Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. Seeks Executive Director


Position:  Executive Director | Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. 

Basic Function:  Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. seeks a full-time Executive Director to direct the firm=s overall legal and administrative operations.  The Executive Director is based in the Milwaukee Office, 230 West Wells Street, Room 800, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. is a non-profit law firm funded by the federal Legal Services Corporation, the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation, the Office of Crime Victim=s Services, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, and other sources.  Legal Action provides free civil legal aid to low-income persons in the southern 39 counties of Wisconsin.  To serve its eligible client population, Legal Action maintains full-time offices in Milwaukee, Madison, Racine, Oshkosh, Green Bay, and La Crosse.  In addition, Legal Action operates a statewide farmworker project. Legal Action has an annual budget of $11 million and a staff of 120 employees consisting of 80 attorneys, 20 paralegals, 14 support staff and 6 exempt staff.  The firm has approximately 13,500 active cases during each year. 

Legal Action prides itself in aggressively addressing the legal needs of its clients, and it has a long history of systemic litigation as well as individual casework.

Legal Action attorneys have expertise in a range of substantive areas, but the majority of direct representation is in the areas of housing, income maintenance, family law, consumer and barriers to employment.  Staff attorneys are expected to maintain a direct service caseload on behalf of individual and group clients, as well as to engage in strategic advocacy.  Attorneys are expected to specialize in specific areas of poverty law.  For additional information, please see the firm=s website at 


Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

The Executive Director, based in Milwaukee, is responsible for the overall supervision and management of Legal Action, including oversight of the program's case priorities and legal work; attorney recruitment and supervisory system; community/public relations, including liaison with local and state bar associations and with  the national legal aid community; personnel and financial management; grant compliance and reporting; fund development; and liaison with Board of Directors.  The Director is directly assisted by the Director of Advocacy, CFO, Associate Director and Director of HR as well as support staff.  Each Legal Action office has a managing attorney who is responsible for the daily operation of that office. 


The Executive Director may be assigned other duties by the Board of Directors from time to time.


Competencies Required:

Applicants should possess the ability to understand the complexity of a legal aid firm and a strong commitment to providing high quality legal aid to the firm=s clients in service and strategic advocacy through litigation, administrative advocacy and legislative advocacy: the vision to look ahead at the challenges facing legal aid and our clients in the future and the ability to communicate that vision to staff, board members, and the community; significant experience in program/legal management and administration.  Demonstrated ability to lead an organization through change and growth.  Ability to maintain a positive and strong organizational culture that attracts and retains creative, competent and committed staff.  

Prior legal aid or other relevant experience is preferred but not required. Prior executive level experience managing a multi-million dollar, multi-office organization is preferred but not required.  A law degree is preferred.  Legal Action has an affirmative action plan for the hiring of members of minority groups and women.  While academic training and performance as well as the nature and extent of prior experience are considered, review of the applications will also consider the applicant's knowledge and understanding of the legal problems and needs of low-income persons, commitment to providing legal services to such persons, prior legal work in the client community or in other programs to aid the poor, ability to communicate with persons in the client community who speak a language other than English as their principal language (eg: Spanish), and cultural affinity with the client community.

Legal Action requires a personal commitment to legal aid work and a high commitment to providing quality and aggressive representation in service cases and in impact work.  Applicants must have in depth knowledge and understanding of local, state and federal issues impacting legal aid firms and their clients.

Applicants must be able to communicate both orally and in writing in a clear and concise manner and work harmoniously with others. 


Salary and Benefits:

Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. This position receives a management stipend in addition to a base salary.  The position currently includes a full fringe benefit package with health, dental, life and long-term disability insurance, a retirement plan, plus four weeks of vacation leave per year.  The position is governed by an employment agreement negotiated between the Board and the Executive Director.  For issues not addressed in the employment agreement, the position is governed by the Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. Personnel Policies which are subject to unilateral change by the Legal Action Board of Directors. 


Application Procedure: 

Persons interested in applying for this position should submit a cover letter, résumé summarizing their experience and qualifications, names and contact information for three references, and a writing sample.  Applicants may e-mail the items to or mail them to:


Mr. Ben Obregon, Board President

Executive Director Search Committee

Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc.

230 West Wells Street, Room 800

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53203


When using email, all attachments must be in PDF. 

All applications and accompanying materials will remain confidential until a candidate is notified that serious consideration of an application requires disclosure of candidacy. 


Deadline to Apply:

The positions will be open until filled. To assure consideration, please submit application materials as soon as possible. Review of the applications will begin as early as February 15, 2019.


Diversity Statement:  Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.