Executive Director – Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts
The Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts (CLCM) seeks an Executive Director (ED) to lead a unique not-for-profit that provides free civil legal aid and advocacy assistance to low-income children. The ED serves as the chief executive of the CLCM, reports to an 11-member board of directors, and oversees operating revenue of approximately $1.5 million. The individual is responsible for a staff of ten attorneys that currently includes an Interim Deputy Director, a Director of Child Welfare Advocacy, a supervising immigration attorney, and agency lawyers. CLCM also employs support personnel, including a paralegal and administrative assistant, a financial director (outsourced), and legal interns and pro bono attorneys that supplement the work of advocacy staff. The organization is headquartered in Lynn but it also has maintained project offices in Lawrence and at MGB-Chelsea Community Health Center, the latter of which houses a medical-legal partnership (MLP).
Founded in 1977, the CLCM is a private, not-for-profit law firm that provides free legal advocacy to income-eligible children, from newborns to 22 years, in education, child welfare, immigration, mental health, juvenile justice, victims of crime, and related substantive areas. It seeks to ensure access to justice for its clients, many of whom are victims of trauma, homeless, system-involved, and/or suffer the effects of poverty. Thirty to forty of its clients are committed to the state foster care system.
The CLCM offers a range of services–with an emphasis on individual legal representation– exclusively to child clients in northeast Massachusetts and Greater Boston. Attorneys provide comprehensive direct representation in more than 600 cases annually at the trial and appellate levels of state and federal courts and administrative agencies. Countless other children, parents, lawyers, and providers benefit from the CLCM’s statewide advocacy including its brief service assistance, help-line support, impact litigation, legislative advocacy, trainings, committee and task force participation, and system reform endeavors. For nearly half a century the CLCM has served tens of thousands of clients through this blend of high-quality individual legal aid and policy-based initiatives.
The mission of the CLCM is to promote and secure equal justice and to maximize opportunity for low-income children and youth by providing quality, culturally sensitive, advocacy and legal services.
Case priorities at the CLCM have remained relatively constant over the years. Of late, education and immigration have been the two substantive areas to which the CLCM has devoted the largest share of its resources. Child welfare, mental health, juvenile justice, and advocacy for child victims of crime round out agency priorities.
As noted, the CLCM’s current budget approaches $1.5 million. Projections for the coming fiscal year suggest a sizable increase. Funding for the CLCM is derived from an array of sources, including governmental (through legislative allocations to the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation or MLAC), the bar foundations, IOLTA receipts, private foundations, individual and corporate donors, and an annual fundraising appeal.
Specific Role and Responsibilities of the ED:
Specific functions of the ED include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Providing strong management and leadership of agency staff
- Serving as an effective spokesperson and representative of the CLCM in the local and state advocacy communities
- Setting a vision and establishing a strong partnership with the board of directors
- Increasing the financial base and size of the organization
- Assisting in the development of agency policies
- Cultivating relationships with local and state legislative leaders
- Collaborating with child providers and regional legal partners
- Assisting human resources and diversity efforts, and
- Evaluating and strategizing around advocacy and technology activities.
Required Qualifications of the ED:
- JD degree with admission to the Massachusetts bar (or eligible to waive into the Massachusetts bar)
- A demonstrated commitment to advocacy in support of the legal rights of low-income children and to equal access to justice
- A proven track record of hiring, managing and mentoring a diverse staff, and developing and retaining high-performing staff members
- A commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, within and outside of the organization, and an ability to advance that commitment to help effect change within the community
- An ability to engage in resource development and fund raising
- Experience working effectively with and cultivating a board of directors
- Strong financial acumen, an understanding of the Massachusetts legal aid funding process, and an ability to secure and retain individual and corporate donors
- Strong interpersonal traits with excellent writing and speaking abilities
- Proficiency working with technology and databases
- An approachable and collaborative leadership style with a high level of integrity
- Experience working with vulnerable child populations and an ability to comprehend, and respond to, the impact that trauma, poverty, and systemic racism have on indigent children.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. To receive full consideration, please include a letter expressing in detail your interest in the position, your qualifications, and what you hope to contribute to the organization’s future; a current resume; and the names and contact information for three professional references.
Materials should be e-mailed to: email@example.com. In the subject line please note as follows: “ED Application Packet; attention CLCM Board Chair, Carol Coyne.”
CLCM is an affirmative action/equal opportunity/accessible employer and strives to ensure that its staff reflects the diversity of the children we serve. We encourage all applicants, regardless of age, race, national origin, religion, gender, disability or sexual orientation to apply.
Salary is competitive and based on experience. The CLCM offers a generous benefits package.