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Posted 2 years ago

ABOUT: Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid (MMLA) is seeking an executive director to lead the organization in achieving its mission of improving the lives of people in need through the delivery of legal representation services in individual cases and additional systemic legal and policy advocacy. Our work delivers justice to people, breaks the cycle of poverty, ensures fairness, and gets results that change lives! To learn more about our work, visit our website or our Facebook page.

As an Equal Opportunity employer, MMLA is committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff. We strongly encourage candidates of all identities, experiences, and communities to apply. We welcome information about how your experience can contribute to serving out diverse client communities.

The next executive director will lead a 170-person program in 7 offices, including over 75 attorneys. The position is based in Minneapolis. As MMLA transitions back to an office environment, it will be a hybrid model with all staff, including the executive director, able to work up to 3 days per week remotely. The executive director will work with MMLA’s dedicated and talented staff and board to deliver legal representation to people in the communities MMLA serves, implement new strategies to meet ever-evolving community needs, and diversify our funding sources. Learn more about our cases, projects, and financial overview in our annual report.

THE PROGRAM: MMLA is an urban-rural program serving 20 counties of central Minnesota — including Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis — on poverty law issues and statewide service on disability law through the Minnesota Disability Law Center (MDLC), the state’s Protection and Advocacy system for Minnesotans with disabilities. Its service area runs from the Wisconsin to the South Dakota border. In addition, MMLA includes Legal Services State Support, a statewide project that provides CLE training for Minnesota’s legal aid system and manages three websites: a public resource website for clients, a support website for pro bono attorneys, and an online advice website. MMLA also includes the Legal Services Advocacy Project, which advocates at the legislature for policies to assist Minnesotans from low-income backgrounds.

MMLA has a 108-year history of and commitment to providing a full range of client services to protect people’s most basic civil and human rights, including class actions and legislative representation. Substantive practice areas include housing, public benefits, family, consumer, senior law, youth law, tax, and immigration. While much of this work is done from the MMLA offices, there are multiple Medical/Legal Partnerships and other community-based partnerships which site attorneys in locations accessed by clients. MMLA has experienced staff and program leadership amongst its 7 offices.

Currently, MMLA has over $16 million in funding from over 40 sources, public and private. MMLA enjoys a good rapport with, and strong support from, the organized bar. A key funding source for MMLA is The Fund for Legal Aid. The Fund’s mission is to raise money from the legal community for the benefit of MMLA. MMLA does not receive Legal Services Corporation (LSC) funding but works closely with Central Minnesota Legal Services (CMLS), the LSC program which shares its service area. The legal aid organizations in Minnesota have a long history of effective collaboration on matters including fundraising, training, substantive legal issues, and community education.


  • Apply the principles of MMLA’s Racial Justice Values statement in all interactions
  • Serve as the public face of MMLA by providing leadership in local and state legal aid forums and engaging with the Minnesota Judicial Branch, the private bar, the justice community, and other community leaders
  • Develop and cultivate relationships with individual and corporate donors, foundations, the State Legislature, and other funders to increase and diversify MMLA’s financial resources
  • Direct MMLA’s advocacy and promote collaborative teamwork among MMLA programs, staff, and services
  • Promote collaboration with other legal aid providers and human services organizations in the region and state
  • Develop strategies to close the gaps in available legal services to our client communities
  • Administer and direct a staff of more than 170 people, including recruiting and retaining high quality staff, managing an effective leadership team, implementing technological upgrades and innovations, and working closely with the MMLA Board of Directors and The Fund for Legal Aid

QUALIFICATIONS: The ideal candidate will have personal qualities that include integrity, commitment to MMLA’s mission, and the ability to inspire and motivate. In addition, the candidate must have:

  • Minimum of ten years of legal practice
  • Must be licensed to practice law in Minnesota or eligible for admission by reciprocity
  • Management experience, including supervision, feedback and evaluations, delegation, and conflict resolution
  • Demonstrated commitment and dedication to providing high quality legal assistance to people from low-income backgrounds and/or people with disabilities
  • Demonstrated success in leadership
  • Successful fundraising experience, such as grants, corporate and individual giving
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills with a variety of stakeholders
  • Tech savvy and commitment to leveraging technology to improve and expand legal services
  • Proficiency using Microsoft Office required
  • Diverse economic, social, or cultural experiences preferred

SALARY: Depends on experience, plus benefits, including excellent paid time-off allowances, medical, dental, and retirement plans


APPLICATIONS: Submit a resume, cover letter explaining interest in this position, three job-related references, and salary requirements BY EMAIL to Application materials are preferred by August 6th, 2021, but will be accepted until the position is filled. Materials can be addressed to:

Lisa Cohen

Deputy Director, Operations

Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid

111 North Fifth Street, Suite 100

Minneapolis, MN 55403

No calls please.

Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.

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