Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.® (LawNY®) has an opening for a new executive director. The present LawNY® executive director will be leaving their position on April 30, 2023 after serving as executive director for nearly 21 years. It is hoped that the incoming executive director will join the program no later than February 1, 2023 in order to provide for a three month period of overlap with the present executive director.
LawNY® provides free civil legal help to individuals and families struggling with poverty in a nearly 10,000 square mile 14 county area with an urban center in Rochester and rural counties in western New York, the Finger Lakes and the Southern Tier. We presently provide services through seven staffed offices located in Bath, Elmira, Geneva, Ithaca, Jamestown, Olean and Rochester. Including AmeriCorps attorneys and paralegals, we presently have 181 staff members, including 84 attorneys. With the recent award of major federal and state grants that will allow us to increase our eviction prevention services, LawNY® is poised to grow by an additional 40 staff members and open up to three additional offices.
In 2021, we closed nearly 5,400 cases, including 31% housing law, 25% family law, 20% government benefits, 5% consumer and 5% wills and estates and advance care directives. We are also deliberately growing our practice in the areas of employment and education.
We have a revenue side budget of over $18.8 million, with approximately 90 contracts with various federal, state, county and city agencies, as well as area United Ways, foundations and private donations.
LawNY® has a 24 member board of directors that includes both attorneys residing or working in our geographic service area and people who are financially eligible for LawNY®’s services.
For more information about LawNY®, visit: www.lawny.org.
LawNY® is committed to equitable inclusion across race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, ability, sex, religion, economic circumstances, ethnicity, national origin and culture.
Specific responsibilities of the executive director will include:
- Oversee the delivery of high quality legal services to eligible clients through direct supervision of the chief finance officer, the director of operations, the director of litigation and advocacy, the director of pro bono affairs and seven attorneys managing our seven service offices;
- Work closely with other management staff members including the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) managers, the human resources director and the director of technology;
- Work closely with and staff the needs of the board of directors and its committees, including the audit committee, client grievance committee, development committee, executive committee, finance committee,
- Monroe County committee, nominating committee, personnel committee and program priorities committee;
- Ensure the development and implementation of mission based programs and services that meet the legal needs of targeted populations in the LawNY® service area;
- Ensure a strong process to maintain and develop diverse funding sources and oversee reporting and compliance to ensure strong relationships with funders;
- Set management team goals and support the management team in its coordination, communication and work toward achieving its goals;
- Oversee maintenance of a positive, respectful, equitable and safe workplace environment that attracts, retains and motivates top quality diverse staff;
- Oversee the supervision of the fiscal staff to ensure that the day-to-day fiscal affairs of LawNY®, including compliance with LSC regulations, the Uniform Guidance, GAAP accounting and board policies are managed with the highest integrity;
- Oversee the development of LawNY®’s annual budget and revisions and ensure regular reporting to the LawNY® board finance committee of fiscal performance against budget;
- Provide a public face for LawNY® that ensures confidence and competence in LawNY® and support for our mission of providing legal services to low-income New Yorkers and all of our related efforts;
- Supervise and support the work of the director of litigation and advocacy, director of operations and the DEI managers in implementing LawNY®’s internal and external race equity priorities;
- Ensure a welcoming and inclusive culture within LawNY®;
- Manage the assets and resources of LawNY® in a manner that complies with requirements established by federal, state and local funders;
- Oversee programmatic expansion directly relevant to our mission to increase access to justice through excellent legal representation, advocacy and service and our vision of a society where access to justice is not determined by one’s social or economic status; and
- Build and maintain a collaborative team culture that aligns resources to our strategies to achieve our mission.
Salary and Benefits:
Salary is dependent on experience. The salary budgeted for the incoming executive director ranges from $140,000 - $180,000.
We provide a superlative package of fringe benefits including: in 2022, 94% employer paid health insurance (with significant HSA contributions to offset out-of-pocket costs for one of our options, our high deductible plan); 100% employer paid dental and disability insurance; and $50,000 automatic life insurance.
We also provide a very generous leave package including, in the first year of employment, 20 days of vacation plus 13.5 holidays and two floating holidays. Employees also receive 12 sick days and five personal days per year. New parents receive 20 days of paid vacation.
LawNY® staff may qualify for public interest law school loan forgiveness programs.
The position can be based in any LawNY® office.
The desired qualifications of the incoming executive director include:
- At least ten years of management, supervisory and/or leadership experience in a non-profit legal program or equivalent experience demonstrating outstanding skills in these areas;
- Licensed to practice law in the State of New York or eligible for admission to the New York Bar at the time of hiring (must be admitted within one year of hire);
- Ability to inspire and motivate staff through a vision of client and community centered services;
- Demonstrated commitment to principles of diversity and inclusion;
- Capacity to lead a team of highly talented and motivated professionals committed to a culture of collegiality, mutual respect and high quality advocacy;
- Experience overseeing financial planning and management of a comparably sized budget and funding streams;
- Proven ability to build strong professional relationships and connect with diverse stakeholders including community organizations, other legal services providers, partners in the not-for-profit community, the private bar and the judiciary;
- Willingness to travel to provide on-site support to staff in multiple offices;
- Willingness to travel to represent LawNY at state and national conferences and meetings of legal services providers; and
- An appreciation for the big picture balanced with sharp attention to detail.
- The executive director reports to the board of directors and works in full partnership with the management team.
To apply, submit your cover letter, resume, two writing samples and three references through LawNY®’s BambooHR platform, by November 15, 2022. All applications received by that date will receive full consideration. Applications will continue to be accepted after that date on a continuous basis until the position is filled.
To promote social justice and achieve our mission, LawNY® is committed to maintaining a diverse staff and creating an inclusive and respectful workplace. In your cover letter, please explain how you think your lived and/or professional experience or background has prepared you to contribute to a work environment with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc. (LawNY) is an equal opportunity employer. LawNY® strongly encourages applications from Black, Indigenous and People of Color, women, LGBTQIA+ individuals, people with disabilities and persons from other underrepresented groups whose background may contribute to working in and sustaining an environment that enables staff and clients to feel empowered, valued, respected and safe. LawNY welcomes applications regardless of race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability, genetic information or any other consideration protected by law.
This position is considered exempt pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act.