We’re looking for our first in-house counsel to help ensure Handshake, our employees, customers and partners are protected and empowered by strong legal support and leadership to help build a thriving and valuable business, and achieve our mission of democratizing opportunity - to make it easy for anyone to build a great career, no matter where they go to school, what they're majoring in, or who they know.

Today, the Handshake community includes 17 million students and young alumni at more than 1,000 universities. At its core, Handshake democratizes access - we connect talent from across all 50 states with over 500,000 employers, from every Fortune 500 company to thousands of local mom and pop shops, nonprofits, startups, and more. In addition, through tools like reviews, Q&A, messaging, employer ambassadors, and virtual mentorships, we help democratize the information, social capital and credentials that job seekers from all backgrounds need to get hired and thrive in their career. This three-sided marketplace is fueling a thriving and fast-growing business: revenue grew 270% in 2019 and we’re targeting $100M ARR in the next few years.

Do you want to be the core legal counsel helping a mission-driven business navigate high growth? Are you compelled to join a company dedicated to directly influencing vital economic, social justice, public policy, and legal debates - where your legal background is a toolkit from which to serve as a vital business partner as we wrestle with these intellectually invigorating issues?

We welcome all people. We celebrate diversity of all kinds and are committed to creating an inclusive culture built on a foundation of respect for all individuals. We seek to hire, develop, and retain talented people from all backgrounds. Individuals from non-traditional backgrounds, historically marginalized or underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply. If you are not sure that you’re 100% qualified, but up for the challenge - we want you to apply.

Your Role:

  • As our first in-house attorney, you will report to our COO and be the company's guide to all legal matters, in partnership with outside counsel, covering a range of issues from corporate finance and fundraising to employment and HR policies, sales and partnership contracts, data privacy concerns, product counsel, strategic partnerships, and other corporate transactions, among other issues.
  • You will identify how to turn ambiguity into scalable processes. You will not be dropped into a role where all processes and systems are already in place. You are invigorated by building, particularly wanting to shape, own and be proud of the policies and supporting infrastructure you’ll put in place. 
  • You derive energy from collaborating with a variety of individuals, and will regularly partner with business executives and team members from all the business units and functional areas, including sales, product, marketing, engineering, finance, and HR, on a broad range of complex legal, business and strategic issues.
  • In particular, you will be a close collaborator to our product, marketing and partnerships teams in helping Handshake build products that drive our business forward while making substantial impact on our core mission of democratizing opportunity for all students, and effectively navigating national and international privacy, employment and immigration laws. This includes contemplating privacy and regulatory considerations as we roll out new products (for example, skills-based learning or video interfaces) so that we adopt an agile practice of integrating legal through the design and development lifecycle.
  • You will embody Handshake’s value of “Empowered by Diversity” and help us consider (and get ahead of) unintended consequences so that we can address Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion while contemplating student privacy and legal hiring practices.
  • You will embody Handshake’s core values of  “Move Quickly, but Don’t Rush” coupled with “Act with Empathy” and help build the right process and structures that encourage thoughtful protection for all of our stakeholders while facilitating fast-paced innovation.

Your Background:

  • JD and 8-10+ years of relevant experience, including 2+ years at a leading law firm and at least 2+ years of in-house legal experience, ideally with a high-growth technology company. 
  • Strong core corporate/transactional experience - drafting, reviewing, negotiating, and advising on a variety of transactions, including software and service agreements.
  • Particular experience working closely with product teams at high-growth tech companies to navigate challenging commercial, data and privacy issues when building innovative new products. (Nice-to-have if experience includes time at an employment / hiring focused company.) 
  • Great teammate with a strong work ethic who is comfortable working in a dynamic environment and with other internal teams like engineers, junior and senior sales representatives, product managers, marketing teams, etc.
  • Ability to work independently with little guidance, but also to use good judgment and call out issues when needed.
  • Flexibility to adapt and thrive in an environment that is constantly changing with an ability to prioritize and re-prioritize based upon the needs of the business with the “Learn. Grow. Repeat.” growth mindset.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • High level of personal integrity, professionalism, intellectual curiosity, sense of humor, and possibility thinking.
  • Member of the California Bar (in good standing) or eligible to register as California Registered In-House Counsel.


  • Stock: Ownership in a fast-growing company.
  • 401k: We care about your ability to save for your future.
  • Family Focus: Parental leave and flexibility for families.
  • Time Off: Flexible vacation policy to encourage people to get out and see the world.
  • Healthcare: World-class medical, dental, and vision policies.
  • Goodies: Whatever hardware and software you need to get the job done.
  • Team Fun: Regularly scheduled events, sports, game nights, book clubs.
  • Learning: Learning & Development opportunities for you to grow your skills and career.
  • Great team: Working with fun, hardworking, nice people who are committed to making a difference!
  • ...And much more!

We value diversity of all kinds, and are committed to building a diverse and inclusive workplace where we learn from each other. We are an equal opportunity employer and welcome people of all different backgrounds, experiences, abilities and perspectives.

We value diversity of all kinds, and are committed to building a diverse and inclusive workplace where we learn from each other. We are an equal opportunity employer and welcome people of all different backgrounds, experiences, abilities, and perspectives.

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