Get to Know KIPP Public Schools and the Foundation:
KIPP Public Schools is a national network of public charter schools that prepares students with the skills and confidence to create the future they want for themselves, their communities, and us all. We are a network of 280 schools, nearly 15,000 educators, and 175,000 students and alumni.
Our Mission: Together with families and communities, we create joyful, academically excellent schools that prepare students with the skills and confidence to pursue the paths they choose—college, career, and beyond—so they can lead fulfilling lives and build a more just world.
Our Vision: Every child grows up free to create the future they want for themselves and their communities.
The KIPP Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports KIPP schools across the country. The KIPP Foundation trains and develops outstanding educators to lead KIPP public schools; provides tools, resources and training for excellent teaching and learning; promotes innovation; and facilitates the exchange of insights and ideas across KIPP and other public schools and organizations.
What You’ll Do:
The General Counsel (GC) is responsible for advising the Foundation and Board on all legal matters impacting KIPP Foundation and the network of KIPP schools. As a strategic partner to the CEO and senior leadership, the General Counsel will provide legal guidance and solutions, advising the CEO and senior leaders on various strategic matters with legal implications. This position will thus provide a blend of both legal and business services enabling KIPP Foundation to reach its mission. As a member of the leadership team, the General Counsel will report to the Office of the CEO, and will interact frequently with other senior leaders. In this role, you must have mental, emotional, and intellectual strength and agility to navigate challenging landscapes. The General Counsel is expected to work closely and effectively with board members.
Key Responsibilities and Duties:
- Advise the CEO and senior leaders on mission-critical strategic priorities that implicate legal, policy, and regulatory matters. Execute strategies to resolve strategic matters with legal implications.
- Partner with the CEO and Board on all legal matters impacting KIPP Foundation; provide legal advice and support to all internal teams and leaders.
- Serve as a critical business partner to the office of the CEO in advancing the organization’s mission
- Prepare reviews and negotiate contracts, legal documents, and business agreements; drafts, review, and approve contracts between KIPP Foundation, vendors, service providers, as well as KIPP Schools and related entities.
- Ensure that KIPP Foundation conducts its operations according to applicable federal laws, state laws, and regulations including employment laws.
- Represent the Foundation before all legal forums including governmental and regulatory agencies, courts, and arbitration bodies; provide direction and oversight for government reviews, investigations, and other state entities.
- Facilitate and manage the appropriate use of outside counsel and coordinate legal operations/issues as needed.
- Draft initial corporate bylaws for all KIPP Schools and related entities.
- Draft and file 1023 Applications (e.g., Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code) for all KIPP Schools and related entities; respond to all IRS inquiries regarding each application.
- Draft and review various legal documents (including leases, service agreements, and license agreements) for KIPP National and all KIPP Schools and related entities.
- Provide legal analysis and counsel regarding various issues (including employment and real property) for KIPP National and all KIPP Schools and related entities.
- Plan and conduct regular training sessions regarding applicable legal issues for KIPP School Fellows, School Leaders, and National staff.
- Monitor and review federal and state legislation concerning charter schools.
- Display ethical and professional behavior in working with students, parents, school personnel, and outside agencies associated with the school.
- Protect the confidentiality of records and information in possession of counsel about staff, and use discretion when sharing any such information.
What You’ll Need to Succeed:
- Vision Setting & Strategic Clarity – Shape organizational vision and redesign the structure and governance of the organization to better meet long-term objectives; define a clear long-term vision for the organization, setting the bar for excellence in goal setting for the organization; lead in rethinking the vision and program in light of current and upcoming organizational realities; can paint a compelling picture of new opportunities and develop/evolve strategies to ensure organization success.
- Strong Capacities in Executive Execution- Articulate a clear and actionable vision for operational excellence, with the capacity to project manage using dashboards and other relevant tools; adept at prioritizing and pivoting according to evolving organizational needs, with aptitude in anticipating needs and fashioning solutions as they arise to ensure excellence and pace.
- Relentless Focus on Solutions and Results—Able to internalize the strategic direction and outcomes desired by the organization and their leadership team; agile at both informing clients what they can and cannot do while offering creative counsel for business solutions that enable the organization to advance its mission
- Champion for Racial Justice, Equity, and Inclusion – Acknowledge systemic racism, power, and privilege in organizations and are committed to dismantling inequities; can inspire and foster a culture of inclusion by building relationships across lines of difference and including the voices of those closest to the challenge we seek to address.
- Strategic & Effective Communications – Leverage strategic partnerships to advance KF’s mission; successfully persuade large-scale audiences through both written and verbal communications with a high yield of efforts; create story and brand image aligned with organization’s strategy; model passion and organization commitment to all audiences; ensure the board can effectively communicate brand and represent the organization.
- Team Leadership – Strong management skills, including people management, team management, and project management; can align stakeholders across a complex landscape around that shared vision; possess comfort and desire to lead a collaborative, agile, outcomes-focused, equity-driven, and learning-oriented team; can champion the ongoing spirit of improvement and professional growth across the organization.
- Comfort with and Commitment to Candor—Stimulates idea flow with teammates by embracing both delivering and receiving candor, as the free and open exchange of ideas is essential to developing innovative solutions and implementing the most effective strategies.
- Critical Thinking and Strong Judgement – Leverage data effectively for strategic decision-making and driving improvement; can make courageous yet necessary decisions in the interest of students and families with experience working with and in the interests of communities of color; can maintain exemplary integrity, discretion, and cultural competence while working with staff and with confidential/sensitive information.
- Cultural Competence – Has a proven track record as a sophisticated relationship-builder who is able to adapt communication styles to work effectively with a wide variety of internal and external stakeholders with multiple priorities; possesses a passion for education equity and KIPP’s mission and values, including our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Ideal Candidate Experience:
- J.D. degree required.
- Experience in a previous law firm or in-house counsel experience is required with a demonstrated expertise in corporate/business counseling, compliance issues, and knowledge of charter law, employment law, general corporate law, intellectual property, and charitable organizations tax law; litigation experience preferred.
- Experience in systems-level leadership with exemplary results leading and coaching cross-functionally at a nationwide scale and senior roles in government work.
- Experience leading teams through gray and ambiguous situations, ideally at a systems level, managing significant change toward successful outcomes (such as, but not limited to, restructures and strategy pivots) while maintaining a strong focus on team culture.
- Budget management experience overseeing and managing a complex budget that allows teams to achieve both short and long-term success.
- Commitment to education equity and a passion for KIPP’s mission and values, including a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
What We Bring to the Table:
- 20 vacation days + 18 days additional flexible PTO days (PTO increases to 23 days for years 3 & 4 and to 28 days for years 5+).
- 100% paid parental leave.
- 100% coverage of the premium for employees and 75% for employee + family’s medical/dental/vision plans.
- Wellness benefits such as fitness reimbursements, discounted tickets to theme parks/attractions, back-up care support for children and adults/elders, and our employee assistance program.
- Benefits include a 401K retirement plan with a 4% match, employer-sponsored legal plans, life/disability insurance, and flexible spending accounts.