Vice President, Legal Resources

Location: DC Metro Area

Type: Full-Time

Industry: Non-Profit

Our client, Council on Foundations (“Council”), is searching for a Vice President, Legal Resources. Reporting to the President & CEO and serving as a member of the senior leadership team, the Vice President, Legal Resources will be responsible for devising strategy and overseeing all legal, regulatory and member-responsive legal issues for the Council, periodically representing the Council in front of federal agencies and Congress in close partnership with Government Affairs, and interpreting policies and issues affecting grant makers to a broad external public.

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed within are representative of the knowledge, skills, minimum education, training, licensure, experience, and/or ability required.

Primary Job Duties and Responsibilities

Strategy and Organizational Leadership

  • Leads strategy and execution of the legal resources team to advance the Council’s mission and serve members.
  • Provides legal guidance and counsel directly to the President and CEO, Leadership team and Board and Board Committees as requested.
  • Provides and supervises others in offering prompt and accurate legal information to Council members, Council staff, members of the media, policy makers and relevant members of the general public on issues affecting foundations and philanthropy.
  • Serves as Council legal expert in presentations to Council members including at Legal Matter courses and during Legal Office Hours, to other membership organizations, and to colleague organizations.
  • At the request of the Council’s Government Affairs team, supports the Council’s work with regulatory agencies including the IRS and Treasury and helps write comments and requests for changes in tax policy/regulations
  • At the request of the Council’s Government Affairs team, supports the Council’s work with the Joint Committee on Taxation and professional staff of the tax-writing committees with the objective of promoting an interpretation of the laws that advances the greater good and is favorable to foundations and philanthropy.
  • Works with the publications team to develop new chapters of the Legal Compendium, including authoring chapters or working with outside authors.
  • Develops written guidance and web resources for funders on relevant legal issues and the impact of federal legislation on their work.
  • Supports the Council’s responses to media, requests for information regarding the Council’s practices, or complaints regarding the Council and/or its members.
  • Supervises Legal staff for consistent service and responses that align with organizational values to internal and external constituencies.
  • Oversees the relationship between National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations and the Council on Foundations. Along with Director of National Standards, develops and executes strategy for positioning Standards in policy initiatives.
  • Serves on the organization’s Executive Leadership Team.
  • Monitors staff performance and progress toward departmental goals.
  • Directs all legal activities for the Council affecting philanthropy.
  • Creates news programs and services for members that align with the Council’s vision and strategy and advance philanthropic understanding or practice in areas related to the law and ethics.
  • Represents Council as a speaker a variety of topics at the request of national philanthropy networks and various legal organizations
  • Stays abreast of, analyzes and interprets new laws and issues affecting philanthropy, foundations and the Council as they occur.
  • Provides oversight, strategic guidance and legal expertise to National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations, as requested.
  • Responsible for the successful execution of Legal Resources Department activities including:
    • Providing information on legal issues to Council members and the broader philanthropic;
    • Serving as peer liaison and coordinating learning and action among the General Counsels of member organizations to support their work;
    • Developing content for publications on legal issues;
    • Reviewing curricula and Council publications to ensure key legal issues are appropriately covered;
    • Considering how best to amplify our legal expertise in the Council’s long term strategic direction;
    • Providing legal expertise to Council staff in key programmatic areas;
    • Developing and presenting legal education and training for Council staff, Council members, and interested outside parties on a variety of issues affecting grant makers.
  • Models the Council’s commitment of diversity, equity and inclusion and leads efforts to embed this commitment in the legal resources’ team’s work and in other organizational systems and programs.
  • Exercises discretion, independent judgment and maintains confidentiality in leading the Council’s legal resources.
  • Works well with other employees, functions as a team player and accepts constructive suggestions for improving job performance from supervisors and managers.

Role Requirements

  • College degree, law degree and admission to practice law in some jurisdiction required (preference for District of Columbia).
  • 10+ years legal experience with expertise in tax law, philanthropy and exempt organizations; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Previous supervisory and senior level management experience is required.

General Skills and Competencies

  • Strategic leader with deep experience and relationships in the nonprofit and/or philanthropic sector
  • Ability to speak, communicate, instruct and write clearly in order to interpret complex legal issues to non-lawyer professionals
  • Demonstrated success in forming and maintaining productive collaborations, and in developing consensus among diverse groups while addressing competing needs
  • Familiarity with the Federal legislative and regulatory process
  • Familiarity with uniform state laws related to tax exempt organizations
  • Strong understanding of exempt organization tax law especially as it applies to philanthropy
  • Strong interpersonal skills, problem-solving skills, and presentation skills
  • Strong supervisory skills
  • Effective management of stakeholders
  • Strong attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, ability to listen well and positively represent the organization and its mission.
  • Ability to identify and solve problems efficiently and quickly.
  • Ability to manage many and/or differing tasks and maintain productivity.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a diverse team.
  • Ability to work effectively and positively with a range of individuals and working styles, and with people at all organization levels including staff, board members, foundation officers, donors, and vendors.
  • Experience supervising and coaching junior, mid-level staff and senior staff.
  • Proficient skill in Microsoft Office 365 applications.

Work Environment and Physical Demands

The work environment and physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • This position operates in a professional office environment and routinely uses standard office equipment.
  • The ability to sit, stand or walk for long periods of time (8+ hours/day).
  • The ability to lift up to 20 lbs. (with or without assistance).
  • The ability to push, pull, bend, kneel, reach, stoop, and crouch.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job includes near, far, peripheral and depth and ability to adjust focus (with or without the use of corrective lenses).

Travel Requirements

  • Ability to travel up to 25% domestically, including overnight trips.

Please note, this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this position. Activities, duties, or responsibilities may change at any time with or without notice. The requirements listed above are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required.

Salary and Benefits

  • We offer a competitive salary that is based on the market value and is commensurate with experience.
  • We offer a generous benefits package, including health, dental, vision, life, and disability insurance and a 403(b) plan with a 7% employer contribution.
  • We also offer 13 paid holidays, 2 floating holidays per year, 20 vacation days per year, paid time off the week between December 25th and January 1st, and 10 sick days per year.

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