Wikimedia Foundation – Lead Counsel (Content Compliance and Strategic Litigation)

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Remote (Nairobi, Kenya)

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Wikimedia envisions a world where the sum total of human knowledge is available to everyone.  

The Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit home of Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, and other free educational projects, serves as the hub of a global movement of hundreds of thousands of contributors collaborating to collect and share the sum of all human knowledge with the world.  

As Wikimedia pursues our global strategic direction, our Legal department is tasked with solving many legal questions, including some that no one has fully considered before. We are looking for an experienced lawyer with interest and experience in matters relating to online content and public policy to join our in-house legal department as Lead Counsel. This role will focus on two important aspects of Wikimedia’s current and future legal work.

Content. Wikimedia projects are powered by the vibrant communities of volunteers who not only curate information, but also create the policies governing that information. The Lead Counsel will analyze current and forthcoming regulations related to hosting online content; advise our Product and Technology teams on content issues as they support, maintain, and develop the Wikimedia technical platform; and work with the Trust & Safety team to support the community governance model that allows Wikimedia contributors to create and share free knowledge.

Advocacy. Wikimedia’s vision of free knowledge for all depends upon an open internet that allows for the exchange of information and ideas. The Lead Counsel will work with the Foundation’s lawyers and public policy professionals to power Wikimedia’s program for strategic litigation, identifying and executing on opportunities to advance the Wikimedia mission and create a global legal ecosystem in which free knowledge can thrive. 

Ideal candidates will have experience providing holistic and creative advice and counsel in a variety of contexts. This role reports to the Wikimedia Foundation’s Deputy General Counsel.

Who Should Apply:

At Wikimedia, we serve the world. We believe that there is no way to meaningfully achieve our goal of reaching every single human unless our organization reflects the full breadth of the human experience. To that end, the Wikimedia Foundation recruits candidates from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences, including those from historically marginalized groups — women, people with disabilities, people of color, formerly incarcerated people, people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or gender nonconforming, first and second generation immigrants, and people from low-income families. A diversity of lived experiences is reflective of those who create and use Wikimedia every day.

Essential Functions of Role:


  • Provide legal advice and counsel regarding content on the Wikimedia projects, with appropriate attention to both community governance policies and our Applicable Law policy.
  • Advise the Foundation on current and forthcoming regulations related to online content.Provide related product counseling advice regarding technical features of the Wikimedia platform.
  • Help protect and defend content on the Wikimedia projects, and the community governance model.
  • Monitor legal developments that may impact the accessibility of Wikimedia content, highlight potential risks, and work with the litigation and access to knowledge teams to plan responses where necessary
  • Support the evolution of the Wikimedia Foundation’s bi-annual Transparency Report.
  • Recommend and implement changes to report content and metrics tracked, drawing on applicable regulations, industry standards, and feedback from the Wikimedia communities.


  • Work with lawyers and public policy professionals to refresh our strategy and process for filing amicus briefs and other legal interventions in support of the Wikimedia mission, and execute such.
  • Identify potential actions, and coordinate with legal and advocacy leadership to select opportunities.
  • Work with Wikimedia legal and advocacy subject matter experts, as well as local counsel, to draft and file actions.
  • Partner with the Communications and Global Advocacy teams to keep the Wikimedia communities informed about our strategic litigation.
  • Coordinate Foundation advocacy strategy with Wikimedia movement organizations and other allies in the free knowledge space.
  • Liaise with the Litigation team in order to help maintain a holistic view of both defensive and strategic litigation.

Additional Duties

  • Advise the Foundation on other domestic and international legal and policy questions, which may include privacy, contract, copyright, trademark, or defensive litigation matters.

Other duties as assigned.

Skills and Experience:

  • JD from an accredited law school and current membership in good standing with at least one US state bar.
  • Experience advising online platforms or media organizations regarding online content.
  • Experience leading cross-functional efforts, especially with product or technical teams, to implement legal advice.
  • Experience supporting public policy professionals in executing an advocacy strategy, especially on matters relating to online environments, such as content, copyright, platform responsibility, privacy, etc.
  • Experience working across borders, on matters in non-U.S. jurisdictions, or for clients outside the U.S., particularly matters relating to European law.
  • Ability to identify and implement practical solutions to abstract or complex problems.
  • Ability to excel in a fast-paced, multitasking environment that demands high-quality work.
  • Ability to dedicate to projects, adhere to deadlines, and complete work independently.
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills.

Please note, this role may call for travel, including internationally, and for travel or work on weekends if and when needed, due to conferences, legal needs, etc. This is not a requirement, and alternate arrangements may be made where appropriate.

Qualities that are important to us:

  • Appreciation for and alignment with Wikimedia’s mission.
  • Strong interpersonal and collaboration skills and ability to work well on a team.
  • A desire to learn, stretch, and grow.

Additionally, we’d love it if you have:

  • 6+ years practicing law.
  • Experience working in-house.
  • Prior experience working with or participating in large volunteer communities.
  • Experience working on media law-related matters.
  • Experience working as product counsel for a technology company.
  • Experience with software programming, engineering, or design.
  • Ability to speak additional languages besides English.
  • Prior work, internship, or volunteer experience in the nonprofit sector.