Legal Counsel

April 3, 2020
1014 Torney ave., CA
Job Type


Organization Description

Tides Advocacy is a team of political, legal, and financial experts that identify, connect, and fuel movements for social justice and the health of our democracy. We leverage our 25-year progressive network, navigate the rules, and solve problems in order to make advocacy.

Tides Advocacy has over 85 partners who represent activists, donors, movement leaders, lawyers, researchers, and journalists who are promoting equity, justice, and dignity for all. They are engaged in ballot, electoral, and legislative campaigns as well as public education and charitable activities.

From funder advised funds to fiscal sponsorship, grants management to risk management and more, Tides Advocacy gives members of the nonprofit and philanthropic community freedom to focus on the change they want to see. For more information, please visit

Position Summary

The Legal Counsel is a member of a dynamic Legal, Risk and Compliance (LRC) Team that supports the Tides entities (501(c)(3) and Tides Advocacy, a 501(c)(4)), their employees and partners on a wide array of legal and compliance matters. Under the supervision of the Senior Legal Counsel, the Legal Counsel will advise on legal matters and resolution of legal claims, provide legal support to Tides and Tides Advocacy’s fiscally sponsored projects, and support a number of other legal and compliance areas, including jurisdictional reporting, special events, insurance management, new partner vetting, partner separations, internal investigations, contract review, and periodic staff training. In particular, the Legal Counsel will assist Tides Advocacy and its fiscally sponsored projects with tax law issues related to Tides Advocacy’s 501(c)(4) status, campaign finance laws, and other laws applicable to political engagement and strategy, as well as support all Tides organizations on federal and state lobbying compliance, 501(c)(3) advocacy engagement and cost-sharing issues.

The Legal Counsel must be able to think proactively and creatively, provide strategic and legal advice and consultation, work cross-departmentally, support and manage strategic initiatives, including in connection with staff and partner education, and be committed to supporting Tides’ mission.

The Legal Counsel is an exempt position. Exempt employees are expected to work the appropriate and necessary time in order to complete key assignments and related tasks on schedule.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Fiscally Sponsored Project Guidance and Support

· Advise projects on tools and requirements for legal compliance.

· Work with and coordinate outside legal advice to support success and compliance of fiscally sponsored project work.

· Work with Compliance Manager to develop tools and resources to support effective jurisdictional reporting and registrations.

· Stay up to date regarding key changes to law and latest trends and provide strategic advice to protect the organizations’ operations and partners.

· In partnership with staff of other departments, including staff of fiscally sponsored projects, track risk and compliance inquiries/issues – including those related to HR, finance and programmatic activities – recommend solutions, and escalate appropriate issues to others as needed.

· Track, research, and help structure and resolve any legal issues raised by new partnership opportunities.

· Provide legal support in structuring separation of fiscally sponsored projects from Tides Center and Tides Advocacy.

· Respond to inquiries from within the organization on domestic and international matters, including taxes, contracts, insurance, risk management, licensing, and organizational policy.

· Research and analyze specific legal questions and prepare memoranda setting forth research results as requested by the General Counsel.

Compliance and Risk Management

· Assist in managing corporate compliance program associated with fiscally sponsored projects, including: fiduciary duties of advisory boards, conflicts of interest, business registrations, and insurance compliance.

· Investigate and evaluate the legal implications of compliance issues, and recommend operational changes or alternative policies and procedures.

· Issue spot to identify structural and operational risks associated with programs and recommend substantive updates to enhance policies and procedures.

· Identify practical tools to support internal and project staff in understanding and complying with risk management policies and procedures.

· Support other members of the LRC team with respect to policy roll-out and input, as needed.

Contract Review

· Support drafting, reviewing, and negotiating existing or proposed nonstandard contracts, and reviewing modifications to Tides’ standard contracts as needed.

· Review and revise, as needed, internal legal documents, such as cost sharing agreements, grant agreements; consulting contracts; employment-related documents; software license and other information technology-related agreements; subscription agreements; template documents (Agreement for Services, Revenue Agreement, MOUs); legal policies and procedures; communications with governmental authorities; and operational and governance policies.

· Investigate and evaluate the legal implications of compliance issues raised by proposed contractual agreements, and recommend operational changes or alternative policies and procedures.

· Explain, as needed, contracts and contract provisions to partners and internal staff.

· Recommend substantive updates to process of contract review to enhance compliance and support efficiency of review.

Strategic Initiatives and Partner and Staff Training

· Actively assist the larger LRC Team in developing effective legal, risk and compliance education and training tools and memos for fiscally sponsored projects and staff, including by leading at least one all-staff training annually.

· Identify areas of partnership with Tides staff, train staff on legal topics relevant to the organization, including internal policies and procedures and compliance with applicable laws. Assist in updating and creating new training sessions as needed and offer solutions to help staff achieve desired outcomes.

· Provide additional flexible support to other departments, as necessary.

· Engage in continuing education to ensure that the organizations remain compliant with respect to changing areas of the law.
Department Support

· Support legal team education / management of resources.

· Other duties as assigned by General Counsel.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

· Ability to hold self and others accountable for high-quality, timely, and effective results.

· Adapts easily to working with a variety of stakeholders and to the varying needs of the organization, while maintaining a strong voice for legal compliance.

· Demonstrates commitment to meeting the needs of internal and external clients; ability to strive for high level of satisfaction.

· Strong ability to cooperate and work collaboratively toward solutions that generally benefit all involved parties.

· Demonstrates ability to engage in a direct, truthful, and professional manner; ability to present accurate and appropriate information.

· Exercises excellent judgment in handling confidential information and other potentially-sensitive matters.

· Strong communication skills, with ability to understand and communicate effectively with different stakeholders in different fields of expertise.

· Commitment to Tides’ Vision, Mission and Approach.

· Maintains high-level and consistent work ethic.

· Proficiency with MS Office suite of products.

· Strong verbal and written communication skills.

Education and Experience

· Doctor and CA Law License required.

· 3-4 years’ experience in the areas of general corporate, tax, and/or nonprofit law.

· 2+ years’ experience with relevant lobbying disclosure and campaign finance laws.

Application Instructions:

Please submit a resume and a thoughtful cover letter online. Your cover letter should express your interest in working for Tides and your qualifications for the role. You may also share your detailed LinkedIn profile with us. Tides is an Equal Opportunity employer. We value diversity and inclusion and we look forward to reviewing applications from all who are qualified to apply.

Equal Employment Opportunity:

Tides is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage applications from women, people of color, and bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, or medical condition including acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and AIDS-related conditions. Also pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we encourage and will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

Applicants with Disabilities:

Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.

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