Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Inc. (“LASP”) seeks a highly experienced, dedicated, and innovative full-time Chief Counsel who will guide the advocacy, litigation, and overall service delivery of the firm. LASP provides civil legal services to persons with limited income and also serves older adults, Veterans, and those needing protection from domestic violence. LASP cases focus on fundamental human needs in core areas of housing, family law, and income support and public benefits. LASP also provides fresh starts for those facing obstacles to decent housing and employment due to expungable criminal records or debt. The service area covered by LASP includes the suburban Philadelphia counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery.
The Chief Counsel is a key member of LASP’s executive team, and with the Deputy Director for Operations, will share supervisory responsibilities for LASP’s management team, consisting of 10 managing attorneys in 8 offices in the service area. LASP also includes regional projects focusing on homeownership, disability advocacy, domestic violence, Veterans law, expungement, and clean slate work. LASP at the moment employs 54 attorneys, 18 paralegals, and 17 administrative and professional staff to support its work and ensure that the Development, Communication, Human Resource, Information Technology, and Finance operations of the firm are fulfilled. The Chief Counsel will coordinate substantive law and advocacy skills training for staff, work closely with LASP’s Board of Directors, and provide counsel and assistance to the Executive Director regarding all aspects of management, administration, and funding.
The Chief Counsel position is based in Norristown at LASP’s administrative office at 151 W. Marshall Street, in the historic former Scheidt Brewery corporate headquarters. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required. Staff currently work on a hybrid basis depending on the current state of the Coronavirus in the service area. The successful candidate will be expected to perform in-office work as well as be able to work remotely as needed.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following:
- Ensure and develop uniform high quality legal advocacy throughout the program, ranging from brief advice through complex litigation and appeals in all fora, including courts and administrative agencies; Co-counsel and offer other support on select major litigation and advocacy projects;
- Serve as a member of the organization’s executive team, providing input on organizational policy, resource allocation, budgets, and day-to-day decision-making with respect to casehandling, pro bono service delivery, communications, development, personnel, finance, and IT operations;
- Directly supervise and periodically evaluate up to 6-7 managers, which will include managing attorneys in LASP offices and for regional projects;
- Play a significant role in a program-wide strategic planning process, which will set the course for the future direction of the service delivery and operations of LASP and which will seek to further a culture that values excellence, energy, innovation, collaboration, respect, trust, and accountability;
- Coordinate and participate in management meetings;
- Consult with staff across LASP’s service area on practice issues, including procedural and substantive law, ethics and professional responsibility, and restrictions and regulations imposed by funders;
- Assist the Executive Director and Human Resources manager in the recruitment and retention of excellent staff; develop and plan teambuilding activities to enhance morale; and orient new staff to LASP policies, practices and day to day delivery of services;
- Contribute to initiatives that will enhance and advance LASP’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion;
- Coordinate advocacy work between offices and units and coordinate program affinity groups;
- Update and maintain LASP’s Advocacy Manual and establish program-wide guidelines for practice;
- Participate in LASP Board meetings (and Committee meetings as needed) and assist in the meeting logistics, including preparation and dissemination of board materials;
- Manage LASP’s legal research tools, tracking subscriptions, negotiating renewals, editing users, and coordinating system trainings;
- Recommend and employ new technology to enhance advocacy and establish and maintain efficient systems to monitor and track advocacy work throughout the program;
- Encourage legal staff professional growth and development by identifying and addressing program-wide, office-wide, and individual training needs;
- Address escalated client grievances;
- Engage with other providers of civil legal assistance to persons with limited income in Pennsylvania and nationally to ensure that LASP benefits from the experiences of similar programs and adopts best practices;
- Abide by all applicable professional standards of ethics and practice;
- Perform other duties and responsibilities as required by the Executive Director.
SUPERVISOR: Executive Director
SUPERVISING: Managing Attorneys
SALARY AND COMPENSATION: Depending on experience and qualifications, a minimum of $100,000.00. Excellent benefits including employer-funded 401K, superb health, dental, vision, disability and life insurance, and liberal leave provisions including paid holidays, personal, vacation, and sick leave.
LASP is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate in the recruitment, selection, or advancement of employees on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, genetic information, or on any other basis prohibited by law.
License to practice law in Pennsylvania or admitted in another jurisdiction and eligible for admission to Pennsylvania. At least five (5) years of effective litigation experience in a non-profit legal services or similar environment and at least three (3) years of experience managing a law office and staff, preferably in a non-profit legal services environment, or equivalent experience as an internal candidate. Demonstrated proficiency in word processing, Outlook products, case management software, and online legal research tools.
Passionate commitment to LASP’s mission of service to persons with limited income as well as Veterans, Older Adults, and Individuals needing protection from domestic violence. Superb verbal and written communication skills. Demonstrated excellence in planning, implementing, and evaluating organization-wide management initiatives. Strong interpersonal skills, able to work well with a wide range of people. Strong coaching, teaching, training, organizational and time management skills. Demonstrated ability and willingness to work under pressure, meet tight deadlines and handle multiple tasks simultaneously while maintaining attention to detail. Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills. Demonstrated resourcefulness and ability to take initiative in development and completion of projects. Demonstrated competence in working with diverse clients, client communities and organizations. Strong sense of customer service and the ability to follow through on projects and deliverables.
Send resume, writing sample and a cover letter including the job title (Chief Counsel) to Elise Wilson-Coles, Human Resources Manager at Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania, by email to Hiring@lasp.org. Position will remain open until filled.