County of Alameda

Chief Counsel, ACERA (#1340)

Bargaining Unit: Unrep - ACERA Classes (066)
$122.18-$160.95 Hourly / $9,774.40-$12,876.00 BiWeekly /
$21,177.87-$27,898.00 Monthly / $254,134.40-$334,776.00 Yearly

Serves as legal advisor to the Alameda County Employees’ Retirement Association (ACERA) Board of Retirement and ACERA Staff; represents ACERA in civil cases and advises them in matters of civil law; and does related work as required.


This single incumbent class reports to the Chief Executive Officer, ACERA, is a critical member of the Senior Management Team and is responsible for providing general counsel to ACERA. The incumbent under the direction of the Chief Executive Officer, ACERA provides legal advice and representation on complex legal matters in support of ACERA’s pension and non-vested benefit programs for select medical and supplemental benefits, disability, investment portfolio and actuarial functions. The incumbent must have knowledge of legal principles and must be proficient in civil law, especially as it applies to public pension plans. The incumbent leads and manages subordinate associate counsels and administrative support staff.

NOTE: The following are the duties performed by employees in this classification. However, employees may perform other related duties at an equivalent level. Each individual in the classification does not necessarily perform all duties listed

1. Provides legal advice during public and closed sessions of the Board of Retirement, including performing effectively in an open, transparent public setting.

2. Provides legal advice and assistance to the Board of Retirement on issues involving Board governance, Fair Political Practices Commission Conflict of Interest reporting requirements and the Ralph M. Brown Act Open Public Meeting laws.

3. Conducts legal research of complex pension issues and formulates policies and Bylaws for ACERA.

4. Drafts contracts, resolutions, opinions and other documents.

5. Coordinates and oversees the work of outside counsel; verifies and controls fees paid.

6. Provides advice and assistance on legal problems within other divisions of ACERA; confers with the Chief Executive Officer, ACERA and management Staff on special legal problems.

7. Assists with the criteria for and selection of qualified Hearing Officers for disability matters; monitors performance; ensures that ACERA’s disability retirement application procedures are in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

8. Oversees the analysis of state and federal legislation or regulatory changes which may impact ACERA; drafts legislation sponsored by ACERA.

9. Ensures that legal requirements are met during elections conducted to elect representatives to the Board of Retirement.

10. Promotes teamwork and cross-functional collaboration and communications.

11. As directed by the Chief Executive Officer, ACERA, may attend or serve on outside committees and associations as may benefit ACERA.

Either I

The equivalent of five years’ full-time experience in the class of Associate Counsel, ACERA or Deputy County Counsel in the Alameda County classified service. (Non-classified includes District Attorney’s Office, Hospital Authority, and the Consolidated Courts.)


The equivalent of six years’ full-time increasingly responsible experience as an attorney in the practice of civil law.


Current membership in the California State Bar.
California Class “C” Driver’s License.

NOTE: The Civil Service Commission may modify the above Minimum Qualifications in the announcement of an examination.

NOTE: The level and scope of the following knowledge and abilities are related to duties listed under the “Examples of Duties” section of this specification.

Knowledge of:

• Legal research.
• Principles and practices of constitutional, civil and administrative law and procedures.
• California statutory and constitutional law.
• Provisions of law and rules of procedure governing the conduct of hearings before administrative bodies.
• Providing legal services for a local, State or Federal public agency (preferably a public pension plan).
• Behaviors required in order to function effectively in a work team environment.

Ability to:

• Perform legal research.
• Analyze, appraise, and apply legal principles, facts and precedents to legal problems.
• Analyze situations accurately and adopt an effective course of action.
• Present oral and written statements of fact, law and argument in a clear, logical and persuasive manner.
• Prepare correspondence and reports.
• Exercise good judgment and make sound decisions on legal casework and in dealing with people.
• Work effectively with hearing officers, attorneys, elected officials and ACERA staff in a sensitive and diplomatic manner.
• Establish and maintain professional relationships in a team environment with members of the Retirement Board, ACERA staff, members of the Retirement Association, other government agencies, legal, medical and investment professionals and other consultants.
• Manage and provide leadership to a professional staff, including attracting, motivating, developing and retaining talent.
• Maintain the highest ethical standards and conduct with a reputation of integrity
• Establish and build rapport by modeling values-based behavior.

Old document: VS:jc
New document: Jobspecs/1340
CSC Date: 10/28/98
DRH:po Revised/Retitled 4/25/06
[old title: General Counsel, ACERA]
CSC Date: 4/26/2006
AM:cs Revised 2/28/14
CSC Date: 3/19/14


Alameda County offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package that affords wide-ranging health care options to meet the different needs of a diverse workforce and their families. We also sponsor many different employee discount, fitness and health screening programs focused on overall well being.  These benefits include but are not limited to*:

For your Health & Well-Being

  • Medical – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Dental – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Vision or Vision Reimbursement
  • Share the Savings
  • Basic Life Insurance 
  • Supplemental Life Insurance (with optional dependent coverage for eligible employees)
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance 
  • County Allowance Credit
  • Flexible Spending Accounts - Health FSA, Dependent Care and Adoption Assistance
  • Short-Term Disability Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Voluntary Benefits - Accident Insurance, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity and Legal Services
  • Employee Assistance Program

For your Financial Future

  • Retirement Plan - (Defined Benefit Pension Plan)
  • Deferred Compensation Plan (457 Plan or Roth Plan)

For your Work/Life Balance

  • 12 paid holidays
  • Floating Holidays
  • Vacation and sick leave accrual
  • Vacation purchase program
  • Management Paid Leave**
  • Catastrophic Sick Leave
  • Group Auto/Home Insurance
  • Pet Insurance
  • Commuter Benefits Program
  • Guaranteed Ride Home
  • Employee Wellness Program (e.g. At Work Fitness, Incentive Based Programs, Gym Membership Discounts)
  • Employee Discount Program (e.g. theme parks, cell phone, etc.)
  • Child Care Resources
  • 1st United Services Credit Union 

*Eligibility is determined by Alameda County and offerings may vary by collective bargaining agreement.  This provides a brief summary of the benefits offered and can be subject to change.

** Non-exempt management employees are entitled to up to three days of management paid leave. Exempt management employees are entitled to up to seven days of management paid leave.

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