Jobs at Sustainable Economies Law Center

Thank you for your interest in the Sustainable Economies Law Center! This is where we post opportunities to join our team.

Job Description for Operations Manager 


(Posted July 7, 2016) 

SELC is looking to add a new member to our team! Do you think that might be you? Here are some of the responsibilities that our future Operations Manager will have and approximately how much time you’re likely to spend on each:

  • Financial (30%): Administering the following in collaboration with your coworkers and with SELC’s external accountant/bookkeeper:

    • Income: Receiving, depositing, and categorizing income, including donations, grants, workshop fees, client fees, event registration, and website membership fees.

    • Expenses: Paying bills, creating and processing invoices, processing reimbursement requests, and recording/categorizing expenses.

    • Financial reports: Coordinating with our accountant to ensure regular preparation of financial reports for SELC and for special programs.

  • HR (15%): Managing HR matters, including:

    • Payroll: Coordinating with our payroll service to ensure that payroll is properly administered.

    • Benefits: Coordinating with our external benefits administrator, which manages staff health insurance, flexible spending accounts, and childcare support.

    • Time-off tracking: Collaborating with all staff to ensure smooth functioning of SELC’s paid and unpaid time-off tracking system.

  • Administrative and Office Management (55%): Managing the following in collaboration with your coworkers:

    • Filing: Maintaining an organized and secure system for SELC’s documents (almost entirely cloud-based filing system).

    • Annual insurance renewals: Coordinating annual renewal of SELC’s insurance policies (workers compensation, general liability, and possibly D&O).

    • Office: Ensuring that the SELC office is adequately furnished and supplied, booking meeting rooms when needed.

    • Preparing and maintaining MCLE paperwork: Preparing and storing sign-in sheets, evaluation forms, and attendance certificates whenever SELC provides continuing education classes to attorneys.

    • Operational support: Other miscellaneous operational tasks, including supporting SELC’s Executive Director with administrative tasks

But seriously, do you want to know what exactly this job will entail? We didn’t want to overwhelm you with detail, but feel free to scroll way down to get even more information about the day-to-day details of the job: 


Heads Up: Working at SELC is a unique experience!

  • All staff have a voice in the direction of the organization. We are a worker self-directed nonprofit managed somewhat like a worker collective, which means that core staff are expected to participate in decision-making about the broader organization.

  • All staff take on a diversity of roles within the organization (based on the organization’s needs and on staff members’ interests and skills), so this job description only defines the staff member’s initial responsibilities at SELC.

  • SELC has some unique policies intended to create a healthy, inclusive and effective work environment, some of which you can read here.

  • All staff are paid the same salary, and staff salaries are currently set to equal a living wage in Alameda County.

  • Four staff members at SELC are in the process of becoming lawyers without going to law school, via California’s Law Office Study Program. We blog about it at We aim to support all non-lawyer staff in pursuing this path, if desired.

  • Some benefits and rewarding qualities of working at SELC include:

    • You will be learning about, interacting with, and helping the countless interesting people and projects that reach out to SELC each year.

    • You will be working with kind and respectful coworkers who like to have fun and are prone to being a little silly.

    • You will be contributing to the sustainability of a uniquely structured and highly functional organization.

    • You will potentially learn a lot about the law and social change.

    • You will have many opportunities to grow your professional skills and knowledge.


Qualities (as opposed to qualifications) that we seek:

  • Understanding of and a desire to actively engage in a self-governing staff and collectively-managed organization.

  • Kindness.

  • Diligence.

  • Integrity.

  • Patience to carefully handle many tasks with attention to detail.

  • Patience to learn a handful of new software platforms for our financial operations and internal communications.

  • An interest in, passion for, and commitment to SELC’s mission and vision, including a strong commitment to economic, social, and racial justice.

  • Strong time/task management skills, with the ability to work independently while managing one’s own hours.

  • Strong interpersonal skills for interfacing with people we work with and who reach out to SELC.

  • Ability to ask for and receive support when things are challenging or unknown.

  • And if you have experience in bookkeeping, accounting, and administrative work, that’s great, but not critical.

Think you’re not qualified? Think again! Some people might hesitate to apply because they don’t have experience with absolutely everything on the list of tasks above. Don’t let that stop you! We are looking for a wonderful new team member and we’ll support you in learning what you need to be successful. Most importantly, we’re looking for someone that we can solidly rely on to calmly and carefully manage important details of our operations.



  • Start date: Around September 26, although it is somewhat flexible.

  • Compensation: Annual salary of $51,152, likely rising in 2017 as a result of rising costs of living.

  • Hours: 30 hours per week (which is full-time at SELC).

  • Work location: Staff are required to work an average of 2 days per week at our office in the Impact Hub Oakland coworking space, and may work the remaining days at the office, at home, or from other remote locations.

  • Time off: SELC has a free time off policy, basically allowing staff to take off the time they need, within reason, so long as staff are fulfilling their roles and commitments.

  • Benefits: Health insurance (currently Kaiser) for staff and dependents (partial coverage for spouses/domestic partners), administration of flexible spending accounts for health expenses, and up to $5,000 per year to cover child care expenses.


To Apply:



And here’s some more info to paint a more detailed picture of the work you will be doing:

You will be part of the Administrative Circle, where you will work with Sara, Chris, Eunice, and Neil to manage systems to keep our documents and records organized, administer staff benefits, keep our insurance policies up-to-date, and ensure that our office runs smoothly. Almost everyone at SELC has some administrative responsibilities, but you will be bottom-lining a handful of tasks.To give more specifics:

  • We contract with an outside company to administer our employee health plans and flexible spending accounts (for childcare and health expenses). You will be the primary contact for that company to make sure that each staff person has the necessary plans set up and to communicate necessary changes.

  • We work with three insurance brokers to annually renew our general liability, workers compensation, and professional liability insurance. You will work with two of those brokers each year to provide updated information on renewal applications.

  • We rotate responsibility for keeping the office tidy, but you will likely take the lead on ensuring that we have needed furniture and supplies, and you will likely be the point-person for our landlord, the Impact Hub Oakland, to coordinate lease renewal and to reserve meeting rooms from time to time.

  • We use Google Docs to manage shared files, as well as data security software to monitor who is accessing those files. In the near future, we will need to research other methods for ensuring that our data is secure, so you will likely take the lead on researching options and helping each staff person implement practices on their own computers to ensure data security. In addition, we have a list of records that we need to keep organized on an ongoing basis, so it will likely be your job to help keep folders organized and to make sure that the necessary information is in those folders.

  • Our Executive Director, Janelle, sometimes gets bogged down with small tasks related to meetings with funders, arranging traveling and speaking, organizing expense receipts, and keeping track of contacts. You will likely be asked to spend about three hours per week taking some of those tasks off Janelle’s hands.

You will be part of the Financial Circle, where you will work with Janelle, Eunice, and Sara to ensure smooth financial operations. Specifically:

  • We use Intuit to manage payroll. It will be your job to make sure that all staff have set up payroll information and direct deposit. You will coordinate with Intuit to ensure that staff get paid twice per month. Most staff are salaried, but there may be one or more people who work on an hourly basis and must submit timesheets. It will be your job to receive those timesheets and ensure that information is properly communicated to the payroll service.

  • We use to pay bills and reimbursements. You will receive reimbursement requests from staff approximately once per month and you will review those requests and then instruct to reimburse each staff person through direct deposit. We only rarely pay bills using checks.

  • Our bank is Beneficial State Bank in Oakland. You will regularly work with one other staff person to review all debits and credits on the account to make sure that all items are appropriate and to ensure that we have collected receipts for everything. When we receive checks, it will be your job to take them to the bank and deposit them.

  • We use NationBuilder to receive most donations and payments for workshops. NationBuilder tracks donations and payments automatically, but if we receive donations by check (only a few times per month), it will be your job to go into NationBuilder and input the donation manually.

  • Once or twice per year, we do a mailing to thank our donors. You will work with our Abundance Circle (that’s what we call our fundraising team - Ricardo, Chris, Eunice, and Elizabeth) to coordinate that mailing.

  • We work with Strength In Numbers Cooperative to administer our accounting and bookkeeping. You will work closely with them to communicate all income and expenses and to make sure that every item is properly categorized. Strength In Numbers will produce periodic financial reports that you will then share with staff.

  • Janelle currently takes the lead on putting together budgets, with the input of the Financial Circle first, then with input from all staff and the Board. Periodically, you will work with both Janelle and Strength in Numbers to compare our budget with our actual expenditure, to make sure that we are on track with our projections.

  • Janelle and Sara currently prepare our annual tax return, so you will work with them and with our accounts to ensure that we have all information needed for those tax returns.

  • We have a website called which is a place where legal professionals can share resources and discuss legal topics. We will eventually start charging for membership on the site, so you will work with the NextLegal Circle (Cameron, Janelle, and Yassi) to ensure smooth processing of payments.

  • We sometimes support other people to start small projects and host events, which requires that we create a special accounting system to receive funds for that project and to reimburse them for expenses. In these cases, you will be the primary point-person to administer the reimbursements and donations, and to track them separately from SELC’s general funds.

In addition:

  • We use Asana to manage all tasks and deadlines, so most of the above tasks will listed in Asana and it will be your job to update the status of each one.

  • We use Slack, a live chat platform, to communicate with each other throughout the day.

  • You will likely take part in two larger staff meetings per month (we call that our General Circle) as well as once-per-month meetings of the Admin and Financial Circles. At each of these meetings, all circle members have an opportunity to propose ways to improve our systems and processes. Everyone is encouraged to keep a constant eye on the potential to improve the way we work. So, while your early work at SELC will involve carrying out systems and processes that we already have in place, you will hopefully have fun hashing out new ideas and evolving things as we go.



For Potential Equal Justice Works and Skadden Fellowship Applicants:

Hey there 3L law students, recent graduates, and experienced attorneys! Are you inspired to use the law to support more resilient communities? Do you have a specific project idea that advances SELC's mission to provide legal education, research, advice, and advocacy for just and resilient economies? If so, consider applying for a funded fellowship through Equal Justice Works, Skadden Fellowship Foundation, or other similar organization to work with SELC. We are particularly interested in proposals that achieve the following goals:

  • Envisioning more just and resilient economic and legal systems;
  • Identifying and advocating for public policies that remove legal barriers to resilient communities while maintaining and strengthening worker, consumer and environmental protections;
  • Empowering community-based entrepreneurs and innovators to create replicable legal structures that will form the blueprints of the new economy;
  • Educating communities and law-makers about the potential of new economic strategies; and
  • Training the next generation of community-based lawyers to meet the burgeoning legal needs of resilient communities everywhere.

Submit a brief proposal to with "Fellowship Proposal" in the subject line and we'll get back to you in a timely manner to let you know if we'd like to further explore the opportunity.


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