Description 

Democracy Prep is seeking an experienced, mission-aligned leader to join our Senior Leadership Team as the General Counsel of our growing organization. Priority will be given to applications submitted by  December 1st, 2020.

Democracy Prep Public Schools Overview

Democracy Prep Public Schools (DPPS) is a tuition-free, high-performing public charter school network operating in New York, NY, Camden, NJ, Baton Rouge, LA, San Antonio, TX, and Las Vegas, NV educating 7,200 students, K-12th grade, on 22 campuses. DPPS is in the process of rolling out a Strategic Plan to govern its growth, quality assurance, staffing, and sustainability over a five-year period. DPPS plans to build on past success and ensure strong academic outcomes at each of our 22 schools and a special education program, Pathways, as well as grow responsibly in existing regions. Our scholars are current advocates, future voters, and blossoming leaders in their communities.

Democracy Prep is well-known as an organization that puts people first. We believe inspiring talent is at the core of our success. We also believe in equipping great talent with the tools they need and then stepping back to allow them to be creative on behalf of the organization, our mission, and the scholars we educate. In addition to our DREAM BIG values for adults, we also believe in transparency, collaboration, and excellence on behalf of our schools.

General Counsel Role Overview

The General Counsel is responsible for ensuring that the best interests of Democracy Prep are protected as it serves students in a public education setting and for supporting the network to run effectively with a focus on special education, school policies and procedures, employment law, contracts, transactions, governance, compliance, and related work. The General Counsel will report to the CEO and will work closely with school leaders.

Responsibilities

  • Provide legal advice and guidance to Democracy Prep on education law, including special education, charter law and authorization, employee relations, litigation, student privacy, student disciplinary matters, and emergency response. 
  • Stay up-to-date on relevant laws and regulations and serve as a subject matter expert on education law, employment and labor law, public records and open meetings law, non-for-profit governance, state budgets, contracts, leasing, litigation, and other related areas across multiple states.
  • Support the CEO and network in a variety of legal and non-legal work, including facilities acquisition, compliance and reporting, authorizer and governmental relations, and policy proposals.
  • Serve as a representative on legal issues impacting the network to boards, government agencies, families, and authorizers.
  • Review, draft, and propose policies, procedures, and other documents for internal and external use on education issues that are mission-aligned and legally sound. 
  • Serve as liaison to representatives of outside agencies.
  • Manage outside counsel.
  • Build relationships with other education lawyers to understand best practices that will benefit Democracy Prep.
  • Assist the network and schools as necessary on a variety of additional in-house legal issues. 

Qualifications

  • J.D. required.
  • Must be admitted to the New York bar and in good standing. 
  • Additional bar memberships in New Jersey, Louisiana, Nevada or Texas a plus.
  • 7+ years of relevant and/or transferable legal experience obtained at a law firm, government agency, or an educational institution. 
  • A specialist in any of the following areas highly desired: education law (particularly special education law), not-for-profit law, employment law, contracts, litigation, or compliance.
  • A problem solver with strong legal reasoning and analytical skills.
  • A skilled communicator with a high capacity to analyze and articulate legal concepts and other complex issues to a variety of stakeholders.
  • An advocate who can work in a fast-paced environment and balance working independently with taking direction as needed.
  • A detailed and highly-organized project manager. 
  • A strong team player who can work well with colleagues, outside counsel, network and school leaders, and opposing counsel.
  • A self-reflective and self-aware teammate who is dedicated to aligning their work to Democracy Prep's commitment to antiracism and who is eager to use these skills to contribute to a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • A demonstrated passion for educational equity with an unwavering commitment to the Democracy Prep mission of college success and authentic civic engagement for our scholars.

Compensation and Benefits

Salary and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience.

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Democracy Prep is an Equal Opportunity Employer and will not discriminate against an applicant or employee on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, or ancestry, sex, age, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, veteran or military status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, familial status, domestic violence victim status, or any other legally recognized protected basis under federal, state or local laws, regulations or ordinances. Our mission is to educate responsible citizen-scholars who will change the world. We strongly believe that by building a DREAM team that represents numerous perspectives, backgrounds, and areas of expertise, we can achieve this goal together. This is a value we highly support and strongly encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply.

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