Chicago, IL

Paralegal, John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation

The Organization

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. MacArthur is placing a few big bets that truly significant progress is possible on some of the world’s most pressing social challenges, including over-incarcerationglobal climate changenuclear risk, and significantly increasing financial capital for the social sector. In addition to the MacArthur Fellows Program, the Foundation continues its historic commitments to the role of journalism in a responsible and responsive democracy, as well as the strength and vitality of our headquarters city, Chicago.

MacArthur is one of the nation’s largest independent foundations. Organizations supported by the Foundation work in about 50 countries. In addition to Chicago, MacArthur has offices in India and Nigeria.

Position Overview

The Office of the General Counsel provides insight, advice and counsel to the Foundation’s President, Staff, and Board on a wide variety of legal, policy, and governance matters. The Paralegal will be highly dependable; demonstrate sound judgment, common sense, resolute work ethic, and ingenuity in applying knowledge and skills to everyday situations; possess superb written and verbal communication skills, acute attention to detail and first-rate proofreading skills, and excellent organizational skills; and apply solid computer skills to organization-specific technologies and processes. Incumbent must consistently deliver high quality work product and display ownership, follow-up, and follow through.

Job Description

We invite you to review the MacArthur Foundation’s statement of values in advance of applying. Below are the essential duties and responsibilities.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Contract Matters

  • Serve as the primary legal contact on department tracking of contracts and contract management process for Staff and other parties, from intake through processing and release.  Manage the timely legal review of agreements by lawyers and monitor department contract metrics and workflow.
  • Compose first draft of consultant agreements, selecting appropriate template; identifying and entering essential contract elements from W‑8s and W‑9s, Workday data, and contract proposals and budgets; and focusing on content, clarity, and accuracy.
  • Assist lawyers in drafting agreement terms when business terms do not align with templates.
  • Assist lawyers in negotiating with third parties on basic contract terms as requested.
  • Work with lawyers to follow-up with consultants and other contractors and internal Foundation areas, such as IT and Finance, to ensure compliance with Foundation procedures.
  • Carefully edit and proofread contracts, for accuracy; clarity; grammar; proper paragraph sequence, numbering, and formatting; and completeness.  Compile and finalize contracts, including attachments.
  • Coordinate signatures and release of contracts using DocuSign, corresponding with Foundation and non-Foundation staff and following up on any questions with the reviewing lawyer and timely signatures.
  • Manage, identify, compile, and maintain consultant contract templates and special clauses in self-serve department library.
  • Assist lawyers as requested with above functions regarding Building and affiliate agreements.
  • Review, assess, and summarize contract language on non-template agreements and related documents as requested, in terms of Foundation protocols for liability, indemnification, invoice and payment terms, privacy and confidentiality, choice of law, data retention etc., highlighting inconsistencies for the reviewing lawyer.
  • As requested, identify benchmark and renewal deadlines and obligations in selected contracts for Staff to aid in timely tracking, response, and handling; follow-up with third-parties as necessary.
  • Maintain official electronic file of fully-executed contracts enabling efficient access by team members.
  • As requested, assist in reviewing grant files and drafting grant contracts for unrestricted support or other matters, identifying for the reviewing lawyer earmarking and other inappropriate activities for requested support.
  • As requested, assist in preparing, editing, and proofreading impact investment contracts, including loan amendments, modifications, promissory notes, etc.

Compliance and Recordkeeping Initiatives

  • Manage compliance calendar(s) of internal and external deadlines for investments, annual filings, and distributions, etc.
  • Manage preparation and submission of annual regulatory and administrative filings, such as annual reports, unclaimed property, registered agent filings, etc.  Interface with government and service providers as required in connection with requests, filings, and submissions.  Manage and maintain department files related thereto.
  • As requested, assist with preparation, coordination, and release of know your customer and anti-money laundering responses and certificates requested by fund managers, according to Foundation protocols.
  • Assist in responding to subpoenas and other information requests, including preparation of draft pleadings and document indices, compilation and redaction of documents, and timely release of responses.
  • Assist with preparation of corporate certificates, resolutions, and consents and maintenance of organization’s corporate records for Foundation and/or affiliate organizations.
  • Conduct internal reviews re Bridger database hits for anti-money laundering purposes.
  • Assist in research on new entity organizations and tax coding in grants management database as requested.
  • Assist as requested with preparation and coordination of internal annual compliance matter mailings.
  • Assist as requested with preparation of Legal’s annual, semi-annual, and quarterly reports to the Board.

Research and Knowledge Management

  • Conduct Internet research re articles, tax and other judicial decisions, statutes, regulations, company history, and other matters as requested.
  • Assist with retrieval of publicly available documents from local, state, and federal bodies and due diligence review related thereto.
  • Complete fact-finding and other analyses and document reviews as requested.
  • Research internal data related to Board, grant, investment, etc. history; summarize results.
  • Compile easy to access topical reference materials as requested.

Other Matters

  • Take meeting minutes as requested.
  • Assist with the proofreading of internally and externally prepared submissions and documents as requested.
  • Participate in Legal Department and Foundation meetings and workgroups.
  • Assist with special projects and perform other work-related tasks assigned by supervisor.

The position is based in Chicago, Illinois. Our work environment is hybrid with designated in-office days and virtual days.


  • Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree with strong academic credentials; Bachelor of Arts or Science in Paralegal Studies a plus
  • At least two years of prior paralegal experience in tax, corporate, or M&A fields in a law firm or law department
  • A paralegal certificate from an ABA-approved school is strongly preferred
  • Experience working in nonprofits in positions requiring an understanding of tax law a plus
  • Demonstrated ability to understand and draft routine legal documents
  • Critical and analytical thinker who can multitask on multiple projects, efficiently and timely, with many competing priorities and changing deadlines
  • Ability to handle confidential matters and to work collaboratively and respectfully with all employees/individuals at all levels from all backgrounds and geographies
  • Ability to work well independently or in a team while maintaining interest, self-motivation, and flexibility
  • Demonstrated proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Acrobat DC, SharePoint, DocuSign, Zoom, dtSearch, and/or Doxserá and experience with Workday supplier contracts and Fluxx a plus

Annual salary for this for role will start at $95,000.

Physical Requirements and Work Environment:

The work environment is an office setting. Intermittent physical activities will include bending, reaching, sitting, and walking during working hours. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable a person with physical disabilities to perform the job.

How To Apply

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