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General Counsel

This role will require significant time in our three North America office Locations (Cambridge, Chicago or San Francisco), however candidates may be based anywhere in the US. To be eligible for this role, we require JD or LLM from an accredited law school/institution, and California, Illinois, New York, or Massachusetts Bar Admittance in good standing. Please apply with a resume and cover letter no later than Sunday, January 31st, 2022, and indicate your location preference in the application question.

In a nutshell:

IDEO, a human-centered design and innovation consulting firm, is seeking a General Counsel to lead its team of three talented legal professionals, and design + drive legal strategy related to all aspects of our businesses, including talent/employment, immigration, commercial contracts, intellectual property, investing and data privacy & security compliance.

The General Counsel will be an enterprise level global leader, responsible for a wide range of commercial matters, data privacy & security compliance (e.g., GDPR/CCPA), trademarks and copyright portfolio, litigation management, and employment matters across IDEO’s three US locations, UK, Germany, Japan, and China.  

Once here you will:


  • Be a trusted advisor, advising IDEO’s senior leadership on all aspects of risk and risk mitigation across the myriad aspects of IDEO’s business and community.
  • Build trusting relationships with Executive, Director, and Enterprise Leaders across IDEO’s businesses to enable them to meet the market in a competitive and human-centered manner.
  • Act as day-to-day manager for the additional three members of the Global Legal Team to support their objectives, performance, growth, and development.

Specific Areas of Focus



  • Design compliance for and oversee employment matters such as Safe & Inclusive IDEO (workplace behavior training), pay equity, and resolution of reports, including those submitted through IDEO’s anonymous employee feedback platform.
  • Partner with Office of the CEO to support initiatives related to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion as well as IDEO’s external commitments related to the same.
  • Develop and continually update internal company policies in collaboration with Global Talent/HR and Internal Comms Teams.
  • Work closely with Global Talent/HR and employment counsel on employment needs through the life cycle of hiring, development, promotion and retention and, where relevant, exits from IDEO including novel issues related to remote and hybrid work environments.
  • Develop and implement more streamlined and transparent processes for immigration support, including collaborating with stakeholders and management of outside counsel in connection with same.

Data Privacy & Security

  • Partner with Technology Leadership to continually define and refine IDEO’s security & privacy policies, practices, and processes for ensuring compliance.
  • Design compliance for and oversee GDPR, CCPA, and other privacy compliance obligations including overseeing external Data Protection Officer (ePrivacy) and external compliance vendors (e.g., ESRB, Ethyca). 
  • Work with and manage privacy vendors and consultants to ensure IDEO privacy practices are in compliance and up to date.
  • Assist Finance, Talent/HR, Technology, Global Brand and Operations Teams in maintaining corporate compliance (GDPR/CCPA, EEO, FCPA, etc.), online forms and systems, information security, and privacy policies.

Commercial & Intellectual Property

  • Support the global Legal team in partnering with and quickly guiding Business Development, Portfolio Directors, Project Teams, and Operations teams through legal processes in order to support relationship-building with IDEO clients. 
  • Engage and manage outside counsel relationships as needed for various legal issues (e.g. patent, trademark, copyright, real estate, litigation, investing, employment).
  • Collaborate with the Global Brand team on trademark prosecution, disputes, and domain strategy. 
  • Oversee annual insurance renewal including assessing appropriate coverage against risk and ongoing management of IDEO legal entities.
  • Design strategy with Global Legal Team to continually improve contract and design research processes and procedures, and ensure positive experience for internal and external clients with the legal process. 
  • Conduct and manage IDEO’s litigation strategy as needed.
  • Develop and manage annual global Legal budget in line with company direction.

What it takes:

Requirements for Eligibility

  • 10+ years experience in legal practice with at least 4 years in an in-house legal department
  • JD or LLM from accredited law school/institution
  • California, New York, Illinois or Massachusetts Bar Admittance in good standing 

Relevant Experience, Skills, and Mindsets

  • Experience with employment matters, commercial contracts, data privacy & security issues, investing, real estate and intellectual property matters (i.e., copyright, trademark, patent and intellectual property transactions)
  • Interest in, passion for, experience with, and/or curiosity about the design industry & designing human-centered legal processes
  • Strong people management and people development skills 
  • Proven ability to be a trusted partner. Builds credibility and trust by providing a strong and visible leadership presence with internal and external stakeholders
  • Ability to synthesize and effectively communicate complex situations into a digestible format for all types of leaders
  • Ability to design and implement legal strategy across various verticals and lead a team in executing the strategy
  • Empathetic consensus builder who understands how to achieve buy-in from diverse constituencies, build bridges, and design "win-win" solutions across a matrixed organization
  • High level of integrity, honesty, and ethics
  • Ability to flourish and navigate in a rapidly changing organization, and operate comfortably with ambiguity and complexity
  • Ability to exercise independent discretion and judgment within a highly networked and unstructured environment 
  • Collaborative, flexible, and diplomatic colleague adept at navigating complex stakeholder matrix to identify, influence, and implement solutions
  • Negotiation and/or ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) skills training

Learn more about us:

What does IDEO offer you?

IDEO is a place unlike any other. It’s a place where you can solve diverse, complex challenges for our clients alongside thoughtful, intelligent individuals swimming with curiosity, empathy, and optimism. Sure we work hard, but IDEO also intentionally crafts moments that allow our community to pause, create, and connect. We encourage our community to bring their whole selves to work, respect the need for work-life balance, and allow for autonomy in the design process and your career.

Commitment to diversity

At IDEO, we are committed to the work of advancing diversity, equity and inclusion within our organization and in the world. Our purpose of having disproportionate, world-changing impact through design is directly connected to our ability to bring many different perspectives to the table. This applies to our candidates, the people we hire, the clients and customers we serve, and the communities we learn from in our research.

As a human-centered organization, we are committed to working with and designing for people of every race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, physical ability or attribute, religion, national origin, or political belief. We recognize that this commitment requires ongoing work and sustained attention, as well as adaptation to new insights and best practices. We keep our diversity data public for the sake of accountability and transparency. These commitments will also be part of your journey at IDEO, so please feel free to read more about them here.

Application instructions

Please apply with a resume and cover letter (yes, we read them!) no later than Sunday, January 31st, 2022. In your cover letter, please share with us why you’re interested in the General Counsel role at IDEO, and where you see alignment between your experience/skills and this role.

Equal Opportunity Employer

IDEO is an equal opportunity employer; applicants are considered for all roles without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital, parental, veteran or military status, unfavorable military discharge, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law.

Apply now
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