Staff Attorney

Open Space Institute, Inc. Published: September 9, 2021
Skill Level
Mid Level
Job Type
(Number of Job Posting Views: 25)

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The Open Space Institute (OSI) protects scenic, natural and historic landscapes to ensure public enjoyment, conserve habitats, and sustain community character.  OSI achieves its goals through land acquisition, conservation easements, special loan programs, creative partnerships, and analytical research. 
Position Summary
The Staff Attorney represents the Open Space Institute, Inc. and its related entities (“OSI”) in a variety of legal matters, including handling complex real estate and other land conservation transactions, advising OSI on matters of the law of tax-exempt organizations, working with outside counsel in handling litigation and other matters.  
As a member of the Legal Department, the Staff Attorney reports to the Co-General Counsel, and works under the direction of the Co-General Counsel and the Associate General Counsel. 
Location: The position is located in New York City and working on site is required.
Responsibilities & Duties
Key Responsibilities Include:
  • In consultation with the Co-General Counsel and/or Associate General Counsel, structuring, negotiating and closing real estate transactions, including acquisitions and dispositions of land, management agreements, loan and grant agreements, conservation easements, donations and other real estate transactions. Key duties include:
    • Review of title reports, surveys, appraisals, Phase I environmental reviews and assessing and minimizing the risk to OSI in real estate transactions;
    • Negotiation with sellers, purchasers and their counsel;
    • Preparation of purchase and sale agreements and closing documents and other transaction documents;
    • Attendance at closings;
    • Oversight of all post-closing matters; including the preparation of closing binders and recording of transactions on OSI’s books and records.
  • Undertake legal research, including tracking pending legislative and administrative reforms; preparing memoranda for the Co-General Counsel and/or Associate General Counsel.
  • Preparation of board memoranda, board resolutions and other corporate documents.
  • Review, draft, and amendment of conservation easements and review of appraisals in connection with Form 8283s.
  • Special projects as directed by the Co-General Counsel and/or the Associate General Counsel.
Skills/Core Competencies
  • Prior transactional experience with law firm or accredited land trust;
  • Knowledge of New York real estate law;
  • Experience conducting due diligence for real estate transactions, including review of surveys, title reports, and environmental assessments; 
  • Outstanding legal judgment, including the ability to analyze complex factual situations; research applicable law; and advise OSI on a variety of legal matters in a timely fashion;
  • Ability to manage time and organize diverse activities;
  • Strong analytical and communication skills;
  • Excellent organizational skills;
  • Ability to work independently with OSI staff, government agencies, consultant and outside counsel;
  • Extensive computer skills including proficiency in Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, MS Word;
  • Proficiency in Lexis-Nexis;
  • Knowledge of New York State non-for-profit corporations and the law of tax-exempt organizations; and
  • Knowledge of land use planning techniques, government land acquisition policies/procedures and environmental lawExperience drafting conservation easements.
  • Admission to the New York State Bar; and
  • Minimum of 5-7 years of legal practice with proficiency in real estate, nonprofit or tax matters.
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 up to 20 lbs, stooping, bending, 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.


Competitive salary and excellent benefits, including paid time off and paid holidays. Click here for more information. 

To Apply

  • Please click "Apply on Company Website" below - online applications only. 
  • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis through September 30, 2021.
  • 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, or any other status protected by law.

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