Counsel, Contracts & Compliance

Job Type

Full Time




1313 E. 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States



Chapin Hall, one of the nation’s leading policy research centers, seeks a Counsel – Contracts & Compliance. An independent not-for-profit, policy research center affiliated with the University of Chicago, Chapin Hall provides public and private decision-makers with rigorous data analysis and achievable solutions to support them in improving the lives of children, youth, and families.

Chapin Hall employs more than 160 staff across 17 states. Funding sources include a diverse array of grant and contract vehicles with federal, state, and local governments, non-profit agencies, as well as private foundations. Chapin Hall partners with policymakers, practitioners, and philanthropists at the forefront of research and policy development by applying a unique blend of scientific research, real world experience, and policy expertise to construct actionable information, practical tools, and, ultimately, positive change for children, youth, and families.

Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago is seeking a highly motivated individual to direct and manage extensive legal activities ranging from contracts for research and policy initiatives taking place across the country to its corporate governance and compliance programs.

The position of Counsel - Contracts and Compliance, reporting to the Director of Financial Operations, will be responsible for providing legal support to the organization, including extensive work with the organization’s research and operational contracts, including drafting and negotiating agreements. This position will track all contractual obligations, risks and commitments, and work with applicable personnel to ensure full performance and execution.

In addition, the Counsel – Contracts & Compliance is responsible for leading routine corporate governance and compliance, ensuring Chapin Hall’s operations are aligned with all applicable federal and state laws, and all other program requirements that affect the activities of the organization and its board. This position will work closely with leadership across the organization, including the directors of Financial Operations, Human Resources, Research, and Research Technology, as well as the organization’s Principal Investigators.


The primary responsibilities of the position are as follows:

  • Works cooperatively and strategically with leadership and Principal Investigators on drafting and negotiating a wide range of contracts, including, but not limited to, service agreements (subcontracts, sub-awards, consultants), confidentiality agreements, and data sharing agreements with clients, vendors, and suppliers that underpin the organization’s research and policy activities, as well as other business activities;
  • Serves as primary contact for questions related to contract terms and conditions; corresponds regularly with project sponsors, partners and stakeholders. Addresses legal issues in a variety of contract areas as they arise;
  • Works cooperatively and strategically with the Research Technology Department regarding the organization’s data holdings, including the drafting, tracking, and managing data sharing agreements and providing counsel and support regarding data privacy and security matters;
  • Works cooperatively and strategically with the Human Resources Department regarding the development and implementation of the organization’s policies and procedures as these relate to personnel matters;
  • Provides counsel and support related to corporate governance and compliance matters, including conflicts of interest (in consultation with the Board of Directors), as well as compliance with non-profit regulations across various areas including human resources/employment and insurance matters. Regularly reviews a wide variety of organizational policies and procedures, identifying a need for revisions or additions;
  • Conducts research related to state and federal laws, statutes, and regulations as well as regulatory compliance requirements impacting the organization; makes recommendations and communicates relevant implications to leadership and applicable departments/staff;
  • Assists as appropriate with procurement activities which may include drafting and reviewing purchase order terms and conditions, as well as requests for quotes (RFQs) and request for proposals (RFPs);
  • Leads the annual procurement of organizational insurance policies, including renewal of annual policies and procurement of insurance certificates for events and project activities;
  • Ensures that the company’s licenses and registrations are in good standing; and
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


  • Juris Doctor from an accredited institution with a record of strong academic achievement and an active license to practice law in the State of Illinois required.
  • Minimum 10 years of general business law, ideally including representation of not-for-profits, required.
  • Excellent legal research, writing, and analytical skills, including experience in contract drafting and negotiation, required. 
  • Knowledge of Conflict of Interest policies and procedures required.
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically, work independently, and be solutions-oriented required.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including strong experience in communicating and interacting effectively with clients, partnership, outside counsel, and all levels of staff required. 
  • Excellent organizational, planning, and follow-through skills; ability to work necessary hours in a deadline driven environment; and attention to detail required.
  • Experience working in a research and policy center, institute of higher education, or non-profit corporation, including knowledge of and experience with Institutional Review Board policies and practices preferred.
  • Experience working with local, state, and federal laws, rules, and regulations governing public procurement and contract administration processes, such as Uniform Administrative Guidelines and Federal Acquisition Regulations, risk assessment, and internal monitoring preferred.
  • Able to travel locally and nationally, as needed, in support of existing & future organizational business, preferred.
  • Proficiency working with databases; experience with FileMaker Pro preferred.


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. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Must be able to remain in a stationary position for extended periods of time.
  • Must be able to operate a computer extensively for four (4) or more hours per day.
  • Must be able to travel.


Pre-employment background checks are required for all Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago positions.

To express interest in this opening, please visit

Formal expressions of interest are accepted online only. A cover letter, resume, and reference contact information are required to be considered for this position.

Individuals in need of reasonable accommodations to complete the application process should contact Human Resources by calling (773) 256-5157, or by sending an email to

Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer that values and actively seeks diversity in its workforce. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, status as an individual with disability, age, protected veteran status, or any other status protected by law.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required


How To Apply

To express interest in this opening, please visit

Formal expressions of interest are accepted online only. A cover letter, resume, and reference contact information are required to be considered for this position.