The Western New York Law Center is a legal services office that represents clients, and advocates for legislative policies that positively impact the lives of our clients. For more than 25 years, the Law Center located in Buffalo, NY has been providing free, high-quality legal counsel and representation in civil matters when basic human needs are at stake, including class action litigation, foreclosure prevention, income maintenance, representation of consumers, addressing vacant and abandoned properties, representing low-income entrepreneurs, engaging in work around the Community Reinvestment Act, supporting technology for legal services providers in New York State, and engaging in legislative advocacy for our clients. Our services support thousands of poor and low-income families and individuals who cannot afford an attorney. With the gap separating those who can and cannot afford legal representation widening each day, we work to ensure that everyone has equal access to justice, regardless of their ability to pay. The Law Center has a budget with revenues of more than $2.5 million with over 15 funding sources, including the NYS Office of Court Administration and the IOLA Fund of the State of New York.
The Law Center is seeking an experienced leader to serve as its next Executive Director. Building on a strong foundation, the next leader will be responsible for leading the Law Center’s strategic direction, ensuring its long-term financial sustainability and operational efficiency, and overseeing the organization’s programs and staff.
The ideal candidate brings a deep passion for, and holistic approach to, serving the Law Center’s mission and the ability to develop strong relationships with various audiences, including funders, partners and policymakers. The ideal applicant is also a dedicated team builder, committed to fostering a positive, supportive, and collaborative culture.
Financial Management and Administration:
● Oversee the successful execution of the Law Center’s day-to-day operations, including effective strategic financial decision-making, budgeting and management, reporting, and compliance
Strategic Leadership and Vision:
● Lead in the updating and formulating a strategic plan for the Law Center; collaborate with staff, the Board, and key stakeholders to develop innovative strategies to fulfill the organization’s mission
● Maintain active engagement and knowledge of current issues and trends to inform cutting edge programs and strategies to advance the Law Center’s mission
● Ensure and enhance the Law Center’s reputation as a leading voice and authority on legal issues involving low-income people in Western New York
● Engage with decision makers in State, County and local government to advocate for policies that benefit low-income people in Western New York
Team Leadership and Culture:
● Actively champion equity, diversity and inclusion, and promote a climate that attracts, retains, and motivates a talented, dedicated, and diverse staff
● Promote a respectful workplace that encourages teamwork
● Lead, mentor, and develop a high-performing team and foster positive organizational culture
● Oversee and work with the Board of Directors and staff to implement a comprehensive fundraising strategy with multiple sources of revenue (including foundation, individual, law firm, and corporate).
● Cultivate and maintain relationships with current and prospective funders and encourage active engagement in donor cultivation
● Develop and oversee major strategic initiatives including advocacy and litigation
● Support and expand the Law Center’s network of community partners and volunteers to supplement and amplify program capacity
● Build, lead, and work as part of coalitions, and local, state, and national organizations, ensuring that the Law Center’s programs reflect the goals and needs of people with lived experience
Board Engagement and Partnerships:
● Actively recruit, engage, support, and maintain effective communications with a strong and diverse Board of Directors; lead the Board in developing its own capacity to support the organization’s strategic priorities and financial sustainability
● Maintain and develop relationships with key stakeholders and partners, including policymakers, key allied organizations, media, law firms and corporate legal departments, and volunteers
● Engage, maintain and develop relationships with bar associations, legal services locally and across the State, and lawmakers and government agencies and represent the agency in collaborations and meetings
● Serve as lead spokesperson for the organization’s mission and goals, including with the media, partner organizations, and policymakers
● Oversee the organization’s communications strategy to advance and support program goals, ensuring that key messages are communicated effectively
● Juris Doctorate degree and current license (any state or jurisdiction) required; if not licensed in New York, the successful candidate will be required to obtain a license to practice in New York
● Passion for the Law Center’s mission
● Minimum of 5 years relevant experience including management and supervisory experience
● Strong legal skills with a proven track record of high-quality lawyering
● Demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion
● Proven ability to lead and develop creative, thoughtful, and effective strategies to make systemic change
● Demonstrated aptitude for cultivating and stewarding funding relationships, including experience diversifying funding streams
● Engaging leadership style
● Exceptional interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills
● Ability to partner effectively with external stakeholders
● Strong professional ethics, transparency, integrity, and accountability
The salary range is $125,000-$150,000. Available benefits include medical, dental, term life, short and long term disability, 403(b) retirement plan, and generous paid time off and holidays.
HOW TO APPLY
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. To receive full consideration, candidates are urged to submit their materials electronically to email@example.com. Please include a letter expressing in detail your interest in the position; your qualifications and what you hope to contribute to the organization’s future; a current résumé; and the names and contact information for three professional references.
The Law Center is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. People of color and people with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ are encouraged to apply.