Connecticut Legal Services, Inc.
DEPUTY DIRECTOR POSITION SUMMARY
Connecticut Legal Services (CLS), a not for profit law firm dedicated to improving the lives of low-income people by providing access to justice, is seeking applications for the position of Deputy Director. As the largest legal aid agency in Connecticut, CLS services 58% of Connecticut’s poverty population living in 122 communities, excluding Hartford and New Haven. CLS has a long history of providing critical legal and social services, and acts as a community resource to resolve some of the most pressing challenges facing low-income Connecticut residents.
Connecticut Legal Services maintains a dedicated staff that includes over fifty lawyers advocating for more than 5,000 clients annually. CLS is committed to supporting low-income individuals who are not able to represent themselves, and in particular focuses on cases where the legal issue has merit and where lawyers can offer the most impact.
The Deputy Director will report to the Executive Director and will assist in the financial, administrative, personnel, and programmatic management of the organization. S/he will help ensure compliance with legal, funder, and audit requirements and will represent CLS in local, regional, state, and national legal communities as well as with public interest partners.
S/he will be an inclusive, adaptive manager with public interest legal experience, including client representation and project management. S/he will have an underlying commitment to ensuring low-income people can meet their basic needs and be assured equal access to opportunities and justice with an appreciation for the barriers they face. The Deputy Director will be based in the Middletown, CT office.
Please see application instructions at the end of this document.
HISTORY AND MISSION OF CLS
CLS was formed in 1977 through the merger of six regional legal services providers. CLS operates six full-service offices in Stamford, Bridgeport, Waterbury, New Britain, New London, and Willimantic and includes satellite offices in Meriden, Vernon, and Middletown. In addition to providing individual legal representation and counseling, Connecticut Legal Services does broad impact work that benefits low income individuals through policy advocacy, class action litigation, providing and disseminating legal self-help materials, community outreach and education, and working with coalitions to pursue common goals. CLS has been a leader in the state in recognizing and addressing systemic problems affecting low-income residents.
CLS provides legal services that are vitally important to its clients. CLS’ legal work encompasses family law, housing, public benefits, elder law, children’s law, consumer law, immigration law, employment law, and assistance to people with intellectual disabilities. In spite of severe economic downturn in recent years, CLS has continued to serve the community without compromising the quality or quantity of services offered.
CLS resources will never adequately address the level of demand for unmet legal aid but the organization is committed to growth and resource development to ensure the organization maximizes impact and addresses vital issues for its clients. The great work of CLS attorneys has had a tremendous impact on the lives of those they serve whether it’s saving a family from homelessness, ensuring a disabled individual accesses benefits, or re-homing a teenager suffering from domestic abuse.
Opportunities and Challenges Facing the DEPUTY DIRECTOR
The next Deputy Director at Connecticut Legal Services will have the opportunity to help lead a venerable institution that has transformed countless lives over four decades. Many staff spend decades of their careers dedicated to CLS and our clients.
The new Deputy Director will join a team of over fifty lawyers, as well as paralegals, legal assistants and other staff deployed in its six service offices and an administrative office. The staff share a passion for creating impactful change in the lives of those they are serving. Specifically, the Deputy Director will work with the Executive Director to:
- Provide strategic leadership and management of the organization including program planning, development, budget and financial oversight.
- In partnership with the Executive Director, Board of Directors, and staff, develop, implement, and communicate CLS’s strategic vision among key partners and stakeholders.
- Enhance the capacity of the organization to evaluate client needs and set service priorities, while ensuring compliance with organizational and funder requirements.
- Identify and cultivate enduring relationships with cross-sector partners, key decision makers, and other relevant local and statewide organizations to advance the mission and goals of the organization and best serve client needs.
- Serve as an ambassador for Connecticut Legal Services internally and externally and proactively build relationships with unionized labor staff’s executive committee, management staff, and others throughout the organization to mitigate and address potential problems.
- Supervise and develop management staff.
- Act on behalf of the executive director in her absence.
QUALIFICATIONS OF THE IDEAL CANDIDATE
- J.D. degree (required), admitted to the Connecticut Bar or ability to become barred in Connecticut soon after being hired;
- Demonstrated commitment to public interest law/ related field with direct client representation;
- Experience in fundraising and/or grant-writing;
- Minimum of three years supervisory experience;
- Demonstrated success as a consensus builder and collaborator;
- Excellent written and oral communication skills;
- Self-starter, creative thinker, and strong ability to manage staff who are geographically dispersed;
- An understanding of the culture and specific challenges faced by underserved populations;
- An optimistic outlook and the humor, integrity, patience, and perseverance necessary to advance efforts to ensure underserved populations have greater access to services.
Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications including a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications and your resume (in Word format), should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org In order to expedite the internal sorting and reviewing process, please type your name (Last, First) and “Deputy Director Application” as the only contents in the subject line of your e-mail.
Salary: Commensurate with experience.
Connecticut Legal Services is an equal opportunity employer and proudly values diversity. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.