General Counsel

Greater Philadelphia, PA, Greater Denver, CO preferred

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The Public Interest Network operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change. With more than a dozen organizations — Environment America, PIRG, National Environmental Law Center and more — we’re winning positive social change for the environment and the public interest.

Our work focuses on the problems that arise from America’s single-minded pursuit of endless economic growth. Our society is still burning fossil fuels, even though it’s changing the climate. We keep giving antibiotics to healthy livestock, even though it’s creating antibiotic-resistant “superbugs.” We use plastic products for just a few minutes only to throw them away, where they’ll pollute the ocean for centuries.

At the Public Interest Network, we take a principled, but pragmatic approach to creating change. We build organizations and run campaigns that connect big ideas to concrete policy changes that improve the quality of our environment and our lives. We’re transpartisan—we reach out to everybody who might agree with us and consider joining us, including liberals, conservatives and everyone in between. We value dialogue over polarization. We invest in people and strategies that deliver results, including advocacy, lobbying, campaigning, litigation, policy research and grassroots organizing. And we have a 50-year track record of winning thousands of victories for the environment and the public interest.

General Counsel Job Description

We seek a General Counsel who is passionate about the issues we work on and is committed to helping organizations achieve real change. The General Counsel directs the Public Interest Network’s legal department. They work closely with leadership of our Network and of the organizations within the Network to allow those groups to achieve their missions while maintaining corporate health, protecting organizational assets and creatively thinking of ways to achieve change. This position requires excellent judgment, discretion and the ability to oversee significant projects. 

Representative responsibilities include:

  • Directing the legal department: Driving the plans and priorities for the legal department, including developing and managing a department budget, work flow protocols and training programs for network staff on legal and compliance matters.
  • Corporate and Tax Compliance: Fostering sound corporate governance practices, maintaining the organizations’ good standing with federal and state corporate and tax regulators.
  • Employment Practices: Advising on employment and labor matters and benefits systems 
  • Election Law and Campaign Finance: Advising groups on options and structures for election-related work, including advising on non-partisan voter registration drives, neighborhood voter contact programs, tracking and reporting to FEC and state agencies, and guidelines for fundraising and communications.
  • First Amendment and Charitable Solicitation: Representing our organizations’ right to conduct door-to-door and street canvassing in cities and towns across the country. 
  • Contracts and legal documents: Drafting and reviewing contracts, leases, grant agreements, and other legal documents.
  • Risk Management: Working with our organizations’ leaders to adopt policies that reduce liability risk.
  • Managing a team: Recruiting, training and managing Assistant and Associate General Counsel, an administrator and interns or fellows. Cultivating relationships and working with Outside Counsel as needed.


A J.D. is required. The ideal candidate will have excellent academic credentials, ideally 8-16 years of legal experience working in one or more of the practice areas described above, and a strong commitment to nonprofit and political work. 

Successful candidates will also bring the following skills and attributes to the position:

  • Excellent verbal and written communication, research and negotiation skills;
  • Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously in diverse legal subject areas;
  • A team orientation that combines strong leadership, congeniality and creativity to drive and motivate others;
  • An outstanding work ethic and the ability to drive organizational change;
  • Enthusiasm for the mission of The Public Interest Network and its member organizations to effect grassroots social change, and a goal-oriented, activist orientation;
  • Comfort working with both the most senior staff (CEO, Vice Presidents, Executive Directors, other senior management staff) on major organizational strategies, and with training brand new staff on basic relevant legal principles in an understandable way; and
  • Prior experience working with or advising nonprofit organizations. Firsthand experience doing organizing, issue advocacy, or political work is a plus. 

Compensation and Benefits

The starting compensation range for this position is $75,000-$105,000 and depends on relevant experience and education. Candidates on the low end of directly relevant experience should expect to be on the lower end of this range; candidates on the higher end of relevant experience are likely to be on the higher end of this range. The Public Interest Network offers an excellent benefits package. Our benefits package may include medical, dental, and vision insurance for employees and dependents, needs-based student loan assistance, 401(k) plan with employer match, commuter benefit program, paid time off, parental leave and long-term disability insurance. We also offer an excellent training program and opportunities for advancement. 

Why work with The Public Interest Network? Here are ten reasons:

The Public Interest Network operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change. Visit to learn more.

Fund for the Public Interest is an equal opportunity employer.

COVID-19: We take COVID-19 safety very seriously. Employees must follow our COVID safety protocols and be fully vaccinated and boosted. Accommodations are provided to the extent required by law.