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General Counsel

The Public Interest Network
$75,000- $125,000/ year
Posted Mar 08
Full Time
On Site

The Public Interest Network seeks a General Counsel who is driven and passionate about the issues we work on to lead our in-house legal department. Our legal department provides legal services to groups in our national network of environmental and public interest organizations on a wide variety of matters and practice areas.

Key Responsibilities The General Counsel directs the Public Interest Network’s legal department. They work closely with leadership of our Network and of the organizations within the Network to allow those groups to achieve their missions while maintaining corporate health, protecting organizational assets and creatively thinking of ways to achieve change. This position requires excellent judgment, discretion and the ability to oversee significant projects. Responsibilities may include but are not limited to:

  • Directing the legal department: Driving the plans and priorities for the legal department, including developing and managing a department budget, work flow protocols and training programs for network staff on legal and compliance matters.
  • Corporate and Tax Compliance: Fostering sound corporate governance practices, maintaining the organizations' good standing with federal and state corporate and tax regulators.
  • Employment Practices: Advising on employment and labor matters and benefits systems.
  • Election Law and Campaign Finance: Advising groups on options and structures for election-related work, including advising on non-partisan voter registration drives, neighborhood voter contact programs, tracking and reporting to FEC and state agencies, and guidelines for fundraising and communications.
  • First Amendment and Charitable Solicitation: Representing our organizations’ right to conduct door-to-door and street canvassing in cities and towns across the country.
  • Contracts and legal documents: Drafting and reviewing contracts, leases, grant agreements, and other legal documents.
  • Risk Management: Working with our organizations’ leaders to adopt policies that reduce liability risk.
  • Managing a team: Recruiting, training and managing Assistant and Associate General Counsel, an administrator and interns or fellows. Cultivating relationships and working with Outside Counsel as needed.

Qualifications A J.D. is required. The ideal candidate will have excellent academic credentials, ideally 8-16 years of legal experience working in one or more of the practice areas described above, and a strong commitment to nonprofit and political work.

Successful candidates will also bring the following skills and attributes to the position:

  • Excellent verbal and 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 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;
  • Comfort working with both the most senior staff (CEO, Vice Presidents, Executive Directors, other senior management staff) on major organizational strategies, and with training brand new staff on basic relevant legal principles in an understandable way; and
  • Prior experience working with or advising nonprofit organizations. Firsthand experience doing organizing, issue advocacy, or political work is a plus.

Compensation and Benefits The starting compensation range for this position is $75,000-$125,000 and depends on relevant experience and education. Candidates on the low end of directly relevant experience should expect to be on the lower end of this range; candidates on the higher end of relevant experience are likely to be on the higher end of this range. Non-legal experience in non-profit operations, advocacy, or organizing may be counted as relevant. The Public Interest Network offers an excellent benefits package. Our benefits package includes medical, dental, and vision insurance for employees and dependents, paid time off, our commuter benefit program, a 401(k) plan with employer match, parental leave, long term disability insurance, and may include needs-based student loan assistance. We also offer an excellent training program and opportunities for advancement.

Location Greater Philadelphia, PA or Denver, CO area preferred

Apply Apply online here:

About The Public Interest Network The Public Interest Network operates and supports more than a dozen organizations – including PIRG and Environment America and their state affiliates – committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to change.

Our work focuses on the problems that arise from America’s single-minded pursuit of endless economic growth: We’re still burning fossil fuels even though it’s changing the climate. We keep giving antibiotics to healthy livestock, even though it leads to “superbugs” that are antibiotic-resistant. We use plastic products for a few minutes only to throw them away so they pollute the oceans for centuries.

And our approach is unique: We focus on the big picture, but are relentlessly pragmatic and prioritize making a difference in people’s lives over making a statement. We work with everybody to make change happen, political ideology aside, championing good ideas wherever they come from. And we are serious about the work -- we set clear goals, benchmarks and systems to measure our progress, and hold ourselves accountable to making change now and building for the future.

This unique approach gives our staff an opportunity to make a concrete difference for the environment and the public interest -- just as hundreds of dedicated staff have done over our 50 year history. If you want to add to this change-making legacy; if you have the passion and the drive that it takes; if you're looking for a mission, not just a job -- then let’s talk.

Our Mission and Values Why work with The Public Interest Network? Here are ten reasons:

The Public Interest Network operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change. Visit for things you should know about our network when you apply.

Fund for the Public Interest is an equal opportunity employer.

COVID-19: We take COVID-19 safety very seriously. Employees must follow our COVID safety protocols and be fully vaccinated and boosted. Accommodations are provided to the extent required by law.

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