Writers Guild of America, West

Writers Guild of America, West

General Counsel

Based in Los Angeles, CA


The Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) is currently seeking qualified experienced (ten or more years of litigation experience, with substantial trial or evidentiary hearing experience; (either in- house or as outside counsel representing labor unions) applicants for the position of General Counsel.

THE WGAW is a democratic, progressive labor union representing approximately 10,000 active members, who are writers of motion pictures, television/streaming, radio, and news employed by the major media companies. Founded in 1933, the Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the economic and creative rights of its members. Our mission is to defend and improve the livelihoods of storytellers at the heart of the entertainment industry. We are involved in a wide range of programs that advance the interests of writers, and active in public policy, legislative and regulatory matters on the local, national, and international levels. Over the years, our members have consistently demonstrated a willingness to take on difficult issues and organize to challenge the industry status quo.

Under the direction of the Executive Director, the General Counsel is the chief legal officer representing the Guild. The General Counsel provides overall strategic direction in all legal matters involving the Guild. This position provides advice on, among other areas, labor and employment-related matters, regulatory matters, contract enforcement, negotiating strategy, risk assessment and compliance.

The position is based in Los Angeles. WGAW staff are currently on a hybrid schedule of 3 days in office and 2 days remote, adjusted as necessary during campaigns when additional in-person days could be required. Vaccination against COVID-19 is required of all employees unless they qualify for a lawful exemption.

The General Counsel is a Los Angeles-based full time, exempt position with full benefits. The WGAW offers a competitive salary range of $250,000 – $325,000, commensurate with experience.


  • Provide legal expertise in support of Guild initiatives, campaigns, negotiations and contract enforcement.
  • Oversee and manage all outside counsel and litigation matters.
  • Identify and manage legal risk consistent with Guild priorities, initiatives, and strategic goals.
  • Play key role in developing and implementing bargaining strategy for industry-wide collective bargaining agreements on behalf of active and engaged union.
  • Advise Guild concerning internal union governance, including compliance with Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act.
  • Provide strategic guidance on arbitration cases involving complex issues under industrywide collective bargaining agreement and individual writers’ contracts.
  • Recommend policy and operational changes necessitated by legislative mandates at the federal, state and local levels.
  • Represent the Guild in litigation, administrative proceedings, arbitrations, negotiations and other legal and regulatory matters.
  • Conduct research and provide strategic and legal advice and training related to traditional labor law and contract enforcement issues.
  • Work with other Guilds’ GCs on matters of common interest, including residual auditing program.
  • Provide guidance on staff personnel matters.
  • Provide advice on matters related to Guild’s institutional functions as a non-profit corporation, employer and real estate property owner; review and negotiate contracts as needed.  
  • Provide support to Guild leadership team and perform other duties as requested.
  • Graduation from law school with a J.D. degree and admission to practice in one or more jurisdictions.  
  • Must have significant experience representing unions in labor and employment law matters, including before the National Labor Relations Board.  
  • Must have ten or more years of litigation experience, with substantial trial or evidentiary hearing experience.
  • Superior analytical and writing skills required.
  • Supervisory experience required.
  • Demonstrated sound judgment in developing and implementing legal solutions.
  • Must have strong interpersonal and leadership skills.  
  • Fully updated on legal trends and changes to laws and regulations related to labor and employment law matters.  
  • Computer literate.

To be considered for this position, please provide the following:

  • A current résumé reflecting qualifications for this position, including months and years of employment, and reasons for separation from each position.
  • A Letter of application, which specifically addresses how accomplishments in your career have prepared you to meet the essential functions and requirements, presented in this position.

Please forward all materials electronically to the following:
All materials must be sent electronically to WGAW Search Consultant:

Margolies, Potterton & Associates
Patricia Johnson, Business Manager: patjohnson@unionsearch.org

For confidential inquiries, questions, salary information or to schedule a call, please email Debra Schwoch-Swoboda dswoboda@unionsearch.org

Position open until filled, however, due to the ongoing strike, WGAW has suspended their candidate search for the General Counsel position until after the strike is concluded and the contract is settled. Please continue to send résumés and letters of application if you wish to be considered when the position reopens.

For more information on the WGAW, please visit: www.wga.org.

WHEN APPLYING: Be sure to indicate that you saw this information at UNIONJOBS.COM.