Executive Director

Mountain State Justice is a non-profit legal services firm dedicated to redressing entrenched and emerging systemic social, political, and economic imbalances of power for underserved West Virginians, through legal advocacy and community empowerment offered regardless of ability to pay.  MSJ plays a unique and critical role within West Virginia’s justice community by virtue of its focus on systemic impact litigation, addressing justice gaps, and engaging client communities in legislative advocacy.  Essential to MSJ’s mission is an inclusive work environment that encourages, supports, and rewards the collaborative and creative pursuit of professional excellence.

MSJ’s Executive Director has overall responsibility for promoting and advancing MSJ’s mission, values, and strategy through leadership, oversight, and guidance over the operations of Mountain State Justice. This includes effectively and energetically carrying forward MSJ’s key role as a social change leader in West Virginia, through use of litigation and other legal tools to redress systemic social, political, and economic imbalances of power. The ED must effectively engage in partnerships at the local, regional, and national level; engage in systemic and strategic planning for MSJ’s current and future activities and priorities; and engage diverse perspectives into guiding MSJ, including by engaging community-based movements and engaging our clients. While MSJ is currently in a strong financial position, the ED is responsible for ensuring that funding levels are maintained to support the work of MSJ, and that a cadre of excellent staff are hired, supported, and engaged by MSJ to fulfill its role.

Essential Job Functions:

Promote and protect MSJ’s mission, vision, and values through the following activities:

  1. Direct the overall operations of MSJ to further its mission.
  2. Integrate initiatives to tackle structural bias in all aspects of MSJ and its work.
  3. Set program goals and objectives within a strategic planning process with the MSJ Board of Directors and develop organizational structures and functions consistent with achieving those objectives.
  4. Provide leadership for and direction to MSJ staff and leadership in the provision of aggressive, high quality, and impactful litigation and advocacy.
  5. Oversee, via collaboration with and delegation to other leadership and staff:
    • Effective and efficient management of high-quality legal work
    • Evaluation of personnel and program performance.
    • Development and implementation of professional development for staff.
    • Management of the financial matters of the program including fiscal oversight, budgeting, compliance, and financial stability.
    • Recruitment, hiring, and managing staff and all other personnel and human resource related matters of the program.
    • Development of secure, efficient, and responsive technology systems.
  6. Assure that all leadership and staff have an understanding of and commitment to the mission of MSJ and that they work together as a statewide team to fulfill MSJ’s mission and strategic plan.
  7. Maintain a good working relationship with all members of the staff, and assure that staff are treated in the workplace with dignity and respect.
  8. Establish and maintain positive and collaborative relationships with the community groups, clients, and partners.
  9. Support good governance through active support of and engagement with the MSJ Board of Directors.
  10. Conduct all operations in accord with organizational policies and bylaws and applicable legal requirements.
  11. Develop program goals within program priorities and funding; and work with the Board to identify their own professional development goals and needs.

Job Requirements and Preferences:

  1. The Executive Director must have a passion for and demonstrated commitment to anti-poverty equity and justice related work.
  2. It is highly preferred that the Executive Director have, at minimum, five years’ experience in nonprofit management and administration including strategic planning, supervision, budget development and management, fund development, or comparable experience from the private sector.
  3. It is highly preferred that the Executive Director have experience litigating cases on behalf of underserved individuals or communities. Regardless of whether the ED is licensed to practice law, the ED must be comfortable engaging, understanding, and providing leadership on MSJ’s substantive areas of advocacy and litigation. The ED must also understand the issues surrounding the ability to seek and collect legal fees and the ebb and flow of multi-year litigation.
  4. MSJ values diversity among its staff, and believes that candidates who add under-represented viewpoints or experiences—including BIPOC individuals, people with disabilities, LGBTQ people, formerly incarcerated people, and people of all genders—add an additional qualification to candidates. If an individual does not have this additional qualification, the individual must display competence and a background collaborating with, engaging, and listening to under-represented and marginalized individuals and groups.
  5. The Executive Director should have a high energy level, initiative, and creativity, and be comfortable performing multifaceted projects in conjunction with day-to-day activities. They should have the ability to get along with diverse personalities and be tactful, mature, and flexible. They should have strong reasoning abilities and problem-solving/negotiation skills, sound judgement, and be well-organized with good communication skills.
  6. The Executive Director should possess an accessible management style and be comfortable working with other leadership and staff to fulfill organizational goals, and a demonstrated ability to achieve long-term goals through effective supervision, mentorship, and teambuilding.

Location: The Executive Director will work onsite in either the Charleston, WV, or Morgantown, WV, office of MSJ.

Salary between $140,000 to $170,000, depending on experience and qualifications

To apply: Please submit a CV or resume and a cover letter detailing your qualifications for and interest in the position to careers@msjlaw.org.

Deadlines: The Search Committee will begin reviewing applications on January 17, 2022, and the posting will remain open until the position is filled.