Legal Counsel

The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA)*, the private fundraising and alumni relations organization for the UW-Madison, is seeking to fill a full time Legal Counsel position.  In this role, you will assist the Director of Legal Affairs with managing legal issues affecting the Wisconsin Foundation and Association; review and draft documents; advise WFAA staff and leadership; consult with University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Wisconsin System officials, outside counsel, and other advisors as appropriate; perform legal research. The Legal Counsel uses legal expertise, best practices and knowledge of WFAA policies, structure, and culture to provide legal counsel facilitating goals of the WFAA and protecting the WFAA’s reputation and business interests


Who is WFAA?
The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association is a private, nonprofit corporation that encourages individuals and organizations to make gifts to the university and to connect with the UW. In 2014, the UW Foundation merged with the Wisconsin Alumni Association® to better serve a growing population of UW alumni and donors. We believe that private support grows out of good relationships between campus leaders, faculty and program staff who need support, and the alumni and friends who want to invest in UW–Madison. We provide important engagement opportunities to link UW–Madison alumni to each other and to their alma mater, building a strong community of Badgers.


Diversity and Inclusion:

Just as the university community benefits from differing viewpoints, perspectives, and experiences, inclusion and diversity are imperative for the success of our mission. WFAA values people and the differences that they bring to the organization, and creates an environment in which all staff members and constituents feel respected and have opportunities to thrive.  

Essential Functions

  • Work with WFAA stakeholders and vendors to prepare and review contracts and agreements, including service contracts, event contracts, confidentiality/non-disclosure agreements, real property transactional documents, and waivers and releases. Address operational legal issues, negotiate terms, and meet with internal and external parties as needed.
  • Assist WFAA stakeholders, donors, and professional advisors with preparing and by reviewing gift agreements and other donor documents, including Memorandums of Agreement, Fund Operation Agreements, Pledge/Charitable Gift Commitments, charitable gift annuities, trusts, etc.
  • Collaborate with WFAA stakeholders and campus partners to evaluate and address fund and gift-related questions. Analyze gift agreements and other WFAA records to ensure fund usage complies with donor intent and WFAA and campus policies.
  • Serve as a resource for external partners, including the University of Wisconsin System; University of Wisconsin-Madison Office of Legal Affairs, Business Services, and Research and Sponsored Programs; Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation; D2P, UW Health; and other important campus and affiliated entities.
  • Participate in the definition and development of WFAA policies, procedures, and programs, providing continuing counsel and guidance on legal implications of all matters. Stay abreast of such policies, procedures and programs and recommend necessary changes to ensure compliance with state and federal laws and regulations.  Advise and train staff as needed.
  • Research and review legal issues affecting WFAA in the areas of corporate governance, exempt organizations, tax matters, estate planning/administration, real estate, risk management, human resources, post-secondary education, and legislation. Advise and train staff as needed.
  • Provide guidance to Wisconsin Alumni Association staff, chapters, and members regarding chapter-related issues including event guidelines, fundraising efforts, and the Code of Conduct for chapter participants.
  • Assist with WFAA’s risk management system. Work with other WFAA department staff to review and revise insurance coverage’s for the purpose of assuring adequate and continuous coverage. 
  • Maintain responsibility for tracking deadlines, renewals, and queries related to WFAA’s raffle license and trademarks. Work with outside counsel as necessary to ensure same are up to date.
  • Participate in local, state, and national industry related associations to maintain and increase knowledge of industry practices and concerns. Stay current on federal and state laws and regulations pertaining to WFAA.


Required Qualifications:

  • JD. degree from an ABA accredited law school or equivalent required.
  • Admission to and good standing in the State Bar of Wisconsin or eligible for prompt admission required.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong analytical and interpersonal skills.
  • Highest level of integrity, professionalism, and discretion in handling confidential legal matters.
  • Attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Strong collaborative skills.
  • Strong problem solving skills.
  • Effectively prioritize and manage multiple tasks and meet deadlines.


Other Qualifications:

  • 1 - 3 years’ experience in legal aspects of contracts, real estate, commercial transactions, estate planning/administration, corporate governance, employment law, and/or taxation preferred.


WFAA is committed to provide our employees with an environment that is inspiring, creative and respectful.  We offer competitive pay and an excellent benefits program, which includes a 10% 401k contribution after 1 year of service!


The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer *The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association ( is the “doing business as” name of the merged organization comprising the University of Wisconsin Foundation ( and the Wisconsin Alumni Association ( Its legal corporate name is registered as the University of Wisconsin Foundation. 


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