Associate General Counsel

Helmsley Charitable Trust | New York, New York



The Helmsley Charitable Trust is a grantmaking private foundation that aspires to improve lives by creating stronger, healthier futures for individuals and communities in the U.S. and around the world. Headquartered in New York City, with an endowment of over $7 billion and a staff of around 100, Helmsley is one of the largest foundations in the United States. Since beginning active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has awarded over $3 billion for charitable purposes. Today, Helmsley is one of the largest private foundation funders of work in Type 1 Diabetes, Crohn’s Disease, and rural healthcare in the United States.  Helmsley’s work in health also extends to Sub-Saharan Africa and New York City. In addition, Helmsley's Israel program focuses on strengthening Israel’s contributions to basic scientific, technological, and medical research and promoting a global understanding and appreciation of Israel and its people.

Helmsley is committed to close and productive partnerships with its grantees, as well as with other funders and impact players in government, academia, and the private sector. Above all, Helmsley endeavors to be forward-thinking in every aspect of its work and will take risks that others cannot or will not take when the risk/reward trade-off warrants.

Job Summary

The Office of General Counsel and the Role

The Office of General Counsel oversees all legal work for Helmsley, advises the Trustees, management, and staff, supports grantmaking, human resources, communications, finance, and other foundation activities, and ensures compliance with tax laws governing private foundations.

Based in New York City, the Associate General Counsel will be a key part of a collaborative legal team that supports Helmsley’s philanthropic work. The position includes ongoing work as well as short and long-term projects such as policy development, creating Trustee presentations and materials, and research and analysis.  

Reports To

General Counsel



  • Review, negotiate, and draft agreements, including but not limited to consulting agreements, vendor contracts, complex grant agreements, and program-related investments
  • Analyze legal issues that affect Helmsley and its activities at the local, state, federal, and international levels and prepare written analyses with recommendations
  • Advise management and staff on laws applicable to private foundations and provide support on grantmaking and other activities
  • Troubleshoot issues with staff and assist in finding and implementing effective solutions that meet Helmsley’s business needs and legal obligations
  • Assist in developing and delivering training on legal issues
  • Represent Helmsley effectively internally and externally, including with outside counsel
  • Work collaboratively with colleagues across Helmsley to develop and support trust-wide initiatives  to advance Helmsley’s overall impact
  • Support and improve Helmsley’s internal processes and systems and implement and communicate changes
  • Special projects and other duties, as assigned


Desired Qualifications

  • Minimum 3-5 years transactional experience at a major law firm and/or in-house with experience advising nonprofit organizations
  • Experience at a private foundation or public charity preferred
  • Excellent drafting and negotiation skills
  • Strong analytical skills and demonstrated ability to understand complex and nuanced legal concepts and analysis and explain such topics to non-lawyers and create practical processes, guidance, and training
  • Demonstrated excellent research, writing, and verbal communication skills
  • Impeccable integrity and excellent judgment as reflected in a professional record of successfully providing counsel to clients
  • Demonstrated ability to anticipate information needed by others as projects and situations develop; manage multiple demands, and organize time and resources effectively
  • Strong teamwork and client-service skills; solution-oriented and able to incorporate user feedback as needed
  • Comfort with ambiguity and the ability to work through challenging complex situations
  • Strong attention to detail and accuracy
  • Administratively self-sufficient with demonstrated skill with Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and SharePoint
  • J.D. from an accredited institution; admission to the New York bar is preferred or eligibility to sit for the New York bar exam

How to Apply

Application Process

The position is based at Helmsley’s main office in New York City. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification document form upon hire. To apply for this position, please submit a cover letter, resume (in PDF format), via the link, Helmsley does not provide visa sponsorship for employment.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the incumbent(s) of this job.  They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and activities required for the position.  Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.

Helmsley Charitable Trust