Equal Justice Works seeking Director of Fellowships

August 10, 2015

Here is the announcement: The mission of Equal Justice Works is to create a just society by mobilizing the next generation of lawyers committed to equal justice. Equal Justice Works inspires and provides opportunities for the legal community to change lives, make careers, and deliver on the promise of justice for all. Please go to www.equaljusticeworks.org to learn more.

Equal Justice Works seeks a Director of Fellowships to join our growing and dynamic team. The Director of Fellowships will be responsible for implementing and executing a strategy to grow the private Fellowships program and to ensure its excellent quality. Each year 60 to 70 new privately funded Fellows begin unique two-year entrepreneurial projects that serve and address a range of legal issues including domestic violence, education, homelessness, community economic development, LGBTQ rights, immigration, civil rights, juvenile justice, employment rights, health care, consumer fraud, and environmental justice. Equal Justice Works has helped launch the careers of more than 1,200 lawyers, 85 percent of whom remain in public interest after their fellowships are completed.

Equal Justice Works Fellowship programs have been growing dramatically. In the past year, we have grown from 150 lawyers in the field to 250 due to growth in public and private support. Our organization’s budget has grown from $12 million to $18 million, and we believe there are significant opportunities for further growth.

Working together with the Chief Development Officer and the Director of Federal Programs, the Director of Fellowships will implement a strategy to renew and secure new multi-year private fellowship commitments. A key to successful implementation of this strategy will building relationships with the nation’s largest law firms, foundations, and corporations. The Director will also seek cy pres funds awarded to Equal Justice Works to underwrite fellowships.

The Director will represent the organization at the most senior level with law firms, corporations, foundations and peer organizations. The ideal candidate will be a strong team player with a proven track record of leading and effectively managing a high-performing team, have proven fundraising or revenue generation experience in the private sector, experience working with the established legal community, and a strong commitment to the mission of Equal Justice Works.

The Director is a vital part of the senior leadership team, sharing responsibility for development and execution of organization-wide strategic plans, and reports to the Chief Operating Officer.

Responsibilities include:

  • Ensure the successful performance of the private Fellowship program, managing a budget of $7M and supporting 135 fellows using measures and reports on progress against timely goals.
  • Lead and manage a high performing team of 7-8 staff to ensure program success and positive results consistent with the strategic objectives of Equal Justice Works including recruitment of sponsors, Fellows and host sites; implementation of program control and reporting systems; design of monthly progress reports; and development of effective systems to document and evaluate results.
  • Human resource management including recruitment, employment, and release of Equal Justice Works personnel working in the Fellowships Unit, i.e., staff, contractors, and volunteers; aligning human capital and intellectual resources to achieve goals.
  • Lead working partnerships with colleagues to design and execute rigorous plans that marry programs with investment potential – identify potential sponsors, implement outreach to viable likely sponsor prospects.
  • Approach potential sponsors and funders, prepare sponsorship proposals, make the ask to fund or renew sponsorships and negotiate terms of their support.
  • Prepare reports to the Board of Directors and the Board Development Committee, and attend board meetings.
  • Work closely with the Chief Development Officer, Director of Philanthropy and the Director of Federal Programs to explore, recommend, create, and pursue new external funding from public and private sources, strategic partnerships and cooperative agreements in support of Equal Justice Works’ overall strategic plan to grow fellowship programs.
  •  Collaborate with the Director of Marketing and Communications to keep Equal Justice Works’ name and achievements in the minds of decision-makers at law firms, corporate law departments, foundations and other funding entities.
  • Lead cross-functional teams supporting change management efforts, including but not limited to: transition management; collaborative implementation and communication of major initiatives; risk assessment; and culture change.
  • Effectively communicate and engage with internal and external stakeholders, including participation in issue-specific and legal aid panels and working closely with partner organizations.
  • Develop and manage annual budget based on needs and priorities.

Direct Reports:

  • Senior Managers of Fellowships (2), Program Managers (3), Program Coordinators (2) and consultants and temporary staff as needed.


  • Ability and willingness to travel 15-25%.

Qualifications include:

  • J.D. with at least [seven] years of senior staff and project management experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • A minimum of 5 years’ experience working as a lawyer in a nonprofit organization, General Counsel’s office, law firm, or governmental agency.
  • Strong understanding of and passion for social justice and legal justice issues.
  • Demonstrated successful fundraising experience for sponsored programs, including foundation grants, major donors, and corporate contributions.
  • Knowledge and experience in budget process.
  • Experience in outcomes-based performance management and program evaluation.
  • Ability to think creatively, strategically and analytically.
  • Comfort working with change management.
  • Proven ability to effectively manage multiple projects and priorities in order to achieve results.
  • Demonstrated ability to motivate and lead a team and develop talent.
  • High degree of self-motivation and determination, balanced with grace and political savvy.

Salary and Benefits:

The salary is commensurate with experience. Employees participate in Equal Justice Works’ standard health insurance, dental insurance, and flexible spending account plans, and life, accidental death and disability insurance policies. Leave includes 20 paid vacation days during the first year of employment, 10 days of sick leave and two days of personal leave. Employees are eligible to participate in 403(b) retirement plan and transportation fringe benefit program, and may apply to participate in Equal Justice Works’ loan repayment assistance plan.

To Apply: Applicants should send a resume, three references, and cover letter describing in detail their experience, qualifications and why they would be a good fit toequaljusticeworks-qljs0497@applications.recruiterbox.com with the subject line “Director of Fellowships”.

No phone calls please.

NOTE:  This job description is not intended to be all-inclusive.  Employee may perform other related duties as assigned to meet the ongoing needs of the organization.


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