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Executive Director - Lakeshore Legal Aid (LLA) - Detroit, MI

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Lakeshore Legal Aid (LLA) seeks a new executive director to lead the organization.

LLA is a Legal Services Corporation-funded program providing legal services to low income persons and seniors in seventeen southeast Michigan counties, including the City of Detroit.

LLA has been providing legal services for 53 years and has a distinguished history of providing broad access to services for individual clients, of working closely with community organizations and the courts, and of engaging in impact advocacy on a state and national level. LLA has approximately 140 staff persons in 16 locations with an annual budget exceeding $10 million. The mission statement of LLA is “Standing with our neighbors, Lakeshore Legal Aid fights poverty and injustice through advocacy and by providing meaningful and dignified access to the legal system.” See for more information about LLA.

William Knight has been the successful and respected executive director of LLA for 20 years and has announced that he will be retiring in the near future and in no case later than December 31, 2019. The new executive director will succeed Mr. Knight and will assume the strategic and day-to-day management of LLA, including visioning and leading substantive advocacy, financial and operational management, fund development, and regulatory compliance. The new executive director will be the public face of LLA and will represent the program to the courts, the private bar, government officials, client and community organizations, funders and donors. LLA is governed by a board of directors of 9 individuals—the new executive will work closely with and support the board as it governs the program.

The successful candidate will need to demonstrate a commitment to high quality advocacy for low income persons and communities; the candidate will also need to demonstrate a strong commitment to the leadership of an organization that is well-managed operationally and fiscally and values organizational and personal integrity.

It is preferred that candidates have a minimum of 5 years leadership experience in a legal services programs and/or non-profits providing services to low income persons or other comparable leadership experience; are a member of the Michigan Bar (or a member of the bar of another state with the ability to become a member of the Michigan bar promptly); have experience and a passion for working with low income persons and communities; have demonstrated expertise in poverty law; have demonstrated the capacity to work with non-profit boards; and have demonstrated the capacity to work with a broad range of stakeholders and cultures.

It is anticipated that there will be only a short time of transition between the hiring of the new executive director and Mr. Knight’s full retirement. Depending upon the wishes and needs of the new executive director, it may be possible to have Mr. Knight remain as a consultant to his successor for a limited period of time.

The hiring decision will be made by the LLA board. Those interested in the position should send an application letter and detailed resume to Thomas W. Linn, Lakeshore Legal Aid Board President, at or by mail or other delivery service to Mr. Linn at Miller Canfield Paddock and Stone, 150 West Jefferson, Suite 2500, Detroit, Michigan 48226. In the letter, applicants are encouraged to highlight skills and accomplishments which would make them a successful leader of LLA. All applications will be acknowledged. While the position will remain open until filled, applications are requested on or before May 24, 2019.

LLA is an equal opportunity employer. Women, minorities and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

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Date Posted: Apr 30, 2019