities for this position will continue to evolve and expand as the LGR Group and the Bank’s needs grow and change over time.


  • Manage the contracts process. Develop, prepare, review and negotiate vendor agreements as part of the legal team supporting the Bank’s vendor management program.  Assign work to attorneys, paralegals and outside counsel.
  • Support the General Counsel and Associate General Counsel in law practice management initiatives.
  • Build out LGR’s knowledge management practices.
  • Prepare and monitor annual budget.
  • Manage group information technology resources. Identify and implement appropriate tools to maximize efficiencies with LGR processes such as optimizing legal request intake procedures and matter management processes. 
  • Develop and update policies and procedures for LGR.
  • Lead outside counsel engagement processes, including maintenance of billing guidelines.
  • Prepare or oversee presentation and training materials for LGR.
  • Oversee human resources administration with respect to LGR staff including coordination of performance reviews and employee development.

This position offers a unique opportunity for a talented and motivated attorney to touch many facets of the Bank’s business that have a legal nexus.  Both the General Counsel and the Bank are focused on supporting the personal and professional development of the person who will occupy this role.

About You

You will be a perfect fit for this role if you are excited about the possibility of managing significant substantive and in-house law practice management matters, together with  important operational responsibilities. 

You bring expertise in new trends and technologies and can apply appropriate improvements and changes to enhance operations and outcomes.  You are not content simply to follow direction: you are inquisitive and proactive and you seek to improve the work of LGR.  You are skilled in diplomacy and consensus building.  You set the bar high with your daily work product and consistently hold yourself and others to that standard.  You do your best work when you have autonomy and ownership of a project or task, but don’t hesitate to seek direction when you are at a crossroads or in unfamiliar territory.  You exercise good judgment.  You have a knack for continuous improvement and learning.  You thrive in a changing, fast-paced environment and have the ability to switch gears.  You balance short- and long-term objectives.  You multitask complex projects while also firefighting time-sensitive matters.  You communicate clearly and concisely.  You embrace challenge.  You are comfortable in working through ambiguity or uncertainty.  You demonstrate the ability to think strategically and give practical advice by balancing business needs with legal risks.  You have a proven track record of developing strategies to achieve a defined vision and successfully executing those strategies.  You provide practical, business-oriented and actionable advice in terms non-lawyers can understand.  You recognize the service-oriented nature of the work and consistently bring a positive attitude to your work.  You demonstrate inclusiveness in your day-to-day work and embrace working in a diverse and inclusive culture.

Minimum Qualifications: 

  • Juris Doctor degree from an ABA-accredited institution
  • Member in good standing of the Illinois bar (may be admitted under Rule 716)
  • 4+ years’ total combined experience in legal operations and as a practicing lawyer
  • Demonstrated management skills
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Experience in drafting and negotiating vendor agreements
  • Ability to perform complex legal research and analysis
  • Technology-savy; proficient in Microsoft Office applications, including Excel; familiarity with Access data bases; experience with matters management systems
  • Self-starter with strong desire to learn and develop professionally
  • Detail-oriented and organized

The Bank is pleased to consider non-local candidates and provide relocation assistance for this position.

About Us

At the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, employees come first.  That’s why we offer a highly competitive compensation and bonus package, and access to a comprehensive benefits program designed to meet the needs of our employees.

  • Medical, dental and vision insurance
  • Retirement program (401k and Pension)
  • Generous PTO plan
  • 10 paid holidays per year
  • Casual dress code