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Legal Director

Description: 

Maryland Legal Aid seeks a creative and highly experienced Legal Director who will work with the Executive and lead senior staff to shape and guide the program’s delivery of high-quality legal services to low-income Marylanders. Since 1911, Maryland Legal Aid has provided high-quality legal services to low-income people and communities, and vulnerable individuals – helping to remedy their civil legal issues and become empowered to overcome challenges, achieve stability, and independence, and achieve their goals. From deep connections to clients and communities, it identifies and seeks to remedy systemic barriers. Although the position will be based in Maryland Legal Aid’s Baltimore headquarters, the Legal Director will oversee the legal work of the program’s 12 offices, with over 170 attorneys located throughout the State.

POSITION OVERVIEW:

Maryland Legal Aid (MLA)’s Legal Director will oversee the direction of the legal and advocacy work for this statewide program and will work with legal staff to maintain consistently high quality, high impact services. With the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, the Legal Director will lead strategic planning to ensure that the program is addressing the most significant barriers facing people living in the low-income communities it serves. The Legal Director will supervise and coordinate a team of advocacy directors and managing attorneys to implement the organization’s priorities and strategic vision. The Legal Director approves and may guide complex litigation and appeals, helps resolve ethical, highly technical or novel legal issues and ensures that legal staff has access to training, supervision, guidance and mentoring. 

This is an incredible opportunity for a visionary leader who brings the experience, ability and passion to guide MLA’s legal team and has the drive to lead the organization’s important impact work for people living in poverty. The Legal Director joins MLA at an exciting period of transition and has the potential to lead staff in shaping MLA’s structure and service delivery to address the needs of historically marginalized communities across the State. MLA seeks a bold, clear and creative leader who will use all available data from MLA’s outreach, individual case representation, advocacy and pro bono partnerships to develop MLA’s legal strategy. The Legal Director is also responsible for ensuring ongoing assessment of the quality and impact of MLA’s legal strategy, its advocacy and legal services.

Reporting to and working with the Executive Director, this position focuses on establishing, and implementing the programmatic vision for the organization’s legal work, recognizing the various and inter-related tools a quality, impactful legal nonprofit must employ: meaningful community engagement, client counseling, litigation, permissible policy advocacy, and strategic use of media.

ABOUT MARYLAND LEGAL AID:

Maryland Legal Aid is a private, non-profit law firm that provides free, civil legal services to low-income individuals in Baltimore City and Maryland’s 23 counties from 12 full-service offices. The firm provides life-changing legal assistance to clients in a wide range of matters including, but not limited to, family, housing, government benefits, healthcare, employment, and consumer law. MLA also represents children in CINA (Child in Need of Assistance) proceedings in 22 jurisdictions throughout the State. Other vulnerable populations, such as homeowners facing foreclosure, migrant and seasonal farm workers, people with developmental and mental health disabilities, nursing home and assisted living residents, veterans seeking benefits and assistance with related legal issues, and individuals with expungable criminal records, also receive representation through specials projects.

MLA is dedicated to preserving the basic human needs and basic human rights of clients, particularly as they navigate the justice system. MLA staff, pro bono attorneys, community partners, and general supporters all play important roles in ensuring that the legal playing field is leveled so that those most in need achieve equal access to justice. It is because of this diverse support that MLA ensures that the voices of tens of thousands of economically disadvantaged and vulnerable Marylanders are heard every year and their legal needs are addressed. To learn more about Maryland Legal Aid and its impact please visit https://mdlab.org/.

 

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Oversee the development of an innovative strategic plan, based on a clear vision and in alignment with MLA’s mission.
  • Develop, lead, and ensure high-quality and high-impact statewide legal advocacy, service delivery and management.
  • Approve, oversee and, where appropriate, participate in complex litigation and appeals.
  • Supervise and provide litigation support to legal staff and ensure that lawyers at every level in the program have adequate supervision and opportunities to grow professionally.
  • Oversee the programmatic work of all MLA offices, through regular consultation with deputies and Office Chiefs, and supervising attorneys. Directly supervise a team of 8-10 that includes Deputies, Chiefs, and the Statewide Advocacy Directors.   
  • Expand and elevate MLA’s advocacy work and incorporate best practices to make MLA a model among legal services providers.
  • In collaboration with the HR Director, provide DEI-related activities including initiating and maintaining a diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DEI) culture, adopting diverse hiring practices and promoting cultural competency among staff.
  • Inspire and enhance an organizational culture that values collaboration, transparency, respect, trust and accountability.
  • Represent the work and vision of MLA to partners, stakeholders, the public and the national legal services community.
  • In collaboration with the Chief Operating Officer, assist with streamlining operations including integrating new technologies to ensure compatibility with service delivery and greater consistency and efficiency.
  • In conjunction with the Director of Human Resources and members of the leadership team, build a community with robust retention and recruitment strategies for all MLA’s current and prospective staff.
  • Champion the strategic use of data and technology to ensure effective and accurate decision-making and advocacy strategies across the organization.

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS:

This role offers a base salary range of $160,000 - $190,000. MLA also provides employees with a generous benefits package that includes health, dental, vision, life insurance, a 401(k) retirement plan, 4 weeks paid time off, paid sick leave, 14 paid holidays and more! Future flexibility regarding a hybrid work arrangement is a possibility after the onboarding period.


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Requirements: 

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • JD from an accredited law school.
  • Current Bar membership in good standing to practice law in any state, Maryland preferred. If licensed to practice in another state, a commitment to obtain licensure in Maryland after hire.
  • Federal and state litigation experience, including experience with appeals. Experience in areas of practice covered by MLA highly desirable.  
  • 10+ years of management experience with working knowledge of legal aid programs.
  • A genuine passion and deep commitment for the mission of Maryland Legal Aid.
  • Clearly stated vision for the delivery of legal services, leadership and mentoring of legal staff, collaborative communications, and union relations.
  • Demonstrated experience developing effective legal strategies and delivering results, establishing realistic objectives, and evaluating progress.
  • Supervisory experience with the ability to motivate, advise, coach, and give constructive feedback to staff at all levels.
  • Significant experience effectively using current technology and remote communications to supervise and, as needed, co-counsel, with staff located in multiple offices.
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills
  • The ability to partner with a team of professionals across offices.
  • Experience advocating for policy reform at the federal, state and/or local level.
  • Demonstrated skills in managing, leading, and motivating a high-performing legal team
  • Willingness to spend significant time in our offices across the state and ~5% for travel that may involve overnights.
To Apply: 

Maryland Legal Aid has retained the services of Scion Executive Search, a national executive search firm specializing in mission-driven organization recruitment, to assist in conducting this important search. For immediate consideration, please apply with your resume and cover letter formatted in MS Word via: https://www.scionstaffing.com/job/8946

Please address applications to:

Alexandra Martin, Executive Recruiter

Scion Executive Search

(888) 487-8850

 

Review of applications, nominations, and expressions of interest will begin immediately and continue on a confidential basis until an appointment is made.

MLA is committed to equity, justice and inclusion. As an equal opportunity employer, MLA seeks to hire employees from diverse backgrounds and perspectives that are reflective of the communities we serve, including people with disabilities, minorities, women, and members of traditionally underrepresented groups.

Information

Submission Deadline: 
October 10, 2022
Organization Information: 
Maryland Legal Aid
United States