Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts. Pew Research Center’s work is carried out by a core administrative and publishing unit and several research projects that study U.S. politics and policy views; media and journalism; internet and technology; religion and public life; Hispanic trends; global attitudes and U.S. social and demographic trends. Pew Research Center was founded in 2004 with 50 employees and today continues its evolution as a dynamic and fast-paced organization with approximately 130 employees.
The Director, Legal Affairs is a newly created position in a dynamic, growing, fast-paced organization. The person in this position will help the organization transition from exclusively using outside legal counsel by establishing in-house legal capacity with risk-management responsibilities, working with specialized outside legal counsel as necessary. The primary duties of the position include providing general legal advice and support to the executive team, senior staff and Pew Research Center’s board of directors as well as overseeing all legal matters and transactions related to the Center’s operations. The Director, Legal Affairs will work with the President, Vice President and other members of the executive team to identify, assess and minimize legal and reputational risk; protect intellectual property; conduct pre-publication review as necessary; draft, review and negotiate a broad range of contracts and agreements in connection with the Center’s research and operations; partner with human resources to provide guidance on complex employment and benefits issues, and meet on a monthly basis with the General Counsel of The Pew Charitable Trusts.
This position requires superior analytical, written and oral communications skills, including the ability to clearly and correctly summarize and present issues and recommendations for addressing those issues. The person in this position should have business and financial acumen and the ability to understand the goals of the organization in order to counsel staff on how to achieve those goals consistent with informed and properly mitigated legal and business risks. This position may be part-time (minimum of the equivalent of four days per week) or full-time. The Director, Legal Affairs reports to the President.
Overview of Legal Oversight
- Establish an in-house legal presence to support the evolving business needs of a dynamic, fast-paced and growing organization, including providing best practices and operating standards related to business, regulatory and strategic matters. Stay up-to-date on relevant developments in the areas of non-profit regulations, tax-exempt organizations, contract law and employment law.
- Advise the executive team on compliance with federal and state laws and regulations, as well as related business concerns, such as risk assessment and mitigation, intellectual property, business ethics, and new initiatives.
- Counsel staff on legal issues associated with their subject matter, evaluate risk potential and offer potential solutions to help staff achieve outcomes. Become a trusted internal resource while proactively preventing or preparing for any potential legal or compliance need.
- Serve as a liaison to and assist the Vice President in accessing outside counsel to ensure Pew Research Center receives the best legal guidance possible at the appropriate cost.
Intellectual Property, Contracts and Publishing
- Partner with Pew Research Center’s research and administrative staffs in drafting, reviewing, updating and negotiating a broad range of documents in connection with the Center’s partnerships and operations, including proposed research projects, contracts and agreements.
- Draft terms of service and privacy policies, social media guidelines, and publishing and partnership agreements.
- Advise the organization on publishing matters, including protection and use of copyrighted content and related intellectual property issues.
- As needed, conduct pre-publication review of research reports, editorials, online publishing, press releases, presentations and other documents intended for public dissemination.
- Partner with communications and other senior staff to correct factual inaccuracies regarding the work of the Center and help determine appropriate response to criticism.
Governance and Compliance
- Work with the Vice President to promote sound non-profit governance practices by establishing and maintaining procedures for board meetings and drafting amendments and resolutions as needed. Assist the Vice President (Secretary and Treasurer to the board of directors) in preparing board meeting minutes.
- Provide legal counsel to the board of directors, officers (President and Vice Presidents) and senior staff, as requested.
- Ensure compliance with IRS guidelines relating to activities of nonprofit organizations.
- Serve as primary point of contact for the finance department on tax issues and provide legal review of Pew Research Center’s Form 990 and other tax documents.
- Oversee the Center’s record- and document-retention policies and implementation.
- Provide support and advice to the human resources director and staff for all questions that arise in the context of complex employment and benefits issues, including issues related to hiring, terminating employment and performance management.
- Ensure compliance with employment laws.
- A J.D. degree and a minimum of eight years of legal experience, including employment, benefits and general corporate law, are required.
- Significant expertise and experience in the areas of intellectual property and prior experience working with tax-exempt organizations are strongly preferred.
- Demonstrated success in legal practice including the ability to perform substantive legal research; draft, review and negotiate a variety of agreements; and analyze complex legal and factual issues;
- Experience working on matters of corporate governance and with a board of directors is preferred.
Knowledge and Skill Requirements
- The ability to understand the goals and structure of the Pew Research Center and to counsel staff on how to achieve those goals consistent with informed and properly mitigated legal and business risks.
- Ability to resolve problems creatively and effectively; to identify underlying issues in complex situations; and to apply relevant expertise and experience to diverse legal questions.
- Superior analytical and written and oral communications skills, including the ability to clearly and correctly summarize issues and recommend next steps.
- Leadership skills, seasoned judgment, high integrity, and the ability to learn quickly, gain credibility and influence the organization.
- Self-confidence, strong interpersonal skills, and the capacity to develop productive relationships at all levels.
- Ability to juggle multiple priorities, manage projects, organize time, and identify resources for projects.
Applicant should send a résumé, cover letter (indicating where you learned of the opening) and salary expectations to firstname.lastname@example.org. Responses can also be mailed to:
Human Resources Department
Pew Research Center
1615 L Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036
We are an equal opportunity employer.