Job Opportunity – Executive Director

Executive Director, Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc.

Executive Director Responsibilities

Management and Leadership

The Executive Director will supervise the 19-person staff of project directors, staff attorneys, management team, and support staff as well as oversee the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee’s main project areas. The Executive Director will also partner with the Board’s Strategic Planning Committee to finalize the development of a strategic plan and will assume full responsibility for the operationalization and execution of the plan.

In order to be an effective leader, the new Executive Director must be dedicated to advancing the Chicago Lawyer’s Committee’s mission of advancing civil rights and social justice. In this regard, the Executive Director will be expected to articulate a clear and contemporary vision for civil rights in Chicago. The Executive Director will have the flexibility to expand or modify the current project areas and develop new projects focusing on other civil rights issues.

External Partnerships

The strong support of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee’s member firms is critical to the success of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee. The Executive Director will be expected to enhance and leverage pre-existing relationships and develop relationships with new firms. The Executive Director also must engage the support and interest of other civil rights groups, foundations, community organizations, political officeholders, private corporations, the media and other allies and stakeholders in the civil rights arena.

Financial Development

In order to implement and achieve the goals of the organization increased and diversified fund-raising is essential. With the support of the Board, the Executive Director will be expected to work with the Development Director to develop funding strategies and increase revenues to support organizational initiatives, drawing on sources such as law firms, individuals, foundations, corporations and government entities. The Executive Director must be comfortable with fundraising, communicating with donors and expanding relationships with financial supporters.

Financial Management

The Executive Director will be responsible for preparing and overseeing realistic and fiscally responsible budgets in conjunction with the Finance Director and reporting regularly to the Board of Directors on financial matters. Knowledge of sound nonprofit financial principles is expected.

Major Objectives

The new Executive Director is expected to accomplish the following major objectives over the first 12 to 18 months:

  • Articulate a clear and contemporary vision of civil rights needs in the Chicago community;
  • Complete and execute a strategic plan in conjunction with the Strategic Planning Committee and the Board of Directors;
  • Identify and cultivate funding opportunities, including grants or donations from foundations, government, corporations, and individuals;
  • Develop new partnerships with member firms and expand existing ones;
  • Foster a collaborative work culture among the staff that inspires a shared sense of mission and unity; and
  • Maintain a leadership role in the civil rights arena with outside civil rights and public interest organizations.

Professional Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications:

  • Demonstrated commitment to and significant experience in civil rights and public interest law consistent with the mission and goals of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee
  • Excellent communication, media, presentation, and analytical skills
  • Strong fiscal and management experience, preferably in a public interest organization, with experience in recruiting, training, managing and motivating a diverse, high-performing team, including volunteer lawyers
  • Experience in successfully identifying, cultivating and engaging funding sources
  • Experience working closely with a board of directors, government agencies, foundations, and public interest and policy organizations
  • A JD and litigation experience are desired but not mandatory. Comfort in a public interest legal environment is essential

Personal Characteristics

The ideal candidate will have the following key characteristics:

  • A deep personal commitment and passion for advancing civil rights and social justice
  • A decisive, creative thinker with excellent planning and organizational skills
  • A team-building, collegial approach to work
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills
  • The ability to inspire commitment to civil rights in others through dynamic leadership
  • Ability to recognize and maximize opportunity on behalf of the organization
  • Goal-oriented, project-oriented, and achievement-oriented
  • Strong honor and integrity
  • Ability to thrive in the uncertainty of the economic, legal and nonprofit environments
  • A sense of humor


How to apply


Please forward a cover letter indicating your interest and qualifications, a current resume, and salary history to Marcia Lipetz at by August 17, 2015. No calls please.

Further information about the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law can be found at