General Counsel-Denver, CO
Organization: Work for Progress
Position Title: General Counsel
Location: Denver, CO
Hours & Compensation: Full time
Application Deadline: March 28, 2014
The Public Interest Network is made up of dozens of organizations, including the state Public Interest Research Groups, U.S. PIRG, state environmental groups in 29 states, and Environment America. Together, the groups of The Public Interest Network employ more than 500 staff, who wield a full arsenal of time-tested strategies for change, including organizing, advocacy, research and policy analysis, litigation and socially responsible investing. The Public Interest Network’s mission is to build the power of citizens to move the world toward a greener, more fair, just and democratic future. A sampling of current campaigns include: working to stop dirty, destructive oil and gas drilling, protecting our rivers and streams, curbing global warming pollution and promoting clean, renewable energy, getting big money out of politics, reining in the high costs of healthcare and prescription drugs, and closing corporate tax loopholes to make sure corporations are paying their fair share. We also work closely with the Fund for the Public Interest, which conducts fundraising, membership-building, and other organization-building efforts on behalf of organizations both inside and outside the network.
The Public Interest Network’s in-house counsel department provides legal services to Environment America, USPIRG, the Fund, and dozens of state and national affiliated organizations. We seek an Assistant General Counsel who is passionate about the issues we are working on and committed to helping organizations achieve real change on these issues. The primary practice areas include employment law, benefits, First Amendment issues, non-profit corporate and tax compliance, campaign finance, election law, lobbying, charitable solicitation regulation, and contracts.
Responsibilities of the Assistant General Counsel include:
• Employment Practices: Advising on employment matters and employment benefits systems, ensuring compliance with employment laws, training of all staff managers and review of employment materials, and defending against employment-related claims.
• Corporate and Tax Compliance: Fostering sound corporate governance practices including establishing procedures for conducting and documenting corporate board meetings, maintaining the organizations’ good standing with federal and state corporate and tax regulators and ensuring compliance with IRS guidelines relating to lobbying and political activities of nonprofit organizations.
• First Amendment: Representing the organization’s right to conduct door-to-door and street canvassing in cities and towns across the country.
• Contracts: Drafting and reviewing contracts, leases, grant agreements, and other legal documents.
• Advising: Advising network staff on legal questions, troubleshooting problems, reviewing draft materials, addressing litigation issues, and responding to other matters in a variety of legal practice areas.
• Risk Management: Working with the organizations’ leaders to reduce liability risk through adopting policies that protect the organizations from legal exposure.
The ideal candidate will have a J.D., excellent academic credentials, at least two years of legal experience working in one or more of the practice areas described above, and a strong desire to commit to nonprofit and political work.
Successful candidates will also bring the following skills and attributes to the position:
- Demonstrated understanding of employment law and tax exempt law;
- Excellent verbal & written communication, research and negotiation skills;
- Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously in diverse legal subject areas;
- A team orientation that combines strong leadership, congeniality and creativity to drive and motivate others;
- An outstanding work ethic and the ability to propose and drive organizational change;
- Enthusiasm for the mission of The Public Interest Network and its member organizations to effect grassroots social change, and a goal-oriented, activist orientation;
- Ability to interact confidently with board members, executives, representatives of government agencies, members of the public, and brand new staff in need of basic legal training.
- Prior experience working with or advising nonprofit organizations. Firsthand experience doing organizing, issue advocacy, or political work is a plus.
Denver, CO preferred. Top-notch candidates in Boston, MA also considered.
How to apply
To apply online, click here. Please specify that you are applying for the Assistant General Counsel position, and be sure to mention how you found out about this opening.