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Leake & Watts is a leading nonprofit organization providing children, adults and families in need in the New York City area with the resources and skills needed to rise above adversity and positively direct their lives. Gold Winner of the Nonprofit Excellence Awards, Leake & Watts provides innovative and results-driven programs including education from early childhood to high school, family support and stabilization, intellectual/developmental disabilities services, foster care, community-based health initiatives, and juvenile justice services through the support of over 1300 dedicated staff. Our work is a positive force in the lives of more than 11,000 individuals annually through 43 programs at 27 sites with an annual budget of over $100 million. Significant program expansion is currently underway with overall growth for the coming year expected to exceed 10%.
As a member of the Executive Leadership Team, the General Counsel is Leake & Watts' chief legal advisor, responsible for overseeing the organization’s legal affairs; ensuring that the organization operates within the law and governing regulations, counseling on legal issues, limiting risk exposure, serving as an effective guardian of the organization, providing advice and counsel on a wide range of strategic, tactical and operational issues, and facilitating business operations and development. Reports to Executive Director.
Provide proactive and pragmatic advice and counsel on matters of corporate governance, government and other contracts, contract compliance, insurance, risk management, financial, funding and real estate transactions, and employment and labor issues:
Negotiate transactions, including real estate and financial. Review and draft contracts and agreements including leases, service agreements, and government contracts. Coordinate with outside counsel as needed.
Work closely with Director of Human Resources, ensuring agency operates within current employment laws across all relevant states and markets at all times. Review and manage employee contracts and agreements as well as all internal HR policies, procedures and guidelines. Direct negotiations of Collective Bargaining Agreements and interactions with unions (15% of workforce) in consultation with HR Director, directly or through outside counsel.
Manage internal litigation matters such as responding to subpoenas, addressing complaints both directly and through outside counsel and in concert with insurance company. Monitor outside litigation counsel, when engaged.
Act as primary liaison with the agency’s outside counsel
Review and revise organization’s internal policies.
In partnership with Director of Quality Improvement/Corporate Compliance Officer identify issues, estimate risks strategically, and identify proactive solutions that will eliminate or mitigate risks. Support internal investigation activities.
Keep abreast of broad array federal, state, city and county laws, regulations and legislative changes, and ensure organizational compliance.
Serve as the organization’s point person on non-profit governance and as a critical advisor and resource to agency Board of Directors. Assist with merger and acquisition activities.
J.D. degree with a minimum of 12-15 years of legal experience as a licensed attorney with admission to the New York State Bar
Proven general counseling experience in business environment with broad legal knowledge (corporate law, litigations, employment and labor law, etc.) preferable with senior managerial experience. Not-for-profit experience a plus
Exceptional strategic, analytical, administrative, and written and oral communication skills
Good financial acumen and ability to anticipate legal issues and risks
Ability to work independently, assess priorities, take initiative, handle multiple assignments, meet deadlines and operate in a fast paced environment
Excellent interpersonal skills with willingness and ability to roll up one's sleeves as well as have a collaborative approach to working with colleagues throughout the organization
Driven by strong ethics, able to support the integrity and standards of agency
Appreciation for the culture and realities of working within a mission focused, non-profit human services agency