Executive Director

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Job location
1108 City Park Avenue
Columbus, OH 43206
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Ohio State Legal Services Association
Job type: 
Legal - Civil
Position Description: 

Ohio State Legal Services Association Seeks an Executive Director

Ohio State Legal Services Association (OSLSA) is a three-part legal aid program headquartered in Columbus. OSLSA’s mission is to search out the patterns, causes of, and solutions to the repetitive and fundamental legal problems facing low income Ohioans and to pursue the legal recourse needed to address those problems.
OSLSA includes Southeastern Ohio Legal Services (SEOLS), the Legal Aid Society of Columbus (LASC), and the Ohio Poverty Law Center (OPLC). SEOLS serves thirty counties, including almost all of Ohio Appalachia – a beautiful, rural, impoverished region of the state. LASC serves Franklin County (Columbus) and five other nearby counties. Columbus, the state capital, is a vibrant and growing city, with sizeable immigrant communities, but with all the usual problems of large American cities including severe poverty. OPLC provides legislative and administrative advocacy on issues affecting legal aid clients and addressing the root causes of poverty. OPLC is not subject to Legal Services Corporation restrictions and works very closely with Ohio’s legal aid community to lead and support statewide advocacy efforts.

OSLSA has a budget of about $12 million and a staff of 110, including 65 lawyers. OSLSA, LASC, and OPLC each has its own board, all very committed and involved in the work their respective parts of the organization and of the organization as a whole. LASC affiliated with OSLSA in 2009 and the consolidation of the programs has gone well though there is still potential to achieve greater efficiencies and synergies. OSLSA enjoys a good financial position, with sizeable reserves, and has grants from over 60 funders.

OSLSA’s executive director of over 30 years, Tom Weeks, is retiring and other leaders of the program are also at or near retirement age, so this is an exciting time for OSLSA to select a new leader to take the organization into the future.

Executive Director role and responsibilities:

1. Lead and inspire a large organization that is diverse in geography, program, and staff.
2. Embrace and clearly articulate OSLSA’S mission; work to accomplish it.
3. Be the public face of the organization.
4. Ensure a healthy mix of high quality service and impact work by SEOLS and LASC, and powerful systemic advocacy by OPLC, all aimed at improving the lives of our low-income client communities.
5. Lead staff recruitment and management.
6. Continue steps to realize the full potential of the LASC affiliation.
7. Ensure effective branding, marketing, and public relations.
8. Ensure appropriate and effective use of technology.
9. Provide financial oversight, develop budgets, and ensure compliance with grant and contract requirements.
10. Work with and support three boards of directors.
11. Work effectively with two staff unions.
12. Build strong relationships with leaders in the judicial, legislative, and administrative branches of state and local government, and with the organized bar, as well as with the bar generally.
13. Build and enhance collaborative relationships with client groups, other advocacy groups, and our communities generally.
14. Maintain strong relationships with current and potential funders.
15. Establish and maintain strong working relationships with the executive directors of the other Ohio and regional legal aid organizations and serve as a leader in this community.

Special challenges the new Executive Director will face:

1. Continuing to knit the organization together, thus completing the affiliation of LASC.
2. Continuing to harmonize the two collective bargaining agreements and to revise policies and procedures that still differ between LASC and SEOLS/OPLC.
3. Developing resources for the rural and mostly Appalachian part of the service area.
4. Taking advantage of the challenging loss of experienced staff, and especially leadership staff, that OSLSA faces due to expected retirements.
5. Finding a new location in the next three years for the Columbus office.


Executive Director attributes:

1. Proven leadership skills, with vision, open-mindedness, good listening skills, and the ability to motivate others.
2. Proven legal advocate – range of advocacy experience
3. Understanding of legislative and executive-level public policy issues and processes.
4. Successful management experience.
5. Ability to achieve strong staff morale.
6. Proven resource development skills.
7. Commitment to diversity and cultural competence
8. Strong oral and written communication skills and ability to communicate with people with other backgrounds, perspectives, and opinions.
9. Leadership, professionalism, integrity, intelligence, humility, sense of humor, and energy.

To apply: 

Send letter explaining your interest in the position, and a current resume, to [email protected].

Must be admitted to Ohio bar or willing and able to become admitted by exam or motion.

Salary DOE with generous benefits.

Open until October 15, 2018, or until filled.

Equal Opportunity Employer