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Legal Counsel

Redmond, WA
Full Time
Job #: 1091353 Exp.: 7+ Years
Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. Microsoft’s Global Trade Legal team advances this mission through international trade policies, strategies and solutions that foster a culture of compliance, trust, and innovation across Microsoft and with our partners and customers worldwide.

This role will focus on Microsoft’s commitment to compliance with export controls laws and regulations in the various countries and regions where Microsoft operates. In this role, you will lead the advancement and implementation of export controls compliance strategies and solutions through engagement and collaboration with key business partners and stakeholders. You will also be responsible for providing legal guidance on export controls developments and issues.

This role requires: sound, principled and consistent judgment in fast-paced ambiguous environments; a thorough understanding of export controls laws and regulations, including the Export Administration Regulations (EAR); a track record of cross-collaboration; strong commitment to integrity; solution-driven creativity and a business-enabling mindset; excellent verbal and written communication, including the ability to drive clarity from the complex. The role will report into the Global Trade Legal team within Corporate, External and Legal Affairs (CELA).

Legal Advice and Counsel
  • Acts as the primary legal contact (generalist or subject matter expert) for a major product, business group, or corporate function; executes and/or manages high-impact or complex legal matters.
  • Serves as a key business partner and valued legal advisor to senior level clients and colleagues by providing actionable advice on a wide range of issues (e.g., IP licensing and business model development); collaborates and advises on strategy to drive meaningful conversations that are grounded in in-depth understanding of product group.
  • Identifies and anticipates legal and other risks (e.g., geopolitical, country, reputational, etc.) in client's business, technology, and/or public policy, and develops creative solutions and alternatives to mitigate future risk.
  • Manages relationships and develops partnerships with outside counsel; engages clients and collaborates with outside counsel or other service providers to develop strategies and innovative solutions to address business issues and achieve business objectives.
  • Drafts new and novel policies and agreements; negotiates a variety of transactional documents (e.g., procurement agreement, joint development deal, settlement agreements, inbound and outbound licensing).
  • Reviews, interprets, and analyzes legal information and is recognized as a proven internal thought leader by maintaining a strong understanding of primary legal area and of legal principles outside of primary area.
  • Monitors business activity to ensure legal compliance policies/standards are followed and mitigates associated risks; advises and helps clients understand complex compliance issues; facilitates development of creative solutions to complex issues.
  • Identifies and engages appropriate stakeholders in Legal and Corporate Affairs and business to escalate issues and drive decisions; provides guidance to attorneys and paralegals on escalations.

Representing Microsoft
  • Proactively engages industry, business, or legal groups to drive Microsoft's policy objectives and external outreach initiatives (e.g., conferences, hearings, consultations, conducting workshops, volunteering for committees, leading recruiting activities).
  • Develops and strategizes positive relationships with external and internal legal professionals, academics, government officials, customers, and/or partners in an effort to protect and advocate Microsoft's interests and to drive results; coordinates with government affairs professionals to obtain alignment in policy strategy for public entities.

Operational Excellence
  • Partners with business teams to develop policies and best practices related to legal and regulatory issues.
  • Provides continuous feedback and evaluates processes for improvement; contributes to significant operational improvements (including timeliness, quality improvement, and cost reduction); develops and implements recommendations that increase efficiencies within work group and for the delivery of legal services to clients.
  • Develops financial arrangements for outside counsel and vendor expenses; manages and prioritizes expenses to allocated budget; contributes to budget development for practice group; works within and manages budgets for projects.
  • Models compliance and maintains confidentiality, attorney-client privilege, privacy, and the security of data.

  • Collaborates with Legal and Corporate Affairs, across internal groups, senior management, senior-level business leaders, and clients to ensure a coordinated Legal and Corporate Affairs voice; provides guidance to frame issues in a clear and concise manner.
  • Organizes and simplifies complex/multi-dimensional issues and recommends a clear course of action among alternatives.

Embody our culture and values

Required/Minimum Qualifications:
  • Juris Doctorate Degree or Equivalent International Degree OR Completion of a Legal Apprenticeship.
  • Active license to practice law in a jurisdiction and capable of meeting admission requirements in relevant jurisdiction.
  • 7+ years experience as a practicing attorney OR equivalent practice of law.

Additional or Preferred Qualifications:
  • 5+ years experience as an attorney in specialized practice area (e.g., tax, employment, copyright).
  • In-house counsel experience.
  • 7+ years working as an attorney on trade matters in a government agency, law firm, or in-house legal department, with an emphasis on export controls, including the U.S. Export Administration Regulations (EAR).
  • Active license to practice law in a jurisdiction and capable of meeting admission requirements in relevant jurisdiction.
  • Ability to understand technical details.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, including experience simplifying complex technical and export control issues for executives.
  • Successful candidate must be a U.S. Citizen. This position requires verification of U.S. Citizenship to meet federal government security requirements.
  • Flexibility to work with colleagues, clients, and others in time zones other than where the position is based.
  • Domestic and international travel will be required, estimated to be less than 25%.
  • Experience with cutting-edge technologies, including disciplines such as digital and telecommunications, artificial intelligence, and quantum technologies.
  • Experience developing, implementing or revamping an export control program.
  • Knowledge and experience in other international trade areas (e.g., imports, economic sanctions).
  • A mix of corporate law firm and in-house experience is a plus.
  • Hands-on project management experience, including excellent organizational skills, the ability to manage multiple and varying mission-critical projects at once, and to follow through and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to work independently while being able to contribute successfully to cross-functional teams.
  • Ability to demonstrate sound and practical business judgment even in ambiguous situations.
  • Experience advocating for and influencing export control reform and other changes in export policy.
  • This role is based in our Redmond, WA campus or Washington, DC campus.

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