Job Details

VP, Legal Services

NWEA, Portland, OR

Job - Law

Close Date: 03/30/2018

NWEA™ is a research-based, not-for-profit organization that supports students and educators worldwide by creating assessment solutions that precisely measure growth and proficiency—and provide insights to help tailor instruction. For 40 years, NWEA has developed innovative Pre-K–12 assessments, including our flagship interim assessment, MAP® Growth™; our progress monitoring and skills mastery tool, MAP® Skills™; and the OECD Test for Schools (based on PISA). Educators trust our professional learning offerings to accelerate student learning and our research to support assessment validity and data interpretation. Our tools are trusted by educators in 140 countries and more than half the schools in the U.S.

Position Summary:

As the Organization’s chief in-house counsel, and key member of the Management Leadership team, the Vice President of Legal Services is responsible for the oversight of NWEA’s legal affairs, including compliance, privacy, information security and audit. In this role, the Vice President of Legal Services assures maximum advancement, flexibility and protection of NWEA’s interests and legal rights and responsibilities. This position works closely with Executive and Management Leadership teams to identify and analyze opportunities and risks associated with legal, security, privacy and compliance issues affecting NWEA, to provide strategic and useful (often actionable) advice and develop options, and to assist in the management and navigation of such issues to NWEA’s benefit. The Vice President of Legal Services also serves as negotiator and decision maker with respect to high value legal agreements. This position also directs legal staff activities, external counsel engagements, and cross-functional compliance and legal program efforts.


• Legal Oversight and Management. Provide oversight of legal issues for all business lines of the Organization
o Oversee the development, negotiation, and approval of inbound and outbound engagements, directly or indirectly, through legal review, workflow management, policy, and standardized terms and templates.
o Provide legal direction for research and product development initiatives in the Organization.
o Partner with business stakeholders to identify issues, triage risk, and offer viable options to further NWEA’s mission. Evaluate and recommend strategic and tactical resolutions.
o Monitor, analyze and interpret relevant domestic and international legislation and regulations that may impact the Organization, with emphasis on those relating to non-profit compliance. Educate leadership and other staff members and provide guidance and compliance options to maximize NWEA’s mission and strategic intent.
o Manages intellectual property program to develop and protect the Organization’s intangible assets including management of third party permissions.
o Manage the Organization’s responses to external requests for information, reporting, complaints from external governmental or non-governmental organizations

• Privacy
o Develop forward-looking privacy strategies, policies, and tools to engender trust in privacy and data usage while position privacy practices as a competitive advantage internally.
o Application and analysis of domestic and international laws relating to privacy, data use, marketing, privacy by design, records retention and data protection.
o Minimize risk to NWEA by developing, promoting, and educating staff and vendors on privacy related programs and privacy compliance and employing “Privacy by Design” principles by integrating privacy reviews during multiple stages of the development process among Product Management, Product Engineering and OERM

• Litigation Management
o Provide legal counsel to the Organization on disputes which may lead to litigation and address and respond to lawsuits and complaints directly or through managing outside counsel.
o Recognize potential legal risks and disputes and coordinate all litigation matters.
o Provide and manage development of legal trainings for staff on key legal issues

• Operational Oversight. Oversee all corporate legal matters and operational components during the daily course of business.
o Build and manage a legal budget to meet the Organization’s need for legal services, including outside counsel spend.
o Embed quality and sustainability practices, such as self-audits, compliance monitoring into team and cross-functional programs.
o Provide summary reporting upward to inform leadership of overall conditions, issues, progress

• Resource Development and Management. Responsible for assuring the availability, continuity and quality of competent, timely, and cost-efficient legal services by managing legal staff and outside counsel.
o Develop and maintain a legal resource pool, infrastructure, and practices capable of meeting NWEA’s ever changing and expanding needs with reasonable effectiveness and efficiency.
o Work closely with outside counsel to ensure cost effective and high quality legal services are provided.
o Align legal services team goals to support and drive organization-wide goals. Establish metrics to measure how goals of legal services team facilitate and support organization-wide goals.
o Manage legal services team and develop each team member’s skills to anticipate and address the Organization’s expanding needs.
o Identify knowledge gaps in the Organization and direct and implement legal-related training to address gaps.
o Remove barriers that prevent legal services team from accomplishing its goals

• Deal Management
o Lead due diligence for mergers and acquisitions, create legal analysis of deal elements and provide counsel on legal risk to executive team on complex transactions.
o Direct and evaluate responses from due diligence members and manage communication across all groups, internal and external.
o Negotiate and draft related agreements, including letters of intent, term sheets and purchase and sale.
o Provide direct and responsive support to CEO, COO and CFO

• Corporate Governance
o Manages corporate governance policies
o Draft board resolutions and manage support to Board of Directors through legal staff and outside counsel
o Deliver legal advice to Board of Directors upon request

Skills and Abilities:

Legal skills
• Well-grounded in contract, privacy and intellectual property law, with ability to perform electronic legal research to support analyses and opinions
• Experienced in merger and acquisition work
• Proficient in identifying legal issues embedded in daily and potential transactions and providing options, when available, and clear explanation of associated risks
• Proven ability to analyze complex data and integrate legal advice with business knowledge, and to effectively communicate analyses and applicable information to a variety of audiences
• Exceptional listening and interpersonal skills for partnering with outside counsel, clients, staff, and other stakeholders in developing and maintaining long term supportive relationships
• Resourceful in identifying and gaining expert assistance in unfamiliar areas of law

Leadership skills
• Strong interpersonal and leadership skills, able to collaborate with a diverse population and ability to relate well with executives, staff, and external audiences
• Strategic focus and results oriented with clarity of focus to accomplish intended results
• Ability to work from an organizational perspective, with demonstrated sense of urgency and responsiveness in dealing with issues, and ability to handle multiple tasks in a timely manner
• Demonstrated ability to work effectively and quickly under pressure
• Exceptional verbal and written communication skills

Supervisory skills
• Skilled in evaluating and leveraging team strengths
• Demonstrated ability to delegate and manage staff to deliver consistent quality results
• Ability to coach, mentor and guide peers and staff around priorities, performance, and individual development

• Ability to organize time effectively, determine priorities, delegate work and move work forward
• Superior attention to detail, with skill to inquire beyond the obvious in order to learn and provide support.
• Ability to assess the effectiveness of processes, identify barriers, and recommend improvements
• Ability to be effective in a growing organization that changes rapidly and often
• Willingness to accept coaching to remove barriers to effective working relationship
• Must be able to perform the physical and intellectual requirements of the role, with or without accommodation

Education and Experience:

• A current state license to practice law; history of U.S. bar membership preferred
• Minimum ten years’ experience with contract review, negotiation, and intellectual property
• Minimum eight years’ experience as corporate legal counsel, handling technology licensing and data privacy issues; minimum four years’ experience in supervising the work of other lawyers
• Solid understanding of the Organization’s operations and direction with ready availability at all times in person or electronically to the executives on a regular basis
• Supervisory experience and skills
• International intellectual property law experience a plus
• Record of exercising excellent judgment on behalf of clients including large and complex organizations and issues
• Commitment to the highest ethical and professional standards


At NWEA we not only offer a competitive base salary, we offer a 15% contribution of eligible employees’ base salary to a defined contribution 403(b) retirement savings plan; career development opportunities; an awesome work culture and environment; we also offer industry leading benefits and perks that are focused on supporting our employees’ holistic wellbeing. To learn more about what we can offer, click here.

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NWEA™ is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. For our EEO Policy Statement, please click here.
If you’d like more information on your EEO rights under the law, please visit the EEOC website.

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