Feb 25: Indian American Attorney Priya J. Harjani, currently senior associate general counsel at Northwestern University, has been promoted to deputy general counsel for the University, effective March 1, Philip Harris, Northwestern’s vice president and general counsel, announced today.
Harjani is a graduate of Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. She obtained her bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is a member of the bar in Illinois and the District of Columbia and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, and the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Priya Harjani has developed and demonstrated exceptional team leadership and collaborative skills,” Harris said, adding that these qualities “complement her mastering of specialty areas that present growing challenges for our clients, including a variety of employment and litigation matters.”
In her new position, Harjani is expected to help manage areas of the Office of the General Counsel and facilitate the performance of more strategic and proactive work by the office.
After working in private practice at a large law firm in Chicago, Harjani joined Northwestern in 2004 as an assistant general counsel. She was promoted to associate general counsel in 2007 and to senior associate general counsel in 2014. She counsels on labor and employment law matters, including terminations, performance issues, reductions in force, discrimination and harassment issues, disability accommodations, leaves of absences, separation agreements, labor grievances and arbitrations, union negotiations and wage and hour issues.
Harjani also represents the University in federal and state court as well as at administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Illinois Department of Human Rights and the Cook County Commission on Human Rights. Additionally, she has experience with athletics, affirmative action, governmental investigations, regulatory compliance, risk management, audits, contracts and community relations.
Harjani serves on various University committees, including the policy review committee, the accessibility committee and many others. She also teaches a graduate-level course titled “Legal and Ethical Issues in Higher Education” in Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy. She serves on various community and civic organizations, as well, including Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago, the Indian American Bar Association of Chicago Foundation and the Midwest Minority In-House Counsel Group. Harjani is also a member of the National Association of College and Universities Attorneys (NACUA) and a frequent speaker at NACUA conferences.