Director of Legal Assistance for the Poor/ Law Student Assistance Grants
THE FLORIDA BAR FOUNDATION – Director of Legal Assistance for the Poor/ Law Student Assistance Grants
The Florida Bar Foundation is seeking a visionary, collaborative leader to serve as the next Director of Legal Assistance for the Poor / Law Student Assistance Grants.
The Foundation is the charitable arm of Florida’s legal profession. A major portion of its work is obtaining funds and making grants for the provision of free legal assistance to low income individuals and families. Most of the funds come from the Interest on Trust Accounts (IOTA) program. Other funds come from the state government, The Florida Bar and individual lawyers and law firms through a fundraising program.
The grants are distributed to a network of nonprofit legal services providers around the state, some of which serve particular geographic areas while others provide statewide services in areas of legal need/specialty. The Foundation, its grantees, the organized bar, law schools, legislators, elected officials, the judiciary and other key stakeholders join together in the pursuit of equal justice for all Floridians.
The Director of Legal Assistance for the Poor / Law Student Assistance Grants (Director of LAP/LSA) is responsible for developing and administering these grant areas of the Foundation. Reporting to the Foundation’s Executive Director, Jane Elizabeth Curran, and working closely with the Foundation’s LAP/LSA Grant Committee and its 33 member Board of Directors, the Director of LAP/LSA formulates grant policies; ascertains the legal needs of the eligible client population and the needs of service providers; develops initiatives to expand and improve the delivery of legal assistance to low income Florida families and individuals, increase provider effectiveness and efficiency, and implement the best technology available; creates specific grant programs; solicits proposals for grants; recommends grant awards to the LAP/LSA Grant Committee; evaluates the performance of grantees; and reports on the impact of the grants. The goals of the Director of LAP/LSA include improving the delivery of services to clients, enhancing the provision of pro bono services by members of the bar and using available funds effectively and efficiently.
The Foundation is nationally recognized for its innovative and resourceful leadership. The Director of LAP/LSA will provide vision, leadership and effective management to Florida’s dynamic and diverse legal services delivery system.
The successful candidate will join the Foundation ideally in mid-April 2013. The salary range for the position is $110,000 to $130,000 depending on experience, and includes a generous benefits package.
Director of LAP/LSA Responsibilities
Provide visionary leadership for the civil legal services community in Florida.
Lead and manage the Legal Assistance to the Poor Grant Program to expand and improve representation and advocacy on behalf of low-income persons in civil legal matters.
Lead and manage the Law Student Assistance Program to promote public service by members of the legal profession by making public service an integral component of the law school experience.
Report to and work closely with the Foundation’s Executive Director.
Work closely with the Foundation’s LAP/LSA Grant Committee and its Board of Directors.
In partnership with the Board of Directors and representatives of the legal services delivery system, lead ongoing planning and program development designed to identify and adapt to the changing legal needs of low-income residents of Florida and the evolving requirements of the delivery system.
Build and nurture relationships with the leaders of the legal aid programs, leaders of The Florida Bar and local bar associations, attorneys, the Supreme Court of Florida and other Florida courts, the Executive and Legislative branches of government, other funding sources and partner organizations focused on the needs of low-income residents.
Work collaboratively with the Foundation’s development staff to increase funding from current and new sources to expand and improve access to justice.
Develop and maintain grant accountability systems including applications, reporting, financial and program audits, on-site assessments and corrective action plans.
Manage the day-to-day operations of the Foundation’s legal assistance/law student assistance grant programs.
Serve as a member of Foundation staff management team.
Qualifications and Experience
A law degree is required.
Experience with delivery of civil legal services for low-income individuals or with a similar system that funds services to low-income individuals through grants to not-for-profit providers is highly desirable.
A substantial record of successful years of managerial and executive experience at a leadership level, preferably in a public policy or advocacy role.
Demonstrated passion for seeking justice for and improving the lives of low-income people.
Proven skill as an effective collaborator and consensus-builder with a reputation as a trustworthy and reliable partner in initiatives involving multiple stakeholders.
An aptitude for and enjoyment of building relationships with a diverse group of influential people who can have an impact on the success of the Foundation in fulfilling its mission.
Excellent oral and written communication skills.
About the Legal Assistance to the Poor and Law Student Assistance Grant Programs of The Florida Bar Foundation
The Florida Bar Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity established by the Florida Supreme Court to support civil legal assistance to low-income residents of Florida and to improve the administration of justice. The Foundation is governed by a 33-person Board of Directors, whose members are appointed by the Supreme Court, The Florida Bar Board of Governors, and the Board of the Foundation. The board also includes the leadership of The Florida Bar, judges selected by the Florida Supreme Court and public members. Jane Elizabeth Curran, who is a national leader in the IOLTA community and a resolute supporter of effective legal assistance for the poor, is the Foundation’s long term (30 years) Executive Director. She also directs the Foundation’s Administration of Justice Grant Program.
The Foundation manages the Interest on Trust Accounts (IOTA) program (the first IOLTA program in the U.S.), receives funds from the State of Florida and from the Attorney General of Florida from time to time as a result of settlements, obtains charitable donations, and provides approximately 30% of the funding of some 31 legal aid organizations that provide civil legal services in Florida’s 67 counties.
Legal Assistance to the Poor
The mission of the LAP Program is to “expand and improve representation and advocacy on behalf of low-income persons in civil legal matters.” Funding comes from IOTA, state funds, The Florida Bar, including from Florida Bar members via voluntary contributions on the Bar’s Annual Fee Statement, Kids Deserve Justice License Plate Sales, cy pres awards and contributions from individual lawyers, law firms and others.
Grant programs include General Support, Statewide Special Initiatives, Staff Attorney Salary Supplementation, Children’s Legal Services, Affordable Housing, Loan Repayment Assistance, Disaster Relief Fund, Florida Access to Civil Legal Assistance Act for state funding, and other programs. Total grants in FY 2009-10 were $31.1 million.
In Florida as elsewhere, Foundation grant making has been reduced due to the steep drop in IOTA revenue in the recession. A plan is in place for projected cuts to individual LAP grant programs through 2015-16.
Law Student Assistance
The mission of the LSA program is to “promote public service by members of the legal profession by making public service an integral component of the law school experience.” Grants for public service fellows go to the 11 Florida law schools. Also, the Foundation makes grants to law school civil legal clinics and funds a Foundation administered legal aid summer fellowship program (providing 40 summer fellowships in 2010). LSA grant programs have been suspended temporarily due to reduced resources.
In FY 2010, the LAP/LSA Grant Programs department had a staff of 6.7 FTEs and a budget for operations and special initiatives of $1.2 million. The operations budget included funds for program assessments and other accountability mechanisms. Special initiatives involved such concerns as training, development and utilization of pro bono legal services, technical assistance, case management systems, computer legal research and interpreters.
Process of Candidacy
Applications for this position should include a cover letter explaining the candidate’s interest in and qualifications for the position and a resume. Applications should include the candidate’s preferred contact information and should be emailed as Word or WordPerfect documents (no PDFs) to:
Nominations, referrals, expressions of interest and inquiries regarding this position may be directed to Patricia Pap, MIE, 617-556-0288, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Gerry Singsen, email@example.com, consultants to the FBF for the search.
All information and accompanying materials will remain confidential until a candidate is notified that serious consideration of an application necessitates disclosure of a candidacy.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. In order to receive full consideration, however, candidates are urged to submit their materials before December 14, 2012.
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The Florida Bar Foundation is an equal opportunity employer in all phases of employment (recruiting, hiring, promotion, compensation, professional
development) and does not discriminate based on race, religion, color, gender, age, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status or any other factor prohibited by law. Each employee is responsible for assisting the Foundation to maintain a climate that provides equal opportunity for all.
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