The Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) is seeking an experienced attorney to join our team-oriented environment to manage legal matters for the organization. CRS is growing 501 c.3. nonprofit organization that works to promote policy and market based solutions to advance sustainable energy, here in the United States and also internationally. This position will oversee legal work for the organization, provide timely and thoughtful legal counsel to the Board, management team and staff, support legal needs of our program activities, and ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
A significant portion of the work of the General Counsel will be related to creating/managing contracts for CRS’s Green-e certification programs and other program activities, and protecting/maintaining CRS’s intellectual property, including CRS’s registered trade and certification marks. CRS’s work is becoming increasing international, so experience with international IP and/or contractual issues is important.
CRS is fortunate to have several well-established firms offering pro bono assistance, and the General Counsel will be the primary point of contract to manage the work and support from these firms.
General Functions: To manage overall legal needs of the organization, including exposure to liability, standard form contracts, including certification contracts, steward CRS’s intellectual property portfolio, and provide legal advice to the CRS Board and staff as needed.
Staff Position: Part-time, exempt (approximately 30%), reporting to the Executive Director.
Location: General Counsel will be onsite at least one day per week at CRS’s San Francisco office, and may conduct other work either in the office or remotely.
- Review, negotiate and draft a variety of contracts and other agreements, and oversee the contract management function, including ensuring that contract processes are up-to-date and effective
- Lead process to update/create standard form contracts for certification programs
- Manage contract negotiations and modifications
- Provide legal advice to management as needed
- Review contracts with respect to insurance, indemnity, and confidentiality requirements
- Manage intellectual property portfolio, including management of appropriate registrations, and internal policies needed to maintain trademark/certification market rights
- Manage relationships with outside legal representation (firms providing pro bono assistance, and others)
- Represent CRS as required in arbitrations, mediations, depositions, court appearances, or other legal proceedings
- Analyze and control exposure to liability
- Provide counsel on the state, federal and international rules that apply to CRS
- Serve as a broad-based resource for staff legal concerns and collaborate to find practical answers to a diverse range of legal questions associated with CRS’s work and operations
- Interact and engage with legal representatives of partner organizations, funders, government agencies, and businesses using CRS certification services
Qualifications and Preferred Skills
- 5 plus years of contract law and/or intellectual property experience at a law firm, in-house, or a combination of the two
- Interest in supporting the work of the organization
- Excellent commercial contract drafting and negotiation skills
- Organized, process-driven and internal client-focused team player
- Law degree from an accredited U.S. law school and license to practice law in the State of California preferred
- Strong analytical skills and demonstrated ability to understand complex legal concepts and offer succinct explanations and counsel to colleagues
- Experience with, and working knowledge of, the federal and state laws applicable to 501(c)(3) public charities
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to explain complicated legal concepts to non-legal colleagues in understandable terms
- Self-starter with the ability to work independently but with the judgment to know when to seek guidance