Friendship Public Charter School

General Counsel

Vacancy for School Year
Friendship Public Charter School


Friendship Public Charter School operates a thriving network of college preparatory public charter schools. Headquartered in Washington, DC. Friendship serves over 4,800 students in preschool to grade 12 and guides a growing network of alumni to college completion annually. Nearly 70% of students are deemed “at-risk” due to family poverty, homelessness or other complex risk factors and 100% of students are deemed eligible for free and reduced lunch due to community poverty. 98% are African American or Latino.  The mission of Friendship Public Charter School (FPCS) is to prepare students to become ethical, literate, well-rounded and self-sufficient citizens by providing a world-class education that motivates students to reach high academic standards, to enjoy learning, to achieve success, and to contribute actively to their communities


The General Counsel is responsible for identifying, assessing, and controlling organizational risk by advising Friendship PCS on a wide range of legal issues including, but not limited to, human resources and employment matters, special education, contracts, governance, real estate, finance, tax, privacy, and other corporate issues. 

The General Counsel works with all departments within the organization. The General Counsel also manages a team of individuals and oversees the team’s legal work involving employee policy, external policy, contracts, student policy and investigations. The General Counsel reports to the Chief of Staff.


General Counsel responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Serve as Friendship PCS’C’s primary legal counsel
  • Advise Friendship PCS management and Board with respect to legal issues relating to the development and implementation of business strategy, governance and compliance policies, real estate matters, employment law matters, intellectual property issues, exempt organizations law, state and federal tax and corporate filings, special education, public education and charter school law matters, conflict of interest policies, corporate structure and related retention of documents, risk assessment and management
  • Develop and deliver training for Friendship PCS team members on a wide range of legal and policy issues to promote effective navigation of and compliance with federal and state laws and regulations including but not limited to Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Provide counseling to Friendship PCS on matters involving the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Oversee the legal review and negotiation of all Friendship PCS contracts, and ensure compliance with all contractual requirements set by the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board (DC PCSB) and other relevant authorities
  • Help represent Friendship PCS  before governmental and municipal bodies
  • Manage all outside counsel
  • Lead the legal team
  • Set annual vision and associated goals 
  • Oversee regular team meetings and coordinate team to ensure consistent vision and progress
  • Grow future leaders by mentoring direct reports and providing meaningful feedback on a regular basis
  • Prioritize equity and inclusion in all areas of work
  • Develop internal policies and procedures
  • Help develop policies and procedures for Friendship PCS in conjunction with departmental leaders. Relevant areas may include, but not be limited to, intellectual property, employment law matters, special education  real estate law matters, and conflict of interest
  • Advise on risk management and insurance related strategies
  • Advise on employment law matters and human resources issues
  • Advise on and represent FPCS in all IEP meetings, Due Process Hearings, Resolution/Mediations, Federal Court Appeal and State Complaint involving IDEA.
  • Oversee annual review of Friendship PCS team member and supervisor handbooks
  • Manage employee relations team and provide legal counsel to HR staff on employment matters, including but limited to the hiring and termination of employees, performance issues, and employee discipline
  • Support finance, development, and real estate functions
  • Help ensure compliance with all covenants and obligations set out existing financing agreements
  • Manage negotiations of all development-related contracts, letters of intent, use agreements, and memoranda of understanding
  • Ensure procurement compliance with all municipal, regulatory, and organizational requirements 
  • Manage ongoing leases and property issues 
  • Manage all matters relating to land use and zoning
  • Manage all legal-related financing matters


Support schools

  • Represent interests of Friendship PCS before any municipal or governmental bodies
  • Negotiate and draft charter applications and amendments as necessary
  • Advise along with Human Resources on employment matters (e.g., discipline and termination)
  • Provide counsel and management in matters relating to school crises; advise Friendship PCS school leaders on student disciplinary actions, and as necessary, participate in disciplinary hearings
  • Provide ongoing legal counsel for emerging school leaders as they develop or assume management of Friendship schools
  • Draft and review contracts for teaching and school management consultants
  • Plan and provide training for emerging school leaders on various legal topics including employment, FERPA, risk management, and SPED
  • Manage matters relating to Friendship PCS partnerships with other educational organizations
  • Engage with external stakeholders to influence local policies surrounding charter schools
  • Serve as one of Friendship’s DC’s primary policy experts by representing Friendship in discussions and presentations with external stakeholdersAssist in review and preparation for DC PCSB, DC Council, State Board of Education, and other relevant meetings and hearings


  • JD required
  • Practicing attorney, barred or ability to be barred in DC
  • Minimum of 15 years of relevant experience, including 7 years as a practicing attorney
  • People management experience required
  • Experience in education, non-profit, or government strongly preferred, but not required 
  • Experience working with board of directors
  • Experience in policy and advocacy work
  • Experience with employment law
  • Experience with special education and representation at Due Process Hearings
  • Context about the Washington DC region
  • Excellent communication, project management, and analytic skills
  • Organized and detailed oriented
  • Results-oriented team player who is dedicated to getting the job done
  • Comfort with working in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment and for a non-profit
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office (Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook)

FPCS’s policy is to provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified applicants and employees regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, genetic information, veteran status, status as a special disabled veteran, or any other protected criteria as established by federal, state, or local laws.  This policy applies to recruitment and hiring, training, promotion, compensation, benefits, transfer, layoff, termination and all other terms and conditions of employment.  Employment decisions at FPCS are based solely upon relevant criteria, including an individual’s capabilities, qualifications, training, experience and suitability.



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