Airport General Counsel

Website Norfolk Airport Authority

JOB SUMMARY: The Airport General Counsel is responsible for providing leadership and strategic direction as it relates to Norfolk Airport Authority (NAA) legal functions and services. This position serves as a member of the Executive Management Team (EMT), reporting to the President & Chief Executive Officer and providing legal support and advice to the Authority Board and staff. As a member of the EMT, this position provides highly responsible and complex management support to the President & Chief Executive Officer and works in close coordination with other members of the EMT to achieve the alignment of the Authority’s operations in support of the NAA’s strategic priorities.

Norfolk International Airport has the vision that every team member has a stake in bringing our “Stronger Together, Let’s Fly” brand to life for every passenger and fellow employee. We have a demonstrated commitment to cultivating a positive, collaborative work environment that supports our values of professionalism, responsiveness, innovation, diversity, excellence (P.R.I.D.E.) as outlined in our Strategic Plan.

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS: The following duties are typical for this position. Incumbents 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 needs and changing business practices.

1. Provide a wide range of legal services of a routine to complex nature in representing the Authority; provide advice and counsel to Authority managers and staff; conduct legal research and draft legal documents; represent the Authority in civil litigation and administrative hearings; and perform related duties as assigned.

2. Conducts research on legal issues, federal and state statutory and case law, federal and state regulations and administrative interpretations; writes research memoranda and conclusions; drafts resolutions and ordinances ranging from routine to highly complex; prepares oral and written legal opinions for Authority managers and staff; drafts, reviews and finalizes legal documents and instruments; reviews and approves contracts and agreements; drafts explanatory memoranda on legal implications of complex issues; reviews departmental documents for legal sufficiency.

3. Provides legal information and advice to departments on a wide range of legal issues of varying difficulty and complexity; conducts risk assessments and identifies areas of potential liability; conducts research of various regulatory and statutory schemes and develops strategies for addressing issues; provides advice and direction to ensure Authority compliance with legal and regulatory requirements; determines potential causes of action and develops strategies for cost recovery claims; develops creative solutions to legal issues and problems to satisfy differing policy objectives; determines priorities and timelines for the resolution of numerous competing legal issues.

4. Provides training to management and staff on legal issues, including required ethics training to Board Members, the Executive Director/CEO, and other staff.

5. Analyzes proposed federal and state legislation and regulations for impacts on Authority policies, practices, and operations; prepares reports of findings and conclusions; recommends revisions, amendments, and other actions.

6. Assists outside counsel in representing the Authority in civil litigation and administrative hearings held by local, state, and federal agencies; assists in or develops litigation strategy and alternatives; propounds or responds to requests for discovery and depositions; consults with legal staffs of other entities when joint cases or issues of mutual interest are litigated; and audits bills for legal fees for reasonableness.

7. Assists in or advises department directors, managers, supervisors, and employees on their role in litigation, their responses to the public and media regarding legal issues and litigation and preparation for testimony in court and in administrative hearings.

8. Negotiates settlements to litigation, claims and disputes; participates with departments in negotiating and drafting complex tenant lease agreements, public works contracts, and contracts and agreements for acquisition, use and/or development of Authority property and facilities.

9. Responds to public records requests; provides interpretations of legal provisions to citizen, media, and public official requests.

10. Works with outside counsel in assigned phases of legal work on complex litigation; answers correspondence and responds to inquiries on legal matters related to Authority business, as assigned.

11. Consults with legal staffs of neighboring cities and other public agencies regarding legal issues facing the Authority.

12. Assures compliance with Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act, advises the Board on legal matters, and participates in board member orientation.

13. Maintains and updates, as necessary, the Norfolk Airport Authority Rules and Regulations relating to the use of airport buildings, grounds, and services.

14. Adheres to and upholds all Airport Authority rules, policies, and procedures adopted by the Airport Authority (e.g., harassment, discrimination, hostile work environment, etc.)

15. Other assignments and/or duties as directed by a member of management.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES: The following generally describes the knowledge, skills and abilities required to enter the job and/or be learned within a short period of time in order to successfully perform the assigned duties.

1. Critical Evaluation: Define issues, perform legal research, analyze problems, evaluate alternatives, and develop sound conclusions and recommendations.

2. Problem-Solving/Agility Skills: Exercise sound, independent judgment within general policy guidelines and legal requirements. Interpret state and federal laws, regulations, legislation, and constitutional provisions affecting applicable Authority operations.

3. Leadership & Influencing Skills: Represent the Authority effectively in hearings, courts of law, negotiations, and meetings. Prepare clear and concise legal briefs, opinions, resolutions, contracts, agreements, leases, deeds, reports, correspondence, proposed legislation, and other written materials.

4. Interpersonal Ability: Use a high degree of tact, discretion, and diplomacy in dealing with sensitive situations and concerned or upset individuals.

5. Relationship Management: Establish and maintain effective working relationships with all levels of Authority management and staff, officials of other governmental agencies, outside counsel, litigants, tenants, other Authority customers and stakeholders.

EDUCATION/TRAINING: 1. Graduation from an ABA accredited law school with Juris Doctor degree.


1. At least five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in the practice of law, preferably in a governmental setting or with municipal law focus.

2. Knowledge of Virginia Law related to airports and public boards preferred but not required.

3. Knowledge of federal, state, and local statutes, ordinances and regulations governing the administration of airports preferred but not required.

4. Knowledge of current Virginia Law with emphasis on the Virginia Freedom of Information Act and other related requirements preferred but not required.

5. Employment and/or Labor Relations experience preferred but not required.


1. Must be a member in good standing of the State Bar of Virginia, or eligible to become a member within one (1) year of employment.

1. Possess a valid driver’s license and must meet NAA driving record requirements.

2. Ability to obtain and maintain eligibility to hold a Security Identification Display Area (SIDA) badge as may be required by assigned job duties and responsibilities.

PHYSICAL & MENTAL DEMANDS: Persons with disabilities may be able to perform the essential duties of this class with reasonable accommodation. Reasonable accommodation will be evaluated on an individual basis and depends, in part, on the specific requirements for the job, the limitations related to disability and the ability of the hiring department to accommodate the limitation.

Normal job duties require sitting for long periods of time, the ability to reach, bend, stoop, lift to 25 lbs. in an office environment, climbing up and down stairs (when necessary).

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