Executive Director Legal Services of North Dakota

Legal Services of North Dakota (LSND) seeks an Executive Director to lead our statewide civil legal aid organization, dedicated to providing excellent legal services and advocacy on behalf of low-income and elderly North Dakotans.

LSND serves 53 counties and three Indian reservations in North Dakota. The program operates with a staff of 21 (composed of eight attorneys, seven paralegals, and six administrative staff). LSND maintains branch offices in Bismarck, Fargo, Minot, and New Town. It also operates a small office on Turtle Mountain Reservation, runs a bi- monthly outreach on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation, and partners with the Red River Valley Community Action Center in Grand Forks as an outreach site. The administrative headquarters is located in Bismarck.

LSND has developed a reputation for excellence and is a leader both in providing individual representation to low-income people in need, and in pursuing systemic change to address the problems faced by low income communities, and poverty in North Dakota.

The Successful Executive Director candidate will:

  • Lead ongoing planning efforts and implementation of the program’s strategic plan to ensure the continued thoughtful development of LSND programs and policies;
  • Develop a collegial working relationship with Board/Committee members providing vision and leadership about issues and activities;
  • Engage and inspire staff members, board members, clients and other stakeholders in development and implementation of the organizational mission;
  • Ensure the continued provision of high quality legal assistance and effective systemic advocacy, with an emphasis on excellence and creativity;
  • Recruit, hire, train, supervise and evaluate staff in accordance with organizational policies;
  • Supervise, empower and support staff as appropriate to deliver programs and identify opportunities for staff leadership development and foster means for staff professional development;
  • ·Protect and maintain LSND’s culture as one of transparency, integrity, inclusiveness, openness and support for clients, staff, Board members and supporters;
  • Maintain LSND’s leadership role among county, state and national poverty advocacy organizations and coordinating its work with those groups;
  • Ensure the organization’s financial health and stability by developing and maintaining sound financial planning and management systems, including preparation of budgets and oversight of financial systems and controls;
  • Ensure compliance with funder expectations and contractual and grant requirements;
  • Ensure the long-term sustainability of LSND through active leadership of a diversified resource development program focused on individual gifts, foundation grants, and government grants and contracts;
  • Work closely with the senior leadership team and other staff to ensure programmatic goals are met;
  • Maintain and grow an effective communications program designed to continually enhance LSND’s profile in philanthropic and legal communities, including the development of high quality annual reports.

The Executive Director must:

  • Have a Juris Doctorate degree from an accredited law school and a current North Dakota bar license or the ability to be licensed;
  • Be passionate about the mission of LSND and demonstrate a commitment to providing legal services to low-income and elderly persons statewide;
  • Possess exceptional leadership skills;
  • Have substantial management experience in a successful legal services or similar organization;
  • Demonstrate a track record of fundraising success of possess a desire to receive training in fundraising;
  • Possess the highest ethical standards and excellent communication skills;
  • Demonstrate experience in nonprofit budgeting, compliance, finance and fiscal controls;
  • Have experience in building a team environment, encouraging professional development of staff, and supporting staff in the program’s work;·
  • Serve as a public voice for LSND’s low-income, elderly, and Native American population. Be able to travel as necessary and have a valid driver’s license; and
  • Articulate a vision for LSND, and its importance to North Dakota.


Screening of applicants begins immediately and will continue until the time of selection. Interested candidates should submit a letter expressing in detail why they are interested in the position of Executive Director of Legal Services of North Dakota, as well as what they believe they can contribute to the future of LSND and its client community. The letter should be accompanied by a current resume, contact information for three references, salary history, and any compensation requirements.

Materials may be submitted electronically to wrhoads@legalassist.org in Microsoft Word, Word Perfect, or PDF. Materials may also be submitted to the following address:

Legal Services of North Dakota
Attn. Willa Rhoads
418 E. Broadway #7
Bismarck, ND 58501

Salary depends on experience based on a competitive public interest salary scale. Benefits include a generous leave policy, excellent family health insurance, life & disability insurance, and a retirement plan.

Legal Services of North Dakota is an equal opportunity employer that strives to enhance its ability to develop a diverse staff and to increase its potential to serve a diverse community. All applications are welcomed and encouraged and will receive consideration.