The mission of East Bay Community Law Center is to promote justice and help build a community that is more secure, productive, healthy, and hopeful by providing legal services, social work support, and policy advocacy that are responsive to the needs of low-income communities and law training that prepares future attorneys and social workers to be skilled and principled advocates who are committed to addressing the causes and conditions of racial and economic injustice and poverty.
The Organization – Justice Through Education & Advocacy
“This is the way to teach law and this is the way to practice law,” to quote the East Bay Community Law Center’s third Executive Director and its inspirational leader for the past 11 years. Perhaps unique in its dual mission of serving thousands of low-income individuals in Alameda County each year, while providing practical field experience for more than 150 students annually from the UC Berkeley School of Law, EBCLC is an independent 501 (c)(3) and one of the finest community legal clinics of its kind in the country.
The East Bay Community Law Center was founded in 1988 – as the Berkeley Community Law Center – by law students from the UC Berkeley Hall School of Law. The student founders were motivated by the dearth of practical experience in legal education at a time of overwhelming societal injustices and community need. EBCLC has grown to become the largest provider of free legal services in the East Bay and Berkeley Law’s largest clinical program with a budget of over $8 million annually, a significant operating reserve and a staff of 70 and growing. EBCLC has also been an effective contributor to local and state policy initiatives to address economic and racial injustice. Governed by a 25-person Board of Directors that includes members of the law school faculty, alumni, prominent attorneys and community leaders, EBCLC receives a portion of its funding from the law school, as well as significant grants from state, county and city agencies and the private sector.
Berkeley’s current Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, named by National Jurist Magazine as the most influential person in legal education in the United States, is a strong proponent of clinical practice as an essential component of a sound legal education, and EBCLC’s role in educating students is expected to continue growing under his tenure.
Programs serving EBCLC’s clients include Clean Slate Services to remove barriers to employment and civic participation for people with criminal records; Community Economic Justice Services, focused on empowering low-income communities of color to build long-term solutions to poverty; Consumer Justice & General Clinic Services, offering legal representation to low-income consumers facing debt-collection lawsuits, correcting credit reporting errors, assisting victims of identity theft, etc.; Education Defense & Justice for Youth Services, representing young people
caught at the intersection of the juvenile justice and education systems; Health & Welfare Services, which provides legal services to Alameda County residents at risk of poor health outcomes due to poverty, unsafe living conditions, inadequate health care coverage and other factors, including HIV status; Housing Services, focused on defending eviction lawsuits brought against low-income tenants, providing emergency financial assistance and supportive services through the Keep Oakland Housed Program, in collaboration with Bay Area Community Services and Catholic Charities of the East Bay; and Immigration Services, offering a full-range of free legal services to low-income immigrants, with a focus on the most vulnerable populations, including people with disabilities, chronic illnesses, members of the LGBTQ community and youth.
For more information about East Bay Community Law Center, visit https://ebclc.org/
Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director supervises the following direct reports who comprise the five-person executive team: Deputy Director & Chief Counsel, Clinical Director, Finance & Administration Director, and Development & Communications Director. Additionally, the ED oversees the work of EBCLC’s Data Scientist. The ED is supported by a full-time Executive Assistant
The Executive Director’s primary responsibilities include:
- Inspire, motivate and manage a team of highly intelligent, accomplished and committed professionals;
- Work with staff and peers to develop more effective means of delivering legal services and clinical education and addressing policy issues that improve the lives of the communities EBCLC serves;
- Listen with respect to all opinions, including dissent, and strive to achieve consensus when possible, yet making the difficult decisions when needed;
- Maintain relationships with key stakeholders, including foundations, government representatives, major donors; outreach to law firms, respond to grant opportunities, and ensure major gift cultivation in collaboration with the Development & Communications Director;
- Provide day-to-day leadership that serves the mission and reflects the core values of EBCLC;
- Develop effective relationships with other service providers and key collaborators;
- Motivate and lead a high-performance management team; attract, recruit and retain required members of the executive team; provide mentoring and opportunities for leadership as a cornerstone to developing internal leaders;
- Ensure the highest quality of legal services for EBCLC’s clients and the highest standard of training for UC Berkeley’s Law School students;
- Represent EBCLC to the media, the community and in public forums.
Business Planning and Operations
- Develop and implement strategic and tactical plans to promote the continued development of the organization and ensure positive financial results and client outcomes;
- Identify opportunities for all operational functions to leverage cross-program strengths to take advantage of new opportunities and to address organizational challenges;
- Participate in the development and preparation of short-term and long-range plans and budgets that advance broad organizational goals and objectives;
- Work closely with the Executive Team to create the annual organizational budget and monitor cash flows.
Policies, Procedures & Reporting
- Direct the development and implementation of procedures that promote effective communication and adequate information flow throughout the organization;
- Create effective processes for increasing efficiencies and eliminating redundancies;
- Develop strategic priorities with measurable outcomes to ensure ongoing process improvement and data driven decision making;
- Provide direction and strategy for evaluating operations and reporting results to internal and external audiences;
- Develop metrics in consultation with staff for evaluating organization morale generally and specifically around issues of fairness, equity, and transparency.
- Ensure all organizational activities and operations are performed in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations and laws;
- Develop and enhance the relationship of EBCLC to the UC Berkeley School of Law.
The successful candidate will have significant experience that includes leadership and demonstrated success in managing organizational development and change. An undergraduate degree is required. A graduate degree in law or other relevant area of study is strongly preferred, and an appropriately credentialed individual may be eligible for a faculty appointment at the UC Berkeley School of Law. The Executive Director will be an exceptional program manager, talented team builder, and effective communicator.
In addition to these requirements, candidates will be evaluated on criteria that include:
- Experience overseeing legal services and/or legal educational programs in an organization of similar size and complexity;
- An understanding and respect for clinical teaching;
- A commitment to the mission of providing supportive services for low income communities, including communities of color;
- Awareness of the legal issues facing the communities that EBCLC serves;
- Familiarity and comfort with financial planning and management as well as organizational budget development;
- Lived experience as a law student would be helpful;
- Demonstrated success building and leading high-performing teams and managing dedicated staff;
- A commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion;
- Excellent interpersonal communication and public speaking skills;
- Accessibility and the capacity to embrace diversity of views and opinions;
- Superior critical and creative thinking ability that includes “both and” rather than “either or” approaches to conflict resolution and problem solving;
- A leadership style that emphasizes authenticity, compassion and kindness, coupled with optimism and a sense of humor in times of challenge and stress;
- Strategic business and operational planning experience;
- Process expertise to develop new program rollout procedures that are adaptable to various community/population needs;
- Working knowledge of data analysis and performance/operation metrics;
- Experience working in a collective bargaining environment.
The successful candidate will be energized working in a challenging, fast-moving environment and accomplished at driving toward clarity and solutions, and will be a visionary and empathetic leader with the ability to inspire employees to live up to their potential.
To attract the multi-talented Executive Director it is seeking, EBCLC is offering a competitive compensation package, coupled with a comprehensive benefits package that includes employer-paid health care premiums for employees and their families, health savings accounts, a choice of retirement plans, flexible spending accounts, generous vacation time, commuter benefits and much more.
Relocation reimbursement may be provided for the exceptional candidate EBCLC is seeking.
This is an opportunity for an accomplished, entrepreneurial leader to join a growing mission-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to education and social justice. The successful candidate will become a part of a distinguished team, serving an organization that is nationally known and respected for its work. The new Executive Director will be integral in developing staff, enhancing financial support and communication and increasing program and service offerings responsive to community needs, while contributing to the development of skilled and principled legal advocates committed to addressing racial and economic injustice. Moreover, the Executive Director will have the personal satisfaction of contributing to an effort of profound societal and humanitarian importance.
Famous as a center for academics, free speech and the arts, Berkeley is situated along San Francisco Bay’s eastern shore and is home to the University of California, Berkeley. The city of 113,000 residents has a mild climate and natural amenities, more arts per capita than any other city in California, access to public transportation, and of course, the University of California campus, which anchors the community.
Top reasons to live in Berkeley:
Please submit a brief cover letter and résumé as attachments via e-mail to:
Joe McCormack, Founding Partner
1740 Broadway, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10019
Please note that your education, dates of employment and other
information will be verified prior to an offer.