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Arnold Ventures is a philanthropy whose core objective is to maximize opportunity and minimize injustice. We are dedicated to tackling some of the most pressing problems in the United States. We invest in sustainable change, building it from the ground up based on research, deep thinking, and a strong foundation of evidence. We drive public conversation, craft policy, and inspire action through education and advocacy.

Position Overview

Reporting to the Assistant General Counsel, the Senior Counsel will serve as the primary legal contact for the Arnold Ventures’ Advocacy Team, acting as a thought partner and strategic business advisor with respect to: (1) government affairs activities, policy-related communications, advocacy activities, and political engagement; (2) advocacy grantmaking and related matters; (3) internal training activities; and (4) broader legal team initiatives and special projects. The successful candidate will possess an ability to take initiative, assess priorities, and manage multiple assignments. This position will be in either our Washington, D.C. or Houston, Texas offices. 

The legal team helps Arnold Ventures advance its objectives by providing solutions-oriented, high-quality legal advice and counsel. Our team of professionals provides legal advice and services to Arnold Ventures’ board, leadership, and programmatic and administrative teams. Our work touches upon a wide range of substantive legal areas, including tax, corporate governance, labor and employment, lobbying disclosure requirements, campaign finance, and general contract law. On any given day, the legal team might support complex grant-making activity, structure consulting and vendor arrangements, advise on advocacy initiatives, negotiate operations contracts, or support any other number of business activities. 

Core Responsibilities

  • Serve as the primary legal team support for the Arnold Ventures’ Advocacy team
  • Stay up – to-date and advise on laws applicable to private foundations, public charities, donor advised funds, and social welfare organizations, including IRS (Internal Revenue Service) lobbying, state and local lobbying laws, ballot initiative and campaign finance rules, self-dealing, and gift and ethics rules
  • Provide legal representation on all matters related to Arnold Ventures’ policy and advocacy activities, including supporting the General Counsel and Assistant General Counsel in providing advice and counsel to senior leadership; engaging with outside counsel and advisors on advocacy, government affairs, and political law; and reviewing and advising on all policy-related external communications and grantmaking
  • Serve as a leader on the legal and operational teams, including building collaborative relationships and proactively identifying opportunities for team and individual improvement 
  • In collaboration with other legal team members, develop internal policies and guidance and design, organize, and conduct trainings for program and operations staff on a variety of topics, such as grantmaking structures, advocacy, lobbying, and political activity
  • Provide legal and business solutions that balance prudent and succinct legal advice with effective risk assessment and that are responsive to internal and external needs in a complex and high-profile organization
  • Evaluate grant proposals, grant reports, and Advocacy team activities for legal compliance and provide strategic feedback to the Advocacy team to minimize legal risk while meeting the organization’s business needs
  • Review, draft, and negotiate a broad range of grant agreements, consulting agreements, vendor agreements, and MOUs
  • Collaborate with Arnold Ventures’ Grants, Finance, Data Systems and Technology, and Accounting teams to continually support and improve Arnold Ventures’ grant-making and legal processes
  • Occasional travel expected

Required Qualifications

  • J.D. with a minimum of 8 years of relevant legal experience 
  • Prior law firm experience, with a preference for transactional or business experience 
  • Exceptional project manager with extraordinary organization skills and attention to detail
  • Familiarity working with a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) vehicle
  • Experience advising nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations broadly
  • Substantial experience advising organizations on federal, state, and local lobbying laws, ballot initiative and campaign finance rules, and gift and ethics rules
  • Ability to translate complex legal concepts for nonlawyer audiences and demonstrated experience in conducting engaging legal training for nonlawyers
  • Ability to provide sound legal judgment and demonstrate business acumen and integrity

We ask that you include a cover letter in addition to your resume when applying. The cover letter should be no more than one page and focus on the following: 1) legal experience, 2) key examples that highlight your skills/​abilities for the role, and 3) what makes this role the right next step in your professional career. Cover letters will be used to assess communications and writing skills.

Our Culture and Core Values

Our culture seeks to inspire and empower our people to innovate and develop bold ideas that will help Arnold Ventures achieve lasting impact. Our culture, and the core values that support it, should create an environment that spurs our team to think outside the box, feel comfortable pushing the boundaries of what is possible, and signal confidence in our team’s ability to make change happen through our philanthropic efforts. Although not an exhaustive list, below you’ll find examples of Arnold Ventures’ work culture. 

  • We are adaptable and comfortable with ambiguity. 
  • We are intellectually curious, open-minded, objective, humble, collegial, and receptive to feedback. 
  • We are action-oriented with strong self-direction and self-motivation skills with the ability to work simultaneously on multiple projects. 
  • We interact confidently and collaboratively with team members and navigate relationships with external experts, government leaders, advocates, and individuals impacted by the justice system. 

Arnold Ventures’ values are integral to our lived experience. They genuinely reflect who we are as an organization, help us accelerate our strategic goals, strengthen our resolve, anchor us to our mission, and guide our decision-making. The successful candidate will also demonstrate the following core values that inspire the Arnold Ventures team to make a difference. 

  • Respect for Ourselves & Others 
  • Audacious Action
  • Collaborative Engagement
  • Depth of Thought 
  • Clear Communication

Arnold Ventures is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, gender identity, marital status, or sexual orientation.

Acknowledging the importance of diverse perspectives, Arnold Ventures is committed to employing individuals from a variety of backgrounds and with a variety of experiences. Members of historically marginalized communities and candidates who have been impacted by the systems we are seeking to change are strongly encouraged to apply.



Arnold Ventures funds projects to understand problems and identify policy solutions.