Description:

Overview
Ascend is a network of K-12 public charter schools, educating 5,700 students in the school year 2021-2022 across 15 schools in Central Brooklyn. Our mission is to lead our students on a great intellectual journey, providing them with an exceptional education and placing them firmly on the path to success in college and beyond.

Through our rigorous curriculum, we guide our students to think critically and independently and to enjoy education as an end in itself. Our schools foster a positive, non-punitive school culture where students feel connected, empowered, and safe to take academic risks. By offering a rich liberal arts education in a supportive environment, we animate children’s natural sense of curiosity and prepare students to think independently, thrive on their own, and engage the world as informed, responsible citizens.

Strategic growth
Ascend is at a pivotal point in its development: Having grown from a network office of seven staff to 80, and from four schools to 15 in eight years, and developing a unique educational and cultural model that is driving ever-increasing academic success. Critical to Ascend’s continued success is strong legal counsel, passionate for our work, and zealous about ensuring that at all times, we comply with legal and compliance requirements with excellence and fidelity.

This role is an opportunity for a skilled, mission-driven attorney to join a growing, high-performing network of public charter schools with a unique liberal arts and responsive culture model. Reporting directly to the chief financial officer, the position will work closely with Ascend’s executive and extended leadership teams to develop a legal function that meets Ascend’s standards of excellence.

Responsibilities
The ideal candidate will have sophisticated legal expertise, a deep interest in the education reform sector, and excellent written and oral communication skills.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
  • Advising network and school leaders on a wide variety of schooling and legal matters, including charter, education, special education, and family law; employment and labor law; compliance and reporting; governance, open meetings, and not-for-profit law; and real estate leasing, development, and financing transactions
  • Driving the continuous improvement of organizational policies and procedures together with the Ascend extended leadership team
  • Overseeing current and potential litigation involving Ascend
  • Reviewing and managing contracts
  • Keeping abreast of changes to law and regulations that impact Ascend, as well as political and legislative matters related to the education and education reform sectors
  • Managing outside counsel and serving as their liaison with Ascend

Qualifications
  • Degree in law and must be admitted to the New York bar
  • At least five years of professional experience preferred
  • Strong research and analytic skills; uncompromising attention to detail
  • Ability to multi-task, work within short time frames, and meet tight deadlines
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, good judgment, and an ability to take direction as well as work independently
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and ability to effectively communicate with a broad stakeholder group
  • Unwavering commitment to the Ascend educational mission
  • Commitment to a culture of collegiality and personal traits including unwavering honesty, maturity, transparency, intelligence, warmth, optimism, and a sense of humor
  • Commitment to transparency in all dealings, exacting ethical standards at all times, and a sensitivity to the level of scrutiny to which Ascend and its schools are subject, as recipients of public funds
  • Professional style that exhibits respect for all members of Ascend’s community and its real estate development partners
  • Strong academic record and recommendations

Compensation
Ascend Learning offers a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits package.

Diversity at Ascend
Ascend is committed to building a diverse and inclusive community, both through our hiring practices and our focus on creating a culture and environment where diverse perspectives, ideas, and identities are valued and integrated into our way of working and educating students. Ascend staff represent a wide diversity of racial, socio-economic, gender, religious, and national identities—opening a window to the entire Ascend community on the richness of humanity. We welcome all applicants who share our mission and vision to join us in our deeply consequential work.