Executive Director – King County Bar Association

  • Nonprofit Full Time
  • Washington
  • City: Seattle

Website King County Bar Association

Excellence, equity, and diversity in legal and judicial systems

  1. King County Bar Association
    Seattle, Washington

Position Profile:
Executive Director

The King County Bar Association (KCBA) is seeking an experienced leader who is passionate about access to justice and promoting excellence, equity, diversity and accessibility in the legal profession and judicial systems. The new Executive Director will strengthen and grow this award-winning organization that for 137 years has sought to harness its voice and its authority to champion justice, influence public policy, promote an excellent judiciary, and educate the public as well as legal professionals.
The new Executive Director will inherit an organization with a broad and diverse program portfolio including pro bono legal services; neighborhood legal clinics; attorney information and referral services; continuing legal education programming; support of new lawyers; proactive strategies to advance diversity in the profession through working with law schools, law students and members of the bar; supporting a strong judicial bench through candidate evaluation ratings; and promotion of judicial ethics, and advocacy through member resolutions, amicus briefs and lobbying.  The position will oversee a staff of 77 professionals and engage over 4800 members and 1000 pro bono volunteers.  The position also oversees the nonprofit King County Bar Foundation (KCBF), for which KCBA serves as the contracted administrator.

Organizational Overview
KCBA Mission:  The King County Bar Association (KCBA) promotes and supports a diverse and collegial membership; works with the judiciary to achieve excellence, equity, and accessibility in the administration of justice; and benefits the community through public service and engagement in public policy.
KCBF Mission: The King County Bar Foundation (KCBF) is a 501(c)3 organization managed by KCBA whose mission is to promote access to the legal system and to advance diversity in the legal profession.
With 19 active committees, 16 sections and two supporting organizations, KCBA is the largest voluntary bar association in Washington and one of the most active local bar associations in the United States. Over the past century plus, KCBA has engaged the regional legal community and provided access to legal services and legal justice, addressed challenges and strengthened the judicial system, and provided for its members and others professional training and education, infrastructure and business referrals to promote successful law practices.  KCBA is proud of its status as a leading Washington State legal entity advocating for the rights of people of color, the LGBTQ community, immigrants and all marginalized groups, and for people for whom legal representation is normally inaccessible.
The organization’s founding and more recent history focuses heavily on addressing civil rights and systemic racism through policy resolutions, advocacy, and legal reports, and its efforts to diversify the bar, winning the Goldmark Award from Legal Foundation of WA in 2011 for its 125-year+ commitment to civil legal aid and social justice.  Committed to promoting access to justice for vulnerable, marginalized, and historically underserved client communities, KCBA facilitates direct pro bono service as part of the statewide Alliance for Equal Justice.

Access to Justice/Legal Services:  KCBA/KCBF are dedicated to helping low-income residents in King County through many pro bono programs, including:
·       Neighborhood Legal Clinics: 30 clinics across King County that provide free 30-minute consultations and referrals.
·       The Records Project: Provides direct representation by volunteer attorneys to low-income residents of King County who have convictions that are eligible to be vacated.
·       Family Law Program: Free legal assistance for third party custody cases, cases where the children are at risk, and uncontested family law actions.
·       Housing Justice Project: KCBA’s Housing Justice Project (HJP) is a homelessness prevention program thatprovides free legal assistance to renters facing eviction in King County.  HJP is the largest of KCBA’s pro bono legal services program, with a staff of over 40 professionals.
·       KCBF:  The Foundation supports pro bono (free) legal services to low-income people by funding both direct legal services by KCBA staff attorneys and programs that coordinate the delivery of legal services by volunteer attorneys from the Association’s membership. In the 2021-2022 fiscal year, the Foundation provided the KCBA with over $1 million in funding for such services.
Advancing Diversity in the Legal Profession
·       KCBA maintains several programs aimed at creating and maintaining diversity in the legal profession based on over 135 years commitment to diversity through partnerships with Minority Bar Associations, advocating in judicial and legislative forums, supporting KCBA staff Race Equity and KCBA membership Anti-Racism & Equity Committees, and fostering efforts to grow KCBA’s impact towards justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
·       The KCBF provides scholarships for minority law students at the University of Washington and Seattle University law schools, offers financial support to diverse undergraduate students and recent graduates taking the LSAT, and provides several additional areas of focus to advance diversity in the legal profession.
Services for Members
KCBA’s Member Service and Continuing Legal Education Departments offer over 100 seminars each year for attorneys. KCBA offers many networking opportunities to its members, including socials, the annual awards celebration and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. luncheon. The organization’s monthly newspaper, the Bar Bulletin, features articles about substantive areas of the law as well as information about KCBA programs and activities. Attorneys enjoy a variety of benefits through membership in the organization, including group insurance plans and discounts on services and products. The Lawyer Referral Service, with over 6000 referrals made a year, benefits both the public and KCBA members who register for the service.

The Position and Key Priorities
The new Executive Director will inherit a 501c(6) professional association with a long history of championing justice.  KCBA operates a large organization and portfolio, including a staff of 77 professionals, 19 working committees and 16 sections, and an $8.5M budget with healthy financial reserves.  The Executive Director reports to a 17-member Board of Trustees and the organization serves as the contracted manager of the King County Bar Foundation.
The new Executive Director will also inherit an organization in transition, including rapid growth of the Housing Justice Project, the subsequent near doubling of staff and resources in the past few years, and the potential of HJP spinning off as a separate organization.  In addition, KCBA shifted to almost totally remote work during the pandemic, the staff has recently unionized, and the organization has launched DEI initiatives and discussions that have begun but remain in early phases.

The ED will initially need to build relationships and trust with the staff, board and community contacts, including judges, attorneys, and legislative members, and serve as the public face of the organization. Building upon these foundational relationships, the new ED will need to facilitate teamwork to address the following key priorities in their first 18-24 months:
Ø  Collaborate with the Board of Directors and Executive Leadership Team to clarify desired governance philosophy and board-staff communication protocols, to be able to best leverage the significant expertise of the board, staff and committees.
Ø  Develop the staff team by analyzing staff roles and responsibilities, including building a strong leadership team, restructuring as appropriate, and strengthening communication, collaboration and teamwork among departments, teams and functions.
Ø  Facilitate a collaborative process with the Board and staff to develop an updated strategic plan for the organization as a whole and for each of the programs, including specific targets and goals for each function.
Ø  Activate and advance the Anti-racism statement and continue to work on diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the organization(s) with a priority to facilitate consistent application of these principles across KCBA’s and KCBF’s people, policies, and processes.
Ø  Facilitate development of a rational approach to the balance of on-site and remote work, in a process with staff and Board.  Determine what office space may be needed when the current lease expires in less than two years.

Essential Experience, Skills and Attributes
KCBA is seeking an experienced association leader with a passion for social justice, and an engaging and collaborative leadership style.  The ideal candidate will have the following experience, skills and attributes:
Ø  Excellent people management and executive leadership experience in a medium to large nonprofit organization with both volunteers and paid staff.
Ø  A track record leading and managing a mission-driven organization, ideally a professional association, with multiple programs and departments.  Experience bringing diverse groups into alignment with the mission goals, strategic plan and with each other, and with managing associated relationships.
Ø  Demonstrated skill leading an organization through a significant change, transition and/or culture shift.
Ø  Certified Association Executive (CAE) or experience with, and understanding of, the field of law and law practice preferred.
Ø  Strong understanding of, and commitment to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, and demonstrated ability to apply these principles in an organization.
Ø  A successful track record of fostering an environment of mutual accountability, collaboration and inclusivity among organizational staff and board in order to maintain a trusting and collaborative work environment.
Ø  Strong business and financial management skills.
Ø  Experience working with a union, and with a unionized culture.
Ø  Excellent communication skills, including listening, experience making presentations at large events, and ability to converse with dignity and respect with strong, talented colleagues who may have different opinions.
Ø  Experience working with a nonprofit board of directors to clarify roles in order to successfully govern the organization.

Job Requirements
●      Ability to travel locally and nationally
●      Willing to take a criminal background check
$195,000-$225,000 base salary depending on experience plus a performance bonus of up to 10% of base salary for fulfilling organizational priorities as noted above. Benefits include health insurance coverage through Premera Blue Cross, and dental, vision, life, short- and long-term disability insurance. KCBA also provides a 4% employer match to a 401(k) retirement program, an Employee Assistance Program, 3 weeks’ vacation in first year, rising to 4 weeks’ vacation after one year, and 16 paid holiday days.

Application Process
KCBA has retained Glick Davis & Associates, LLC to facilitate this search on their behalf. To apply, interested candidates should e-mail their cover letter and resume to: KCBA@glickdavis.com.  Resume(s) received without cover letter will not be considered.
The KCBA is committed to upholding an equity and justice-based organizational environment for the public, the client communities it serves, its members, its Board, its staff, and its volunteers. This means the organization actively promotes mutual respect, acceptance, teamwork, and productivity among people who are diverse in work background; lived and professional experience; education; race and ethnicity; national origin; sexual orientation; age; indigenous group membership; religious preference; marital status; sensory, mental, and physical abilities; social class; gender identity; veteran status, as well as other differences relevant to equity and justice. The resulting diversity is both a source of organizational strength and a matter of fundamental human fairness

To apply for this job email your details to KCBA@glickdavis.com

You can apply to this job and others using your online resume. Click the link below to submit your online resume and email your application to this employer.

Go Back