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Legal Aid Seeks Director of Finance and Administrative Operations

Posted October 4, 2021
1:00 am

Founded in 1905, The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland (Legal Aid) is the fifth oldest legal aid organization in the United States. It operates four offices and serves residents of Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, and Lorain counties. The organization carries out its mission every day by providing legal services at no cost to clients with low incomes, helping ensure fairness for all in the justice system—regardless of how much money a person has.

Legal Aid handles cases that impact basic needs such as health, shelter and safety, economics and education, and access to justice. Its attorneys practice in the areas of consumer rights, domestic violence, education, employment, family law, health, housing, foreclosure, immigration, public benefits, utilities, and tax. The organization is comprised of highly passionate, knowledgeable, and experienced professionals including over 65 attorneys, 55 other staff, and more than 3,000 volunteer lawyers, of which 500 are engaged in a case or clinic annually.

In the United States, individuals and families in poverty do have the same legal rights as wealthier families. But without representation from a knowledgeable attorney, their rights are often not exercised. The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland is the only nonprofit dedicated to addressing the civil legal needs of Northeast Ohio residents who are poor, marginalized, and disenfranchised. The financial situations of Legal Aid clients are often tenuous, and their legal struggles can quickly lead to a cascade of consequences. Legal Aid’s services level the legal playing field by giving a voice to the voiceless. The resolution of legal cases can be life changing, and the organization’s work often tips the scale between shelter and homelessness, safety and danger, and economic security and poverty.

The organization is in an exciting period of growth in its number of staff, clients served, number of supporters, budget, and number, type, and complexity of grants and contracts. Since 2018, a five-year campaign to raise $15M in support of program expansion was initiated (for which over $13M has been raised to-date) and Right to Counsel-Cleveland (a partnership with United Way of Greater Cleveland) was launched. This partnership led to Cleveland becoming the fourth city in the country (and the first in the Midwest) to pass legislation ensuring free legal help to tenants with one or more children living at or below the federal poverty line who are facing eviction.


The Director of Finance and Administrative Operations leads Legal Aid’s accounting, administrative, and human resources functions to meet Legal Aid and governmental requirements and to support Legal Aid’s operations. Reporting to the Executive Director, this individual serves as a member of Legal Aid’s Executive Team and will supervise and continue to build out a team of six-to-eight finance, administrative operations, and HR staff, including two Accountants, a Bookkeeper, an HR Manager, an Operations Assistant, an HR Administrator, and a Grants & Contract Administrator. They will work with the Executive Director, Executive Team, Management Team, and members of the Board to develop and implement organizational policies and practices.


Within the first 12 to 18 months, The Director of Finance and Administrative Operations will achieve the following major objectives:

  • Establish strong trust and credibility with Executive Director, staff, and Board members
  • Thoroughly assess Legal Aid’s current Finance and Administrative Operations department, making recommendations for additional staffing and IT improvements needed to ensure optimal performance
  • Develop and implement robust and adaptable processes for organizational budgeting, future financial projections, and federal grant compliance
  • Collaborate with Executive Director, Board, and senior staff on implementing a new strategic plan


The Director of Finance and Administrative Operations will have the following primary responsibilities:


  • Prepare annual budget for organization, practice groups, and programs
  • Conduct regular financial analyses to identify trends and project revenue and expenses in future years
  • Prepare monthly financial statements
  • Maintain strict controls and compliance with GAAP and federal funding requirements
  • Prepare for annual audit (including A-133 Audit) and manage relationship with external auditor
  • Staff the Board’s Financial Oversight and Audit Committee
  • Work with Legal Aid’s Investment Advisor to manage investments
  • Prepare cash flow projections, cash balance reports, and other periodic financial reports and statements needed by the Board


  • Oversee building management, including repairs, inspections, vendor relations, reporting, and contracts
  • Manage insurance coverage
  • Manage purchasing
  • Provide oversight for existing human resources activities such as payroll, benefits, and hiring
  • Design and implement organization-wide policies and programs to support, develop, and retain employees across Legal Aid


  • Supervise, develop, and retain a team of six-to-eight high-performing finance, administrative operations, and human resources professionals, advocating for and providing individual mentorship as needed
  • Identify and advocate for additional resources needed to improve operations—including finance and administrative staffing opportunities— as Legal Aid continues to grow
  • Serve as a highly productive member of the Executive Team and Management Team, including serving as a thought partner on issues regarding Legal Aid’s ongoing success and impact


The ideal Director of Finance and Administrative Operations will bring most of the following qualifications:

  • A passion for and commitment to Legal Aid’s mission
  • At least ten years of leadership experience in finance, accounting, administrative operations, and human resources, preferably within a nonprofit setting
  • Experience directly managing and developing a team of high-performing staff
  • A desire to collaborate with executive leaders and delegate activities appropriately
  • Strong technology skills, with high proficiency in accounting and HRS software and CRM databases (MIP, Raiser’s Edge, and Paycor preferred)
  • Outstanding ability to analyze and interpret financial data
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including attentiveness to cultural needs and differences
  • Experience with federal grant compliance; knowledge of A-133 audit requirements is a plus
  • Ability and willingness to effectively translate complex financial information to non-financial colleagues
  • Experience with investments and long-term financial planning is preferred
  • Strong organizational and strategic-thinking skills, with the ability to prioritize, problem solve, meet deadlines, and work well under pressure
  • Comfort within a fast-paced and rapidly changing work environment
  • Knowledge of federal and state employment and benefit laws and government compliance
  • Strong attention to detail and accuracy
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • A bachelor’s degree in a related field or commensurate experience


Legal Aid has retained Campbell & Company to conduct this search. To be considered for this opportunity, please send a letter of interest and resume to:

The full position description can be found online here:

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