Chief Operating Officer

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Job location
22 North Front St., 11th Floor
Memphis,, TN 38103
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Memphis Area Legal Services, Inc.
Street address: 
22 North Front St., 11th Floor
Job type: 
Position Description: 

About Memphis Area Legal Services (MALS): MALS is the primary provider of civil legal representation for low income individuals and families in Fayette, Lauderdale, Shelby, and Tipton counties in Tennessee who are facing critical, sometimes life-threatening situations. Legal assistance is provided through advice and counsel, representation in court and administrative proceeding, and community education and outreach to vulnerable residents. Since 1970, MALS has grown to become a multi-faceted community law firm guided by values and principles that embody its commitment to equal access to justice for all.

Position Description: This position reports to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and is an integral member of the senior management team. The COO is responsible for the administration and ongoing daily operations of MALS and for managing the process of developing and implementing the organization’s strategic plan. The COO is actively involved in all aspects of the firm with a broad and deep knowledge of its programs. This position works with MALS’ Board of Directors to keep them abreast of trends in nonprofit management, and serves on board committees, as directed by the CEO. In partnership with the CEO, the COO is responsible for promoting a culture of high performance, continuous learning and improvement that supports the effective advancement of MALS’ values and mission.

Key Responsibilities
Responsibilities of this position include:

• Manages the day-to-day operations of MALS and develops the people, systems and tools required to achieve excellent results and sustainable growth
• Supervises the Manager of Case Management and Compliance and the Information Systems Administrator and provides operational oversight for, but not limited to, client intake, information technology, human resource management, risk management, evaluation and planning, compliance, property maintenance, and procurement
• Oversees administrative services, including the support staff pool and the assignment and balance of its workload, staff timekeeping requirements, open and closed cases, case file maintenance protocols, and procurement
• Administers file room administrative operations to ensure processes are followed including documents received, prepared, scanned and filed. Also confidentiality, integrity, archiving and safe keeping of client records
• Identifies, develops, improves and implements policies, procedures and systems to ensure organizational efficiency and effectiveness; develops a standard operating procedure manual for MALS to achieve uniformity of performance

Human Resources
• Oversees and implements human resources strategies by establishing unit accountabilities, including talent acquisition and retention, staffing, employment processing, compensation, health benefits, training and development, records management, safety and health, succession planning, employee relations and retention, AA/EEO compliance, and labor relations
• Prepares and posts job openings in consultation with management; receives applications and resumes for positions; coordinates interviews and testing; and notifies applicants when a decision has been made
• Coordinates new employee orientations and ensures staff members receive appropriate training and professional development throughout the year
• Assists in coaching and developing staff to their full potential and supports an open door policy among all staff
• Oversees the performance management process, ensuring that each employee has a timely annual performance plan and appraisal; motivates staff to meet and surpass goals
• Assists unit managers and senior leadership in conducting exit interviews and terminating employees
• Periodically conducts a compensation analysis to determine if MALS’ salaries are fair and competitive
• Administers employee benefit programs, including enrollments and terminations; assists with ACA and ERISA benefits reporting requirements and serves as COBRA administrator
• Manages MALS’ workers’ compensation, maintains repository of potential claims and notifies insurance company
• Maintains and oversees the periodic update of the employee handbook
• Manages the process for recognizing employees quarterly and annually
• Approves vacation and sick leave requests and maintain records

Evaluation and Planning
• Collaborates with the CEO in creating and coordinating the process for developing the organization’s strategic plan and a system for tracking and reporting on the progress of the plan’s implementation; develops dashboards highlighting plan progress
• Assists senior management in developing an annual operations/business plan for MALS
• Oversees the design, development, and implementation of a comprehensive system for measuring program/organizational performance and continuous improvement; assists staff in designing appropriate evaluation plans
• Works closely with the CAO to conduct a legal needs assessment/study
• Coordinates the development of a risk management plan for MALS, including malpractice, emergency response and technology security, and the communication of such to all employees
• Stays abreast of national literature, best practices, and new trends in nonprofit management and legal aid and law firm operations with an eye toward future needs and creating a culture of high performance and continuous improvement

• Manages all purchasing and procurement activities

Property Maintenance
• Negotiates all leases for equipment and office space
• Provides a physical working environment that ensures a positive, productive climate for operations through maintenance, planning and general building services
• Acts as the main liaison with the building management company concerning space issues and parking matters

• Provides special project management as assigned by the CEO
• Provides support and assistance to other functions of the organization as assigned by the CEO


The COO is an individual with strong administrative, organizational, communication and interpersonal skills, an ability to manage projects effectively, a keen attention to detail and the ability to work in a team-based environment.
• Minimum of eight (8) to ten (10) years of professional experience or more, including management
• MBA or Master’s Degree in a related field strongly preferred; knowledge of law practice a plus
• Excellent oral and written communication skills
• Track record of achieving results in a nonprofit or corporate environment with success in building rigorous systems, policies and tools to support a team
• Exceptionally strong problem-solving and analytical skills, with an ability to define strategic issues and make tough decisions
• Excellent quantitative skills and a proven ability to analyze performance management data and communicate to a diverse array of stakeholders internally and externally
• Experience designing and/or advising on organizational structures; experience in designing professional development and strategic talent management systems
• Demonstrated abilities to work independently, lead multiple projects, prioritize, and manage a high-volume of tasks, deadlines, requirements and decisions
• Ability to identify and resolve problems, collect data, establish facts and draw valid conclusions
• Ability to maintain records in an orderly fashion and generate reports
• Ability to exercise individual initiative and use discretion in handling confidential matters
• An understanding of finance
• Ability to work under pressure, interact with diverse individuals, and focus on different tasks simultaneously
• Ability to portray a positive persona with the public and be a positive representative of the organization
• Ability to maintain patience, anticipate needs and problems, and suggest ways to resolve them
• Excellent computer skills
• Good listening skills

To apply: 

Please send a letter of interest and your resume to [email protected]; you will be asked to complete an employment application.

Equal Opportunity Employer
Salary range: 
Submission deadline: 
Wednesday, May 16, 2018