The In House Counsel role will support Democracy Forward’s  overall operations and be housed in the Executive Office. 

The role is key in fostering a culture of excellence.  The In House Counsel will collaborate with the Executive Office, the Division of People, Culture, and Operations, and all divisions to provide legal, ethics, and compliance advice and develop systems and processes for maintaining organizational compliance. 

The In House Counsel will report to the CEO, and work closely with the Chief of Staff and Chief People, Culture, and Operations Officer and support all organizational divisions. 

Key Responsibilities

  • Strategic thought partner and advisor who can advise DF’s divisions and the Executive Office on a range of issues
  • Create systems for contract review and preparation of contracts. 
  • Provide employment advice and counsel, working in collaboration with outside counsel as necessary. This includes reviewing salary letters, personnel policies, advising on personnel issues, and other compliance and ethics items of a growing organization. 
  • Advise and strengthen DF’s  governance processes, including managing conflicts of interest, collecting information from DF’s  board to staff, managing a list of all external activities of DF’s staff/board.
  • Work with the Legal Division to advise on professional ethics issues, manage malpractice insurance, review all engagement letters, co-counsel agreements, and other agreements within the context of the legal practice.  
  • Stay abreast of  developments around non-profit best practices, political law practices, and non-profit organizations and flag any areas of consideration. Attend conferences or semi-annual trainings with the Elias Law Group. 
  • Collaborate across divisions, including regular collaboration with Policy & Public Affairs, Oversight and Strategic Initiatives, , Operations, and Executive teams
  • Assist and advise Executive Office on governance and board relations
  • Serve as organizational spokesperson as necessary 

Essential skills and qualifications 

  • Experience advising multiple stakeholders in an in-house or general counsel role with a record of increasing experience and leadership  
  • Experience managing complex workflows
  • Experience caring for highly sensitive and confidential information
  • Superb interpersonal skills, with an impressive history of forging strong relationships with stakeholders 
  • Comfortable leading, managing and influencing in a non-hierarchical structure
  • Ability to work under pressure, manage conflicting priorities and navigate ambiguity 
  • Demonstrated commitment to Democracy Forward’s mission
  • Self-awareness, commitment to diversity and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds
  • Commitment to workplace inclusion and ability to contribute affirmatively to a just and equitable workplace culture
  • Demonstrated ability to handle sensitive and confidential situations using tact and diplomacy
  • Collaborative leadership style with the ability to develop relationships of trust and confidence with colleagues across teams and departments
  • Outstanding communications skills, both written and verbal, and demonstrated ability to quickly learn new subject matters
  • Minimum of five (5) years of in-house role or experience in complex organization advising diverse stakeholders with a record of achievement, leadership and increasing responsibility
  • JD degree required
  • Can be remote, with expectation of frequent travel to DC. 

Democracy Forward provides a competitive, lockstep and transparent compensation and benefits package. The salary range for senior counsel positions is $150,000 – $160,000, based on years of relevant experience and seniority. Democracy Forward is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We encourage applications from all qualified individuals. We strongly encourage people of color; lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex people; women; people with disabilities; and veterans to apply. 

Meet some but not all of our qualifications? Don’t let that deter you from applying. If you believe that you could excel in our organization and believe in our mission, we hope you apply. We are dedicated to considering a broad array of candidates, including those with diverse workplace experiences and backgrounds. Whether you are new to non-profit or legal work, returning to work after a gap in employment, looking to transition from another field, or taking the next step in your career path, we hope to hear from you. Please use your cover letter to tell us about your interest in our work and what you would bring to the role for which you are applying.