• Senior Legal and Policy Advisor

    Job Locations US-DC
    Job ID 2019-2062
    Policy Advisors
  • Overview



    Senior Education Legal and Policy Advisor at EducationCounsel




    EducationCounsel LLC, in affiliation with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, serves as a strategic consultant to education leaders and policy makers. By offering an integrated suite of services including policy, strategy, advocacy, and law, and partnering with leaders across all levels (e.g., associations, foundations, non-for-profits, states, districts, and universities), EducationCounsel helps clients achieve their goals of enhancing the quality of the nation's education systems, closing achievement gaps, and expanding access to educational opportunities throughout the education pipeline from birth to college and career access and completion.


    EducationCounsel is seeking a forward-thinking, effective, and entrepreneurial professional to serve as a Senior Education Legal and Policy Advisor. This critical role will lead projects designed to advance work on higher education policy, often with complex intersecting legal issues, including by improving access, diversity, and equity outcomes. By serving as a strategic policy and law advisor to a wide array of decision makers (e.g., Institutes of Higher Educations, national organizations, foundation leaders, academic and professional disciplinary societies, and nonprofit executives) on a variety of critical higher education topics, this person will be poised to influence institutional performance and postsecondary outcomes on a national scale.


    This is an ideal opportunity for an experience attorney who has a strong education policy orientation and depth of knowledge in federal law and policy, strategic thinking, relationship and project management, research and writing, and facilitation skills to work with the EducationCounsel team and play a transformative role in shaping the future of education in our country. Having experience in issues associated with student diversity and inclusion in higher education, including with respect to legal challenges associated with affirmative action, is a plus.


    Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:


    Leading Institutional and Systems Change in Higher Education 

    • Work with policymakers, advocates, and other stakeholders at all levels to inform policy change, with a special focus on federal policy and law, and removing systemic barriers to participation and success of all students
    • Develop innovative, achievable solutions for improved student experiences and outcomes in a variety of postsecondary settings
    • Listen to and look for potential consensus among a wide variety of policy, law, political, research, and practical perspectives
    • Use data, research, and other information to build an evidence base for proposed solutions
    • Educate practitioners on federal and state non-discrimination legal foundations
    • Create legal content, analysis to advance effective and sustainable solutions achieve policy objectives
    • Provide expertise and analysis through written and oral communications 

    Driving Progress in Education Efforts through Partner/Client Relationships 

    • Work with partners and clients to set vision and drive the reflective thinking and strategic planning, as well as elevating understanding of key drivers of success and legal design parameters, that are necessary to achieve the goal of improving policy, practice and outcomes;
    • Manage existing client relationships; quickly establish trust and rapport; and deliver exceptional client service and support
    • Leverage internal and external relationships to maximize EducationCounsel’s and its clients’ impact within education and strategically move policy efforts forward
    • Leading and Facilitating the Delivery of Value & Content
    • Design and facilitate strategic and impactful convenings (e.g., meetings, conferences, etc.) in order to develop and advance implementation of plans, affect change, strengthen systems, and assess policy on a national scale
    • Plan strategically to ensure the right people are discussing the right topics at the right time
    • Conduct thoughtful research around specific policy and legal issues and design content that will push the conversation forward to realize impact
    • Produce exemplary written materials from start to finish including policy and legal memos, issue reports, and presentations 

    Managing Projects towards Successful Outcomes 

    • Set the vision, tone, and desired outcomes for specified projects and invest internal team members and external partners in the work
    • Manage initiatives towards execution through effective planning, delivery of own effort and delegation; anticipate potential areas of challenge/opportunity; and proactively adjust course as needed
    • Hold team members accountable while operating with a collaborative style and a commitment to coaching and developing others
    • Oversee project budgets to ensure operational excellence and maximum allocation of resources




    The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications: 

    • Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution required
    • D. degree from an accredited law school in the United States, with admission to a state bar and, if that state is not the District of Columbia, the ability to promptly apply and gain admission in D.C.
    • Minimum of 3 years of relevant legal practice, with more preferred, as well as demonstrated orientation and depth of experience in higher education policy
    • Demonstrated understanding of all major areas of federal and state law and policy affecting postsecondary students and institutions
    • Strong analytical mindset; able to deconstruct large, complex education policies and related law into clear and actionable strategies and initiatives
    • Experience leading and managing multiple, complex projects in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial, and ambiguous setting
    • Action orientation, high energy, exceptional ability to multi-task, and solid judgment on how and when to confer with internal and external stakeholders
    • Inspiring leadership and relationship building; able to quickly build trust and credibility with both internal and external stakeholders
    • Comfort managing up, down and sideways to achieve transformative outcomes
    • Excellent research, writing, and communication skills for a variety of audiences and in a variety of settings
    • Evidence of a strong commitment to education issues and to closing opportunity gaps, as well as to eliminating systemic societal inequity based on race, ethnicity, gender and other identities that create barriers for individuals of talent and promise 



    Salary and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience.




    Washington, D.C.


    It is the policy of EducationCounsel and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough to provide equal opportunity in employment to all Employees and applicants for employment. No person is to be discriminated against in employment because of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, veteran status or disability.


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