General Counsel

OIST Graduate University invites nominations and applications for a senior lawyer to serve as the University’s General Counsel.  The successful candidate should have experience both internationally and in Japan.  The General Counsel will be a member of the President’s Executive team and will serve as the University’s chief legal advisor.  Reporting to the President, the General Counsel will advise the President and will work collaboratively with the University’s leadership.

The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST; see is a dynamic new graduate university of science and technology in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. The university is located on 85 hectares of protected forestland overlooking beautiful shoreline and coral reefs. The campus is striking architecturally, and the facilities are outstanding (OIST campus video tour). There are no academic departments, which facilitates multidisciplinary research. Outstanding resources and equipment are provided and managed to encourage easy access and collaboration. English is the official language of the University, and the university research community is fully international, with more than 50 countries represented. OIST is rapidly gaining recognition in the worldwide academic community as a model for excellence in education and research.


1919‐1 Tancha, Onna‐son, Okinawa, Japan 904-0495


As OIST grows, its legal challenges become more frequent and more complex.  All operations of the University are affected, including finance, human resources, research, academics, intellectual property, compliance, communications and community services.  Against this back, the General Counsel will manage a small but flexible internal team of strong expertise, networking with external experts with specific skills.  The General Counsel will oversee and administer all legal aspects of the University with a greater understanding of the academic culture and the expectation of an international faculty and will:

  • Provide legal representation, advice, counsel, and opinions in all areas of law affecting the University, including: corporate, student, and faculty affairs; academic programs; promotion and tenure; ethics and research compliance; trademark licensing, intellectual property and technology transfer; international and domestic agreements; the University’s participation in joint ventures with other universities; real estate; employment law; social and medical welfare programs; University policies and procedures
  • Provide advice regarding all legal matters involving outside agencies or complainants
  • Provide legal oversight of issues related to higher education; risk management; important legal documents, contracts and agreements 
  • Bring legal issues and concerns to the attention of senior administration and assists in developing related University policies
  • Participate in discussions of institutional strategy and policy as a member of the University’s Executive team
  • Attend Board of Governors and Board of Councilors meetings
  • Provide legal representation, advice, and opinions in monitoring and resolving disputes that may lead to litigation
  • Arrange for and supervises outside attorneys who provide legal advice or representation
  • Assist as needed with the University responses to external requests for information, reporting, complaints, or citations from external governmental or non-governmental organizations.
  • Manage an internal team, General Counsel Office, to function effectively and efficiently.



  • J.D. or equivalent law degree and a license to practice law in Japan
  • Extensive experience in international and Japanese law
  • Experience with corporate and commercial matters; finance including international procurement, asset management, and accounting; intellectual property, international tax; regulatory affairs International human resources law and litigation; labor/employee relations, employee health and safety; immigration law
  • Internal audit, reports, and requests for information


  • Experience working in an international setting and academic institution is desirable.

Report to 


Starting Date 

As early as possible

Term & Working Hours 

Term: Full-time, fixed term appointment for 3 years. Contract initially with 3-month probationary period (inclusive). This contract may be renewed. 

Working hours: 9:00-17:30

Compensation & Benefits 

Compensation in accordance with the OIST Employee Compensation Regulations

- Relocation, housing and commuting allowances
- Annual paid leave and summer holidays
- Health insurance (Private School Mutual Aid )
- Welfare pension insurance (kousei-nenkin)
- Worker’s accident compensation insurance (roudousha-saigai-hoshou-hoken)

How To Apply 

Apply by uploading your submission documents HERE*.
*This is a secure file uploading system for handling confidential materials.

Submission documents:
- Statement of motive and vision as a General Counsel
- Curriculum vitae in English and Japanese
- Names and contact information of 3 referees, one of which should be a previous employer

or send by post to the following address:
HR Recruiting Support Section

Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University
1919-1 Tancha, Onna-son, Okinawa 904-0495, Japan

If you have any questions, please contact us at recruiting[at]
(replace [at] with @ before using this email address)

Application Due Date 

October 1, 2019 (Applications will be screened upon arrival)


  • OIST Graduate University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action educator and employer and is committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty, students and staff. The University strongly encourages applications from underrepresented groups.
  • Information provided by applicants or references will be kept confidential, documents will not be returned. All applicants will be notified regarding the status of their applications.
  • Please view OIST policy for rules on external professional activities
  • Further details about the University can be viewed on the OIST website