Executive Director - Legal Services of Northwest Jersey, Inc.

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Legal Services of Northwest Jersey (LSNWJ) seeks a talented, highly motivated individual to lead this well-run and dynamic nonprofit organization.  The new Executive Director will build on the legacy left by the retiring Executive Director and lead a strong, client-centered organization with a seasoned, dedicated and passionate staff and an engaged Board of Directors.  The mission of LSNWJ is to provide vigorous and high quality, client-centered civil legal services to residents of northwestern New Jersey who are economically disadvantaged.

The Executive Director is responsible for the overall operation of the program, which includes advancement of LSNWJ’s mission; resource development; regulatory compliance (including with Legal Services Corporation rules); financial oversight; and hiring and professional development of staff.  The Executive Director develops and maintains collaborative relationships with the courts, state and county bar associations, other legal and social service providers, and community groups.  The Executive Director works out of the Somerset County office located in Somerville, New Jersey.

About LSNWJ:

Established in January 1, 2003, LSNWJ is the result of a merger of four legal aid programs serving five counties covering urban and rural areas. LSNWJ is the primary legal aid program in its service area, providing a full-range of free legal services out of five offices. Services include individual representation, information and advice, and community legal education. LSNWJ handles more than 4000 cases each year in a wide range of priority areas.  It has a staff of 40 including 20 attorneys. LSNWJ support staff have recently unionized.

LSNWJ’s operating revenue of about $4.1 million comes largely from governmental sources, including the Legal Services Corporation, the U.S. Department of Justice, the State of New Jersey, and county governments. Additional funds come from private foundations, corporations and contributions.  LSNWJ has a robust pro bono program and strong relationships with the organized bar.  

Executive Director Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Directs the overall operation of the agency in compliance with the mission of LSNWJ, the policies established by the Board of Directors, the regulations established by the Legal Services Corporation and requirements of multiple funding sources.
  • Leads ongoing planning of the program’s goals, objectives and outcomes, and develops and oversees policies, projects, and structures to implement those goals.
  • Provides advice and assistance to the Board of Directors on the establishment, development, and implementation of policy and priorities.
  • Hires, supervises, evaluates and meets regularly with the Management Team to provide direction, advice and oversight as appropriate.
  • Communicates the work of the Management Team to staff and seeks staff input on program policy, practice and procedures.
  • Oversees the establishment and maintenance of systems including:
    • caseload management and case handling
    • staff supervision and co-counseling procedures
    • evaluation of personnel, agency, and program performance
    • training programs for staff and Board
    • staff recruitment, hiring and human resources, including equal employment procedures.
  • Ensures the organization’s long-term financial health by developing and overseeing financial management systems, including financial planning and budgeting, and oversight of financial systems and controls.
  • Serves as an effective ambassador for the program through positive public relations; and communicates and establishes contacts and relations with courts, bar associations, private bar, governmental agencies, community organizations and the press and media.
  • Oversees the development and supervision of LSNWJ’s private bar involvement program.

Required Qualifications:

  • JD from an accredited U.S. law school
  • Current license to practice law in New Jersey, or a current license to practice in any state, plus a commitment to obtain a New Jersey State Bar License within two years
  • 10 years of experience in public interest law or comparable experience
  • Proven leadership skills, with vision, open-mindedness, good listening skills, and the ability to inspire and motivate others
  • Demonstrated professionalism, integrity, intelligence, humility, sense of humor, and energy
  • A demonstrated commitment to diversity and cultural competence.

Qualifications of the Ideal Candidate:

  • Successful experience managing and supervising a diverse team of administrative and legal personnel, in a multi-office, nonprofit organization
  • Demonstrated experience in non-profit program planning, evaluation, staff supervision, legal systems development, financial oversight, reporting and budget development
  • Experience assuring compliance with grant and contract requirements
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, including the ability to communicate with people of different backgrounds, perspectives, and opinions, and to motivate and inspire community, staff, board and funders
  • Experience with union/management relations
  • A track record of fundraising and resource development success.

Applications:

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.  In order to receive full consideration, candidates are urged to submit their materials by April 5, 2019.  Please include a cover letter expressing in detail your interest in the position, your qualifications, and what you hope to contribute to the organization’s future; a current resume; and the names and contact information for three professional references. Materials should be submitted electronically to ppap@mielegalaid.org in Microsoft Word or pdf format. 

LSNWJ is being assisted in the search by Catherine Carr, Legal Aid Consultant, 215-603-0211, ccarrphila@gmail.com, and Patricia Pap, Executive Director, Management Information Exchange, 508-737-4010, ppap@mielegalaid.org. Applicants with questions about the position or process are encouraged to contact them.

Salary depends on experience based on a competitive public interest salary scale.  

LSNWJ is an Equal Opportunity employer, which employs and promotes without discrimination because of race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, age, sex,  pregnancy, childbirth, medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth, familial status, marital status, domestic partnership or civil union status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, genetic information, liability for military service, and mental or physical disability, perceived disability, and AIDS and HIV status or other protected group status and treats persons equally with respect to compensation and opportunities for advancement, including promotion and transfer. 

For more information about LSNWJ, visit www.lsnj.org/lsnwj.

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