Access Now (accessnow.org) is a growing international human rights organization dedicated to defending and extending the digital rights of users at risk around the world, including issues of privacy, security, freedom of expression, and transparency. Our policy, advocacy, technology, and grants teams have staff presences in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East/North Africa (MENA), North America, and South/Southeast Asia, to provide global support to our mission.
About the Contract
The Of Counsel supports our organization in preventing and mitigating legal risk through compliance, and transactional and operational counsel. The contract is exciting and varied, and alternates between the roles of trusted advisor, researcher, prognosticator, advocate, and negotiator. The role exists alongside a highly talented and dynamic group of lawyers, security experts, accountants, policy wonks, and operations specialists spread across five continents.
As a responsible and diligent lawyer you will support an excellent and growing team – working closely with operations, finance, human resources, and events and security staff to advance the organization’s mission. We estimate around twenty (20) billable hours of work per month.
As Of Counsel, you’ll help us prevent and mitigate legal risk in our operations, and with vendors aligned to our signature RightsCon Series. Your job is to help foresee and overcome legal and regulatory threats to our work, expedite and provide timely responses to staff and client queries, and shape and facilitate our global legal priorities. You will develop two-way communication channels, protocols, and databases to manage our contracting, assist in compliance with public regulations, navigate risks in private tort law, and confront a wide range of scenarios in our many countries of operation.
You’ll be directly interfacing with some of the organization’s other program arms; ideally you will have the legal and some regional knowledge to identify and further synergies with these teams. Among the projects and responsibilities:
- Full support for contracting across the organization, from vendor selection through drafting and execution, and advising on best practices, standards, and model clauses in transactional law;
- Developing and implementing a system to track, expedite, and fulfill legal support requests from Access Now staff, which may include urgent support on contracts, employment law questions, registration of new entities, and the like;
- Facilitating compliance with relevant public and private law and regulation, including through staff training programmes on data protection (GDPR and CCPA to start); defamation, slander, and libel law; harassment, bias, and discrimination; sanctions and export controls; and similar topics;
- Assisting in legal aspects of Access Now’s RightsCon Summit Series, the world’s leading event on human rights in the digital age, such as travel logistics, visa procurement, security, vendor management, and local compliance;
- Serving on the Legal Arm, advising the General Counsel and working alongside the Tech-Legal Counsel to shape the Legal Arm to better support the organization’s Mission;
- Working with Operations team to maintain and further development, finance, security, and corporate registration initiatives;
- Working with Grants team to ensure we comply with relevant laws and manage risks while supporting grantees to the extent possible;
- Managing and building relationships with pro bono counsel, especially in regard to tax, finance, and lobbying compliance, corporate registration, and administrative law issues;
- Supporting fundraising and development staff to ensure grants, donations, and other financial support comply with relevant law and regulation.
You Should Have
Respondents should have comprehensive experience that supports their ability to prevent and mitigate risk. Types of experience that we will be looking for:
- A highly confident and skilled lawyer, with at least one year of experience in an organization or firm
- Understanding of human rights law and practice, the international political system, and/or the internet, with the ability to identify emerging issues and use legal mechanisms to prevent and mitigate threats
- Extremely strategic and creative thinker who can provide expert and tactical advice
- Strong management of competing and urgent tasks, as well as long-term and sustained projects
- Excellent communicator, able to talk publicly to a room as well as privately with team members on- and offline
- Deep respect for cultural, linguistic identity – including gender identity, and regional differences and diversity. This means understanding diverse and differing cultures and political systems, and how to support the team and wider organization in navigating them
Without fail, you will have
- license to practice law in the state of New York
- one year of relevant legal or risk assessment experience and a demonstrable knowledge of relevant compliance, contract, and/or employment law, in the US, and preferably, other jurisdiction
- Excellent spoken, expository, and persuasive legal writing and editing skills, and precise attention to detail
- An advanced degree (or equivalent practical experience) related to law
Please submit a proposal containing your CV, along with a letter outlining your interest, availability, location, and hourly rate/service fees. Proposals may be sent to Access Now’s General Counsel via [email protected] by 29 November 2020.