(Senior) Counsel and Vice President

Hiring Organization: 
The Build Up Companies

Title: (Senior) Counsel and Vice President Classification: Full-time; exempt position Location: Remote 

The Build Up Companies (you can just call us, Build Up) are hiring! About Build Up 

The Build Up Companies are a federated group of companies comprised of Build Up Advisory Group, The Campbell Law Firm, and Build Up, Inc. and focused on transforming life outcomes for vulnerable and marginalized communities. 

  • Build Up Advisory Group is an advisory firm that specializes in strengthening governance, grant making, and organizational design for brave philanthropists, philanthropies, movements, and nonprofit organizations to provide them with the structural capacity to deliver on their missions to help effect socio-economic change. 
  • The Campbell Law Firm is a boutique law firm that serves as a trusted in-house advisor to brave grant-making nonprofits, movements, philanthropies, and philanthropists to disrupt cycles of injustice and inequity. 
  • Build Up, Inc. is a nonprofit capacity builder that supports the leadership of women and people of color and incubates and fiscally sponsors charitable projects and organizations that work with under-resourced and invisibilized communities around the world. 

We work with start-ups that want to quickly and equitably build their infrastructure capacity and older organizations that are seeking innovative ways to equitably serve communities. We call what we do Brave Infrastructure Design®. 

We are not theorists or academics. We understand the theory, of course, but have done the work we advise on, and are practical and creative in our approach. Our Founder and CEO has advised two of the world’s most prominent philanthropists and has built the capacity of nonprofit organizations all over the world. All of our advisors are practicing attorneys with years of practical in-house nonprofit and operational experience. So, we do not just talk about infrastructure design; we live and breathe it. 

Build Up’s Core Values 

Our core values are to be: 

  • brave – we authentically show up according to our values, even if it means that doing so may be more challenging; 
  • ever learning – we are focused on constant improvement and are always seeking new ways to do our work even better; 
  • excellent – we are in relentless pursuit of excellence through meaningful work and cultivating an environment of “owners” who refuse to tolerate mediocrity; and 
  • relational – we believe that true problem solving happens when there is real communication among the problem solvers; we endeavor to be thought partners with each other, our clients, and our partners. 

Our values guide and inspire everything we do and how we engage with our clients, partners, and each other. If any value does not resonate with you, Build Up is not the place for you. 

Responsibilities of the Person in this Role 

You will work with and across the various entities within Build Up as a senior advisor and will be part of Build Up’s leadership team. The title of this role will be either Senior Counsel and Vice President or Counsel and Vice President, depending on your years of experience, as further described below. 

You should have a deep understanding of how nonprofit organizations function and be willing to act as a thought partner to our clients. As a result, you will have both substantial client contact and responsibility, and will develop and cultivate meaningful relationships with our clients. You will report to and work closely with Build Up’s CEO, collaborate with Build Up’s Vice Presidents, and serve as a resource to the wider Build Up team. 

For clients within Build Up Advisory Group, you will act as Chief Infrastructure Officer or in a critical support role to this office. Accordingly, you will design and implement infrastructure assessments and roadmaps, design infrastructure plans, and create processes and procedures to strengthen the organizational infrastructure of brave nonprofits and philanthropies. Additionally, you will set goals for performance and growth and establish policies that promote organizational culture and vision. You will also manage infrastructure development and provide critical leadership to support the work of board members, CEOs/Executive Directors, and executive teams at our client organizations. 

Within TCLF, you will form nonprofit organizations, help them obtain federal tax-exempt status, and file state charitable registrations; draft corporate documents and agreements; research and advise clients about requirements for tax-exempt status; and problem-solve alongside clients regarding their operations and activities as their General Counsel or Counsel, including on compliance matters, organizational risk assessment and leadership, lobbying and political activity, governance structure, fiduciary responsibilities, and joint ventures. Additionally, you will advise on critical organizational issues related to intellectual property, including ownership, complex use, and licensing; and provide advice and counsel on employment matters. You will also assist and lead on grant-making assessments and questions, including reviewing grant-making applications, reports, diligence, and agreements. 

As a leader within Build Up, you will provide meaningful coaching and mentoring support to the team, as needed, contribute to the brave culture within the Build Up Companies, and promote the Build Up Companies’ approach by providing thought leadership (e.g., writing, speaking) throughout the nonprofit sector. 

About the Person in the Role 

To thrive in this role and at Build Up, you must be culturally competent with the ability to have diverse stakeholders feel heard; love generating, refining, and building out ideas into sustainable solutions; and be able to thrive and lead in a start-up environment. 

You are a tremendous listener, which in turn makes you a tremendous storyteller and counsel. And you love puzzles – assembling the various pieces and identifying patterns and missing pieces. 

You have a sense of humor, are intellectually curious, love music, and have the ability to discuss two fundamental music principles: The Bridge is over and Soca is a language everyone should know. 

You Must: 

  • have a J.D. degree; 
  • be a member of the State Bar of New York, California, or Connecticut in good standing (or have the ability to qualify in one of these states); 
  • have at least 5 years of working experience as an attorney (Counsel will have at least 5 years of experience; Senior Counsel will have at least 7 years of experience); 
  • have at least 8 years of business/operations experience; 
  • have a solid understanding of nonprofits, philanthropies, and the U.S. tax-exempt sector; 
  • have excellent written and verbal communication skills; 
  • be able to manage a complex portfolio of work with minimal supervision and a high degree of professionalism; 
  • have excellent analytical skills; 
  • be able to thrive in high-pressure, fast-paced environments; 
  • have a client and solution-oriented mindset; 
  • be able to occasionally travel within the United States and internationally (when travel resumes); 
  • have a genuine interest in what is happening socially, politically, and philanthropically in the United States, the Caribbean, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Though not required, it would be very nice if you also had: 

  • Experience working with grassroots and nonprofit start-up organizations 
  • Experience as in-house counsel to nonprofits or philanthropies 
  • Experience as an associate attorney in a nonprofit/exempt organizations law firm practice 

Compensation and Benefits 

The (Senior) Counsel and Vice President will receive a base salary of $100,000 (for Counsel) -105,000 (for Senior Counsel) and a generous performance-based bonus. 

We also offer the following benefits: 

  • Dental and vision coverage 
  • Health insurance package (Build Up pays the employee’s premium) 
  • 401(k) participation with a Build Up match 
  • Cellphone allowance 
  • Office allowance 
  • Professional development allowance 
  • Payment of Bar dues 
  • Paid time off policy (sick, personal, and mental health days and all Federal Holidays) 
  • Unlimited vacation policy (add value and take time off when you need it) 
  • 4.5 day work week 
  • Fully remote work 

How to Apply 

If you are interested in applying for this role, click here to submit your application. 

Our Hiring Process 

  • If we are interested in learning more after we receive your application, you will receive an email from us where you will be asked to provide a video response to some preliminary questions about your experience and interest in the role. 
  • After reviewing the video responses, we will further narrow the applicant pool and invite a few applicants to talk with us via video. You will meet with the Vice Presidents so you can ask questions about working at Build Up and we can learn more about your experience and workstyle. 
  • After the conversation with the Vice Presidents, we will ask some applicants to meet with the CEO via video. 
  • The finalist(s) for the role will be asked to provide a writing sample that is representative of their analytical skills and writing style. 
  • After meeting with the CEO, the finalist(s) will have the opportunity to meet with the Build Up team members with whom they have not met during the process. 
  • Afterward, the CEO will make an offer for the (Senior) Counsel and Vice President role. 

We will acknowledge receipt of all applications and will let you know of our decision regarding your application. 

Our Commitment 

Our work centers historically marginalized and vulnerable communities, including people of color, those impacted by the criminal justice system, and women, especially Black women, so we strongly encourage applications from members of these communities who are committed to transforming life outcomes for those most invisibilized in society. 

Build Up is an equal opportunity place of business, which means that we do not discriminate because of race, color, gender, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, religion, age, where you are from, or disability. We believe in and live diversity, inclusion, and equity, and strive to ensure that every person we work with, including contractors, vendors, staff, and clients, feels considered and listened to. We do not allow any of the “isms” into where or how we work, and we believe Black lives matter and love is love. We have been treated as if we did not belong at various times throughout our careers and lives and understand how to be deliberate about never making others feel that way. 

How to Apply: 
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