The District of Columbia Bar Pro Bono Center (PBC) is conducting a search for its next Executive Director (ED). The ED is responsible for the overall direction, coordination, and evaluation of the PBC. The position provides the leadership, management, and vision for a multi-faceted 501(c)(3) organization that provides free legal services to individuals, nonprofit organizations, and small businesses in Washington, DC through Pro Bono Center and volunteer attorneys.
The ED is a key leadership position within the D.C. Bar and serves as a member of the Executive Team (ET). This position reports to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the D.C. Bar, who serves as the Pro Bono Center’s Executive Vice President. This position is based at the organization’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.
D.C. Bar pro bono center: An Overview
The D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center transforms lives by providing free legal assistance to individuals, nonprofit organizations, and small businesses through PBC and volunteer lawyers. PBC serves more than 20,000 individuals, nonprofits, and small businesses each year. With 1,500 dedicated attorney volunteers and 25 employees, PBC operates award-winning legal clinics, projects, and resource centers. Each year, PBC’s innovative clinics, court-based resource centers, and projects help D.C. residents who cannot afford a lawyer avoid eviction, protect and preserve families, secure benefits, and more.
PBC’s $4.5 million annual budget is supported entirely by contributions from members, law firms, grants, and private foundations. D.C. Bar license renewal fees are not used to finance PBC. The D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center’s 20-member Board of Directors consists of the elected members of the D.C. Bar Board of Governors.
PBC serves the community through:
Representation Clinics & Projects
PBC helps individuals and families in critical need of legal help by placing their cases for pro bono representation with volunteers and PBC staff attorneys. PBC placed 623 cases for either full representation or limited scope representation in 2019–2020.
Saturday Neighborhood Clinics
Recognizing that people sometimes require just brief services to solve legal problems, PBC gives individuals the opportunity to meet with a pro bono lawyer for free legal information, brief advice, and when appropriate, referral to the full representation clinics, including the Advocacy & Justice Clinic and Bankruptcy Clinic, or other legal services.
D.C. Superior Court Resource Centers
Since 2004, PBC has worked closely with the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to give individuals the opportunity to meet with an attorney volunteer just steps away from the courtrooms where their cases will be heard. PBC attorneys assist pro se litigants in the courthouse with housing, family, bankruptcy, and consumer protection matters.
Nonprofit & Small Business Legal Assistance Programs
Our Nonprofit & Small Business Legal Assistance Programs provide legal information, representation, and training to community-based nonprofits that provide critical services throughout the community and small businesses that strengthen the economic life of D.C. neighborhoods.
Resources & Training
To make services as accessible as possible to individuals struggling with legal issues, PBC provides free legal information online and by telephone. PBC trains attorneys in those areas of the law most applicable to people living in poverty. PBC also equips volunteers with high-quality, in-person trainings, online resources, mentors, and pro bono opportunities.
The Executive Director Role
The Executive Director is tasked with addressing the following priorities:
Strategic Management and Organizational Leadership
Works with the CEO and other members of the Executive Team to define the strategic priorities of the organization.
Works to ensure that PBC efforts are aligned with the D.C. Bar’s mission and strategic plan and are consistent with federal and D.C. laws governing the operations of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Identifies emerging and previously unaddressed legal needs in the community and develops innovative programs to engage pro bono lawyers in meeting those needs.
Provides vision, oversight, coordination, and regular evaluation of the Pro Bono Center’s direction and activities including clinics, resource centers, special projects, and initiatives.
Provides day-to-day leadership, management, coaching, and mentoring to direct reports.
Recruits and retains a diverse workforce and works to create an inclusive environment for employees.
Works with the Board’s Pro Bono Committee to provide leadership, management, and strategic vision for the PBC, in accordance with the strategic plan of the PBC and the highest standards for the delivery of civil legal services.
Works closely with, and provides support to, the Pro Bono Center Board of Directors, the Pro Bono Committee, the Strategic Development Committee, and other task forces and special committees as needed.
Financial and Fundraising Management
Oversees and develops an annual budget and diverse fundraising plans; manages the program to accomplish goals within available resources.
Develops and follows a long-term financial plan for the PBC.
Works with the Pro Bono Committee, the PBC Board of Directors, volunteer leaders, and the development team to raise funds to support the annual budget.
Outreach, Communications, and Relationship Building
Plans and directs outreach efforts to draw additional lawyers into pro bono work through recruiting and training programs, marketing, and special projects.
Develops and maintains relationships with key stakeholders, including: the private Bar, courts, legal services providers, the Access to Justice Commission, and funders.
Represents PBC on court committees, with the media, and with national organizations and forums, such as the Equal Justice Conference and the Pro Bono Institute.
Required Skills, Experience, and Qualifications
J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited law school.
Active member of the D.C. Bar or eligible to become an active D.C. Bar member within two months of being hired.
Relevant experience and a history/career track in positions of progressing responsibilities, scope, and management.
Established record of leadership and the capacity to articulate a clear vision for program direction in line with the strategic vision of the organization.
History of successful program operation and management with the ability to identify and implement long and short-term goals.
Familiarity with the local and national civil legal services community.
Successful participation in multi-faceted fundraising programs focusing on individuals, law firms, corporations and/or foundations, with the ability to identify and implement creative and effective fundraising strategies.
Experience in a leadership role in public interest law, pro bono service, or volunteer management preferred.
Experience managing a legal services organization preferred.
Familiarity with foundation grant-making processes and the local grant-making community preferred.
Pragmatic leadership style with the ability to motivate a team of Directors and managers.
Excellent oral and written communication skills, and ability to represent the Pro Bono Center effectively in public settings.
Detail-oriented and deadline driven.
Ability to multi-task and manage multiple priorities in a fast-paced environment.
Excellent interpersonal and problem-solving skills, with the ability to develop solid working relationships with PBC and D.C. Bar leadership, legal service providers, volunteers, the media, staff, and consumers of legal services.
Ability to build and foster a high level of credibility for the Center and to develop coalitions, recruit volunteers, and give professional presentations.
Adaptable, creative, and self-motivated.
Ability to handle and maintain the confidentiality of highly sensitive information.
A competitive compensation package will be offered to attract an outstanding candidate.
To apply, please send a cover letter and current résumé (Microsoft Word® format preferred) here. The cover letter should outline how your experience fits the requirements of the position as this will be an important factor in considering your candidacy.
D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center is an equal opportunity employer committed to inclusion and cultural diversity in the workplace. Employment selection and related decisions are made without regard to sex, race, color, age, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, genetic information, or any other protected class.
For more information, contact:
Sterling Martin Associates 1025 Connecticut Avenue | Suite 1000 Washington, DC 20036