General Counsel

Legal & Business Affairs United States


Job Summary:

The Ad Council is seeking an experienced, strategic, and highly motivated General Counsel, who can work both independently and collaboratively in a fast-paced environment with rapidly changing priorities. This position will work as one of two legal counsels for a non-profit organization that creates and executes communication strategies for 40+ campaigns each year.

Core Job Responsibilities:

This position will report to the Chief Financial & Operations Officer and will be based in New York.  As a member of the senior leadership team, the General Counsel will work closely with department heads, managers, and staff to ensure the successful and efficient administration of the organization.  Beyond just the legal function, we’re looking for a leader and business partner who will have influence across the organization, and have a key voice in shaping organizational policies and strategies.

The General Counsel will be involved in managing legal issues across a myriad of different areas, such as: contract review, talent rights management (including SAG-AFTRA issues), employment matters, music licensing, fundraising, non-profit corporate governance, government contracting, insurance, real estate, tax exemptions, risk assessment and management, compliance with policies and procedures, and many others.

The ideal candidate will be solution-oriented with the ability to effectively communicate legal requirements to colleagues at all levels. To succeed in this role, you will need to possess and exemplify excellent business judgment, critical thinking, creativity, a high degree of accountability, and a strong work ethic.  You should also be excited about our mission and passionate about social change.

Responsibilities include:

  • Leading strategic initiatives and serving as legal advisor to CEO and senior management on all key business transactions and strategic projects.
  • Acting as the main point of contact for all day-to-day legal matters; advising internal clients on matters concerning non-profit compliance, board governance, and advertising and marketing campaigns.
  • Managing disputes, claims, settlements, and litigation.
  • Providing input on employment matters.
  • Directly supervising one other attorney.
  • Selecting, managing, and overseeing outside counsel.
  • Drafting and negotiating a high volume of contracts, as well as overseeing the contract review process.
  • Ensuring compliance with industry best practices, government rules, and contracting regulations; ensuring that appropriate risk management strategies are in place.
  • Interpreting laws, rules, and regulations affecting the organization; researching and analyzing legal issues and developing guidance.
  • Maintaining current knowledge and keeping informed of industry-specific regulations.
  • Participating in special projects as needed.

Core Experience and Skills:

  • JD and admission to the NY bar.
  • Legal experience in a relevant industry and contracting experience, which may include government procurement and reporting, media, advertising, non-profit, intellectual property, and/or compliance.
  • Ability to work independently and on a team.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects concurrently, and to plan and organize significant workflow in a fast-paced environment.
  • Excellent interpersonal, leadership, and relationship skills.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong research, analytical, and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to create new procedures and work with a high degree of self-motivation.

Preference will be given to applicants with experience in any of the following areas:

  • Nonprofit law
  • Data and privacy
  • Employment
  • Government contracting
  • Grants management
  • Intellectual property
  • Talent rights management (including SAG-AFTRA)

About the Ad Council: 

The Ad Council is where creativity and causes converge at scale. We are a New York-based national non-profit organization, bringing together the brightest minds in the marketing, media, advertising and tech industries to create change around the most critical social issues facing our country. We produce and activate communications campaigns that drive awareness and behavior change, creating a lasting impact on American life. We are behind the iconic social good communications programs featuring Smokey Bear, "Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk" and the viral campaign “Love Has No Labels" that celebrates diversity and promotes inclusion.  

We are deeply committed to diversity, equity & inclusion: 

At the Ad Council, we value and celebrate the unique characteristics and perspectives that make each person who they are. Diversity is the foundation of our work and allows us to reimagine how we reach our audiences. It is not simply our belief, but our duty, to cultivate a team that is representative of the American people. Only then can we drive true, measurable, and life-changing impact on the most important issues facing our country today. 

The Ad Council is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, creed, color, citizenship status, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, age, national origin, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, status as a protected veteran or any other legally protected status.  

Contact Us: 

To apply online: 

The Ad Council invites all qualified interested applicants to apply for career opportunities. If you are a person with a disability and need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process, please contact please submit your request through one of the following methods listed below: 

Fax (212) 922-1676 

Email: [email protected] 

Ad Council 
Attn: Talent Team 
815 2nd Avenue, 9th Floor 
New York, NY 10017 

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