Senior Advocacy Counsel

  • Arabella Advisors
  • Washington, DC; Chicago, IL; or Durham, NC
  • Jul 23, 2021
Full time Compliance Customer Service Law Legal Nonprofit-Social Services

Job Description

A creative, flexible problem-solver who will bring 5-7 years of advocacy compliance experience to bear in support of the next phase of Arabella’s client work The Senior Advocacy Counsel role is an awesome opportunity to apply legal expertise to achieve global impact through a variety of social sector initiatives. Working under the direction of Arabella’s Lead Advocacy Counsel, this person will advise Arabella staff on the legal rules that affect nonprofit advocacy, including tax law constraints as well as federal, state and local lobbying and elections laws.  We seek a creative, flexible problem-solver who will provide legal technical expertise in advocacy compliance to support Arabella’s work with nonprofits, fiscal sponsor projects, foundations, and family and individual philanthropist clients. This position will also have significant responsibility for internal training and support of Arabella’s advocacy specialists. Working with the Lead Advocacy Counsel, the Senior Counsel will coordinate with multiple nonprofit and fiscal sponsor organization clients that Arabella manages, including the 501(c)(3) New Venture Fund and 501(c)(4) Sixteen Thirty Fund. The position will provide counsel to our account teams, who work with nonprofit clients to ensure compliance with federal tax law, the federal Lobbying Disclosure Act, state lobbying and elections regulation, and other compliance issues that arise in the day-to-day management of the advocacy activities of tax-exempt organizations.  The Senior Counsel will also help coordinate consultation with outside counsel on specific issues arising from specific activities of nonprofit projects, knowing when a solution can be provided in-house and when specialized expertise is required. Acting as a force-multiplier this position will also contribute to in-house resources supporting advocacy oversight by the Arabella compliance team.  Essential ResponsibilitiesClient Services (~80%) 

  • Serve in the General Counsel’s Office to provide client counsel on advocacy issues. 
  • Provide sound legal advice and collaborate with staff and Lead Advocacy Counsel to creatively problem-solve advocacy compliance issues in order to get to “yes.”  
  • Provide advocacy law expertise to staff and clients related to fiscal sponsorship project work, including advising on federal tax law, plus federal, state and local laws that regulate the activities of nonprofit corporations. 
  • Contribute to coordination of advocacy legal matters and decisions with the managed nonprofit organizations’ (MNPOs) general counsel, including negotiating legal decisions to better serve clients, and communicating MNPO legal decisions to relevant internal stakeholders. 
  • Work with outside counsel as necessary to address capacity or technical knowledge gaps or oversee project-specific legal compliance. 
  • Identify and develop curricula for staff training on legal rules and compliance procedures relevant to advocacy work.  
  • Support the work of the Lead Advocacy Counsel in monitoring and evaluating risk to Arabella related to this position’s areas of expertise. 
  • Coordinate with colleagues on the legal team to provide comprehensive legal services to achieve Arabella and client goals. 

  Business Development (~10%) 

  • Advise the business development team on areas relevant to expertise and provide support for relevant sales strategies. 
  • Provide general information about legal issues related to client scopes that include advocacy activities. 
  • Consult with business development team on specific project proposals and client interests to ensure appropriately compliant advocacy activities.

 Strategy and Service Development (~10%) 

  • Support the General Counsel and Lead Advocacy Counsel in implementing strategies to achieve outcomes set by executive leadership for the practice. 
  • Stay abreast of developments in nonprofit advocacy compliance to inform all aspects of the firm’s business and to support firm services. 

 To be successful in this role, you’ll need: 

  • J.D. and license to practice law in a relevant Arabella jurisdiction. 
  • 5-7 years of relevant professional experience with steadily increasing job responsibilities. 
  • Demonstrated technical knowledge of nonprofit corporate and tax law and laws regulating lobbying and political activity by nonprofits. 
  • Experience advising client service or working within nonprofit organizations; the ability to provide excellent service, including being able to effectively guide teams to achieve service standards and carry out strategy, and identify service offering gaps and recommend and/or drive improvements.  
  • The ability to foster a team culture that encourages creative problem solving, and to ensure teams have resources and training to overcome complex challenges; demonstrated experience creatively addressing client needs. 
  • Experience collaborating and communicating across various internal and external stakeholder groups. 
  • The ability to establish and manage effective relationships with diverse stakeholders across the firm, including executive-level colleagues, and to foster a culture of courteous professional interactions.
  • The ability to model and foster a team-wide culture of inclusion, collaboration, and knowledge sharing; to demonstrate and model appreciation for significant team contributions; and to mediate challenging interpersonal conflicts. 
  • Comfort with sales and service development. 
  • Demonstrated commitment to equity and a proven ability to work inclusively with diverse teams, audiences, and stakeholders; the ability to take initiative for creating an inclusive environment and model and implement equitable policies, practices, systems, or strategies.  
  • Ability to navigate a fast-paced environment and balance responding to immediate opportunities with maintaining a strategic, long-term perspective. 
  • The ability to manage resources across team to ensure projects and goals are achieved, approve work plan changes and final deliverables, and communicate projects’ progress with critical stakeholders. 
  • The ability to effectively communicate critical firm-wide messages, and to lead others in managing challenging conversations and developing complex communication skills.
  •  A light-hearted and flexible approach to work. 


Social Service, General-Other: Legal, Strategic Planning-Intelligence, Risk Management-Compliance


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