Executive Director

  • Her Justice
  • New York, NY, USA
  • Apr 26, 2024
Full time Executive

Job Description

Executive Director


Her Justice

New York, NY


Hybrid - Candidate must be currently living in or willing to relocate to the New York City area.


About Her Justice


Her Justice is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting women living in poverty in New York City by providing free legal counsel to achieve safety and self-sufficiency. Since 1993, Her Justice has provided life-changing free legal help to over 45,000 women and children and has pursued policies that have bettered the experiences and outcomes of thousands more. Her Justice is committed to creating a more fair and functional civil justice system for women in New York City, so they can build safer, stronger futures for themselves, their families, and their communities.


With an annual $7 million operating budget, Her Justice’s team of 40 staff manages a vast network of pro bono volunteers and delivers over $43 million of in-kind legal services to the community per year.


As Her Justice celebrates over 30 years of service to the New York City community, it also looks ahead to what comes next. Today, the organization is well-poised for its next phase of growth and impact, building upon the organization’s successes, optimizing what it does best, and exploring opportunities to further support its community.


Who Her Justice Serves


100% of Her Justice clients are women living in poverty in the five boroughs of New York City, many of whom are survivors of intimate partner violence and the immigration crisis. In Fiscal Year 2023, 93% of Her Justice’s clients were women of color, 86% were survivors of intimate partner violence, and 70% were mothers. Over a third of Her Justice’s clients do not speak English, which means they are effectively precluded from the legal system if language resources are not available.


Her Justice’s clients come from the most marginalized corners of society and often rely on the civil justice system to help them achieve safety, stability, and self-sufficiency. It is where they turn to obtain child support they’re owed, to get work authorization, to free themselves from debts they did not accrue, to seek safety through an order of protection, and other tools that help them build the futures they want for themselves and their families.


The Her Justice Approach


Her Justice was founded on a vision for a new way to create a more level playing field for women in family court. Her Justice’s founder, Cathy Douglass, was a pioneer in the pro bono field. She was inspired by the hope that by harnessing the commitment of volunteer lawyers, the organization could provide an essential complement to the existing, but insufficient, legal services available in New York City. That hope has come to fruition as Her Justice has continued to grow and expand over the years.


Considered a best-in-class pro bono provider, Her Justice achieves impact through its two-pronged approach:


Client Services: Through the power of pro bono, Her Justice’s seasoned team of in-house attorneys mentor dedicated volunteer lawyers from the city’s top law firms and corporations as they partner with clients on cases ranging from work permits and legal status to divorces, child support, orders of protection, and more. In 2023, 13 Her Justice lawyers mentored 1,641 volunteer attorneys, reaching 4,131 women and children for a total of 51,920 hours donated, representing $43,525,305 in value. Her Justice is a trusted leader with a robust, and growing, community of supporters, partnering with over 100 law and financial firms and 125 community organizations.


Policy Advocacy: Her Justice works to reform the civil justice system so that it produces more favorable outcomes for women through processes that are equitable, empowering, and efficient. Her Justice makes this system-level change by working with city, state, and federal policymakers; bureaucratic agencies; and advocacy organizations.


Her Justice’s Policy Agenda outlines several core areas of focus: immigration, child support, divorce, and intimate partner violence. As uniquely positioned experts, Her Justice has published two policy reports based on original research: Stories from Immigrant Survivors of Gender-Based Violence: The Impact of Work Authorization (November 2023) and Towards Justice for Parents in Child Support Courts (March 2021). These reports draw on the lived experiences of clients and the deep legal expertise of Her Justice teams to make smart, data-informed policy recommendations.


Learn more in the https://herjustice.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/2023-Her-Justice-Annual-Report.pdf and for more information about Her Justice, please https://herjustice.org/


The Opportunity


Her Justice seeks an inspirational, collaborative, and empowering leader to provide strategic direction and oversight for this vital organization. This is a tremendous opportunity to join a beloved organization and collaborate with its stakeholders to chart a pathway for future growth and impact, continuing to elevate Her Justice as a best-in-class leader within the pro bono local, state, and national community.


Reporting to the Board of Directors, the next Executive Director will collaborate with a dedicated staff and partners to advance its clear and powerful approach to the client experience and systems change; further develop vital partnerships with legal, financial, and community partners; ensure the Her Justice team has the needed infrastructure to deliver the highest quality services to clients; and foster a culture of collaboration, empowerment, and professional advancement.


In partnership with Her Justice’s Board and staff, the next Executive Director will establish the organization’s vision, define bold short- and long-term goals, and co-create a cohesive, targeted strategic plan, working with a wide variety of stakeholders to implement, adapt, and modify it as needed.


Key responsibilities include:


• Provide strategic leadership for the organization, synthesizing across viewpoints and interests of stakeholders, evolving a clear vision and strategy for how Her Justice can continue to grow and strengthen its work against a backdrop of a shifting landscape.


• Collaborate with the Board and staff to establish short and long-range business and programmatic goals, strategies, and implementation plans, ensuring a deep focus is kept on the quality of services provided.


• Promote the organization and articulate Her Justice’s unique value proposition to a wide range of private sector and nonprofit stakeholders, providing thought leadership; cultivating relationships with partners, funders, and advocates in the field; and growing and diversifying opportunities for partnerships and philanthropic support.


• Lead a highly skilled team, managing and empowering teams, ensuring they are provided with the necessary direction and resources to realize Her Justice’s strategic and operational goals.


• Continue to build staff capacity and opportunities for professional development; incubate a productive, positive, and inclusive workplace culture.


• Support Her Justice’s short and long-term financial goals, ensuring it operates as a sustainable and financially sound organization; work closely with the team, assessing opportunities to diversify revenue streams.


• Ensure productive and efficient operations, evaluating the continuous improvement of and investment in systems and resources to support organizational growth.


• Support the future growth and development of a well-networked Board of Directors, collaborating closely with its engaged Board Committees.


• Cultivate a cohesive, collaborative, diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace for all staff and clients.


• Ensure the organization complies with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations governing nonprofit organizations and the provision of legal services.


Candidate Profile


With a strong commitment to, and passion for Her Justice’s mission, vision, and values, the Executive Director must be a strong leader who promotes integrity, transparency, collaboration, and communication in an equitable and respectful work environment. To be successful in this leadership role, the Executive Director will possess the flexibility and skill for high-level, complex legal and policy strategy setting, along with the ability to lead a high-performing and passionate team.


A Juris Doctor degree is not required; ideally, candidates bring a strong track record of leadership within the legal community and/or management experience at a nonprofit organization serving similar clients to those served by Her Justice.


While no one candidate will possess every quality outlined for this position, strong candidates will bring many of the following professional experiences, skills, and personal attributes:


Visionary & Strategic Mindset


• A strategic leader with a transformational style, eager and energized to develop and articulate an innovative vision for the next chapter of a multifaceted organization with a rich history.


• An action-oriented leader, this person will have experience leading an organization with the role of policy and thought leader, built on the expertise informed by direct service delivery.


• Models analytical, organizational, and problem-solving skills that support and enable sound decision-making. Leads with an empowering approach, giving others the agency to lead and contribute to the overall success of an organization.


• Knowledgeable of the legal community – both public and private sector – and understands how the provision of pro bono services fits into the broader landscape.


• Ability to quickly pivot and act decisively in the face of emerging situations and circumstances while still maintaining focus on bigger-picture vision and strategy.


Empowering & Collaborative Leadership


• Leads talented and passionate teams through an inspirational and empathic approach, fostering positive environments that encourage participation, collaboration, innovation, and empowerment across functions.


• Track record of hiring, developing, and retaining culturally diverse staff at all levels.


• A transparent communicator and natural listener who ensures all voices are heard, while also being firm and resolute in decisions.


• Creates and grows a culture of high engagement for all team members regardless of background and role; empowers a workforce to excel with a focus on guiding team members’ growth and development.


• Builds consensus, breaks down silos, and establishes interdepartmental unity within organizations through effective and inclusive communication and cross-team cooperation.


• An individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics, and values. Needed characteristics of trustworthiness, high emotional and social intelligence, and low ego – skilled at bringing others along in an elegant way.


Nonprofit Business & Operational Acumen


• A seasoned executive and strong manager who understands the importance of effective operational and financial administration and can deploy these skills at scale in a multifaceted environment.


• Demonstrates experience with nonprofit operations/leadership, including sound financial planning, oversight, and accountability; can clearly communicate financial status to staff, Board, and key stakeholders.


• Strong non-profit budget development and management skills with an understanding of how to build and implement effective infrastructures and systems that increase internal capacity and efficiency.


• Brings a track record of setting priorities decisively, delegating responsibilities, ensuring accountability, and allocating resources to ensure teams are set up to excel.


• Experience building and working with an engaged Board of Directors, guiding meetings, and holding Directors accountable to governance responsibilities in a productive, efficient, and collaborative manner.


Skilled Advocate & Relationship Builder


• Promotes a powerful sense of shared purpose and engagement to all constituents through effective internal and external communication; serves as a key spokesperson and public face for organizations to the media, funders, and others.


• Communicates effectively and frequently, fostering a culture of transparency and bringing staff of all levels and program areas along in a way that ensures all understand and are invested in their role within the broader vision and mission of the organization.


• Brings experience in fundraising and building organizational capacity to creatively diversify fundraising opportunities from a range of sources.


• Ability to successfully convey an organization’s mission and objectives to a wide range of private, nonprofit, and public constituents in written and verbal communications; can communicate complex ideas with clarity.


• Ability to develop and cultivate relationships that will advance and amplify Her Justice’s value proposition, reputation, and opportunities for impact in the field.


• Brings a track record of building support and influence with key stakeholders, including Board members, staff, donors, policymakers, and other leaders across lines of difference.


Champion of the Mission


• Above all, possesses an unwavering dedication to advancing the well-being of all women, families, and communities.


• Brings a genuine passion for community-focused work and exhibits boldness and courage in their advocacy for justice.


• Brings an understanding and/or interest and willingness to stay well-informed of local and national events, legal processes and policies, and their implications for Her Justice and the populations in which it works.


• Resolute in fostering inclusion, empowering clients, and nurturing psychological safety.


• Exemplifies a strong commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility at every level of the organization.



Her Justice’s Values


Regardless of personal lived or work experience, strong candidates will embody Her Justice’s values:



Justice: We work within the civil justice system to advocate for the fairest individual and systemic outcomes for our clients, backed by a commitment to bridge the gap in access to justice that has been created for women living in poverty.


Community: We think feeling a sense of belonging is important. We define community as intentional collaboration with clients, volunteers, one another, and partners to advance our mission in a way that is inclusive, safe, and empowering.


Empathy: We lead with compassion and patience when listening to the lived experiences of our clients and colleagues and use what we hear as the foundation of all aspects of the work we do to advance justice.


Integrity: We proudly possess an unwavering commitment to justice and promote organizational honesty and openness to ensure we are held accountable to such principles.


Respect: We honor the dignity, identity, and boundaries of every one of our clients, partners, and employees.



Compensation & Benefits


Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. The salary range for this role is $275,000 - $325,000 with a generous benefits package, including the following:


• 26 days of paid time off (PTO) each year for vacation, personal time, and illness, followed by an accrual of 1 day per year starting the sixth pay period of the year.


• “Summer Fridays”, where the office closes at 1:00 pm ET on Fridays between Memorial Day and Labor Day.


• 12 paid holidays including New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth National Independence Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Indigenous People’s Day, Thanksgiving, Day after Thanksgiving, Native American Heritage Day, and Christmas Day.


• 12 weeks of paid parental leave following the birth or placement of a child.


• Medical benefits include health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, a Health Reimbursement Account, Flexible Spending Accounts, Disability insurance, Voluntary Benefits, Employee Assistance Program, Healthcare Advocate, and Telehealth.


• 401(k) Plan.


• Professional Development including Professional Registration Fees and Professional Memberships.


• Personal cell phone, Wi-Fi, and computer stipend.


Contact & How to Apply


Koya Partners has been exclusively retained for this engagement, which is being led by Molly Brennan and Corina Benitz.


Expressions of interest will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Earlier expressions of interest may receive priority consideration. We encourage all interested candidates to submit their applications promptly by https://apptrkr.com/5200364 or emailing the search team directly at HerJustice_ED@koyapartners.com. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


Koya Partners is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email NonprofitSearchOps@divsearch.com. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.


Her Justice is an equal opportunity employer. Her Justice does not discriminate due to race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender and/or gender identity or expression, marital or parental status, national origin, ethnicity, citizenship status, veteran or military status, age, disability, unemployment status or any other legally protected basis, and to the extent permitted by law. Qualified candidates of diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds are encouraged to apply for vacant positions at all levels.


About Koya Partners


Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world. For more information about Koya Partners, visit https://diversifiedsearchgroup.com/koya-partners/.