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A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

Job Summary

The University of Michigan (U-M) Office of the Vice President and General Counsel (OGC) provides legal counsel to U-M’s Ann Arbor, Flint, and Dearborn campuses. OGC is seeking an attorney who will provide legal and policy advice in the area of intellectual property (especially patents and software) and related transactions (especially technology transfer). He or she will have specific responsibility for advising U-M, including its Office of Technology Transfer and other clients, in interactions with external entities involving complex business and legal issues related to the licensing of U-M-developed technologies to both existing companies and newly-formed startups; advising and assisting members of the U-M Office of Technology Transfer on legal issues relating to patent/copyright procurement and enforcement strategy; representing the U-M in disputes and litigation involving intellectual property; and advising U-M on other matters involving intellectual property. The position may focus on software, physical science, and engineering fields (although candidates with expertise in other areas are encouraged to apply). The attorney will be one of two attorneys who are physically located with the Office of Technology Transfer and therefore should have a demonstrable passion for the mission of academic technology transfer to translate academic discoveries into products or services that can improve the human condition. In this dynamic and fast-paced work place, the attorney should be enthusiastic about taking a collegial and business-oriented approach to representing one of the world’s great public universities in negotiations and discussions with industry, the local community, investors, government, and peer institutions.


  1. Provide legal advice and counsel to the Office of Technology Transfer and others in the U-M community regarding transactions involving intellectual property, especially licensing of patents and software to corporate partners, including U-M startup companies.
  2. Provide legal advice and counsel on matters related to patents.
  3. Represent the U-M in patent and tech transfer-related litigation, and/or supervise outside counsel in such areas.
  4. Provide advice to, and supervision of, U-M outside counsel responsible for daily patent prosecution activities.
  5. Develop and maintain strong working relationships with other offices to ensure prompt identification and resolution of issues.
  6. Provide legal advice regarding U-M policies.
  7. Develop and deliver timely and relevant trainings to clients.

Required Qualifications*

  1. At least four years of experience as an attorney.
  2. Ability to independently handle or manage patent litigation matters in which U-M is involved as either a party or nonparty.
  3. Experience in negotiating complicated agreements.
  4. Experience in the management of complicated, potentially sensitive issues.
  5. A commitment to the mission of higher education and public research institutions.
  6. Demonstrated ability to manage multiple, complex assignments with a high degree of organization.
  7. Demonstrated ability to work effectively with a broad range of stakeholders and clients, both internal and external.
  8. Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
  9. Good judgment and creative problem-solving skills.
  10. The ability to handle multiple matters simultaneously, prioritize effectively, and succeed in a fast-paced and challenging environment.
  11. Strong interpersonal skills and sensitivity to diversity.
  12. Collegiality and a willingness to support colleagues.
  13. Commitment to expeditious, high quality service to our clients and the dedication to work the hours it takes to meet those expectations.
  14. Integrity and a strong moral and ethical compass.
  15. Admission to the State Bar of Michigan, or eligibility for admission.

Desired Qualifications*

  1. At least four years of patent litigation experience at a law firm, including taking or defending depositions and representing clients in party and nonparty discovery.
  2. Considerable legal experience in complex technology transactions, including patent and software licensing, particularly as an in-house attorney.
  3. Direct patent prosecution experience is not required although familiarity with patent prosecution is strongly desired.
  4. An undergraduate or graduate degree in engineering or physical science.
  5. Experience advising clients on legal issues relating to software and content licensing, such as copyright, liability issues, and privacy.
  6. Hands-on patent prosecution experience at a law firm.
  7. Professional experience at a large public university or other non-profit institution.

Additional Information

Salary is commensurate with experience.

The University of Michigan is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and believes that diversity, broadly defined, is integral to institutional excellence.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  This job may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.