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Assistant General Counsel – IP Transactions – Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation


The Organization

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation supports scientific research within the University of Wisconsin–Madison community by providing financial support, actively managing assets and moving innovations to the marketplace for a financial return and global impact. As a nonprofit, mission-driven organization, WARF enables UW–Madison research to solve the world’s problems by partnering with the university to steward the cycle of research, discovery, commercialization and investment. Founded in 1925, WARF continues to be dedicated to investing in research and making a difference. WARF also manages the Town Center within the Discovery Building, which provides platforms for hands-on activities that link scientific research and the general public, offering a window on the real-time process of discovery. For additional information, please visit:

The Opportunity

WARF seeks an Assistant General Counsel – Intellectual Property (IP) Transactions to serve as the legal team’s point person responsible for the legal review of a large volume and broad range of contracts generated through WARF’s (and occasionally its affiliates’) technology commercialization and development efforts. Such transactional work includes drafting and negotiating complex patent, trademark, copyright and biological materials license agreements with established companies and startup companies, constructing material transfer agreements to maximize distribution while minimizing risk, as well as handling more routine consulting, collaboration and confidentiality contracts. Effective management of the contractual workload includes selecting, training and managing outside counsel to assist in legal review when workflow volume is high and also educating and supporting internal staff involved in transactions. The Assistant General Counsel – IP Transactions position reports to WARF’s Deputy General Counsel.

In addition to the transactional work, from time to time the Assistant General Counsel – IP Transactions also helps to address and efficiently resolve other transaction related issues including contract terminations and disputes, and cease and desist correspondence.

Furthermore, the Assistant General Counsel – IP Transactions will provide leadership, consistency and policy guidance regarding IP transactional matters. They will also provide training to WARF staff on various legal issues, including regularly meeting with licensing staff and updating WARF templates and practice guidelines. For clarity, this role is not regularly involved in the acquisition or litigation of intellectual property.

Finally, the members of WARF’s legal department also regularly offer educational seminars on a wide variety of legal topics, both to its direct constituents, as well as the wider campus community.


The position requires an advanced ability to organize, manage and prioritize, as well as to think creatively, collaboratively and constructively, in order to advance agreements quickly and smoothly to execution. The Assistant General Counsel – IP Transactions must be capable of working effectively both independently as well as collaboratively with its various constituents. Strong time management and excellent interpersonal skills are essential to keep up with the fast paced and multifaceted nature of the workload. Ideal candidates will have a law degree with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in science or engineering and a minimum of seven years of experience practicing intellectual property law at a law firm, tech transfer office, and/or company. Substantial experience drafting and negotiating complex IP agreements, experience with business transactions and litigation, experience drafting and negotiating startup related agreements, and advanced knowledge of IP law is strongly desired. Candidates should also have an interest in positively contributing to WARF’s mission.

To Apply

To ensure consideration please submit a cover letter and resume in one document via our career portal by August 1, 2018. However, applications will be accepted until the position has been filled.

Job ID: 2017-1572
Category: Legal
# of Openings: 1

WARF promotes and supports an inclusive and diverse environment and offers a competitive total compensation package.