Legal Aid of the Bluegrass (LABG) Board of Directors seeks an Executive Director who will lead the organization with strategic, skilled, and visionary leadership in furtherance of the agency’s mission.
The mission of Legal Aid of the Bluegrass is to resolve the most important problems of low income and other vulnerable people by providing high quality legal assistance
through direct representation, education, advice, advocacy and coordination with other community resources. Our vision is a community where all are treated with dignity, respect and fairness, and do not lack the basic necessities of life.
Legal Aid of the Bluegrass is a client-focused non-profit law firm serving thirty-three counties in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. With roots dating back to 1967, Legal Aid of the Bluegrass values every member of the community, recognizing that only through united efforts of legal aid staff and board, volunteers, and a strong network of community partners, will we effectively address systemic poverty problems that result in families’ not having what is needed to thrive. The necessities of life – food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, education, income, and community – are all impacted by a person’s access to justice.
In 2021, LABG closed over 6,500 cases, serving 9,140 adults and 4,238 children. LABG has annual revenue of $ 6.8 million from federal, state, and local sources, both governmental and private. LABG’s funders include the Legal Services Corporation, Department of Justice (Victim of Crime Act Funding), state legislative appropriations, and state filing fees. Other significant sources of funding include IOLTA, United Way, foundations, and many others. LABG’s financial position is strong.
The Community LABG Serves
LABG provides free civil legal service to individuals and families whose income is insufficient to retain private legal services to address critical legal matters such as domestic violence, sexual assault, family law matters, immigration services for victims of violence, consumer law matters, eviction, foreclosure, bankruptcy, expungement, life planning document services, and other critical civil legal services. LABG provides free legal services to eligible clients in thirty-three Kentucky counties, serving Anderson, Bath, Boone, Bourbon, Boyd, Boyle, Bracken, Campbell, Carroll, Carter, Elliott, Fayette, Fleming, Franklin, Gallatin, Grant, Greenup, Harrison, Jessamine, Kenton, Lewis, Mason, Menifee, Mercer, Montgomery, Morgan, Nicholas, Owen, Pendleton, Robertson, Rowan, Scott, and Woodford residents. Offices are located in the cities of Covington, Lexington, Morehead, and Ashland.
Executive Director Leadership
The optimal candidate will bring experience at the highest levels of management, showing an upward leadership career trajectory, with experience based in service to marginalized populations. The candidate will possess a strong passion for and understanding of the critical nature of poverty law services in the community. The candidate’s professional experience will contain experiences that indicate the candidate is well-versed in executive management, fiscal and grant matters, diversity principles, and the strategic planning and implementation of goals that further the agency’s mission. The following are examples of experiences and skills that the Board of Directors will use in assessing candidates. It is understood that all candidates will not possess all the skills and characteristics outlined below. However, the successful candidate’s depth of experience will indicate a desire and commitment to learning and growing in leadership with access to regular professional development opportunities.
Strategic and Visionary Leadership
• Work with the Board of Directors to develop and implement strategic plans that further the mission of LABG.
• Have the ability to analyze structures within the agency and in the overall legal system for the purpose of identifying barriers to access to justice.
• Develop and implement plans to propel LABG into its next phase of leadership in the non-profit legal community, at local, state, and national levels.
• Assess trends in services and community needs, identifying the most critical needs of those who turn to LABG for help.
• Serve as an inspirational leader, motivating and inspiring staff and volunteers.
• Be committed to increasing diversity at LABG and develop goals, objectives, and plans that further that commitment.
• Build a culture of excellence, passion for service, and support for each other across the agency in a way that makes people want to be a part of the mission of LABG.
• Assess risks on an ongoing basis and navigate changes in the non-profit landscape so as to continue the stability of the organization, both fiscally and in matters of advocacy.
• Support LABG’s mission and vision for service to Kentuckians.
• Work closely with the Advocacy Director to support LABG’s zealous advocacy in critical areas of concern to LABG’s client community.
• Possess a strong commitment to preserving free legal services for eligible clients.
• Champion access to legal services for the most vulnerable in our community.
• Understand the dynamics diversity, equity, and inclusion in the provision of services to people from all backgrounds, socio-economic statuses, and across a diverse client community.
• Know the importance of eliminating barriers to access to justice and demonstrate a commitment to identifying and addressing systemic poverty law problems faced by
LABG’s client community.
• Be motivated to partner with and walk alongside underserved communities in the work to ameliorate the effects of poverty with the goal of eliminating poverty.
Skilled Non-Profit Manager
• Work closely with the Operations Director to support the business operations of the agency that are so critical to the agency’s structure, financial stability, and sustainability.
• Develop positive professional relationships with the staff based upon mutual respect,
appropriate boundaries, and an appreciation for all who work at LABG across all offices and positions.
• Assess infrastructure and analyze systems to promote policies and practices that are efficient and effective in carrying out the work of services to the community.
• Promote positive work-life balance for all employees.
• Engage proactively in management planning to prevent burnout and turnover.
• Understand legal compliance and grant conditions to ensure stable and reliable funding sources over time.
• Maximize finite fiscal resources for maximum impact in the community.
• Engage in responsible forward-thinking budgeting with knowledge of non-profit financial matters.
• Monitor funding trends and plan, in collaboration with business operations staff, funding initiatives to ensure adequate funding for the agency.
• Engage in fundraising efforts through individual donor relationships, relationships with grantors, and by aggressively and creatively exploring new funding opportunities.
• Collaborate with volunteers, partners, stakeholders, businesses, community agencies, fellow non-profits, and members of the client community to explore opportunities for partnerships and associations that further the mission of LABG and benefit LABG’s client community.
Ambassador and Representative of LABG in the Community
• Engage with stakeholders and leaders of the client community, to identify community needs and maintain the trust of the client community we serve.
• Have impeccable character, integrity, and be respected in the community.
• Foster respect for LABG’s client community and the agency as a whole.
• Have a reputation of good character, effective advocacy, and a public service focus.
• Be able to effectively engage with members of the bar, the judiciary, and the legislature on matters of importance to the mission of LABG.
• Develop and maintain strong relationships with community partners, representing LABG on committees, boards, workgroups, and commissions that dovetail with LABG’s work at the local, state, and national level.
• Represent LABG at statewide legal aid activities, including regular collaborations with the other three Kentucky LSC-funded legal aid programs and other community partner agencies.
• Possession of a Juris Doctor and Kentucky license to practice law or eligibility to become licensed in Kentucky in a reasonable period of time.
• Minimum of ten (10) years of professional legal experience.
• Experience in non-profit legal services or other relevant professional experience, as determined in the discretion of the Board.
Work is performed in the office setting and in the community. The Executive Director will maintain a main office in one of LABG’s four offices, with the approval of the Board of Directors. Work also includes travel throughout LABG’s service area, Kentucky, and travel out-of-state for matters that advance the mission of LABG and support funding of the agency’s work.
The statements contained in this job description reflect general details necessary to describe the principal functions of this job, the level of knowledge and skill typically required, and the scope of responsibility. It should not be considered an all-inclusive listing of work requirements. The Executive Director is appointed by and reports to the Board of Directors which has sole discretion in determining the combination of skills desired to accomplish the work of the position.
Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled. For full consideration, candidates are encouraged to apply by January 6, 2023. LABG is partnering with Neva-Marie Polley Scott of Polley Scott Consulting LLC in this search process. Applications should be addressed to Legal Aid of the Bluegrass ED Search Committee c/o Neva-Marie Polley Scott via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For consideration, materials must include a letter which details the candidate’s reason for applying and qualifications, resume, and three professional references.
Equal Opportunity Statement
Legal Aid of the Bluegrass is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to and values a diverse workforce. We support the principles of equal opportunity, diversity, equity, and non-discrimination. We engage in hiring and retention practices that do not discriminate on the basis of age, race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, Veteran’s status, marital status, familial status, or any other status protected by law.