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Executive Director, Rising for Justice (formerly Law Students in Court)

Washington, DC
Rising for Justice (formerly Law Students in Court)
Executive Director
Washington, DC
About Rising for Justice:
Since 1969, Rising for Justice’s mission has been to teach and inspire the next generation of law students while providing the highest quality legal representation to the District’s low-income residents. Rising for Justice has made “equal justice under law” a reality for thousands of our clients each year, and has trained and inspired thousands of lawyers to protect the legal rights of the less fortunate.
Rising for Justice will celebrate 50 years this fall as a nationally recognized leader at training social justice advocates and representing clients in grave legal jeopardy in the District of Columbia.  Recent signature achievements of the organization include:
  • Excellence in Teaching - A staff of eight full-time faculty teach, supervise, and mentor law students in a clinical program designed to meet American Bar Association standards for clinical training.  Rising for Justice’s Housing Advocacy and Litigation Clinic (HALC) and the Criminal Defense Clinic train approximately 45 student attorneys from D.C. area law schools each semester.
  • Expanded Client Representation – Physically located in the Landlord and Tenant Branch of D.C. Superior Court, Rising for Justice’s Eviction Defense Services (EDS) is the only legal provider that is open every hour that the Court is open and on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings.  Through EDS and Rising for Justice’s other clinical programs, law students, supervising attorneys, and staff attorneys provide representation to more than 4,000 clients each year and devote nearly 30,000 hours of pro bono legal services.  
  • Innovations in Justice and Equity – Rising for Justice has a legacy of innovation, developing groundbreaking programs around expungement and immigration, launching a Civil Protection Order Project to represent respondents in intrafamily protection order cases, and pioneering the integration of social work students with clinical legal education.  
Position Summary:
Rising for Justice is seeking a new Executive Director to build on a 50-year legacy of passionate and committed legal services, a strong and stable organizational foundation, and a recent expansion and new vision to increase educational programming and legal and social services.  Reporting to a Board of Directors and directing a staff of 30, the new Executive Director will lead the organization to and through its next exciting chapter of growth and impact.
The ideal candidate is a passionate and entrepreneurial leader who brings a record of success in organizational leadership, deep experience and understanding of the local legal community, and a commitment to the mission of Rising for Justice.
  • Vision and strategy: Lead implementation of Rising for Justice’s strategic plan; collaborate with staff, the Board, and key stakeholders to set, meet and exceed clear goals aligned with the organization’s mission
  • Team leadership: Manage, train, and mentor Rising for Justice’s dedicated and high-performing team; create a cohesive and collaborative culture
  • Operations and financial management: Oversee the successful execution of Rising for Justice’s day-to-day operations, including financial management, reporting, and compliance; strengthen the organization’s internal infrastructure and systems
  • Partnership and relationship management: Develop and maintain strong relationships with key stakeholders, including Board members, funders, community partners, staff, local law schools, and the courts
  • Fundraising: Meet Rising for Justice’s annual fundraising goals; manage existing funding relationships; generate new revenue from diverse sources
  • Communications: Serve as the principal spokesperson and key external leader; proactively build awareness of the organization’s brand, programs, and impact 
  • Bachelor’s degree required; JD strongly preferred
  • 10+ years of senior leadership experience
  • Demonstrated passion for and commitment to Rising for Justice’s mission
  • A strong and seasoned team leader with a record of leading, mentoring, and developing high-performing teams through growth and change
  • A strategic thinker with the ability to translate organizational vision to individual goals, establish clear priorities, monitor implementation of goals, and adapt to changes in circumstances
  • Proven track record of creating alliances and strategic partnerships
  • Demonstrated aptitude for cultivating and stewarding funding relationships, including experience diversifying funding streams
  • Legal clinical experience and a track record of working with law school administration and faculty strongly preferred
  • Experience collaborating with and cultivating a volunteer Board of Directors preferred
  • Exceptional interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills
  • Self-motivated and ability to thrive in a dynamic and fast-paced environment
  • A commitment to a high level of personal and professional integrity and humility
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