Legal Counsel, VP
Craft3 – Legal Counsel, VP
Reports To: President & CEO
Location: Seattle, WA
FLSA Status: Exempt
Craft3 is a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) with a mission to strengthen economic, ecological, and family resilience throughout Oregon and Washington communities. We do this by providing loans to entrepreneurs, nonprofits, individuals, including those without access to traditional financing. We then complement these financial resources with our expertise, professional connections, and other advocacy for our clients. By delivering capital where it’s needed most, we’re helping build a more equitable and resilient future.
Craft3 employees are creative thinkers and doers — hardworking, innovative, and flexible — who are passionate about our mission. A diverse staff and a diversity of perspectives help our organization thrive and adapt. We’re committed to being an anti-racist organization. In your application, please feel free to note which pronouns you use. And we encourage you to apply, even if you don’t meet all the requirements of the job description.
Learn more at www.craft3.org
LEGAL COUNSEL POSITION SUMMARY
The Legal Counsel provides legal advice and support on a range of legal matters relevant to the operations of Craft3 and its affiliated entities. The Legal Counsel is responsible for protecting the interests of Craft3 in legal matters and providing advice and counsel to Management, staff and the Board of Directors on issues ranging from organizational concerns and corporate governance to vendor and professional services contracts to all creditor-debtor matters, including loan documentation and collections. The Legal Counsel will advise and assist staff in negotiating the terms of capital for Craft3. This position manages and serve as liaison to external General Counsel.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of the Legal Counsel include some or all the following and are not intended to be all-inclusive. Craft3 reserves the right to change, add or delete responsibilities and duties as seen fit. An employee’s specific job duties, priorities, and performance expectations are detailed in individual performance plans.
- Advise the Board of Directors and Management on corporate organization, governance, policies, and procedures; draft and amend bylaws, advise on statements of policy, corporate resolutions, and comparable governance matters.
- Form and amend corporations and other legal entities, as needed.
- Assist Board and staff to achieve Craft3’s goals and objectives within parameters of statutes, regulations and Craft3’s risk appetite in the fulfillment of its mission.
- Advise and assist staff throughout lending life cycle, including particularly large or complex loans. Advise the Chief Credit Officer, Risk Management, lenders, portfolio administration, and others, as appropriate, on loan documents, particularly when a borrower, their customer or property owner requests changes from standard closing documents.
- Review loan documents for large or complex transactions especially when the loan involves agreements with other parties or partners.
- Collections: work with the CCO and Risk Management, and at times external General Counsel to restructure loans, escalate collection correspondence, issue default letters, and communicate with borrower counsel.
- Loan Restructures: work with staff on restructuring loans, provide guidance on negotiations with guarantors, collateral, or equity position in the borrower and possibly redocumenting portions of the loan documents.
- New product development: for commercial and consumer, ensure the product meets statutes, regulations and Craft3’s risk appetite, e.g., Sharia compliant investing, accessory dwelling units.
- Review and recommend approval on 3rd party contracts: leases, vendors, lender agreements, personal service agreements, Craft3 investment documents, MOU’s, etc.
- Advise and assist the President, Development Team and the Development Manager capital raising efforts; negotiate loans and grants which support lending and operations.
- Execute Opinions of external General Counsel regarding the eligibility and legal status of Craft3 and/or its subsidiaries. Collaborate with Development Director and others regarding potential additional fundraising vehicles (e.g., Community Impact Investment Note).
- Manage Craft3’s external General Counsel, to provide expertise and/or added capacity in highly specialized areas including but not limited to bankruptcy, litigation, securities matters, tax issues such as New Markets Tax Credits and Historical Tax Credits, Human Resources, and Indian and environmental law.
- Manage Craft3’s compliance with licensing and corporate entity reporting requirements.
- Develop or advise on Craft3 compliance policy and procedures.
- Represent the organization in disputes, interactions with opposing counsel, and/or liaise with external General Counsel representing Craft3.
- Respond to legal questions related to the corporation’s business posed by any Craft3 employee.
- Discrete projects, initiatives, or activities at the discretion of external General Counsel and the President.
- Support the organization's All Team performance standards, Companywide Competencies.
- Demonstrate stewardship for the Craft3 Brand.
- Execute Opinions of external General Counsel.
- Approve language in non-standard closing documents but does not execute.
- Approve language in leases and 3rd party contracts but does not execute.
- Approve accounts payable related to legal fees and costs of external counsel.
Direct / Indirect Reports - None
Peer Positions - Craft3 Executive Management Team
Financial Impact - Position is essential to ensuring loan and contracts protect the interests of Craft3.
Typical Problem Solving for the General Counsel
Craft3 prides itself on meeting borrowers, partners, and other stakeholders “where they are.” Protecting Craft3’s interests in this environment includes creative problem solving and understanding when a soft touch may be more effective than a heavy hand.
- Collaborate with team members to assist borrowers, partners, and other stakeholders toward successful resolution of conflicts.
- Understanding of, and ability to assist staff with understanding wider implications of alternative legal remedies.
- Deal with problems involving many variables in sometimes difficult and stressful situations. Examples: oversight of complex requirements, resolving partner and staff conflicts, dealing with sometimes irate and impatient end-users, and managing, many simultaneous high priority projects and user requests. Be able to synthesize issues, prioritize projects, and interact with partners, staff, and Directors with strength, if necessary, and tact.
Preferred Skills and Abilities of the General Counsel
- Intellectual curiosity and enjoy continuous learning.
- Possess initiative as well as analytical, critical thinking and problem-solving skills and an ability to develop clear solutions to complex or nebulous issues.
- Establish procedures for efficient and accurate workflow, write and carry out detailed and complicated written or oral instructions.
- Superior verbal and written communication skills.
- Able to work effectively with colleagues at all levels of the organization and build respectful, trusting relationships.
- Remain productive and efficient with frequent changes, delays, or unexpected events and multiple work assignments.
- Excellent prioritization, solution oriented, organization skills and effective time management to succeed in a semi-autonomous, fast-paced environment.
- Proficiency in Microsoft Suite, shared files system, Contact Relationship Management system, and file share systems.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE
Juris Doctorate licensed to practice law in Washington or Oregon. Minimum seven to ten years related experience, including debtor- creditor law. Banking/financial services experience preferred. Bilingual (English/Spanish) a plus.
Certificates, Licenses, Registrations
- Law degree from an A.B.A. accredited law school
- Active license to practice law in Washington and Oregon, and a member in good standing from the applicable state Bar.
When not remote, this job operates in a clerical office setting. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, and filing cabinets. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Frequently requires use of manual dexterity and repetitive motions, primarily with the wrists, hands, and/or fingers. Must be able to occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.
A level of travel is to be expected with job responsibilities covering a geographic area that includes the States of Oregon and Washington.