CIEL, a 501(c)(3) organization, is searching for a dynamic leader to join us as the General Counsel.
Reporting to the President and Chief Executive Officer, the General Counsel is charged with providing independent, strategic legal guidance and management of organizational legal risks and opportunities. In this new General Counsel role for CIEL, you will partner with leadership to develop a strong legal framework in support of organizational effectiveness and innovation, nonprofit corporate, legal compliance, employment, labor, contract, and intellectual property, and risk management. Additionally, you will direct outside counsel in the event of litigation and advise on a wide range of matters, including evaluating and mitigating legal exposure and risk, and defense against SLAPP litigation. You will also provide input and advice on governance issues to the Board of Directors.
This role will be a great fit for you if you are a highly experienced and skilled in-house attorney with a track record of non-profit legal work, and commitment to social and environmental justice. You must strategically think about the big picture and how to always improve our legal systems and practices. You thrive and remain steady under pressure, efficiently manage priorities and projects, and possess great attention to detail.
Advise executives, senior management, and board on various matters such as legal rights, policy issues, internal governance, new and existing laws, legal trends, and mitigation. Emphasis will be placed on nonprofit corporate, legal compliance, employment, labor, contract, intellectual property, evaluating and mitigating legal exposure and risk, and defense against SLAPP litigation.
Collaborate with the Director of Talent, Equity, and Culture to ensure personnel policies and practices adhere to CIEL’s values and applicable law.
- Develop and maintain a strong legal framework in support of organizational effectiveness, innovation, compliance, and risk mitigation, and ensure best practices are followed.
- Establish an efficient, effective system for reviewing external communications to minimize legal exposure and risk.
- If and as necessary, lead and drive successful litigation strategies, in coordination with outside counsel, to defend the organization and activists, including in SLAPP suits.
- Collaborate with core leadership team to ensure CIEL maintains appropriate document retention policies and practices.
- Ensure high-quality contract review systems to protect organizational interests.
- Analyze and interpret issues and prepare legal opinions.
- Anticipate issues and estimate risks strategically, identifying proactive solutions that will eliminate or mitigate risks.
- Create and maintain strong working relationships with skilled outside attorneys across multiple practice areas and movement coalitions.
- Liaise with external consultants and counsel, including in Geneva, as needed.
Compliance and Legal Matter Management
- Ensure organizational compliance with federal, state and local laws, including non-profit corporate and tax, lobbying for 501(c)(3) organization.
- Optimize and oversee compliance, including working closely with the Chief Financial Officer and HR Director to support and provide legal guidance on HR policies, compliance with employment and labor laws, financial regulation, and clean financial audits.
- Support Chief Financial Officer in ensuring timely charitable fundraising registrations and compliance with fundraising regulations, such as licensing forms and other statutory filings.
- Examine and create draft agreements, such as employment and vendor agreements.
- Maintain knowledge of organization’s operations and legal documents.
- Create new entities and manage the organization’s intellectual property.
- Minimum 7 years of legal experience with 3 years in an attorney management role, including a track record for translating strategic thinking and legal analysis into action plans, outputs and results
- Outstanding judgment and creative problem-solving skills, including negotiation and conflict resolution skills
- Ability to thrive and make decisions in a fast-changing and deadline driven environment, including managing multiple priorities and projects, anticipating future needs and maintaining attention to detail
- Exceptional and persuasive written and verbal communicator, including experience working with non-lawyers and explaining complex legal concepts in a comprehensive way
- An intrinsic and unwavering support for justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace and beyond
- Ability and willingness to travel domestically and internationally as needed
- Juris Doctor degree from accredited law school and current state license to practice law
- Knowledge of statutes, rules and regulations pertaining to businesses and nonprofit organizations
- Knowledge of legal documentation procedures and requirements.
- Ability to develop and implement legal strategies and solutions.