Vacancy Announcement: Short-term Legal Consultant

The East-West Management Institute (EWMI) Advancing CSO Capacities and Engaging Society for Sustainability (ACCESS) Project seeks a short-term Legal Consultant to assist in planning, organizing and leading the registration of the ten EWMI ACCESS Centers for Civic Engagement (CCEs) as Georgian Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and their formation as a nationwide network.

Since their establishment, CCEs have operated as a network of community centers providing free space, event facilitation, and consultation services to local and national CSOs, political parties, government, media, the donor community and essentially created a politically neutral platform for democratic dialogue in the regions of Georgia.

ACCESS aims to transform CCEs into local organizations that are independent of USAID funding. This includes working with the CCEs and multi-sectoral stakeholders to register them as local organizations, set up their management and reporting structures, and determine alternative funding sources.

Currently the CCEs are legally and operationally a part of the USAID-funded ACCESS Project, implemented by a Georgian branch office of the East-West Management Institute, Inc (EWMI) headquartered in New York, USA. The goal is to detach the CCEs legally from EWMI ACCESS and register them as independent CSOs under the Georgian jurisdiction.

The ACCESS project is a five-year, $5.5 million USD initiative supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) that works to enhance the effectiveness of CSOs in Georgia. ACCESS has four objectives:

** Citizens become more aware of and involved in CSO activities, and CSOs become more connected to citizens;
** CSO leadership, organizational capacity, and sustainability are improved among organizations throughout Georgia;
** CSOs are able to effectively monitor, analyze, and influence key government policies and processes; and
** The CCEs establish local ownership so that they continue to operate as politically neutral gathering spaces for public discourse.

ACCESS pursues these objectives through grants supporting policy research, watchdog, and civic engagement management and activities by CSOs; technical assistance programming to strengthen CCEs and CSO operations; and a wide range of events that deepen dialogue and partnerships between citizens, CSOs, government, businesses, and media.

Scope of Work:

The Legal Consultant will be responsible for guiding ACCESS through the process of registering the ten CCEs as local CSOs and setting up their management structures so that they comply with the requirements of the Georgian legislation. The Legal Consultant will use his/her legal knowledge, technical skills, education, experience, and country knowledge to accomplish the following tasks:

** Familiarize her/himself with the CCE Market Research Document, CCE Sustainability Report, CCE Sustainability Plans, CCE Usage Rules and Procedures, CCE Website, and other background information on the CCEs, as provided by ACCESS;
** Assist ACCESS in determining the most optimal legal form for registering the ten CCEs individually and as a network taking into account their mandate, activities and capacities;
** Assist ACCESS in determining the most optimal management structures for the invididual CCEs and the CCE network (i.e. compositions and functions of the Governing and Advisory Boards, compositions and functions of the executive office, etc.);
** Analyze all legal and financial implications of the CCE registration, including potential risks and challenges, and offer contingency plans;
** Assist ACCESS in drafting the required registration documentation, including but not limited to the individual CCE bylaws, CCE network bylaw and registration application;
** Assist ACCESS in registering the CCEs individually and as a network with the respective state institutions;
** Assist ACCESS in identifying the most appropriate form of property transfer from ACCESS to the CCEs once they are registered;
** Prepare all necessary documents to form the organizational and management structures of the individual CCEs and the CCE network (e.g. meeting minutes, director’s election/appointment memo, governing and advisory board appointment memos, etc.);
** Ensure that the registration process and property transfer to the CCEs are conducted in a way that does not create any additional tax liabilities and are in full compliance with the governing law of Georgia on non-entrepreneurial legal entities;
** Consult ACCESS on legal implications and requirements for the registered CCEs, once they start charging their customers (i.e. commercial, governmental and non-governmental) for the offered services (i.e. event space rental, event management, public outreach), and propose the appropriate internal regulations for the CCEs to manage such income within the framework of a non-profit organization;
** Consult ACCESS on financial and tax reporting requirements for the registered CCEs and for the fee-based services offered by these CCEs;
** Work in close coordination with ACCESS Chief of Party, CCE Program Manager and CCE staff and receive all necessary information from the CCEs to inform the legal analysis, conceptualization and registration process;
** Perform other tasks that are necessary for successfully completing the process of legal registration and launching of the CCEs as locally registered CSOs and the network.

Requirements:

** A university degree in law
** At least, 5 years of practical experience in the related field(s)
** Proven expertise in the Georgian law pertaining to the CSO registration and functioning
** Proven capacity of preparing and managing all legal aspects of launching a new organization (i.e. a legal entity)
** Fluency in Georgian and English
** Ability to work constructively with colleagues in a fast-paced team environment
** Experience working with and/or good knowledge of the Georgian civil society is preferred
** Experience and/or familiarity with USAID projects and programs is strongly preferred

Interested applicants are requested to submit a CV in English and 3 reference contacts to ikutsia@ewmi.org by December 28, 2015. The subject line must indicate Legal Consultant.

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