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Assistant General Counsel

Arnold Ventures

Arnold Ventures

Houston, TX, USA
Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Arnold Ventures is a philanthropy whose core objective is to maximize opportunity and minimize injustice. We are dedicated to tackling some of the most pressing problems in the United States. We invest in sustainable change, building it from the ground up based on research, deep thinking, and a strong foundation of evidence. We drive public conversation, craft policy, and inspire action through education and advocacy.

Position Overview

The legal team helps Arnold Ventures advance its objectives by providing solutions-oriented, high-quality legal advice and counsel. Our team of professionals provides legal advice and services to Arnold Ventures’ board, leadership, operational, and programmatic teams. Our work touches upon a wide range of substantive legal areas, including tax, corporate governance, labor and employment, lobbying disclosure requirements, campaign finance, and general contract law. On any given day, the legal team might support complex grant-making activity, structure consulting and vendor arrangements, advise on advocacy initiatives, negotiate operations contracts, or support any other number of business activities.

The Assistant General Counsel will be responsible for assisting Arnold Ventures’ General Counsel with oversight of Arnold Ventures’ legal affairs, including leading the legal team. The successful candidate will be both a skilled generalist in the private foundation context and a content expert in one or more specific legal areas affecting Arnold Ventures. The Assistant General Counsel will be a thoughtful leader and proactive partner with a genuinely held belief that no task is too big or too small. The Assistant General Counsel will report to the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel and will be based in Arnold Ventures’ Houston office.

Core Responsibilities

  • Advise on laws applicable to private foundations, public charities, and social welfare organizations, including IRS rules, state and local lobbying laws, ballot initiative regulations, self-dealing, gift and ethics rules, and campaign intervention regulations
  • Supervise and manage a team (56 lawyers), supporting individual and collective professional development and skill building
  • Ensure the legal team provides consistent, timely, and high-quality guidance and work product, and generally outstanding client service, to all relevant stakeholders
  • Develop strategic priorities and annual goals for the legal team and in partnership with leaders across the organization to meet business needs
  • Identify needs and draft guides, templates, and other materials for a variety of compliance areas
  • Develop, refine, and maintain internal policies and procedures
  • Identify, develop, and deliver regular training to Arnold Ventures staff on relevant legal issues, including grant terms and structuring, conflicts of interest, federal, state, and lobbying rules and disclosures, and campaign finance
  • Draft, review, and negotiate a broad range of grant agreements, consulting agreements, and MOUs, and ensure consistency in each legal team member’s approach to same
  • Oversee and manage budgets and relationships with outside counsel and advisors
  • Track corporate filing and reporting requirements and coordinate with outside counsel in respect thereof
  • Work in partnership with Accounting team to identify relevant disclosures and support compliance with ongoing IRS reporting requirements
  • Serve as a thought partner to the Grants, Finance, and Operational Planning teams
  • Stay current on developments in areas of the law affecting Arnold Ventures, its associated entities, and its grantees

Required Qualifications

  • J.D. required
  • 10 years of experience including prior law firm and in-house experience
  • Subject matter expert in laws applicable to private foundations, donor-advised funds, 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations, and public charities
  • Strong leadership, people management, and relationship-building skills
  • Expertise, or familiarity and a desire to quickly build expertise, in lobbying, campaign finance, political, and gifts and ethics laws
  • Demonstrated ability to exercise independent judgment in a fast-paced, continually evolving environment
  • Exceptional project management and organizational skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, with the ability to communicate complex legal concepts to non-legal audiences

We ask that you include a cover letter in addition to your resume when applying. The cover letter should be no more than one page and focus on the following: 1) legal experience, 2) key examples that highlight your skills/​abilities for the role, and 3) what makes this role the right next step in your professional career. Cover letters will be used to assess communications and writing skills.

Our Culture and Core Values

Our culture seeks to inspire and empower our people to innovate and develop bold ideas that will help Arnold Ventures achieve lasting impact. Our culture, and the core values that support it, should create an environment that spurs our team to think outside the box, feel comfortable pushing the boundaries of what is possible, and signal confidence in our team’s ability to make change happen through our philanthropic efforts. Although not an exhaustive list, below you’ll find examples of Arnold Ventures’ work culture.

  • We are adaptable and comfortable with ambiguity
  • We are intellectually curious, open-minded, objective, humble, collegial, and receptive to feedback
  • We are action-oriented with strong self-direction and self-motivation skills with the ability to work simultaneously on multiple projects
  • We are able to interact confidently and collaboratively with team members and navigate relationships with external experts, government leaders, advocates, and individuals

Arnold Ventures’ values reflect who we are as an organization, help us accelerate our strategic goals, strengthen our resolve, anchor us to our mission, and guide our decision-making. The successful candidate will also demonstrate the following core values that inspire the Arnold Ventures team to make a difference.

  • Respect for Ourselves & Others
  • Audacious Action
  • Collaborative Engagement
  • Depth of Thought
  • Clear Communication

Arnold Ventures is an equal opportunity employer, committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, military/​veteran status, or any basis prohibited by applicable law.

Acknowledging the importance of diverse perspectives, Arnold Ventures is committed to employing individuals from a variety of backgrounds and with a variety of experiences. Members of historically marginalized communities and candidates who have been impacted by the systems we are seeking to change are strongly encouraged to apply.