Position Description

Position Description

Bet Tzedek Legal Services

(Los Angeles, CA)

Title: President & CEO


THE OPPORTUNITY:

Now in its 45th year, Bet Tzedek responds to the community’s most urgent legal needs with a comprehensive, multitiered approach that includes impact litigation, policy advocacy, community education, individual representation, and self-help guidance. For the 40,000 people Bet Tzedek serves annually – seniors displaced from their homes by soaring rents, workers denied legal wages, unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in their home countries, and many others – their commitment to providing free legal services to those who need them most could mean the difference between desperation and dignity, between homelessness and security, between stagnation and opportunity.

Bet Tzedek is poised to benefit from a strategic, impact-oriented, and community-focused leader. With vision, management, and direction, the President & Chief Executive Officer will chart a course for Bet Tzedek’s future and lead a high-achieving staff to maximize the organization’s potential in implementing current and future goals, which include:

  • Maximizing the impact of program delivery in fulfilling Bet Tzedek’s mission to provide free legal services to those who need them most.
  • Achieving additional financial growth to sustain program expansion and the growing needs of the communities Bet Tzedek serves.
  • Recruiting and retaining top talent in a competitive hiring environment.
  • Enhancing Bet Tzedek’s public profile and collaborative relationships among public agencies, peer organizations, the legal community, and the public at large. 

RESPONSIBILITIES: 

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is charged with the strategic leadership, management, and successful operation of the organization. The primary public face of Bet Tzedek, the CEO represents the organization to the public and press and works with an active and high-profile Board to extend Bet Tzedek’s visibility and impact.

The CEO is responsible for leading long-range planning, major policy initiatives, Board relations, marketing and media, external and government relations, union and employee issues, fund development, and program planning and oversight. The CEO must work effectively with Bet Tzedek’s management team, union, staff, and clients, as well as with external stakeholders such as individual donors, corporate and foundation funders, elected officials, pro bono partners, the courts, and partner

nonprofits. Importantly, the CEO is Bet Tzedek’s advocate-in-chief, articulating the need for public policies that address social and economic inequalities or that advance the capacity of the legal services sector to address those inequalities. 

Specific duties and responsibilities of the position include, but are not limited to:

Legal Services and Programs

  • Work with staff and Board to assess current services and programs, set annual service delivery and community impact goals, and develop ideas for changes or new programs.
  • Provide timely services and program reports to Board.
  • Support collaborative community partnerships.
  • Identify and secure pro bono counsel for high profile or particularly hard-to-place matters.
  • Develop and maintain close working relationships with public officials, executives of other NGOs, community leaders, and other key representatives serving the community.

Fundraising

  • Work with the Board and development staff to increase the revenue of the organization.             
  • Leverage contacts and resources to expand the donor/resource base.
  • Solicit gifts from major donors.
  • Support the work of the development staff in the identification, cultivation and solicitation of event sponsorships.
  • Work with Board and development staff to identify, cultivate, and secure Annual Gala Dinner honorees, campaign chairs, and donors.

Board Development/Relations

  • Provide the Board with information on the development and implementation of the strategic plan, status of operations, and proposed operational or procedural changes.
  • Staff Board Committees including Budget & Investment, Governance, Nominations & Orientation, Personnel, Audit, Development, Policy, Pro Bono, and Executive.
  • Assist the Nominations Committee in identifying prospective Board members.

Planning

  • Prepare annual goals consistent with the strategic plan. Monitor and report progress.
  • Prepare to engage in revision of the current Strategic Plan when it expires in 2022.

Values/Ethical Standards

  • Maintain the highest standards of conduct and comportment.
  • Set personal standards of behavior that serve as a model to others.

Administration/Operations

  • Lead the Senior Leadership comprised of four (4) Vice Presidents responsible for legal programs, external affairs, finance, and human resources.
  • Serve as the organization’s representative in labor relations, including regular communications with union leadership, conflict resolution with union members, and negotiation of benefits, wages, and other union members’ rights.
  • Serve as the organization’s lead legal compliance officer, identifying legal risks and resolutions and working with Board members and pro bono counsel on the same.
  • Meet staffing needs; ensure annual performance reviews are conducted; and ensure staff is provided with ongoing training and professional development.
  • Identify, develop and execute organizational goals.
  • Ensure the availability of information technology resources.
  • Oversee Bet Tzedek’s facilities management and lease negotiations.
  • Foster an effective, diverse, and inclusive work environment for Bet Tzedek’s 75+ employees and 1,200+ volunteers.

Financial Management

  • Maintain primary accountability for the financial and resource stewardship of the organization, with a focused effort on continued fund development.
  • Prepare and administer a balanced budget.
  • Authorize and approve expenditures in accordance with established policies and procedures.
  • Ensure the maintenance of an effective accounting system for income and expenditures.
  • Ensure oversight of activities that meet the requirements of funding agencies, professional organizations and other outside agencies.
  • Monitor appropriate financial compliance, reporting and auditing activities to ensure the financial integrity and viability of the organization and Board-authorized programs.
  • Monitor endowment investment strategy and management.

Communications

  • Promote understanding of Bet Tzedek’s mission internally and externally.
  • Ensure the dissemination of information about Bet Tzedek to diverse audiences including stakeholders, the general public, business and media.
  • Serve as a spokesperson for Bet Tzedek on various platforms, including in the media (television, radio, print and internet), at public events, and in professional and advocacy coalitions.

THE CANDIDATE:

Above all, the CEO must be deeply passionate about Bet Tzedek’s mission to provide free legal services to those who need them most. 

In addition, the successful candidate will have a distinguished record of leadership. The position requires intellectual curiosity, creativity, strategic thinking, fundraising ability, and significant leadership capability, including hands-on management experience. 

The incoming CEO should have a demonstrated ability to ensure the organization’s ongoing success and growth, to creatively lead board and staff development, and to increase the organization’s profile through marketing, media outreach, and external and government relations. 

Experience as a practicing attorney and in public interest law, public policy, or movement building is strongly preferred. The successful candidate must be able to draw from their understanding of the organization’s mission and clients to inspire others, particularly as a public speaker and writer.

To best serve its communities, Bet Tzedek seeks a diverse staff with cultural competency reflecting their client populations. Candidates from traditionally underrepresented communities and historically oppressed groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

COMPENSATION: $200,000 + DOQ annual salary plus retirement, paid time off, and comprehensive insurance benefits.                                                                                                                         

ABOUT BET TZEDEK LEGAL SERVICES

Mission:

Providing free legal services to those who need them most.

History:

In 1974, a small group of lawyers, rabbis, and community activists came together to assist aging, low-income residents who were being displaced from their homes as their neighborhoods gentrified. The group individually contributed $5 per month to rent a small storefront where, one night a week, they offered free legal assistance to the community. They named the organization Bet Tzedek – Hebrew for “House of Justice” – after a central precept of Jewish law and tradition: “Tzedek, tzedek, tirdof” – “Justice, justice you shall pursue.”

Through the decades, Bet Tzedek continued its work to close the justice gap for low-income community members, with a growing reputation and expertise in elder law, employment rights, and rapid response programs to meet emerging needs.

Current Operations:

Today, Bet Tzedek is an internationally recognized force in poverty law. Harnessing an award-winning pro bono model of service, Bet Tzedek has provided free, expert legal assistance to more than 500,000 people. Bet Tzedek's mission is to provide free legal services to those who need them most, helping people of all communities and generations secure life's necessities.

Bet Tzedek’s programs are run by legal professionals. Areas of expertise include elder justice, worker’s rights, and rapid response work in transgender legal rights, immigration, and homelessness. Legal work encompasses a range of community outreach and education, pro bono legal assistance, direct legal services, and public policy work. The organization is known for groundbreaking class action litigation in the areas of employment rights and housing.

Bet Tzedek’s pro bono program is central to the delivery of services. Last year, 1,200 volunteer attorneys, law clerks and paralegals performed a substantial portion of the legal work for clients. Bet Tzedek’s pro bono programs have received awards from the California State Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the National Law Journal, the Association of Corporate Counsel and the Pro Bono Institute. Bet Tzedek’s Holocaust Survivors Justice network, a collaboration of more than 100 law firms, corporate counsel offices and social service agencies nationwide, is one of the largest pro bono efforts in U.S. history.

Led by a 50-member Board of Directors, and supported by a New Leadership Council and Presidents Council, Bet Tzedek maintains a $10.5 million budget, exclusive of the more than $10 million in donated pro bono services the organization attracts each year. In 2019, Bet Tzedek employed 75 professional and support staff.

For more information, please visit www.bettzedek.org and view this short introductory video.



Bet Tzedek Legal Services hires staff without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, or disability. To best serve our communities Bet Tzedek seeks a diverse staff with cultural competency reflecting our client populations. We strongly encourage candidates from traditionally underrepresented communities and historically oppressed groups to apply.



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