The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. (PLAN) seeks a visionary, strategic, and collaborative attorney to serve as its next Executive Director.

Founded in 1973, PLAN is a client-centered nonprofit organization established to improve the availability and quality of civil legal aid for low income people and victims of domestic violence in Pennsylvania. PLAN provides leadership, technical assistance, training, and support to nine regional legal aid programs, serving eligible clients in every county, and six specialized legal aid programs, providing legal services in specialized areas of the law or to special groups of eligible clients.  PLAN also administers funding from a variety of sources to help fund legal services groups across the state. The Executive Director is based in Harrisburg.

About the Executive Director position:

PLAN’s Executive Director is responsible for:

  • Visionary, strategic, collaborative leadership to accomplish PLAN’s mission to improve the availability and quality of civil legal aid for low income people and victims of domestic violence
  • Knowledgeable advocacy and lobbying on behalf of low income clients and communities, and PLAN network organizations, in the legislature, in the media, and elsewhere as appropriate
  • Establishment of effective systems for the delivery of high quality legal services, and grantee financial and programmatic accountability
  • Successful management of the $31 million PLAN network in accordance with the policies and programmatic decisions of the PLAN Board of Directors and the requirements of funders
  • Ensuring PLAN’s fiscal integrity and growing the support to the network
  • Ensuring that client voices are heard and incorporated at all levels
  • Modeling culturally competent leadership and strengthening the commitment to hiring, recruiting, and retaining diverse staff in inclusive and equitable work environments throughout Pennsylvania
  • Liaising with the State Bar of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Pennsylvania IOLTA Board, state and national access to justice entities, and philanthropic organizations such as the American Bar Association IOLTA Commission, National Association of IOLTA Programs, National Legal Aid and Defender Association, Legal Services Corporation, and other relevant entities as appropriate

Qualifications of the Executive Director:

  • Juris Doctor degree and admission to the Pennsylvania Bar, or the ability to obtain admission following employment
  • Broad and deep public interest legal experience across a range of issues
  • Demonstrated understanding of legislative and executive-level public policy issues and processes
  • Demonstrated skills as an effective relationship builder and collaborator in networks such as agencies, judiciary, elected officials, grantee, local bars, social services, present and potential funders, the public at large, and client communities
  • Significant meaningful experience in management necessary to direct PLAN’s operations, manage staff, and oversee large budgets, with legal aid or nonprofit experience preferred
  • Experience working productively with a highly engaged board of directors
  • Knowledge of nonprofit budgeting, financial functions, grant dispersal processes, and compliance
  • A track record of fundraising success
  • Ability to manage wide-ranging responsibilities and to assist others in managing their responsibilities in a demanding environment
  • Outstanding communication skills orally and in writing with a range of audiences and stakeholders
  • Experience working effectively with multiple organizations and individuals with diverse perspectives
  • Experience with relevant technology and its application to effective communication and efficient delivery of services
  • Ability to bring vision, integrity, courage, intelligence, creativity, energy, humor, and compassion to the challenges of this demanding position

Application Process:

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. To receive full consideration, candidates are urged to submit their application by August 12, 2019. Please submit a letter expressing your interest in the position, your qualifications, and what you hope to contribute to the organization’s future.  Please include a résumé and the names and contact information for three professional references.  Applications will be held in confidence during the initial stages of the process.

Materials should be submitted electronically to in Microsoft Word or pdf format.

PLAN offers a competitive salary depending on experience and excellent benefits. PLAN is an Affirmative Action Employer.

PLAN is assisted in the search by Patricia Pap, Executive Director, Management Information Exchange, 105 Chauncy St., Fl 6, Ste 3, Boston, MA 02111, 508-737-4010,  Candidates with questions about the position or process are encouraged to contact her.

About Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc.:

The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. (PLAN) helps make possible the delivery of free legal services to low-income Pennsylvanians by providing strategic leadership and coordination for the nine independent, regional legal aid programs and six specialized legal aid programs that together comprise the Network.

PLAN’s vision is of equal access to justice for those who have nowhere else to turn, where every low-income individual and family in Pennsylvania will have access to the full range of civil legal services and legal remedies. It believes in a coordinated and compassionate, client-centered legal aid delivery system offering a continuum of critically needed legal information, legal advice, and legal services through direct representation on problems affecting basic needs such as food, shelter, employment, consumer issues, health care, and family safety.

PLAN administers funding from major government sources to the legal aid programs of the network. This funding includes state appropriations of state and federal funds (generally, the state appropriation, the Disability Advocacy Program funding, and the Social Services Block Grant funds), funding of the Pennsylvania IOLTA Board (generally, IOLTA revenues and filing fee revenues), and other special funds that may arise from time to time (e.g., NeighborWorks funds, stimulus funds, and Department of Community and Economic Development funds). PLAN does not administer or receive funding from the Legal Services Corporation but works closely with this major federal funder. PLAN also receives occasional special grants from foundations and other donors to support the work of PLAN and to support the PLAN programs.

In addition to its role as an overseer of funding for the PLAN programs and administering that funding, PLAN also offers some direct programs and services. It administers the Martin Luther King, Jr. Internship and Fellowship programs, helping to promote diversity by paying law students and by paying one-half the cost of law graduates to be placed at PLAN programs. Also, PLAN provides a large range of training for staff of PLAN programs, other public interest lawyers, and pro bono lawyers, including an annual statewide conference. PLAN hosts and keeps current, statewide and websites. PLAN assists programs with resource development and communications. PLAN hosts an annual Excellence Award banquet to celebrate the excellence of legal aid staff and those who support access to justice.

PLAN administers $31 million – $29 million of which is distributed through the PLAN network, and $2 million of which is its internal budget.

PLAN is a nonprofit organization with an active and engaged board of directors comprised of low-income clients, lawyers appointed by the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and other members. Each of the PLAN’s member legal aid programs has an independent board of directors that sets service priorities.

For more information about PLAN, visit: