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Directors of Advocacy

Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA) seeks two Directors of Advocacy to lead and support our advocacy staff in our work to represent individual low-income people and improve their lives.  The Directors of Advocacy will be part of MLSA’s Leadership Team; they will support and empower MLSA’s advocates to achieve the best results possible for our clients; and they will help MLSA develop and maintain its broad advocacy strategies on behalf of low-income clients.   The two positions will support MLSA’s teams representing 
  • survivors of domestic violence and other crimes;
  • clients with other legal issues (including housing, consumer, agricultural worker and Native American rights)
  This is an exciting opportunity for experienced litigators and supervisors to work with a growing, motivated advocacy staff.     Montana is a beautiful place all year round, and a great place to live.   About Montana Legal Services Association   MLSA is a vibrant and growing non-profit legal services provider, and a powerful force for justice in Montana.  MLSA’s staff of 45 address a wide range of civil legal issues impacting low-income residents, and use a full array of strategies to assist its clients.  MLSA is the only general civil legal aid provider in Montana, and advocates with MLSA assist clients throughout this large mostly-rural state.  MLSA is supported by a range of federal, state, and private funds, and its budget has grown over the past few years.  Despite that growth, there remain many more people in need of legal assistance than MLSA can serve.   MLSA’s advocacy staff includes experienced lawyers, newer lawyers, paraprofessionals and AmeriCorps positions.  They are skilled, passionate, and motivated advocates, who express a desire for the support the Directors of Advocacy will deliver for MLSA.   Location of positions:  Helena, Missoula or Billings (Helena preferred).  Travel within and without Montana is required as needed.   Position overview:   The Directors of Advocacy will work collaboratively to develop and support MLSA’s advocacy efforts.  Each position will supervise one team within MLSA – one focused on providing legal services to domestic violence survivors and victims of crime, and the other focused on more general legal services delivery in poverty law areas.  They will each build training opportunities for staff; co-counsel with staff in some cases; as well as carry out ongoing oversight and support of the advocacy staff.  Working with their advocacy teams, they will develop innovative projects and approaches to continually improve access to justice and systems improvement for low-income people living in Montana. They will also collaborate with MLSA’s Executive Director and fund development and operations staff to ensure the continued strong operations of MLSA.     Responsibilities:   As advocacy team leaders:
  • Supervise and support 10 – 12 staff, including both lawyers and other advocacy professionals.
  • Assist with complex and interesting cases and problems, both through direct involvement in supervisees’ work and engaging other experienced lawyers to support MLSA’s work.
  • Encourage and coordinate program-wide collaboration on legal issues and leadership of broad-based advocacy initiatives.
  • Coordinate and provide professional development support and training.
  • Ensure that the delivery of services aligns with MLSA’s grant requirements and mission.
  • Conduct regular informal check-ins and periodic formal reviews with supervisees, along with communication and enforcement of MLSA’s policies.
  • Participate in team recruitment, hiring and retention efforts.
  • Support MLSA’s pro bono program, including mentoring pro bono attorneys.
  As members of MLSA’s management:
  • Collaborate in the leadership of MLSA as a member of its Management Team, along with the other Director of Advocacy, the Director of Finance & Administration, and the Executive Director.
  • Assist in the development and implementation of policies and procedures for MLSA.
  • Assist in the development and oversight of MLSA’s annual operating budget.
  • Participate in fund development for MLSA, as may be related to the advocacy team or the needs of the program. 
  • In conjunction with the Executive Director, plan for how technology is used to support the provision of services to clients.
Requirements and preferences:
  • At least ten years of experience in the civil practice of law, including complex litigation at the state and federal levels.
  • Substantial experience in poverty law issues, preferred.
  • Substantial experience and success as a supportive supervisor preferred.   
  • Excellent communications and motivation skills; and proven ability to work with a diverse group of people with varying lived experience, perspectives, and expertise.
  • An understanding of the experiences and needs of low-income people.
  • Demonstrated commitment to zealous and comprehensive advocacy on behalf of access to justice issues for low income people. 
  • Strong ability to establish and maintain effective relationships with clients, the public, judges, court personnel and the bar.
  • Ability and willingness to work cooperatively and collegially within a statewide law firm. 
  • Ability to learn and use MLSA’s technology systems (including our case management system, Lexis, Microsoft Suite and other supportive applications). 
  • Ability to travel within and without the state of Montana, occasionally overnight.
  • Already licensed, or eligible to become licensed to practice law in Montana (minimum 5 years recent bar admission in another state).
To Apply: 
Send a letter of interest, writing sample, and resume to   The people who work for Montana Legal Services Association are our greatest strength.  We seek to hire people from diverse backgrounds who work hard and effectively, who can be both leaders and team players, and who have a passion for our mission of justice.   Submission Deadline: Screening of applicants will begin immediately and the positions will remain open until filled.    Salary and Benefits: Salary based on experience.  MLSA offers an attractive benefits package, including health, dental, vision, and life insurance, retirement and educational loan repayment assistance.



Submission Deadline: 
February 28, 2019
Organization Information: 
Montana Legal Services Association
616 Helena Ave, Ste. 100
Helena, MT 59601
United States
Phone: 406-442-9830