Commercial Counsel

Cengage Group
Posted Jan 19
Full Time
Boston, Massachusetts
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We believe in the power and joy of learning

At Cengage Group, our employees have a direct impact in helping students around the world discover the power and joy of learning. We are bonded by our shared purpose – driving innovation that helps millions of learners improve their lives and achieve their dreams through education.

Our culture values diversity, engagement, and discovery

Our business is driven by our strong culture, and we know that creating an inclusive and diverse workplace is absolutely essential to the success of our company and our learners, as well as our individual well-being. We recognize the value of diverse perspectives in everything we do, and strive to ensure employees of all levels and backgrounds feel empowered to voice their ideas and bring their authentic selves to work. We achieve these priorities through inclusive programs, benefits, and initiatives that are integrated into the fabric of how we work every day. To learn more, please see

We are seeking a highly motivated, pragmatic, business-oriented transactional attorney with an operational mentality and significant subject matter expertise in copyright law to join Cengage’s global commercial legal team

The Commercial Counsel will report to and support the SVP, Deputy General Counsel, Commercial Legal, with a diverse range of responsibilities, primarily focused on the structuring and negotiation of a variety of commercial transactions, including distribution agreements, vendor agreements and other types of enterprise agreements. The position will be remote first with a willingness / ability to travel as needed.

What You’ll Be Doing

  • Review, draft, negotiate, and close all types of commercial contracts, including enterprise-level IT subscription agreements (e.g., SaaS), intellectual property agreements, including in-bound and out-bound license agreements, distribution agreements, author / publishing contracts, agreements to support strategic partnerships for integration of tech into Cengage products and/or digital distribution, product development and technology agreements.
  • Be an active and trusted partner with members of Legal, Product, Procurement, Finance, and other teams across Cengage
  • Support and train other members of the legal and operations teams as needed on commercial contracting standards and principles (e.g., common terms in vendor-generated master services agreements and SaaS agreements).
  • Partner with procurement team to continually refresh contracting guidance and processes with the goal of standardizing whenever possible
  • Partner with Contract and Legal Ops to develop and refine contracting policies, processes and workflows, including ongoing improvement of contract templates and playbooks with an eye toward effectiveness and scalability
  • Stay current on IP, privacy and other laws, regulations, and developments related to education to provide the most effective advice.

What You’ll Bring To The Role

  • Ability to translate legal issues and ambiguity into clear and simple guidance, to communicate effectively with non-legal colleagues, and to support and inspire innovation
  • Consistent track record of quickly understanding sophisticated products while identifying key issues and risks, and offering creative solutions
  • Proven experience as a strong collaborator and communicator
  • Strategic problem solver who can take a step back and see alternative ways of solving challenges
  • Understanding of the quarterly business model and the need to work with an appropriate sense of urgency while prioritizing multiple interests, tasks and projects
  • Proven track record developing and maintaining strong relationships with internal partners and providing excellent client service
  • Team-oriented and with a sense of humor and humility

And extra credit if you have experience / interest in any of the following:

  • Work involving artificial intelligence (AI)!
  • Creating standard templates, contracting policies and procedures, and providing training to non-legal colleagues!
  • Prior work at a major education technology or Intellectual property focused company

Interpersonal Competencies & Success Factors

  • Ability to collaborate with colleagues globally and take a business-centric approach while identifying and balancing risks and providing succinct, accurate, and pragmatic advice.
  • Exceptional analytical, problem-solving, decision-making, and risk assessment skills.
  • Independent judgment, attention to detail, a desire to learn, and an ability to address and prioritize a wide variety of sophisticated matters.
  • Creative problem-solving ability with a focus on achieving client-friendly solutions to improve revenue, minimize risk, and promote long-term relationships.
  • Ability to be flexible and operate effectively when faced with certain levels of ambiguity, while always maintaining the highest standards of ethics and integrity.
  • Adept at taking on new opportunities and challenges with high energy, and passion
  • Embody the Cengage Ethos – put learning first, set the bar higher, do more together, embrace the unknown and be candid.

Skills You Will Need Here

  • J.D. from an ABA accredited law school and admission to, and active license in good standing with, a state bar. Can be licensed in any state.
  • 3+ years of relevant commercial transactional experience in a law firm or in-house legal department with an emphasis/focus on copyright law, including familiarity with statutory terminations under the Copyright Act
  • Comfortable working independently and as part of a team, and to handle multiple, concurrent high-priority projects in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong business sense and operational approach
  • Demonstrated ability to provide practical, business-focused legal advice
  • Ability to positively influence behavior of multiple collaborators
  • Ability to think strategically, effectively identify risks and propose mitigation strategies while balancing needs of the business
  • Ability to work well on a team and establish rapport and trust with internal and external partners
  • Ability to make sound decisions / recommendations based upon available information
  • Comfortable navigating change with a keen ability to adjust as needed and remain productive
  • Possess highly-developed organizational skills and be thorough
  • Shows personal commitment towards development, proactively seeking feedback with a receptiveness to coaching on areas for growth
  • Shows up in an honest and authentic way with curiosity and an eagerness to learn the business in order to understand strategy, challenges, recognize needs, problem solve, anticipate issues, and develop solutions

Cengage Group is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. We do not discriminate based upon race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status, marital status, parental status, cultural background, organizational level, work styles, tenure and life experiences. Or for any other reason. You may view Cengage’s EEO/Affirmative Action Policy signed by CEO Michael Hansen and Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law notice by visiting their corresponding links.

Cengage Group is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities in our job application procedures. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, you may contact us at or you may call us at +1 (617) 289-7917.

About Cengage Group

Cengage Group, a global education technology company serving millions of learners, provides affordable, quality digital products and services that equip students with the skills and competencies needed to be job ready. For more than 100 years, we have enabled the power and joy of learning with trusted, engaging content, and now, integrated digital platforms. We serve the higher education, workforce skills, secondary education, English language teaching and research markets worldwide. Through our scalable technology, including MindTap and Cengage Unlimited, we support all learners who seek to improve their lives and achieve their dreams through education.

Base Pay Range

The full base pay range has been provided for this position. Individual base pay will vary based on work schedule, qualifications, experience, internal equity, and geographic location. Sales roles often incorporate a significant incentive compensation program beyond this base pay range.

$131,600.00 - $210,600.00 USD