Mobilization for Justice, a highly regarded nonprofit organization providing free civil legal services to the City’s under-served and under-resourced communities in their fight to obtain equal access to justice for all in the courts, is seeking to identify its next Executive Director.
For over 50 years, Mobilization for Justice (MFJ) has been working to balance the scales of justice for the poorest New Yorkers. Founded on the principle that the law can be used as a tool to force structural change to combat the injustices of poverty, today the organization provides free legal services to poor and working poor New Yorkers, as well as those with disabilities. Mobilization for Justice represents over 13,000 people a year, benefiting over 27,000, and is a strong advocate for change around social justice causes, including bringing impact litigation to address inequities. It works in the community to build partnerships and provide education to communities it serves. Mobilization for Justice’s budget of around $18 million supports the attorneys, paralegals, support personnel, and advocates in their work to combat the effects of poverty.
Mobilization for Justice has had steady and fiscally responsible leadership for many years, and it is looking to build on the work of its retiring Executive Director who has been successful growing the organization both through mergers and expansion of its housing practice, as well as building MFJ’s presence in the community. As such, the Board is seeking to identify a visionary and able leader with a background in social justice and law to be in charge of the organization as it continues to combat injustices.
The Executive Director will be the public face of MFJ and will direct the organization’s overall strategy, program development, and fundraising, as well as oversee the legal practice. They will be someone who is passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion and social justice issues in New York City, an accomplished attorney, and knowledgeable about the issues people in poverty as well as those with special needs face in the court system as they address housing issues, economic justice matters such as government benefits, immigration, and bankruptcy, and serve people with mental health issues and children with special education needs. They need to have gravitas, be greatly respected in the community, be able to respond quickly to changing conditions, and overall, be a cheerleader for Mobilization for Justice with the Board, staff, stakeholders, funders, and the public.
The Executive Director will have excellent management and communications skills and work effectively within the community to advocate for MFJ’s clients. They must also be able to navigate a dynamic and engaged board of directors, build relationships and networks, work effectively with the unionized and nonunionized staff alike, and demonstrate leadership across all levels. The individual must be able to represent MFJ with funders in public settings, with foundations, with private donors, and with other organizations in the New York area. They must be able to work closely with the MFJ’s Board and staff in a supportive and direct manner. They must have the ability to promote an open, inclusive work environment with the Board and staff that emphasizes cooperation, teamwork, and consensus. Candidates should demonstrate a long and diversified track record of accomplishment. In addition, they should be diplomatic, of the highest integrity, and possess sound judgment.
Board of Directors
- Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director is responsible for the overall leadership of the organization, ensuring that the organization is financially viable and meets its mandates
- Support a comprehensive fundraising plan that includes the cultivation of existing and new donors, both institutional and private, to meet or exceed targeted expectations, as well as continue to develop government-funded opportunities
- Collaborate and work closely with an engaged, hands-on Board to assess the current and future direction of the organization
- Stay abreast of key issues facing MFJ and its clients, and formulate strategies and policies to address those issues and make recommendations for the Board
- Work with key management and staff to ensure that MFJ meets it legal compliance obligations, including with respect to human resources (e.g., wage and hour, employee benefits, anti-discrimination, harassment, retaliation, leave laws), Rules of Professional Conduct, insurance, cybersecurity, data breaches, and HIPAA
- Oversee development and implementation of MFJ’s short- and long-range plans
- Supervise, lead, and cooperate with a dynamic organizational staff
- Serve as MFJ’s primary spokesperson to the organization’s constituents, media, and general public
- Lead the contract negotiations with the union representing staff
- Ensure that appropriate staffing is in place to meet the organization’s needs
- Advance the MFJ mission by building partnerships and strong relationships with elected officials, government agencies, community leaders, and other social justice and related organizations
- Juris Doctor from an ABA accredited law school
- At least 10 years’ experience managing a complex and diverse organization, preferably in the nonprofit sector
- Demonstrated ability and success in developing and implementing effective strategic business, financial, and operations plans that will maintain a financially stable and sustainable organization
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Strong professional judgment and ability to maintain confidentiality and build trust among staff at all levels
- Keen analytical and problem-solving skills that enable sound strategic decision-making; resourcefulness in setting priorities and guiding investment in people and systems
- Knowledge of the unique solutions and challenges that new technology will bring to the organization, particularly as it addresses challenges surfaced by the COVID-19 crisis
- Demonstrated ability in providing high integrity leadership
- Experienced in building diverse networks, partnerships, and long-term collaborative working relationships
- Strong work ethic
Salary and Benefits
Competitive salary and benefits package commensurate with experience. MFJ is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants are invited to apply. People of color, women, people with disabilities, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are welcome and encouraged to apply.
How to Apply
Mobilization for Justice has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications (cover letter that articulates mission and interest, and resume) may be directed in confidence to:
Anne McCarthy, Chief Operating Officer
Harris Rand Lusk
122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605
New York, NY 10168
Please put “MFJ Executive Director” in the subject line of your emailed application.