Legal Counsel

Feb 13 2021
Bishop Museum |Honolulu|Full Time
Job Description

The Legal Counsel is responsible for providing legal review, consultation and advisory work involving all areas of Bishop Museum. This includes preparing, negotiating and interpreting vendor  and other contracts; assisting in dispute resolution; managing property leases and other real estate; advising on organizational documents and corporate governance; assisting with business development, corporate communications, and policy development; enhancing government, non-profit, and private sector relations; and ensuring transactions are legally sound and consistent with the Museum’s mission, authority, policies and procedures.  


Duties and Responsibilities 

  • Provide legal advice, support and representation on legal issues relating but not limited to general business, corporate, non-profit, liability, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (“NAGPRA”), employment, real estate and other Museum related matters. 

  • Work with our third-party HR vendor to respond to and address human resource issues, including counseling business and unit managers on employee disputes, benefits, and potential disciplinary actions. 

  • Prepare, review, revise, and/or negotiate all contracts. 

  • Together with the Chief Financial Officer, manage all matters related to the Museum’s ownership of real property or interest in real property, including but not limited to: 

  • The negotiation, preparation and review of legal documents necessary to acquire, protect, manage, transfer or lease real property; and 

  • The direction of real property transactions to ensure appropriate authorization, consistency with Museum policy, timeliness and accuracy. 

  • Maintain the Museum’s legal files including contracts and the books and records of the Museum.  

  • Assist in drafting and/or revising meeting minutes, memoranda and resolutions for the Board and its Committees as requested. 

  • Provide counsel on, and assist in drafting and/or revising, the policies of the organization as determined by the Board of Directors and Senior Management. 

  • Negotiate complex, high profile or sensitive agreements. 

  • Retain outside counsel and supervise and coordinate litigation affecting the Museum as necessary. 

  • Coordinate with third-party lobbyist vendor all requisite government lobbying registration and reporting requirements. 

  • Represent the Museum before a variety of tribunals on diverse matters of law. 

  • Oversee any HR and legal department employees. 

  • Act as staff liaison to Board Committees as requested. 

  • Other duties as required and/or requested. 

Other Duties and Responsibilities 


Museum Safety Captains are responsible for maintaining records, rehearsing safety drills and practices, and coordinating department needs related to safety and security of both the personnel and collections in spaces they often occupy.As members of a cross-departmental team, Safety Captains help to keep the institution prepared for the variety of natural and human-impacted crises and circumstances that may affect our resources and visitors. Examples of situations that Safety Captains help to prepare for include medical emergencies, natural disasters, weather-resiliency, emergency evacuations, and secure-in-place events. 

  • Maintain Medical and Emergency supply kits by checking assigned supply statuses quarterly. 

  • Inspect evacuation bags and update rosters quarterly. 

  • Update Emergency policies and procedures in Museum Handbooks within your unit when they change. 

  • Facilitate accurate hazardous materials documentation practices within your unit. 

  • Communicate policies and procedures between Safety Committee and colleagues.Represent safety updates or take issues back from department meetings. 

  • Co-facilitate evacuation drills and tabletop exercises to help prepare unit for multiple emergency scenarios. 

  • Train and refresh staff in your zone on emergency procedures, evacuation routes, fire extinguisher locations, fire alarm pull handles. 

  • Designate backups for safety issues in your absence. 

  • Report unsafe and/or unsecure situations and/or be prepared to address certain situations individually, as appropriate (example: calling for security backup if a visitor seems to be of concern). 

  • In times of emergency, know your role and serve as a point person for that role. 


  • A Juris Doctorate from an accredited law school. 

  • An undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. 

  • A valid, active license to practice law in the State of Hawaii. 

  • Minimum of at least 5 years of legal experience in the areas of transactional, business or corporate law. 

  • Proven ability to work with a wide range of people including both attorneys and non-attorneys in the public and private sector. 

  • Possess a business-oriented approach to problem-solving, tempered by an appreciation for legal complexity and risk. 

  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and work efficiently in high pressure situations while maintaining composure. 

  • Commitment to the goals of the Museum and demonstrated understanding of operations of a museum. 

  • Excellent oral and written communication and project management skills. 

  • Maintains a positive and respectful attitude.  

Other Requirements 

  • Flexibility in working hours, as some evening and weekend work is required. 

  • Must have own car with proof of insurance and valid Hawaii Driver’s license. 

  • Professional business like appearance and demeanor. 

  • Organized, analytical and detail oriented. 

  • Familiarity with Hawaiian or Pacific culture and history a plus.  

Direct Reports 


Legal Assistant and Contract Specialist, Manager of Human Resources