Open Philanthropy
San Francisco
Jul 06, 2024
Aug 03, 2024
Trademark Agent
Contract Type
Open Philanthropy is looking to hire a new attorney to contribute to the legal team's mission of providing well–calibrated legal advice and engaging in collaborative and creative problem–solving. The attorney would handle issues related to grantmaking, contracts, and various aspects of operations for causes including potential risks from advanced AI, biosecurity and pandemic preparedness, global health and wellbeing, and farm animal welfare.

About Open Philanthropy Open Philanthropy is a philanthropic funder and advisor. Our mission is to help others as much as we can with the resources available to us. We stress openness to many possibilities and have chosen our focus areas based on importance, neglectedness, and tractability .

Our current giving areas include potential risks from advanced artificial intelligence , scientific research , global public health policy , farm animal welfare , and biosecurity and pandemic preparedness . In 2023, we recommended just under $800 million to high–impact causes, and we've recommended over $3 billion in grants since our formation.

About the Role You would join the team as our fifth attorney and seventh team member, and report to our General Counsel Molly Kovite to help our growing team navigate legal questions and collaborate with staff to generate solutions.

We'd prefer candidates to have 5+ years' experience practicing in the legal field. We'd also be willing to consider individuals with significantly more experience and would be open to customizing and expanding the job duties based on skills, experience, and fit with Open Phil's needs.

Your immediate responsibilities may include:
  • Providing legal advice to program and operations teams and developing creative solutions to legal issues faced by staff.
  • Resolving a wide range of complex legal questions from grantmaking staff and/or grantees, as well as handling compliance, structural, and contractual issues related to grantmaking (examples could include: conducting due diligence on international grants, offering advice to the grants team on choosing the optimal vehicle for routing a given grant, drafting grant agreements and leading term negotiations or discussions with grantees, investigating whether to add access provisions to grants, and training staff on legal issues related to grantmaking).
  • Expanding services available to our grantees, such as legal entity creation guidance, consultation programs, or information sessions.
  • Driving internal legal projects, such as spinning up new entities or drafting policies and guidance documents.
  • Supporting corporate compliance tasks such as recurring board meetings, state–mandated harassment trainings, or wage and hour postings.
  • Updating our contractor, employee, grant, scholarship, and other legal agreements.
  • Answering internal HR questions related to hiring processes, offer letters, NDAs, contracts, terminations, and other employee relations issues.
  • Developing an understanding of OP's broader priorities and proactively seeking out ways to help us achieve our goals.
To ensure we are able to carry out our program staff's recommendations for giving, Open Philanthropy is made up of several affiliated organizations . We work with entities including a 501(c)(3) private foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity, a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization, and donor–advised funds at outside charitable organizations. We make general support and project grants to U.S. nonprofits, international grants requiring additional diligence and reporting, scholarships and research grants, investments in for–profit companies, and contributions to support lobbying and political work.

We don't expect you to be familiar with all these areas of grantmaking yet, but developing an understanding of the trade–offs between different giving vehicles and helping us come up with creative solutions for routing grants would be a key component of the role.

About You You might be a good fit if you:
  • Communicate clearly about legal considerations to non–legal audiences. You are impatient with unnecessary legalese, delays, and over–complications, and are comfortable seeking creative or unconventional solutions to help us achieve our programmatic goals. Our priority is generally to get resources to grantees as simply and efficiently as possible while still protecting the organization's interests.
  • Are practical about risk and don't default to "worst case scenario" assessments; are comfortable comparing and communicating different risks in terms of how likely they are. We're looking for someone who will flag and quantify risks, rather than prohibit them, and who communicates clearly about the degree of uncertainty in a situation and where that uncertainty stems from.
  • Are comfortable quickly getting up to speed in unfamiliar areas of law. No prior knowledge or experience with nonprofit law, LLCs, non–traditional philanthropic funding models, intellectual property, lobbying, grants management and/or international grantmaking is required (though we would consider experience here as a bonus), but you should be excited to learn new areas of law while on the job.
  • Are flexible about the work you do and ready to help in many different capacities. We're a small organization, and your day–to–day responsibilities would run the gamut from reviewing basic contracts to advising on complex legal matters to managing operational projects.
  • Have been admitted to the bar in at least one US jurisdiction. We are open to candidates working remotely, including outside the US, so long as they meet this criterion and can work on a timezone to collaborate with colleagues based on the East and West Coasts of the US.
If this sounds like you, and you are interested in using your legal expertise to help us achieve our mission of helping others as much as possible, we hope you'll apply. (And if you are excited about this work and on the fence about applying because you are unsure whether you are qualified, we would strongly encourage you to err on the side of applying.)

Role details & benefits
  • Compensation: We are open to applications from candidates with a wide range of experience, though we will most likely hire at either the Associate Counsel or Counsel level.
    • Compensation for Associate Counsel will be $190,073.07, which (for US hires) would be distributed as a base salary of $167,073.07 and an unconditional 401(k) grant of $23,000. We expect Associate Counsels to have at least 5 years of post–law school experience.
    • Compensation for Counsel will be $253,205.10, which (for US hires) would be distributed as a base salary of $230,205.10 and an unconditional 401(k) grant of $23,000. We expect Counsels to have at least 7 years of experience in the legal field and at least two years of experience in–house or equivalent.
      • These compensation figures assume a remote location; there would be geographic adjustments upwards for candidates based in the San Francisco Bay Area or Washington, D.C.
      • All compensation will be distributed in the form of take–home salary for internationally based hires. Candidates must have been admitted to the bar in at least one US jurisdiction.
  • Time zones and location: You can work remotely, but must be based between UTC–10 and UTC–1 in order to collaborate with the rest of the legal team and program teams at Open Phil. You are welcome to work from one of our offices in San Francisco or Washington, D.C.
  • Benefits: Our benefits package includes:
    • Excellent health insurance (we cover 100% of premiums within the US for you and any eligible dependents) and an employer–funded Health Reimbursement Arrangement for certain other personal health expenses
    • Dental, vision and life insurance for you and your family
    • Four weeks of PTO recommended per year
    • Four months of fully paid family leave
    • A generous and flexible expense policy – we encourage staff to expense the ergonomic equipment, software and other services that they need to stay healthy and productive
    • A continual learning policy that encourages staff to spend time on professional development with related expenses covered.
    • Support for remote work – we'll cover a remote workspace outside your home if you need one, or connect you with an Open Phil coworking hub in your city
    • We can't always provide every benefit we offer US staff to international hires, but we're working on it (and will usually provide cash equivalents of any benefits we can't offer in your country)
  • Start date: We can be flexible on the start date for the right candidate, but prefer people to start sooner, all else equal.
We're considering applicants on a rolling basis. Please apply as soon as you're able – we may give priority to candidates who are able to move through the process sooner.

We aim to employ people with many different experiences, perspectives and backgrounds who share our passion for accomplishing as much good as we can. We are committed to creating an environment where all employees have the opportunity to succeed, and we do not discriminate based on race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status.

If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, or have any other questions about applying, please contact .