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Executive Director


Executive Director for Prairie State Legal Services


The Ideal Candidate

Are you an experienced leader in the legal field who is looking to lead a high functioning, well-respected non-profit organization? Do you value legal aid work and want to help ensure equal access to justice?


Prairie State Legal Services is seeking an Executive Director. As the ideal candidate, you have a track record of success in the legal aid field, value diversity, and are a collaborative builder of vision, teams, and strategies. With the ability to inspire others even through challenging times, you are a decisive, well-respected leader with non-profit operations knowledge. You’re ready to not only lead the organization and increase its impact by creating successful strategies, but you’re prepared to help strengthen internal operations that have been stretched by rapid growth.

Prairie State Legal Services

Prairie State Legal Services offers free legal services for low-income persons and those age 60 and over who have serious civil legal problems. For over 40 years, we have been providing a pathway to equal access to justice and fair treatment under the law by providing legal advice and representation, advocacy, education, and outreach that serve to protect basic human needs and enforce or uphold rights. Today, we have nearly 200 staff members across 11 offices that serve 36 counties in Central and Northern Illinois.

We are an inclusive, collaborative, and well-respected non-profit that is looking for a talented Executive Director to lead the organization as it continues providing life and community-impacting legal services.


Please apply through this link to be considered:

The Opportunity

In collaboration with the board and staff, the Executive Director leads in executing the vision, mission, and strategy of Prairie State Legal Services. The role acts as the face of the organization with community members, donors, and government leaders to increase awareness and financial support. A successful Executive Director will develop and implement strategies and internal operation structures that move the mission forward and maximize the organization’s impact.


With strong operational leadership skills and in-depth knowledge of legal aid work, the new Executive Director will continue to grow the organization and its ability to provide equal access to justice to the underserved populations in Central and Northern Illinois. The ideal candidate has a great understanding of the operations of a legal organization, values diversity and helping others in a time of need, and can be motivational and inspiring even when making tough decisions. This position is for you if you have knowledge of non-profit operations, understand the grant process, and have or are ready to build strong, long-term relationships that lead to financial gifts and support.


Please apply through this link to be considered:


The position will include a wide variety of responsibilities, including:

  • Serves as the passionate and consistent voice of the organization and its mission
  • Develops and maintains a long-term strategic plan which supports and amplifies the mission
  • Systematizes processes and logistics for internal operations that match the size and impact of the organization
  • Identifies opportunity for innovation and internal change
  • Leads the staff through operational changes in a way that gains buy-in and does not disrupt client services
  • Serves as the financial steward for the organization by overseeing budgets and making decisions based on available resources
  • Builds awareness and gains external support to sustain and grow a diverse funding base
  • Cultivates personal relationships with current and future top-tier donors and local, state, and federal government contacts
  • Ensures the organization is an attractive and supportive workplace by committing to maintaining a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, providing robust professional development opportunities, and prioritizing work-life balance
  • Serves as the primary linkage between the board and the organization’s strategic direction, activities, and staff
  • Maintains confidence and enthusiasm of the board by providing timely information on the key triumphs and pressing needs
  • Travels to all 11 Prairie State Legal Services offices to build relationships with and support staff
  • Represents Prairie State Legal Services at professional and community meetings and events, including evening and weekend events


Perks and Benefits:

  • Health insurance, including the opportunity to qualify for a wellness credit
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • 403b Retirement Plan including employer contributions
  • Extensive training and education program
  • Flex scheduling and partial remote work available
  • PTO that starts at 3 weeks/year and increases with additional years worked at PSLS
  • Paid sick leave
  • 6 weeks of paid parental leave after one year of employment
  • 12 Paid holidays


Please apply through this link to be considered:


  • Legal Aid experience
  • Ten years of professional experience in the law field
  • Juris Doctor Law Degree (preferred) 
  • Five years of leadership and people management experience
  • Non-profit operations knowledge
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Understanding of non-profit funding, including private fundraising and grants
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people
  • Experience and passion for working with low-income and underserved populations
  • Ability to travel to the 11 Prairie State Legal Services offices and the 36 counties served in Central and Northern Illinois to make connections and support operations.
  • Ability to attend evening and weekend events and support the organization outside of regular business hours
  • Location – Position can be based out of any of the Prairie State Legal Services offices with the ability to work out of the headquarters in Rockford, IL, as needed.


To Apply: 

Please apply through this link to be considered:



Submission Deadline: 
March 6, 2022
Organization Information: 
Prairie State Legal Services
303 N. Main Street
Rockford, IL 61101
United States
Phone: 815-668-4427