Chief Counsel

Baltimore, MD
Full Time
Job #: 1765 Exp.: 7 - 12 Years
Primary Duties and Responsibilities:
  • With the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, provides overall management oversight of the functions of MLA and the allocation of resources to achieve the organization’s objectives and support its human rights framework;
  • Directs the substantive legal work of MLA and, with assistance from the Deputy Chief Counsels, oversees the service delivery of MLA’s offices and Statewide Advocacy Support Unit to ensure efficient, high quality legal representation of clients;
  • With the Deputy Chief Counsels, evaluates and guides the legal practices of MLA’s 11 full-service offices;
  • Develops effective and innovative systems to deliver legal services and ensures their utilization as well as adherence to established standards of practice and legal ethics;
  • In consultation with the Executive Director, Chief Operating Officer, Deputy Chief Counsels, Statewide Advocacy Support Unit and other advocacy staff, establishes and maintains MLA’s advocacy policies, procedures and priorities;
  • Supervises and evaluates Deputy Chief Counsels and Directors of Advocacy;
  • Works with the Directors of Advocacy and other staff on the development of legal skills and substantive law training opportunities and advocacy efforts, including complex appeals and policy initiatives, and approves decisions to undertake major litigation;
  • With the Executive Director and the Chief Operating Officer, leads key efforts of MLA’s periodic, strategic and other long-term planning efforts, including, but not limited to, needs assessments studies;
  • With the Executive Director, Chief Operating Officer, Chief of Human Resources, and other key managers, ensures the effective and appropriate administration of MLA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement with members of the Maryland Legal Aid Workers Union;
  • From time to time, be a part of MLA’s management team to engage in collective bargaining with the Union representing MLA’s advocacy staff and those of MLA’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Maryland Center for Legal Assistance;
  • Works with the Executive Director, Chief Operating Officer, Director of Contracts, Grants & Compliance, and Director of Development to identify potential funding sources, develop proposals, and prepare periodic reports on services rendered, based upon MLA’s priorities and careful analysis of its resources and client needs;
  • Works with the Executive Director, Chief Operating Officer, and Director of Marketing & Communications to promote MLA’s initiatives, activities, and achievements through the press, social media, community outreach, and professional events and conferences. and through the publication of articles and other materials focusing on substantive law, practice skills, social issues, and current events;
  • With MLA staff, coordinates interaction and partnerships with other legal services providers, community organizations and/or other collaborators; and
  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualification Criteria:
  • LL.B. or J.D. degree, plus at least twelve years of experience as a practicing attorney and at least seven years as a manager. Demonstrated ability to manage and lead a statewide team of attorneys, paralegals, and administrative professionals. Excellent writing and verbal communication skills. Substantive appellate experience. Superior organizational and presentation skills. Experience working with low-income populations or in a legal services setting is desirable. Admission to Maryland Bar or another state bar and eligibility and willingness to apply for admission to the Maryland Bar at the earliest opportunity.

Principal Working Relationships:
  • Executive Director, Board of Directors, Chief Operating Officer, Deputy Chief Counsels, Office Chiefs/Supervisors, Directors of Advocacy, funders, the Judiciary, the Bar, community organizations, government agencies, and schools of law.

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