Meet Your Policy and General Counsel Team

Left to right: Courtney James, Bill Mullowney, Solange Fernandez Del Pino and Leslie Golden

One Valencia team you might be hesitant to work with is the Policy and General Counsel team. Thanks to Hollywood exaggerations and preconceived notions about lawyers, it wouldn’t be unusual for you to think of the team as uptight, perhaps even intimidating.

Think again.

Comprised of four remarkably un-Hollywood-like individuals who boast nearly 40 collective years of service to the College, Valencia’s Policy and General Counsel team (Vice President for Policy and General Counsel Bill Mullowney;  Associate General Counsel Leslie Golden; Paralegal Courtney James; and Executive Assistant Solange Fernandez Del Pino) isn’t devoted to wreaking legal havoc. What they are devoted to is supporting and empowering Valencia’s community of employees, students and others.

Describing his team as the “ultimate support team,” Bill explained, “our office is here to help everybody else at the College do their jobs with a little more confidence. We help ensure people can do their jobs in compliance with law, best business practices and Valencia policies.”

So, what does that entail? In addition to partnering with Vice President of Public Affairs and Marketing Jay Galbraith to promote Valencia’s mission through government affairs and supporting the District Board of Trustees, Bill’s team partners with individuals and departments across the College to ensure Valencia is working within the often complicated web of higher education laws, regulations and accreditation requirements.

Basically, Bill explains, “Our job is to help folks work through complicated issues in a way that supports our mission, helps students and promotes learning.”

This means that the team works as generalists to address any number of issues or questions pertaining to risk management, Valencia policies or general legal counsel.

On any give day, Leslie says, they could be working on a number of issues and encounter new questions or topics that challenge them to think outside the box — something the entire Policy and General Counsel team thoroughly enjoys.

“It’s the kind of job where no two days are the same, which is, I think, something we all like about it,” she said.

Currently, the team is focused on projects like reviewing Valencia contracts and development agreements (particularly with the preparation for the new Downtown Campus underway); partnering with Employee Relations to resolve employment issues; addressing student issues and supporting efforts with respect to records management. You can also find them developing or modifying policies and partnering with colleagues to help them manage potentially risky projects or developments.

What you won’t find them doing, however, is saying “no” to everything (yet another Hollywood-driven stereotype).

“We work really hard to create an atmosphere where people feel confident that we’re not going to put up obstacles,” Leslie explained. “We’re going to listen, understand and help them act decisively.”

In doing so, the team relies on legal expertise, but also their passions for helping others in the higher education environment as well as basic people skills.

“We have the legal/policy point of view,” Solange explained, “but we also have the practical and humanistic views of the issues. We put these perspectives together and it eases things.”

As such, the team is more than happy to help with any questions an employee might have — whether they’re looking for legal guidance about a project or have questions or concerns about a policy. And don’t worry about exactly who to contact, the team says. Just pick up the phone and call anyone on the team and they’ll steer you in the right direction.

For more information about the Policy and General Counsel team, including individual biographies, click here.

2 Comments

  • Jay Galbraith said:

    This is the best legal team in America! Great servant leaders who love Valencia and our mission!

    PMTue, 07 Nov 2017 18:48:53 +0000Tue, 07 Nov 2017 18:48:53 +0000pm17,6:48 pm

  • LIsa Musrock said:

    What a nice article. This group works super-hard and they are a great team!!

    AMWed, 08 Nov 2017 08:41:57 +0000Wed, 08 Nov 2017 08:41:57 +0000am17,8:41 am

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