The University of Tennessee Research Foundation is the technology transfer organization for the University of Tennessee. Through offices in Knoxville and Memphis, UTRF manages the commercialization of inventions and discoveries developed across the UT system. UTRF’s technology transfer objective is to identify and protect UT intellectual property that represents potential products and services, and to find private sector partners to bring those new products and services to market. UTRF also uses its status as an independent non-profit corporation to support special projects that help the University of Tennessee fulfill its research and economic development missions.

Job Functions/Responsibilities

The duties of the Staff Attorney will be:

  1. Providing legal advice and support to UTRF licensing staff and management. This will include negotiation, drafting, and review of UTRF contracts such as CDA/NDAs, IP license agreements, MTAs, and research agreements.
  2. Reviewing intellectual property provisions in University research contracts and advising campus research administrators regarding such.
  3. Ongoing review and oversight of agreements associated with UTRF special projects for corporate risks, and preparing executive briefings for UTRF senior management.
  4. Serving as UTRF Corporate Secretary.
  5. Providing continuing education to the University community regarding applicable policies, practices, and laws.
  6. Assisting in UTRF’s license administration and compliance activities.

The Staff Attorney is not required to hold a USPTO registration; the preparation and prosecution of patents is not a required duty of this position. The position is located in Knoxville, TN and will report to the UTRF president. The Staff Attorney must have the ability to work independently as well as manage and prioritize multiple projects.


Required Qualifications:

  • Due to export control restrictions the successful candidate must be a U. S. citizen or resident alien with a green card.
  • Juris Doctor (JD) degree from an ABA-accredited law school.
  •  Current Tennessee law license, or ability to complete licensure within 6 months of start date.
  • 5+ years of experience handling technology or IP contracts, or corporate transactions.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills, with meticulous attention to detail.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Familiarity with patent or copyright law.
  • Bachelor of Science in technical-related discipline.
  • Litigation experience.

The Staff Attorney will be a full-time University of Tennessee employee, eligible for all UT health, retirement, and other benefits.

Please apply with cover letter, resume, and references.

Primary Location

Knoxville, Tennessee


UT Research Foundation