Position Announcement - Advocacy Director

Community Legal Aid is seeking an Advocacy Director to join its executive leadership team. The Advocacy Director will be responsible for charting a new course for the organization’s litigation strategy and advocacy efforts.


This opportunity comes at an exciting time. In the last five years, Community Legal Aid has undergone an organizational transformation, starting with the first executive director transition in two decades, the installment of a new leadership team, fresh vision-mission-values statements, and an innovative strategic plan, and currently is undergoing a top-to-bottom organizational restructuring -- all designed to increase Legal Aid’s presence and impact in the communities it serves. The Advocacy Director will play an active role in bringing this transformation to its final phases and moving the organization forward.


The Advocacy Director will be a thought-leader not just within Community Legal Aid, but within the region more broadly, as well as in the national legal aid community. The successful candidate will be dedicated to fostering a culture of professionalism and ongoing development among Legal Aid’s advocacy team and will help shape the organization’s litigation legacy.


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Advocacy Director Job Description


The Advocacy Director is responsible for leading the systemic and impact legal work of Community Legal Aid, managing the substantive Practice Groups to develop and maintain an aggressive advocacy agenda for the organization and assisting in the professional development of staff.


The Advocacy Director will work in close collaboration with the Deputy Director to ensure that organizational advocacy goals are reflected in the Project work plans. Although each of these positions will have primary responsibility for particular areas identified in their job descriptions, there will be areas of responsibility that will "overlap," such that regular conversation and cooperation between the persons holding each of these positions will be expected and required, ensuring that each may perform their job responsibilities most effectively.


The Advocacy Director must demonstrate excellent personnel, leadership, and administrative skills and show initiative, good judgment and have good legal skills. S/he/They must also be able to work effectively in a collaborative environment. Depending upon other assigned responsibilities, may be required to handle a very limited caseload, participate in community education activities, and supervise the legal work of managing attorneys, paralegals and/or other attorneys. S/he/They should have a competent familiarity with the legal issues facing marginalized populations and show a demonstrated interest in racial justice.


Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Attaining and maintaining a strong base of knowledge on issues of social justice that impact the communities Legal Aid serves;

  • Identifying strategies of systemic advocacy to address identified social justice issues.

  • Managing the work of the Practice Groups;

  • Leading all major litigation and appellate work engaged in by the organization;

  • Evaluating staff requests to pursue appeals or engage in major litigation for fit with organizational priorities and use of resources;

  • Ensuring staff stay current on changes and developments in substantive law and procedure in areas handled by advocates, including Rules of Court, Rules of Evidence, and Appellate Rules;

  • Serving as a legal resource for all staff;

  • Working with the Deputy Director to ensure that advocacy staff have the skills and resources necessary to provide high-quality legal work for clients;

  • Working with the Deputy Director to develop and implement substantive and skills development trainings for staff;

  • Recommending improvements in the advocacy delivery system and assisting in the implementation of those improvements;

  • Recommending expansion or contraction of services where appropriate;

  • With the Deputy Director, representing the organization in the Ohio Legal Aid litigation directors group;

  • Maintaining contacts and collaborating with other legal aid organizations throughout the state where appropriate;

  • Assisting the Executive Director or Director of Communications and Development in apprising funders, as requested, of significant organization legal activities;

  • Undertaking other related projects and duties as may be assigned by the Executive Director.


Experience and Qualifications:

  • A licensed attorney who is licensed to practice law in Ohio or is eligible for admission without examination; 

  • Minimum of five years of legal experience. Individual should have substantial litigation experience including in federal court; and previous legal services experience or a demonstrated interest in addressing social justice issues.

  • Demonstrated leadership, supervisory, and administrative abilities.

  • Excellent legal skills and excellent written and oral communication skills, including strong computer skills.


Reports to: Executive Director


Location: Akron, Canton or Youngstown. The Executive Director will work with the successful candidate to determine the home office for this position based on the candidate’s interests and the needs of Community Legal Aid. 


Salary: Depends on Experience. Excellent working environment and benefit package.


Deadline: Open until filled


Community Legal Aid is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate because of age, race, gender, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.