Job Description - Vice President, Defender Legal Services & Chief of Integrated Programs

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Vice President, Defender Legal Services & Chief of Integrated Programs


The National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA), founded in 1911, is America’s oldest and largest nonprofit association devoted to excellence in the delivery of legal services to those who cannot afford counsel.  We provide advocacy, guidance, information, training, and technical assistance for members of the equal justice community, especially those working in public defense and civil legal aid. 

The Vice President for Defender Legal Services, Chief of Integrated Programs (DLS VP), reports to the President and CEO of NLADA. The DLS VP is part of the Executive Team, and is critical to the development and implementation of the Association’s mission and vision as operationalized through its strategic plan. In this dual domain role, as Vice President, the DLS VP plays a leadership role in the overall vision, program and fund development for Defender Legal Services (DLS). As Chief of Integrated Programs, the DLS VP leads cross-divisional programmatic initiatives including implementation of training and professional development plan to support programmatic objectives.  The DLS VP is responsible for supervision and coordination of defender and training division staff, and for collaboration within the Association and in the national/local criminal justice and defender communities. 


  • Plays a leadership role in the development and implementation of a strategic plan to achieve the Association’s mission
  • Leads the Defender Legal Services Division staff and defender members to achieve the institutional goals
  • Leads the Training Division staff and works across departments to develop innovative, integrated educational and programmatic activities
  • Ensures that staff efforts are effectively communicated, coordinated, measured and evaluated, and that they possess a team focus and direction
  • Develops, monitors, and manages budgets for the division
  • Develops resources to support program activities
  • Takes the lead along with the President and CEO and Vice President for Civil Legal Services on relationship development with representatives on the federal level (e.g., elected officials and executive members of government agencies), state and local elected officials, and organizational partners


  • Leads a team-based approach to developing initiatives that promote excellence and innovation in public defense and support and enhance the mission of NLADA
  • Coordinates staffing of defender governance groups and sections of NLADA, including providing staff support for the Defender Council and American Council of Chief Defenders
  • Assists the Membership Director in identifying, recruiting and engaging defender members


  • Leads a team-based approach to developing educational opportunities  that support the programmatic agenda and enhance the professional development of public defense providers, civil legal aid advocates and NLADA staff
  • Pursues innovation and contemporary best practices in delivering training
  • Coordinates training development with NLADA sections and committees


  • Maintains full knowledge of program budgets and program projections with Defender Legal Services Division
  • Coordinates annual budget planning and development with Department Directors
  • Initiates grant opportunities with outside funding sources and works with staff in proposal development and solicitation of new funding sources
  • Works with other NLADA Divisions on strategic fundraising plan

Qualified candidates will have ten years overall experience in criminal justice and the provision of criminal defense services; five years of experience managing a criminal defense legal services program or related program or substantial unit within such a program; ten years of supervisory experience; progressively responsible budgetary and administrative experience; and, experience developing and/or delivering training and/or other programs.  Demonstrated knowledge of issues and law surrounding the provision of legal services to low income people in criminal cases; legislative and judicial processes at both the state and Federal level; knowledge of NLADA mission and goals; ability to develop effective strategies for expanding and improving access to counsel systems; ability to lead and manage effectively in a team-based environment; ability to generate program resources; and outstanding oral and written communication skills. Must be admitted to practice before the highest court of a state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

NLADA has a highly collaborative, professional office environment where employees take pride in effectively leveraging resources and fully engaging to deliver excellent results.  We value service, creativity, and thought leadership.  We are conveniently located near Metrorail (Blue, Orange, and Red lines).


To apply for this position send a resume and cover letter to [email protected] with the subject line “NLADA JOBS:  Vice President for Defender Legal Services, Chief of Integrated Programs (DLS VP).”

NLADA is an equal opportunity employer (EOE).