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In-house Counsel

Unite America

Unite America

Legal
Denver, CO, USA
Posted on Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Unite America seeks a full-time In-House Counsel to join its Operations team. This individual will work hand-in-hand with the Senior Director of Finance and Compliance, as well as the organization’s outside counsel, to ensure the Unite America and its core operating entities operate within the law at all times. The In-House Counsel will help identify, vet and maximize opportunities for political engagement and grantmaking by Unite America entities and serve as an effective legal guardian, providing expert counsel on legal and governance issues. This role will also have the opportunity to contribute to the mission of our organization as we work to foster a more representative and functional government. This is a mid-level position, ideal for someone with at least 3 years of experience as a practicing attorney, preferably with experience in political law and compliance.

Unite America believes that there is strength in diversity and strongly encourages candidates from diverse backgrounds and from across the political and ideological spectrum to apply.

OUR ORGANIZATION

Unite America is a non-partisan, philanthropic venture fund (composed of several legal entities) that invests in candidates, campaigns, and organizations in order to advance nonpartisan election reforms that will foster a more representative and functional government capable of solving America’s most pressing challenges.

Founded in 2014, Unite America and its 25+ person team has grown to be a leader in the democracy reform movement. The organization has existed in its current form, and with its current primary focus, since 2019; in that time, we have successfully mobilized tens of millions of dollars from scores of philanthropists to candidates and reform campaigns across the country.

Recent victories where we played a leading or a major supporting role to win: a major anti-gerrymandering campaign in Virginia; a first-of-its-kind,top-four nonpartisan primary system in Alaska that helped elect one of the most ideologically diverse slate of statewide officeholders in recent history; and a ballot initiative in Nevada to implement Alaska-style reforms in that state. We are poised to dramatically scale our impact in the years to come.

At Unite America, we are working to build a more representative and functional government that puts voters first and reflects the diversity of our country, and an inclusive democracy in which leaders embrace problem-solving over fueling divisiveness. Likewise, we have a vision of building an organization that reflects diverse identities, experiences, and perspectives; a culture of working across differences toward common goals; and a workplace where everyone feels included, respected, and heard. To that end, Unite America is proud to have made diversifying our team, ensuring more equitable opportunity, and fostering a culture of belonging a priority. Our organizational values reinforce this commitment as we work to model the leadership we seek, solve problems together, and take care of one another, to name a few.

THE ROLE

To succeed in this role, you must have sound knowledge and understanding of applicable laws and regulations, including a keen ability to assess multi-state political committee registration thresholds and reporting and disclosure requirements, as well as superior communication skills and an ability to confidently and clearly explain legal concepts to non-lawyer political and operations professionals.

The In-House Counsel will work closely with the Senior Director of Finance and Compliance to prepare and negotiate contracts, grant agreements, and vendor agreements. The In-House Counsel will also lead on board governance work, and will have front line responsibility for managing our outside employment counsel and fielding and triaging employment and human resources, intellectual property and other day to day legal issues.

Unite America’s In-House Counsel will report directly to the Vice President of People and Operations. Ideally, the position will be based at Unite America’s headquarters in Denver, CO, although we may consider basing the position in the Washington, D.C. area for exceptional candidates. Unite America offers a stipend for new hires willing to relocate.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Legal & Regulatory Compliance

  • Assessing state campaign finance and lobbying law registration thresholds, reporting requirements and contribution limits
  • Advising on state election and voting laws - petition signature gathering, ballot access, voter registration, voting methods
  • Reviewing and approving public communications, and actively managing the associated campaign finance reporting function
  • Leading our lobbying, charitable solicitation registration and other similar reporting functions
  • Identifying risks and work with outside counsel to assess and mitigate them
  • Managing relationships with all political compliance vendor(s)

Legal Review & Organizational Management

  • Negotiating and drafting contracts
  • Vetting employees, vendors and grantees
  • Preparing RFPs and reviewing grant applications for compliance with requirements of RFP and applicable laws
  • Managing employee and vendor onboarding related to legal compliance
  • Managing board approval process - identifying matters that require board approval, preparing briefing materials for board review and consideration, drafting resolutions and keeping records of board actions
  • Developing, implementing and monitoring organizational policies and procedures
  • Training employees and vendors on organizational policies, practices and procedures
  • Managing relationships with external counsel; act as primary/initial point of contact for the entire team for all legal/compliance matters, questions, requests, etc.
  • Prioritizing legal & compliance workstreams on behalf of the organization and in support of external counsel’s guidance

WHO WE’RE LOOKING FOR

The lawyer selected for the In-house Counsel position will be responsible for advising on legal issues related to political compliance, contract, and grant agreements, and overall risk mitigation. In addition, this person will come with an entrepreneurial spirit and an orientation to collaboration as they will need to work cross-functionally to achieve their goals. Top candidates will bring stellar partnership, advocacy, and people skills to the role.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • You have at least three years of legal practice experience
  • Law degree from an accredited law school
  • Must have active license to practice law in at least one state and a member in good standing of the bar
  • Advanced knowledge of legal principles and practices related to the subject matter of the attorney's area of practice
  • Strong legal research skills, especially in multi-jurisdictional statutory, regulatory and agency materials research
  • Rigorous attention to detail and highest standards of excellence in execution
  • Ability to track, prioritize, and balance a diverse set of responsibilities
  • Proactive mindset–anticipates and responds effectively to the organization’s needs and actively assists the organization by practicing preventive law
  • Commitment to providing quality legal advice, learning agility (included demonstrated willingness to develop expertise in new subject matters), and a history of enthusiastic participation in a team environment
  • You value “soft skills” in your professional development: clear, timely, and respectful communication, a desire to collaborate, an eagerness to listen.
  • You have a strong desire to fix a broken political system and a passion for our cause.

THE PERKS

  • Competitive Compensation (est. $120-$160K)
  • 401(k) Plan (with up to a 3% employer contribution match)
  • Health Care Plan (medical, dental, and vision)
  • Unlimited Paid Time Off (vacation, sick days, public holidays, and team-wide wellness days)
  • Family Leave (maternity, paternity, and adoption)
  • Paid sabbatical after 4 years on staff
  • Training & Professional Development
  • Wellness Resources
  • Opportunity to join an inclusive, vibrant, and diverse team
  • Ideal location: our office headquarters is in the heart of Denver, CO, although we may consider basing the position in the Washington, D.C. area for exceptional candidates.