Associate Attorney High Rise Law Firm San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Small yet influential firm specializing in cannabis law and licensing is seeking a new associate attorney to join the team and work on all aspects of client matters. Clientele are primarily family businesses, solopreneurs, women and minority owned businesses, equity applicants, and legacy cannabis operators. The Firm’s primary values are integrity, equity, and affordability.

The Role

You will be working directly with clients on a day-to-day basis to advise and drive the process on all legal aspects of their services including state and local cannabis licensing applications, business structuring, business transactions, business operations, and compliance. You will provide pragmatic advice on legal and business decisions and their risks. You will conduct 1-2 hour consultations on general business and cannabis licensing requirements. You will answer questions and provide advice on a wide range of issues including some personal non-business legal matters. You will attend government hearings and present on behalf of clients and their applications.

You will work independently with minimal oversight though you will collaborate closely with our experienced licensing manager and have access to a variety of internal resources. You will regularly refer to and gain expertise in state and local agency websites, statutes, and regulations including unwritten and unofficial procedures. For the position, you must be comfortable communicating with clients, government regulators, and others in adversarial or difficult situations, particularly over the phone. You must be able to communicate and empathize with people from a variety of backgrounds with a range of business experience. You must have the ability to effectively relay complex information in a concise format particularly through email.

The cannabis industry is volatile and nothing is guaranteed thus you must be resilient and motivated in the face of numerous client setbacks. To be successful in the position, you must exercise initiative and creativity in solving challenges and accomplishing client goals and thus must be comfortable challenging the status quo and preconceived notions of what is possible.

The Working Conditions, Compensation, & Benefits

  • $70,000/yr approximate annual pay based on billable hours worked
  • Approximately 20 hours a week, 15 being billable hours, billable hours expected to increase over time
  • This is an employee position, not a contractor, and as such the Firm will contribute to your payroll taxes, social security, medicare, and unemployment
  • Work from home. The firm was virtual/mobile prior to Covid and will continue to be so after offices reopen. We have a coworking space available in Oakland if an in-person meeting is absolutely required or if you want to get out of the house.
  • No strict work hours and set your own daily schedule. We usually start around 9am and end around 6pm. As long as you stay in communication (via Slack) and meet client needs, you can do what you want with your day. You are not expected to work evenings, weekends, or holidays unless necessary to meet deadlines (which is rare).
  • You will never be expected to work with clients that are rude or disrespectful in any way and we will fire them if necessary. Our clients are passionate, appreciative, and unique. While they may be difficult at times, they are good people we enjoy helping. We are not here to work with people that make us miserable just because they pay.
  • The firm is an equal opportunity employer that strives to promote gender, racial, and social equality
  • At this time we will not be offering health insurance or paid time off. The firm is steadily growing with an eye towards offering health benefits to full time employees.
  • It is acceptable for you to take on outside work so long as it does not present a conflict of interest or diminish your performance in any manner.

The Minimum Requirements

  • Must have a minimum 3 years of experience in commercial transactions, structuring and forming entities, due diligence, and entity compliance.
  • Proven negotiation, drafting, and analytical skills for various types of commercial contracts including partnership agreements, employment agreements, non-disclosure agreements, distribution agreements, licensing agreements, manufacturing agreements, and real estate transactions.
  • Must have 1-2 years experience working directly with clients, their partners, and other parties.
  • Must have 1 year of experience tracking and reporting billable hours.
  • Must have some experience representing and assisting clients at government hearings.
  • You must be able to use google and general internet resources to effectively conduct legal research as we do not subscribe to online legal research services.
  • Dedication to furthering social justice and principles of equality are also required as these guide the Firm’s actions & values.

Nice to Have:

Cannabis law/regulations/policy, other highly regulated industries, litigation, mergers & acquisitions, Start Up, real estate agent, community organizing, spreadsheet, html, and blogging experience are a plus as well as participation in Bar and industry associations.

The Expectations

Due to the virtual/mobile nature of the firm and independent nature of the position, there are high expectations for resourcefulness and adhering to office policies and procedures. In addition, due to the nature of cannabis laws and clients it is essential that you are able to spot issues arising under the CA Bar’s Rules of Professional Conduct and appropriately respond. Other expectations include:

  • Prompt and clear communication with other members of the Firm
  • Efficiently complete client work as expediently as possible
  • Fast & accurate with exquisite attention to detail and excellent grammar
  • Follow instructions to a T
  • Manage a heavy number of clients each with a light to moderate workload
  • Exercise sound business and practical judgment with clients
  • Respond to client communications in a reasonable amount of time
  • Diligently track all billable hours, concisely summarize tasks/services provided, and adhere to time limits
  • Meet deadlines early, last minute/just in time is too late
  • Understand and implement the Rules of Professional Conduct that guide office policies and procedures including confidentiality, conflicts of interest, legal fees, and duties to clients
  • Familiarity with and consistent adherence to office policies, procedures, and workflows
  • After initial training, proficient use of the Firm’s tools including Dropbox, Gmail, Slack, Trello, Zoho CRM, HelloSign, Sideline, Google Drive, and Zoom
  • Engage in independent troubleshooting (support is always available)
  • Utilize the Firm’s software, records, and documentation prior to asking for status checks, instructions, requirements, or other basic questions
  • Diligent record-keeping and tracking of client matters using office systems and personal best practices
  • Follow through on all assignments and tasks from start to finish leaving no loose ends
  • Maintain a reliable internet connection and keep your computer and smart phone in working order on a regular basis avoiding technical difficulties
  • Leave excuses at the door. Acknowledge mistakes and errors to supervisor and correct them based on instructions rather than attempting to fix it or cover it up before acknowledging thus exacerbating the problem
  • Maintain professional boundaries within a very congenial office and industry avoiding TMI with staff and clients

The Application

  • Submit a resume with a 2 – 3 paragraph cover letter explaining why you are currently seeking employment, how your experience is relevant to the specific requirements of the role, and why you are a good fit for the Firm’s culture and values.
  • Provide one writing sample of a contract you drafted for a client
  • Provide 3 email writing samples that demonstrate the requirements above
  • Provide 3 professional references, if appropriate one from a client you have previously provided legal services

Hiring Process

1. Submit resume and other materials

2. If approved, answer questions by email

3. If approved, invite to online interview

4. If approved, test assignments

5. If approved, job offer

You are expected to satisfactorily complete training within 2 weeks and fully implement office practices and procedures with 4 weeks.

*

Job Type: Part-time

Pay: $65,000.00 – $75,000.00 per year

Benefits:

  • Flexible schedule

Schedule:

  • Monday to Friday

Supplemental Pay:

COVID-19 considerations:
No in-person meetings during Covid unless absolutely necessary (ie Client does not have a solid internet or phone connection; Hard copy documents have to be explained and signed; Government hearing)

Work Location:

  • Fully Remote

Typical start time:

Typical end time:

This Job Is Ideal for Someone Who Is:

  • People-oriented — enjoys interacting with people and working on group projects
  • Autonomous/Independent — enjoys working with little direction
  • Innovative — prefers working in unconventional ways or on tasks that require creativity

COVID-19 Precaution(s):

  • Remote interview process
  • Social distancing guidelines in place
  • Virtual meetings

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