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Executive Director


About the Executive Director

Are you a strong leader who is passionate about using the law to support people and ecosystems over property? The National Lawyers Guild (NLG / Guild) National Office seeks a dynamic Executive Director (ED) who will build relationships, support our membership, develop and support staff, and lead the organization into its next chapter through strategic and innovative approaches. Successful candidates will be collaborative; capable of building and supporting an engaged staff, board, and membership; skilled at developing strong external relationships; and possess a strong fundraising and development track record. Specific expertise in law and social justice movements are a plus.


The ED works closely with the Executive Council (EC), the larger NLG board (National Executive Committee / NEC), and National Office staff to ensure the organization’s overall reputation and key relationships are sustained and that our work remains accountable to the movements we support. On a day to day basis, the ED is responsible for the fiscal, administrative, and legal oversight of the NLG National Office (NO) in accordance with its mission, values, and governing documents.


About the National Lawyers Guild

The National Lawyers Guild is the nation’s oldest and largest progressive bar association and was the first one in the US to be racially integrated. The Guild’s mission is to use law for the people, uniting lawyers, law students, legal workers, and jailhouse lawyers to function as an effective force, valuing human rights and the rights of ecosystems over property interests, in support of peoples’ struggles for liberation. 


This is achieved through the work of our staff, members, and the Guild’s numerous organizational committees, caucuses, and projects, reflecting a wide spectrum of interrelated issues. Guild members effectively network and hone their legal skills in order to help create change at the local, regional, national, and international levels. The NLG is a member-supported and member-funded organization. The Guild is committed to working in partnership with allies and in coalition with broader social justice movements, and we strive to be accountable to grassroots movement leaders.


Key Responsibilities

  • STRATEGIC PLANNING: Work with the National Executive Committee, staff, and key NLG leaders to develop and implement strategic plans at various levels of the organization. Plan the direction and leadership of key programs, relationships, and strategic partnerships to amplify the mission, vision, and impact of the organization. Monitor the political and advocacy landscape and make adjustments, as needed, to organizational goals, strategies, partnerships, and approaches.


  • BOARD DEVELOPMENT: Cultivate, develop, and nurture the NEC into a strong board and an effective force for good governance. Co-lead bi-weekly EC meetings and quarterly NEC meetings; Work with NEC to meet urgent organizational oversight needs; Communicate NO concerns and updates; Participate in priority board level committees.


  • FUNDRAISING & DEVELOPMENT: Create the conditions for fundraising success within the organization. Cultivate relationships with members and donors and solicit major donors to increase financial support; Represent the organization at fundraising and public relations events; Serve on the board of the NLG Foundation, the 501(c)3 arm of the Guild; Write and submit grant applications and reports for foundation funding.


  • FINANCIAL PLANNING & MANAGEMENT: Develop and maintain a business model that produces exceptional mission impact and sustained financial health. Work with the Treasurer, Finance Committee, and operations staff to develop and implement financial policies and oversee financial management of the organization. Actively engage in complex fiscal management through hands-on budgetary development and oversight; Manage organizational cash flow, forecasting, and reporting; Approve expenditures as laid out in annual budget; Oversee audit and preparation of federal and state tax filings.


  • MEMBERSHIP DEVELOPMENT & SUPPORT: Guide strategic membership engagement projects and chapter development, working closely with the Director of Membership. Collaborate with staff, EC and consultants to establish processes to resolve issues and conflicts among members, chapters, and committees, using best practices that reflect the principles of the Guild.


  • STAFF DEVELOPMENT & MANAGEMENT: Ensure that onboarding, recruitment, retention, management, and compliance are carried out with excellence. Provide leadership and oversight of National Office staff; Nurture and foster staff capacity, growth, and development to best serve the Guild’s programs and mission; Supervise consultants and full-time staff working on communications, membership, research and educational programming, operations, and mass defense (protest support).


Desired Qualifications

  • Eight (8) or more years of nonprofit or organizational management and leadership experience; familiarity of and professional experience in nonprofit settings required.
  • Demonstrated success leading and stewarding organizations or programs through periods of change or growth; comfort with multi-tasking, delegating, and prioritizing among competing priorities.
  • Experience leading or collaborating with a Board of Directors.
  • Proven ability to nurture and sustain relationships with mission-aligned donors.
  • Superb written and oral communication skills, with experience communicating diplomatically, clearly, concisely, and effectively one-on-one and in large groups.
  • A collaborative leadership style that fosters both effective teamwork and shared accountability. Experience managing virtual teams is a plus.
  • Strong relationship-building and conflict resolution skills and the ability to authentically listen, engender trust, and act with intentionality.
  • Competence in reading, creating, and understanding financial documents, including budgets, cash flow, income statements, balance statements, and statements of functional expenses. Understand the basics of 990 tax returns, audits, and compliance.


Required Qualification

  • An unwavering commitment to Guild principles (including, but not limited to, anti-racism, anti-imperialism, anti-capitalism, and anti-oppression), with an ability to serve as an exemplar for the organization's values and to foster an inclusive and respectful workplace.


Work Environment

The work environment described here is representative of what an employee will encounter while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with different abilities to perform the essential functions.


  • Job largely takes place remotely, with virtual collaboration with other staff and members. Must be able to participate in online virtual communications including email and video conferencing used to facilitate virtual office culture and work sharing.
  • This position is full-time and exempt. This position requires availability during core office hours of 12:30pm - 5:30pm Eastern Time. Work on evenings and weekends as needed.
  • Must be able to conduct business in English; however, fluency in languages other than English is a plus.
  • Some work at off-site locations required (i.e., annual convention, National Executive Committee meetings) once it is safe to travel; the NLG aims for accessibility in any off-site location.
  • This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, and webcams. Employees are regularly required to communicate effectively via computer, via phone, and in person.

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