Open Space Institute, Inc. Published: March 5, 2020
New York, New York
Job Type
Legal /
(Number of Job Posting Views: 1)

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The Open Space Institute (OSI), with a staff of 60, protects scenic, natural and historic landscapes to ensure public enjoyment, conserve habitats, and strengthen communities.

OSI achieves its goals through land acquisition, conservation easements, loan and grant programs, creative partnerships, and analytical research.

Position Summary

The OSI Legal Department currently consists of two Senior Vice Presidents and General Counsels, Associate General Counsel, Staff Attorney and one paralegal, handling the legal work of OSI, including the acquisition and disposition of conservation lands and conservation easements.

The Paralegal is responsible for assisting lawyers in the Legal Department with tasks related to the above, ensuring the smooth operation on a day-to-day basis, along with assisting the Land, Conservation Capital, Stewardship, and other OSI departments on related legal matters as needed.

Primary Job Responsibilities

  • Assists with preparation of option agreements, purchase and sale agreements, grant agreements,conservation easements, leases, and escrow instructions;
  • Assists with preparation of all closing documents necessary to close a transaction, coordination with counsel for the landowner; coordination with public agency staff, and other relevant parties; and
  • Assists with the evaluation of title, survey, environmental investigation and other due diligence matters related to the acquisition and disposition of land and conservation easements.
  • Prepares closing volumes for completed acquisitions and dispositions. OSI receives grants for a variety of OSI programs from third parties. Under the terms of the various grant agreements, OSI is either permitted or required to make re-grants.
  • For some of these grant funds, the Paralegal’s responsibilities are as follows:
    • Works with the Grants Administrator and the Conservation Capital Program to track status of property closings;
    • Updates data fields regarding land transactions leading up to the closing date and after the close of the project;
    • Works directly with Conservation Capital Program project managers and grantee organizations to collect and compile relevant documentation of land transactions and compile for OSI Legal Department review;
    • Obtains and reviews due diligence material submitted by Grantees such as title, survey, corporate authorization, environmental investigations, conservation easements; and
    • Prepares initial draft of Grant Agreement and Escrow Instructions. 

Required Skills / Core Competencies

  • Ability to multitask and prioritize among numerous ongoing projects in a fast-paced environment;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills;
  • Excellent numerical skills;
  • Excellent organizational skills;
  • Computer mastery in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other applications;
  • Ability to work within reasonable deadlines and plan accordingly;
  • Ability to work cordially and professionally with all levels of staff, and across organization; and
  • Detail-oriented self-starter.


  • Must have a minimum of five years’ commercial or residential real estate work experience as a paralegal in New York State, with an emphasis on transactional experience and closing real estate transactions;
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience;
  • Nonprofit work experience a plus.

Physical Requirements:

  • Frequently sits for long periods of time;
  • Frequently speaks, reads, writes and uses a computer keyboard; and
    May require occasional standing, walking, lifting, stooping, bending, and moving files.

Note: This job description is not intended to represent a complete, comprehensive list of all duties and responsibilities that may be required in this position. There may be unplanned activities and other duties as assigned.


  • Annualized salary range $75-85K, commensurate with experience, with generous benefits package.
  • This is a full-time position.

To Apply

  • Please click "Apply on Company Website" below and follow instructions to submit cover letter, resume, relevant portfolio, salary expectations, and where you saw this posting, preferably as a single PDF, with “Parlegal" as the subject.
  • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis through May 1, 2020.
  • No phone calls please.

OSI is committed to workplace diversity and inclusion. We recognize that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people of all genders, diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and cultures. We encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status, and any other status protected by law.

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