Legal Director

Wikimedia Foundation
March 15, 2017
San Francisco, CA
Job Type


Join Wikimedia in our collaborative project to empower people worldwide to create and share the sum of all human knowledge. Wikimedia’s legal team advises the nonprofit that hosts Wikipedia and other free educational projects. Being a Wikimedia lawyer means working collaboratively and solving problems that no one has thought about before. We are looking for an attorney with experience advising on a range of legal topics, as well as managing other attorneys. They should have strong leadership skills and a passion for the Wikimedia mission.

This position is based in San Francisco and reports to the General Counsel.

We’d like you to do these things:   

-- Defend free knowledge consistent with the Wikimedia Guiding Principles.
-- Be a leader within the organization, advising both the general counsel and executive management.
-- Assist the general counsel in overseeing all legal team activities, as well as shaping the organization's legal infrastructure and strategy
-- Mentor, oversee, and help develop junior members of the team.
-- Manage the inbound and outbound contracts process for the organization, including overseeing the contracts team, and advising staff with Wikimedia’s unique objectives, values, and risks in mind.
-- Conduct complex contract negotiations and review.  
-- Provide corporate governance advice and support in all areas relevant to a 501(c)(3) organization.
-- Draft and advise on relevant internal and external policies.
-- Support our Talent and Culture team with regards to domestic and international employment and contractor relations, employment law, and immigration law.

We’d like you to have these skills:

-- Authorized to practice law in the State of California (either as an active member of the California Bar or by qualifying as registered in-house counsel).
-- 7+ years experience practicing law, with some experience with transactional work, contract review, and providing in-house legal advice. Experience at a web-based company or advising on technical products, intellectual property, privacy and security, or internet law questions is highly preferred.
-- Experience in leadership and management positions.
-- Commitment to the Wikimedia Foundation’s free knowledge mission, including free culture, open source software, Creative Commons, and freedom of expression.
-- Fluency communicating complex topics both clearly and succinctly, in writing and orally, to expert and non-expert audiences alike.
-- Dedicated, hardworking, passionate, and detail-oriented.
-- Ability to learn on the job, spot issues, think fast, and comfortably deal with complex and ambiguous issues with sound judgment.
--Comfortable in a highly collaborative, consensus-oriented environment.

And it would be even more awesome if you have this:

-- Experience with open source, free culture, free software, or online communities.
-- Ability to speak other languages, experience living or working outside the United States, or past work on international legal issues are a major plus.

About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that supports and hosts Wikipedia and several other Wikimedia free knowledge sites. Every month, the Wikimedia sites are accessed by more than a billion unique devices. Wikipedia consists of more than 40 million articles across hundreds of languages. Every month, more than 70,000 volunteer editors contribute to Wikipedia. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) non-profit that is funded primarily through donations and grants. It currently employs over 240 staff members.

At the Foundation, we build technology to help people everywhere access Wikipedia, across devices and in nearly 300 languages. We engineer privacy for our readers and editors so they can safely and securely explore Wikipedia. We create programs and initiatives to make Wikipedia freely available to more people in more parts of the world. We build new tools for the community of editors so they can continue to improve and grow Wikipedia. Roughly a quarter of our budget goes to supporting the community that make the site possible, including through grantmaking programs that enable volunteers and enrich the information on the sites.

The Wikimedia Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, and we encourage people with a diverse range of backgrounds to apply.

Benefits & Perks *

-- Fully paid medical, dental and vision coverage for employees and their eligible families (yes, fully paid premiums!)
-- The Wellness Program provides reimbursement for mind, body and soul activities such as fitness memberships, massages, cooking classes and much more
-- The 401(k) retirement plan offers matched contributions at 4% of annual salary
-- Flexible and generous time off - vacation, sick and volunteer days, plus 19 paid holidays - including the last week of the year.
-- Family friendly! 100% paid new parent leave for seven weeks plus an additional five weeks for pregnancy, flexible options to phase back in after leave, fully equipped lactation room.
-- For those emergency moments - long and short term disability, life insurance (2x salary) and an employee assistance program
-- Pre-tax savings plans for health care, child care, elder care, public transportation and parking expenses
-- Telecommuting and flexible work schedules available
-- Appropriate fuel for thinking and coding (aka, a pantry full of treats) and monthly massages to help staff relax
-- Great colleagues - diverse staff and contractors speaking dozens of languages from around the world, fantastic intellectual discourse, mission-driven and intensely passionate people

* for benefits eligible staff, benefits may vary by location

More Information

Related Jobs

Public Policy Manager   San Francisco, United States
July 31, 2015
June 7, 2015
October 21, 2014
Legal Director   London, United Kingdom
April 8, 2014
Comments are closed.