Director, Litigation Law

$137,759 - $206,638 yearly
  • Metra
  • Hybrid (Chicago, IL, USA)
  • Jun 25, 2024
Full time Legal

Job Description

Metra’s Law Department is led by the General Counsel who reports directly to the CEO and the Metra Board of Directors. The department provides legal guidance and support to the Board of Directors, the executive team and every department in the organization. The department is comprised of three areas: General Corporate/Ethics, Litigation and Risk Management and Real Estate and Grants. The department focuses on preventing legal issues at every feasible level and defending the agency’s position if issues arise.

Reporting to the Deputy General Counsel, the Director Litigation is responsible for ensuring the Litigation section effectively oversees and represents the agency in state and federal courts, primarily in Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), personal injury, and property damage matters; will provide leadership and direction to assigned in-house litigation team and retain and manage outside counsel; and advise the Deputy General Counsel with respect to ongoing litigation and investigations that may lead to litigation. 

The primary duties include: 

Provide leadership and direction on FELA, personal injury, and property damage matters; oversee all phases of litigation and other proceedings handled by assigned in-house litigation team and outside counsel; and develop and implement litigation strategies, tactics, and case analyses. 

Partner with the Deputy General Counsel in the management of litigation staff including hiring, disciplinary actions and/or termination procedures, coaching, training, performance evaluation and monitoring, conflict resolution, and mentoring. 

Provide guidance to internal management and relevant stakeholders on tort liability matters; negotiate settlement agreements; and implement litigation  initiatives. 

Supervise and coordinate claims investigations, perform risk assessments, and determine when and how to resolve claims with input from the Risk Management department. 

Keep abreast of industry-specific regulations and ensure appropriate legal and risk management strategies are in place; and conduct legal research and analysis of facts and information to provide counsel and guidance on legal questions and issues. 

Approve time off, coordinate staff schedules, fill vacancies as necessary, and ensure compliance with departmental and company policies and objectives.

Decide/implement staffing decisions, performance evaluations, and performance improvement, disciplinary, and/or termination procedures.

Make recommendations regarding hiring, performance evaluations, disciplinary and/or termination procedures.

Candidates can expect salary offers that range from the minimum to the mid-point of the salary range. Metra provides full pay ranges, so candidate can consider their growth potential.

Metra is a railroad employer subject to the provisions of the Railroad Retirement Tax Act, not the Social Security Administration.

Job Requirements:

1. Must possess a Juris Doctor (J.D.) Law Degree and an active member, in good standing, with the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA).

2. In addition to #1, must have a minimum of ten (10) years of litigation experience and expertise including at least ten (10) jury trials to verdict. 

3. Must have five (5) years of supervisory or management experience including hiring, disciplinary and/or termination procedures, coaching, training, performance evaluation and monitoring, conflict resolution, mentoring legal staff. and budget management. 

4. Comprehensive knowledge of:

  • the FELA, personal injury, and tort laws. 
  • litigation practices to interpret and offer advice to internal teams.
  • pertinent state and federal laws and regulations as well as legal rulings, interpretations, and court decisions. 

5. Proficient in Microsoft 365 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint); with familiarity with other business-related, legal case management, and on-line legal research tools e.g. Adobe and Westlaw.

6. Strong:

  • written and verbal communication and interpersonal skills to influence others, establish and maintain collaborative relationships, negotiate, present arguments, and perform legal editing.
  • strategic, analytical, and problem-solving skills to develop and implement legal policies and procedures.
  • leadership, organization, and decision-making skills. 

7. Ability to:

  • exercise independent judgment and discretion as case information is of a confidential and sensitive nature.
  • work in stressful conditions under tight time constraints and evaluate risks. 
  • effectively and efficiently manage outside counsel consistently and within budget.
  • mentor others.

8. Northern District of Illinois Trial Bar Certification or be eligible for certification.

9. Admission to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit or be eligible for admission.

10. All appropriate licenses as prescribed by the Illinois Supreme Court and the U.S. District Court of Northern Illinois. 

11. Must be:

  • able to operate a vehicle and be willing to travel within and outside of Metra's 6-county region.
  • available to work flexible hours in the early morning, late afternoon, evenings, or weekends.


Metra employees in an active review period under the current discipline policy or who have documented attendance or performance issues will not be considered and/or selected for this position.


Please note: Regardless of any state laws that legalize marijuana, Metra prohibits applicants and employees’ use or possession of marijuana (or marijuana paraphernalia), or having detectable amounts of marijuana in their bodies, including synthetic and/or non-synthetic substances such as THC for any reason for pre-employment screening purposes, while on duty, subject to duty, on Metra property, or in Metra work equipment and vehicles.

Metra is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. It is our policy to fill vacant positions with qualified candidates without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, gender identity, disability, or any protected categories, assuming an individual can perform the essential functions of the job with or without accommodation.

Metra is committed to ensuring that our career website and recruiting process are accessible to all individuals. If you encounter difficulties or limitations in using or accessing our online application, or if you require reasonable accommodations to complete this application, participate in interviews, complete any pre-employment testing, or engage in any other aspect of the employee selection process, please direct your inquiries to