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Chief Executive Officer


San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program seeks a Chief Executive Officer to lead our organization, dedicated to providing equal access to the justice system. SDVLP serves as a bridge between indigent and other disadvantaged people in San Diego County and the volunteer lawyers and others who are willing to donate their time and resources. Amy Fitzpatrick, Esq., who has served as CEO for fifteen years, will step down on July 31, 2021.

The next CEO will join SDVLP at a time of great stability and success. Since 1983, SDVLP has changed the lives of thousands of poor women, children and men throughout San Diego County. A private, non- profit organization, SDVLP is the county’s oldest and most comprehensive pro bono legal services program.

SDVLP serves the most vulnerable members of our community: the homeless, abused children, domestic violence victims, elder abuse victims, veterans, immigrants and those with HIV/AIDS. Notably, more than 75% of SDVLP’s clients are women and children.

The CEO will be responsible for

  • Leading ongoing planning efforts and implementation of an articulated strategic vision to ensure the continued thoughtful development of SDVLP programs and policies, particularly in a more remote legal services environment;
  • Promoting SDVLP in the San Diego legal community to increase private bar participation in SDVLP programs;
  • Engaging and inspiring staff members, board members, clients and other stakeholders in developing and implementing the organizational mission;
  • Ensuring that SDVLP provides high quality legal assistance, emphasizing excellence and creativity;
  • Developing, communicating effectively with and supporting a strong and active Board of Directors;
  • Hiring, supervising, evaluating, and meeting regularly with the staff of approximately thirty-five people to provide direction, advice and oversight as appropriate;
  • Ensuring the long-term sustainability of SDVLP through active leadership of a diversified resource development program focused on individual and law firm gifts, foundation grants, and government grants and contracts;
  • Ensuring compliance with funder expectations and contractual and grant requirements; and
  • Ensuring the organization’s financial health and stability by developing and maintaining sound financial planning and management systems, including preparation of budgets and oversight of financial systems and controls.

The CEO must

  • Be an attorney in good standing (California admission strongly preferred) with at least eight years of practice and four years of management experience;
  • Passionately advocate for the legal rights of low-income persons;
  • Possess exceptional leadership skills;
  • Have substantial management experience in a successful legal services or similar organization;
  • Have substantial successful experience recruiting, motivating and managing volunteer lawyers and others;
  • Demonstrate a track record of fundraising success;
  • Exhibit excellent communication skills and the ability to inspire the trust and confidence of the organization, public, and client communities;
  • Demonstrate experience in budgeting, compliance, finance and fiscal controls;
  • Have experience in building a team environment, encouraging professional development of staff, and supporting staff in the program’s work;
  • Be committed to the use of technology to extend services, particularly in a remote environment; and
  • Convey vision, integrity, courage, intelligence, creativity, energy and humor equal to the challenges of this demanding position.
To Apply: 

Screening of applicants begins immediately and will continue until the time of selection. To receive full consideration, you are encouraged to submit your application materials by January 15, 2021, or sooner if possible. Please submit a letter expressing your interest in the position, your qualifications for the job, and what you hope to contribute to the organization’s future.  Please include a résumé and the names and contact information for three professional references.

We aim to make a final decision in April 2021, and to have the successful candidate join the organization in June in order to facilitate a smooth transition.

SDVLP is assisted in the search by Patricia Pap, Executive Director, Management Information Exchange, 105 Chauncy St., Fl 6, Ste 3, Boston, MA 02111, 508-737-4010, Materials should be submitted electronically to Ms. Pap in Microsoft Word or pdf format. Candidates with questions about the position or process are encouraged to contact her.

Salary depends on experience based on a competitive public interest salary scale. Benefits include generous paid annual leave and sick leave; medical, dental, and vision benefits; and a 401(k) retirement plan with employer match.


Submission Deadline: 
January 31, 2021
Organization Information: 
San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program
United States