Assistant General Counsel

Date: Oct 13, 2021

Location: Washington, DC, US, 20036

Company: American Chemical Society

ACS Assistant General Counsel



The American Chemical Society (“ACS” or “Society”) was founded in 1876 and chartered by the U.S. Congress.  A scientific and professional organization of chemists and chemical engineers, the ACS is one of the world’s largest scientific organizations with more than 152,000 members around the world.  With a mission to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people, the ACS is a leading publisher of authoritative scientific information with more than 75 peer-reviewed journals, as well as books and databases.  The Society generates annual revenues in excess of $600 million primarily through sales of its publications and database products, as well as through dues, meeting registrations and donations.    ACS’ commitment to its members is extraordinary.  It seeks to provide the resources and networks that will help members advance not only their careers but also the field of chemistry.  ACS facilitates the creation of collaborative communities focused on scientific progress.

The ACS values diversity and knows it powers us as we build an innovative and inclusive leadership culture centered on the Society’s core values of Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Respect. 


Position Summary

            We are looking for an Assistant General Counsel to join the ACS Office of the Secretary and General Counsel (“OSGC”) in our Washington, D.C. office.  This is a senior-level position with management responsibility, as delegated by the General Counsel, for in-house legal activities conducted by the ACS.  The incumbent reports to the ACS Secretary and General Counsel.


            The OSGC is committed to supporting the Society’s mission, participating in strategic planning, finding innovative solutions to our clients’ needs, and striving to provide the most efficient, practical, and timely advice possible.  The ACS legal team works with all internal ACS Divisions and with the Society’s extensive governance to enhance the Society’s mission and to protect the Society’s legal rights.  We ensure that the Society complies with the many legal obligations facing ACS as a large nonprofit. 


The ACS is committed to equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination for all employees and qualified applicants without regard to a person’s race, color, gender, age, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation or any characteristic protected under applicable law.  The ACS will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities, in accordance with applicable law.


Position Accountabilities:

  1. Provide practical legal counsel and develop creative/practical solutions to questions arising in a variety of diverse legal fields such as employment and immigration, copyright, trademark, patent, licensing, commercial transactions, contracts, taxation, litigation, and public policy.    
  2. Work with cross-functional teams to negotiate and review technology, licensing, intellectual property, consulting, marketing, service and other domestic and international agreements.
  3. Manage the Society’s copyright, licensing, and trademark portfolios, as well as the Associate General Counsel.
  4. Collaborate with, and assist in the management of, outside counsel engaged in defending the Society interests in administrative, arbitration and court proceedings relating to labor/employment, commercial, intellectual property, tort, and tax matters.
  5. Negotiate, draft and execute agreements and contracts on behalf of the organization.
  6. Support the General Counsel on government affairs and regulatory matters at the local, state and federal levels of executive, judicial and regulatory bodies.
  7. Evaluate the effectiveness of current policies and procedures and recommend changes, as appropriate.
  8. Serve as an advisor to senior managers and other employees within the Society;
  9. Provide occasional training to ACS employees and governance on legal topics
  10. Serve as a key representative of the ACS’ interests with both inside and outside parties, such as outside counsel, consultants, auditors, administrators, government entities, etc.
  11. Keep up-to-date on legislation and regulations affecting ACS programs, products and services, ensuring compliance with applicable legal provisions and reporting requirements.
  12. Assist the General Counsel in advising the organization’s board of directors and related governance entities on the legal aspects of issues under their consideration.
  13. Prepare or review proposed amendments to governing documents, bylaws of the organization’s subunits, and other documents and materials to safeguard the organization’s interests.
  14. Design, develop and implement programs, policies and procedures in partnership with senior management and participate in the development of strategic plans for the Office of the Secretary and General Counsel.



  • J.D. degree with a strong academic background.
  • Member, or ability to waive into, the D.C. Bar.
  • Eight to ten years of experience as an attorney in practice with law firms, and/or in a for-profit, nonprofit, or government legal department.
  • Experience with two or more of the following: (1) employment/immigration; (2) intellectual property; (3) general publishing issues; (4) privacy/GDPR; (5) general litigation; (6) nonprofit organizations; and (7) commercial contracts/licensing.
  • Excellent judgment: able to handle multiple projects and set priorities.
  • Able and willing to handle a variety of tasks across a broad range of substantive areas and to learn new areas quickly.
  • Strong interpersonal and presentation skills, along with the ability to communicate effectively with others at all levels of the organization.
  • Strong negotiating skills.
  • Ability to establish and maintain strong relationships within the organization’s legal department and across all businesses.
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
  • Commitment to teamwork and a strong sense of humor.


Nearest Major Market: Washington DC

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