Legal | New York, NY | Full Time
Sesame Workshop is seeking an Associate Counsel to work alongside a tight-knit legal team on a variety of matters, particularly those related to the development, production, and distribution of television, film, and new media. We’re looking for an experienced, detail-oriented person with first-rate communication skills, who is eager to work as part of an in-house production legal team and handle a wide array of responsibilities including matters relating to rights acquisition, service provider and talent engagement, intellectual property clearance, and general production counsel.
The Associate Counsel will be part of Sesame Workshop’s Legal and Business Affairs team, along with the General Counsel, eight other attorneys and six support staff members; and work closely with the Senior Vice President of Business Affairs and Operations as well as the Production Legal Unit’s Senior Counsel.
Candidates must have substantive transactional legal experience, including both drafting and negotiating production-related contracts as well as prior experience advising clients. Candidates must also demonstrate the ability to manage, process and complete a consistent flow of contracting work. Candidates with a strong background, understanding and experience with intellectual property, clearance, and production matters will be given preference.
Under the supervision of the Production Legal Unit’s senior attorneys, the Associate Counsel may:
- Perform script review and clearance, including (i) performing preliminary knockout clearance searches where necessary; (ii) liaising between Sesame's legal and production teams regarding clearance questions as they arise during each stage of production; (iii) transmitting, following-up, and tracking standard clearance requests to outside counsel and third parties; (iv) addressing flagged matters from script clearance reports; (v) acting as the legal team's point of contact for content (including music) clearance matters for a variety of Sesame content verticals (e.g., series, film, new media, or documentary); (vi) responsible for overseeing the clearance of songs and advising internal and external stakeholders on music rights and restrictions as it pertains to pre-existing music; and (vii) identifying, tracking, and advising on contractual restrictions.
- Review, negotiate, prepare comments, and draft varying documents including talent, production-related services agreements, talent, license, digital rights and technology, and other similar agreements.
- Create, update, analyze, and manage forms, legal documents, and databases
- Manage, track, and organize production documents for ongoing productions
- Meet with clients to collect information and provide client support
- Prepare internal summaries of deals to inform various departments of key business terms
- Provide research, promptly perform tasks, and provide other assistance on various special projects as assigned
- Shepard documents through all stages of the deal from commencement to execution
- JD degree
- Admission (or pending admission) to one or more state Bars is mandatory, New York State Bar admission is preferred (Candidate must be in good standing, and if not admitted in New York, must be willing to register as in-house counsel in New York)
- No less than 1-year relevant experience functioning as an attorney is preferred; recent law school graduates with relevant clinical, fellowship, or internship experience may be considered.
- Prior experience drafting and reviewing independent contractor agreements is a prerequisite
- Prior in-house experience is a plus, but not required
- Familiarity with DGA, SAG-AFTRA, AFM, WGA, and IATSE agreements (including separated rights)
- Familiarity with copyright and chain-of-title issues
- Familiarity with eDocs, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, Word, and Excel systems all strongly preferred
- Familiarity with PowerPoint and Nintex is an additional plus
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office 365 and ability to adapt quickly to new technology platforms and an ever-changing environment
- Sensitive to confidential matters.
- Superior written and verbal communication skills, combined with strong critical thinking, and determined and tenacious problem-solving skills with the ability to propose practical, responsive solutions
- Strong attention to detail, commitment to quality, and passion for results
- Flexible, creative thinker with the ability to quickly develop new areas of expertise.
- Familiarity with entertainment terms of art as well as industry custom and practice
- Excellent organization, prioritization, problem-solving, creative and communication skills
Sesame Workshop is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Minorities/Females/Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity Employer