Position Title:          In-House Counsel  

Department:             Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation (PECF/Foundation) - Foundation Shared Services

Position Type:            Full-time, 12 months

Status:                   Exempt




REPORTS TO:     PECF Executive Director, Finance and Administration and PECF Board of Trustees Secretary and Treasurer

SUPERVISES:      PECF Director, Human Resources


CLOSELY WITH: Dean of the Washington National Cathedral, Heads of School at NCS, St. Albans, Beauvoir and other Institution Senior Leadership

COMMITTEES:  PECF Board of Trustees Continuing Committee on Student Safety (staff liaison)

PECF Enterprise Risk Management Task Force (staff liaison)                                                          

PECF Compensation Committee (staff support)

PECF Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution Retirement Subcommittees (staff liaison)



Serves as in-house legal counsel for areas of employment law working closely with outside legal counsel to ensure compliance with not-for-profit education and religious organization requirements and regulations.  Evaluates, strengthens, monitors compliance and directs activities affecting employment operations and student safety policies for all PECF institutions – Washington National Cathedral, National Cathedral School, St. Albans and Beauvoir.  Responsible for developing and executing employment policies, procedures and strategy in support of the overall business plan and strategic direction of the PECF, including compensation equity, placement, talent management and development, benefits, employee relations, equal opportunity programs, diversity and inclusion and succession planning.  Ensures coordination and consistency of policies and procedures across all PECF institutions.  Partners with Foundation and institution senior leadership in the planning and development of employment and student safety initiatives. 


Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provides employment law advice and counsel to all PECF institutions and trustees. Functions as internal expert on employment law compliance issues.  Serves as liaison with outside legal counsel.  Reviews institution employment agreements and other contracts.  Educates senior staff on employment law matters and current generally accepted best practices. Conducts legal research as necessary.  
  • Leads centralized employment law resources function, ensuring comprehensive and efficient services for the institutions that promote current generally accepted best practices, deliver quality services, engender trust and demonstrate a commitment to resourceful solutions. Builds effective working relationships with staff at all levels within the Foundation and all institutions, providing advice and guidance on a range of human resources policies and related issues to support understanding and ensure effective communication. 
  • Ensures that institutions provide employment and other legal contracts for centralized review by this position. Acts as central repository for documentation of all institution legal issues/settlements.  Institutions are required to keep this position informed of legal issues on a timely basis.
  • Proactively evaluates employment related market trends and patterns, benchmarks, upcoming or proposed new regulations and employment law developments within other similar independent schools and religious organizations, makes recommendations and formulates project implementation plans to ensure that all institutions are following current applicable employment related legal requirements.
  • Ensures that all institutions are in continual, consistent compliance with student safety policies. Reports on student safety policy compliance and areas of improvement to PECF Board of Trustees on a quarterly basis in coordination with Chair of PECF Board of Trustees Continuing Committee on Student Safety. Administers annual training programs for all PECF employees on child protection, harassment prevention and professional code of conduct, background investigation, diversity, inclusion and ethics requirements.
  • Serves alongside PECF Executive Director as staff liaisons to Close-wide Enterprise Risk Management Task Force. Assesses human resources and employment related areas of risk and determines effective risk mitigation strategies.
  • Alongside the Director, Human Resources, leads service focused Foundation Shared Services human resources department, managing the overall direction of the Close-wide human resources services model. Ensures that institutions maintain consistent operations in all employment areas including hiring, equitable compensation and retention practices.  Oversees all institution compensation programs; works closely with Executive Director, Finance and Administration in the development of a program that aligns pay with performance, promotes internal equity and market competitiveness with comparable employers, and provides a consistent approach to allocating merit pay.
  • Partners with institution business managers in the development of human resources initiatives that support PECF and institution objectives. Serves as primary point of contact to institution business managers on human resources matters; provide guidance and support, and communicate best practices and policies.
  • Collaborates on evaluating, establishing, and implementing policies and practices that fit organizational needs, structure, and culture.
  • Analyzes trends and metrics and recommend/develop solutions, programs, and policies that support institutional priorities, align with industry best practices, and reduce risk.
  • Provides coaching and guidance on reorganizations, workforce planning, succession planning and employee development programs.
  • Serves as key advisor, alongside Director, Human Resources, on employee relations issues: coaches managers, mediates, develops action plans, meets with employees, provides referrals, and conducts investigations and consults with outside legal counsel as needed.
  • Works with PECF Executive Director and institution senior leadership on special projects as required.

Work Behaviors:

  • Displays willingness to make decisions, exhibits sound and accurate judgment, supports and explains reasoning for decisions, includes appropriate people in decision making process and makes timely decisions.
  • Demonstrates leadership; exhibits confidence in self and others, inspires respect and trust, reacts well under pressure and motivates others to perform well.
  • Sets goals and objectives, gives performance feedback, motivates for increased results and recognizes contributions. Develops employee skills, encourages cross-training and growth and acknowledges team accomplishments.
  • Develops project plans, communicates changes and progress, completes projects on time and on budget and manages project team activities.
  • Ability to manage change; develops workable implementation plans, communicates change effectively, prepares and supports those affected by change and monitors transition and evaluates results.
  • Resolves conflicts through the following means: encourages open communication, maintains objectivity and uses negotiation skills.


Minimum Qualifications:


Bachelor’s Degree and Juris Doctorate from an ABA accredited law school is required. Must be admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and must maintain a valid attorney’s license in Washington, DC.  Human Resources experience preferred.

Minimum of six to eight years’ broad and relevant experience in a law firm or directly working on legal matters in-house as an attorney is required, preferably in or for an institution of secondary or higher education or other relevant non-profit organization.  Minimum of five years’ supervisory experience leading and developing teams. 

Experience with student safety best practices, employment contracts, education, tax, and regulatory compliance issues is required.

High level of professional ethics and integrity, sound judgment and ability to analyze situations and information as well as excellent communication skills required.


Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:

  • Knowledge of education, religious organization and employment laws, best practices and trends in human resources operations.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communications skills; customer-service orientation; ability to function effectively as a team member or leader as evolving circumstances dictate.  Ability to build trust, consensus and effective partnerships with all PECF institutions. Recognizes and respects diverse viewpoints.
  • Ability to manage multiple complex tasks and/or projects simultaneously; ability to maintain composure under pressure.
  • Ability to write reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals.  Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from senior leadership, trustees and employees.
  • Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions.  High degree of attention to detail; commitment to excellence in all aspects of work.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of records and information.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office 365 applications, human resources and database software, e-mail.

Work Conditions:

  • The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. 
  • Requires computer work involving extensive use of keyboard, mouse and monitor.  Occasionally requires lifting materials of approximately 20 lbs. 

This position requires sitting, standing and walking.  Travel and other work related assignments on weekends is possible.