Program Associate, VISTA/Defender

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Organization information
Organization name: 
National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA)
Street address: 
1901 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
District of Columbia
Job type: 
Position Description: 

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 Program Associate will develop and support strategies and activities to manage and grow NLADA’s AmeriCorps VISTA program nationally. The person selected for this position will also support NLADA’s government grants or contracts from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) or other sources, particularly through work related to legislation and policy communications.

The Program Associate will be responsible for achieving the following outcomes within the first year:
•    Developing awareness raising plans for public defender programs in rural and underrepresented communities related to NLADA VISTA programming.
•    Achieving, in partnership with the Project Director, a 75% renewal rate of project sites and developing a pipeline of waitlisted site applications of at least 5 organizations.
•    Securing 1-2 new VISTA program related partnerships in the areas of in-kind, pro-bono, or financial support.
•    Working with the NLADA policy team to successfully communicate legislative impact to public defenders and defender programs on a state, local, and national level.

•    Works with Project Director to develop and implement a comprehensive recruitment and interviewing strategy to meet all goals for the selection of staff and AmeriCorps VISTA positions. This may include assisting member placement sites in meeting their recruitment goals.
•    Works with Project Director to oversee candidate selection to ensure all candidates optimally fit organizational culture and position requirements.
•    Assists Project Director, member placement sites, and Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) staff to onboard selected team members and staff in various efforts including conducting background checks, file creation and support of relocating members.
•    Organizes regular trainings, professional development opportunities, and other talent development strategies to foster a more robust team.
•    Serves as the champion in developing a culture focused on mission, leadership, accountability, and problem solving through feedback and coaching.
•    Works with Project Director and Human Resources to manage processes related to time tracking, time off, workers compensation, payroll and benefits.
•    Maintains organized, compliant member and staff files- both paper and electronic.
•    Works with Project Director to track and report on program data per NLADA and CNCS guidelines.
•    Track and monitor policy developments at the federal, state, and local level related to the right to counsel.


Mission Commitment
•    Driven by the belief that any community member can be a part of what makes change possible
•    Committed to the ideal that access to justice is a human right
•    Previous AmeriCorps experience highly valued but not required
•    2-5 years prior professional experience
•    Knowledge of the policy making process and/or state level justice policy is a plus
•    Comfortable with programmatic ambiguity
•    Experience problem solving in changing landscapes a plus
Functional Knowledge/Skills
•    Clear communication skills and a strong sense of maturity, positivity, and professionalism
•    Excellent project management skills
•    Ability to translate broad goals into achievable steps to diverse audiences
•    Strong prioritization skills to effectively juggle short-term and long-term tasks and responsibilities in an entrepreneurial, fast-paced environment
•    Ability to analyze and communicate about complex concepts and language such as legislation and other government policies.

To apply: 

Applicants should email their resume and a cover letter to [email protected].

• Equal Opportunity Employer • Ability to lift up to 10 pounds • Domestic travel required, up to 25% • General office equipment including but not limited to: personal computer, telephones, facsimile machine, calculator, and printer/photocopy.
Salary range: 
$41,500 - $45,000