Director of Legal Support & Strategy

Locations: San Diego, CA
Reports To: Executive Director
Direct Reports: 3 (Managing Attorney, Pro Bono Program; Volunteer Interpreter & Translator Manager; Support Services Coordinator)
Compensation: $86,000 – $95,000 DOE
Benefits include: Medical, vision, dental, life, and long-term disability insurance, paid and sick time off, 12 paid holidays, retirement plan, bar dues, and professional development.

Casa Cornelia is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating a positive and inclusive work environment for all employees. We encourage applicants of all backgrounds.

Our Organization

Casa Cornelia Law Center is a 501(c)(3) public interest law firm providing quality pro bono legal services to victims of human and civil rights violations. With a $3.3M annual operating budget, we serve an incredibly diverse clientele, with our primary commitment to indigent persons within the immigrant community in southern California. Working closely with our volunteer base of over 300 attorneys, translators and interpreters, our team of 29 staff serves over 2,000 clients annually in a variety of capacities. In addition to legal services, our work also includes education and outreach regarding the impact of immigration law and policy on society and the public good.

Casa Cornelia is a progressive agency, providing holistic representation for our clients. We strive to foster a spirit of simplicity, honesty, kindness, and cheerfulness among colleagues and with those we serve. Through meaningful collaboration, humility, and innovation, we provide exceptional support and services to our clients – delivered with compassion and respect. As a pillar of the community for almost 30 years, our work is widely respected throughout the region, and our team enjoys the full support of a highly engaged, collaborative and productive board of directors. Please visit us at https://casacornelia.org/ for more information about our organization.

POSITION SUMMARY

As we enter our 28th year, we are planning for the future by creating a new Director of Legal Support and Strategy position. The Director will serve as a key member of our Leadership Team, moving our organization forward through comprehensive planning, program management, and strategic communications. They will be working at a high-level collaborating with every area of the organization, helping us get better at everything we do. As new projects arise, the Director will conduct an initial analysis to define their scope and guide the leadership team in determining under which part of the organization it is best placed. We seek someone who is passionate about serving indigent communities, strengthening engagement, and expanding our legal services and programs to their full potential.

This Director of Legal Support & Strategy will oversee 5 main areas:

  1. Communications and Media Relations– partnering with the Executive Director to continuing building Casa Cornelia’s profile with key constituencies and supporters; serving as our liaison to policymakers, legal professionals, community groups, and government entities. (30%).
  2. Language and Community Volunteers– building and managing our pool of volunteer interpreters and translators that are so critical to our work (20%).
  3. Pro Bono Legal Programs– overseeing our efforts to recruit and train volunteer attorneys and match them with Casa Cornelia clients/cases (20%).
  4. Strategic Planning– coordinate strategic planning process, working closely with our Executive Director, Board Chair, Leadership Team, and strategic planning committee (15%).
  5. Support Services– overseeing and enhancing our ability to connect clients with critical wrap-around services such as housing, healthcare, and mental health (15%).

Short-term (year 1) priorities for this position include:

  • Develop a deep understanding of Casa Cornelia as an organization including our processes, procedures, programs, and legal services.
  • Build relationships at all levels, including a genuine understanding and appreciation for each team member’s position; become part of our culture.
  • Conduct a thorough review of all 5 program areas under the Director’s responsibility, building a deep understanding of each area and making additional recommendations for optimization.
  • Become familiar with Casa Cornelia’s Electronic Case Management System, with the ability to both input and extract data, as well as run reports.
  • Create updated messaging and talking points for our external communications.
  • Lead recruitment efforts for staff openings within assigned program areas.
  • Participate on our staff wellness committee to continue enhancing morale and culture.

Longer-term (years 2+) priorities for this position include:

  • Create and launch a comprehensive communications strategy encompassing government relations, donor relations/fundraising, and marketing & branding.
  • Potentially create and recruit for a new Communications Coordinator position.
  • Play a supporting role in the implementation of our new case management software system, working with key staff, vendor, and consultants.
  • Provide strategic recommendations for expanding our Pro Bono program and Volunteer Interpreters and Translators program.
  • Review and provide recommendations for enhancement of client services program.
  • Assist in the creation and implementation of our next 3-year strategic plan.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • As a member of the leadership team, participate in leadership and visioning for Casa Cornelia.
  • Oversee the Pro Bono Program, Internship Program, Volunteer Interpreter and Translator Program, Client Support Services, and Communication Teams.
  • Assist in building our talent base through effective management, coaching, mentoring, and development for both direct and indirect reports.
  • Work closely with our Executive and Legal Directors, taking over some oversight areas from their current responsibilities.
  • Ensure open and clear internal communication channels have been established, allowing for everyone’s voice and opinions to be heard, inspiring innovation and organizational improvement.
  • Develop a comprehensive communications strategy to lift our organizational profile, which coordinates distinct roles for our Executive Director, Director of Philanthropy, Legal Director, and Director of Legal Support & Strategy.
  • Support grant writing and fundraising efforts by providing strategical analysis, data, stories and other ideas and input for the development team.
  • Keep an eye on the horizon, enabling Casa Cornelia to stay ahead of new opportunities and challenges, including changes in immigration law and the overall legal landscape.
  • Participate in our annual Mission Effectiveness review process, an intense continuous improvement initiative driven by our leadership team in partnership with the Board.
  • Partner with the leadership team to develop strategic program plans with identified timelines, budgets, and stakeholders; implement program improvements where needed.
  • Serve as a force multiplier for the Executive Director, attending key meetings, events and public speaking engagements to represent Casa Cornelia.

Attributes & Work Style

  • Compassionate: Finds deep meaning and fulfillment in our mission, with a commitment to social justice and progressive values.
  • Flexible: Enjoys being the go-to person inside the organization; an all-arounder who can manage a wide array of responsibilities and priorities.
  • Growth-oriented: Possesses a continuous improvement lens and recognizes potential; asks thoughtful questions and offers solutions.
  • Strategic Thinker: Intellectually curious, decisive, resourceful, and responsive, with the organizational sensitivity to gain the support and confidence from all areas of our organization.
  • Collaborative: Works effectively with diverse personalities; a natural team player with an easy-going personality; someone who thrives inside a small, team-based work environment.
  • Analytical: Extremely detail-oriented; someone who enjoys working with data, conducting deep analysis and spotting trends.
  • Metrics-driven: Skilled at setting measurable, reasonable goals for performance and operational excellence; firm but fair, holding team members accountable for performance.
  • Planning and Process-oriented: Exceptional mind for optimizing workflows and managing people, systems, procedures, and programs.
  • Hands-on: Enjoys playing many roles with the ability to keep multiple projects moving forward according to shifting timelines and priorities.
  • Proactive: Able to identify and address potential problems before they flare up.
  • Communicative: Outstanding oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills, with the executive presence to serve as an effective and highly visible spokesperson.
  • Charismatic: Warm, and welcoming; a true “people-person” who enjoys attending events, networking, and serving in a high-profile, public leadership role.
  • Tactful& Diplomatic: Exhibits a high level of emotional intelligence, demonstrating empathy and reflective listening skills; willing and able to have difficult conversations when required.
  • Servant Leader: Applies a can-do attitude and a customer service mindset to everything they do.
  • Calm: Able to remain grounded and focused at all times.

Requisite Experience & Skillse

  • 5+ years of management experience, including coaching, mentoring and team building.
  • Juris Doctorate (JD) degree from an ABA accredited law school and license to practice law.
  • Experience practicing or working within the field of public interest law (background in immigration law very helpful, but not required).
  • Excellent communication skills including writing, public speaking and presentations.
  • Fluency in a foreign language such as Spanish, French or Arabic is helpful.
  • Demonstrated experience leading strategic planning initiatives and managing key business/program initiatives from ideation through to execution.

For more information or to apply, please contact:

Sarah Thompson, Director, Blair Search Partners
1855 1st Ave., Suite 300, San Diego, CA 92101
Sarah@blairsearchpartners.com