Lead Counsel

Time zone
Anywhere 🌎
Full Time
Opening date
Closing date
1 Aug 2021


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Archive Job Description

Wikimedia envisions a world where the sum total of human knowledge is available to everyone.

The Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit home of Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, and other free educational projects, serves as the hub of a global movement of hundreds of thousands of contributors collaborating to collect and share the sum of all human knowledge with the world.

As Wikimedia pursues a new global strategic direction, our Legal department is tasked with solving many legal questions, including some that no one has fully considered before. We are looking for an experienced lawyer to join our in-house legal department as Lead Counsel to provide critical advice and counsel on how we manage the strategic relationships that empower us to pursue our vision. This includes a variety of projects, ranging from the development, negotiation, and structuring of our corporate and organizational partnerships, to facilitating the external use of our brand and copyrighted works, and more. Ideal candidates will have experience providing holistic and creative advice and counsel in a variety of contexts.

Who Should Apply:

At Wikimedia, we serve the world. We believe that there is no way to meaningfully achieve our goal of reaching every single human unless our organization reflects the full breadth of the human experience. To that end, the Wikimedia Foundation recruits candidates from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences, including those from historically marginalized groups — women, people with disabilities, people of color, formerly incarcerated people, people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or gender nonconforming, first and second generation immigrants, and people from low-income families. A diversity of lived experiences is reflective of those who create and use Wikimedia every day.

Essential Functions of Role:

  • Provide legal advice and counsel on how Wikimedia structures and executes relationships with strategic partners. This includes:
    • Partnerships relating to the exchange, development, and/or use of data, technology, intellectual property, open source software, free culture and freely-licensed content, and know-how;
    • Partnerships relating to programs advancing education, access to knowledge, digital human rights, policy initiatives, and other areas of Wikimedia’s work;
    • Relationships relating to the use of Wikimedia’s intellectual property assets, including our trademarks and copyrighted works;
    • Wikimedia’s internal practices for advancing, supporting, and complying with the terms of our strategic partnerships.
  • Negotiate and draft agreements, including memoranda of understanding, development agreements, licenses, and non-disclosure agreements, governing Wikimedia’s relationships with strategic partners.
  • Advise on questions about the Creative Commons suite of licenses.
  • Provide guidance and negotiate and draft agreements relating to the license and use of Wikimedia intellectual property assets, including trademark licenses, and copyright licenses and clearances.
  • Provide advice and counsel relating to Wikimedia’s grantmaking activities.
  • Provide legal advice and counsel on global workforce-related matters.
  • Advise the Foundation on other domestic and international legal and policy questions, which may include privacy, contract, copyright, trademark, or litigation matters.
  • Liaise with and assist in the management of outside counsel.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Skills and Experience:

  • Authorization to practice law in the State of California (either as an active member of the California Bar or by qualifying as in-house registered counsel).
  • 6+ years of legal experience, in private practice and/or as in-house counsel.
  • Ability to excel in a fast-paced, multitasking environment that demands high-quality work on short deadlines.
  • Experience handling and/or supporting business development-related matters.
  • Experience with matters relating to technology licensing, specifically including open source software licensing.
  • Ability to identify and implement practical solutions to abstract or complex problems.
  • Ability to dedicate to projects, adhere to deadlines, and complete work independently.
  • Ability to travel, including internationally; and to travel or work on weekends if and when needed, due to conferences, legal needs, etc.
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills.

Qualities that are important to us:

  • Appreciation for and alignment with Wikimedia’s mission.
  • Strong interpersonal and collaboration skills and ability to work well on a team.
  • A desire to learn, stretch, and grow.

Additionally, we’d love it if you have:

  • Experience handling employment-law related matters.
  • Experience handling copyright licensing matters in the media, entertainment, and/or publishing sectors.
  • Experience working on media law-related matters.
  • Experience working internationally, for international clients, or on international law.
  • Experience working in privacy law.
  • Experience working as product counsel for a technology company.
  • Prior experience with California state employment law.
  • Ability to speak additional languages besides English.
  • Prior experience working with or participating in large volunteer communities.
  • Prior experience working in the technology sector.
  • Prior experience working on matters relating to a remote workforce.
  • Prior work, internship, or volunteer experience in the nonprofit sector.

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