The provision of legal aid services to indigent persons is an important component of the state’s responsibility to provide for the proper and effective administration of justice. The mission of the Office of Civil Legal Aid is to secure, invest, and oversee the use of public funding for civil legal aid to low-income people in Washington State and to ensure accountability for public funds dedicated to this purpose. https://ocla.wa.gov. OCLA embraces the Washington State Supreme Court’s June 4, 2020 “Call to Action” to the judiciary and broader legal community to identify and address systemic policies, practices, laws, and rules that perpetuate bias and unfairness in the Washington state law and justice system.
OCLA is an agency in significant transition. From 2005 through 2014 OCLA was a single purpose entity, administering, contracting, and overseeing contracts for general legal aid services. OCLA’s responsibilities have expanded dramatically in recent years. Recognizing OCLA’s essential role and the compelling need for civil legal aid services, the Washington State Legislature expanded OCLA’s mandate to support legal aid to victims of crime and domestic violence, children in foster care, kinship caregivers, indigent tenants facing eviction, families and communities disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and individuals reentering society following completion of their terms of incarceration. OCLA administers an annual budget of $52.5M in state and federal funds with a current staff of 8 FTEs. Staffing is expected to grow to 13 FTEs by June 2023.
In concert with this growth, OCLA has embraced a deliberate process to create an internal equity plan, establish an anti-racist culture, and to intentionally listen, learn, and take action to meet the challenges outlined in the Supreme Court’s June 4, 2020 open letter referenced above. The DoO will be a principal guardian of these values and related implementation activities.
The credibility, past performance, and institutional history of OCLA form a strong foundation for continuing programmatic expansion. Capturing this knowledge and developing forward-looking operational, administrative, and human resources systems to maximize performance consistent with the agency’s mission and core equity and accountability responsibilities, represent the essence of this job, in step with day-to-day operations management.
OCLA is an independent agency in the state judicial branch. While vigilantly adhering to necessary regulatory and performance standards that are a key element of our credibility, we operate as a team of colleagues. Our equity-informed caring and supportive culture is our great strength. Our transparency and our appetite to learn and transform systems that cause or perpetuate disparate harm to low-income people and communities in Washington State continue to make us stronger.
The Director of Operations (DoO) will report directly to the agency Director. The DoO will be the senior administrative officer, responsible for day-to-day agency operations including, but not limited to, regulatory accountability; program oversight and strategic planning; budget development, planning and tracking; design and management of data systems and data analysis; and conduct of operations consistent with the agency’s mission and equity commitments. They will ensure that the planning, execution, and administration of all OCLA programs, services and systems are in alignment.
Key duties include:
• Oversee and ensure effective coordination of all core client service programs, contracts, and vendor relations.
• Assist the OCLA Director, OCLA Director of Programs, and program managers with overall agency and programmatic budget development and expenditure tracking.
• Establish and maintain uniform systems and templates for equity-informed agency contracting and procurement practices.
• Working with the Director of Programs, develop and implement strategic data collection and analytic capacities consistent with each program’s focus and overall agency equity values and performance commitments.
• Develop budget proposals and engage with relevant legislative policy leads and budget writers, legislative staff, and others to ensure effective and successful representation of the agency’s budget requests and, where appropriate, policy positions.
• Represent the agency in judicial branch and other task forces, work groups, and planning committee on matters that affect the agency’s core mission and responsibilities.
• Manage and oversee the OCLA support team.
Qualifications and Application
We are seeking a DoO with relevant experience administering a governmental entity or large not-for-profit organization and a passionate commitment to the agency’s equity and justice mission, values, and commitments. The DoO will have the opportunity to make a measurable and sustainable difference in the lives of those most harmed by the civil justice and related law and justice systems and who are least able to access critically needed civil legal assistance and representation.
Candidates should have a successful track record in administration, budgeting, human resources, governmental contracts management, systems development, implementation, and measurement. Candidates should have the ability to align operations and systems in pursuit of overall institutional goals and to manage a small yet complex and diverse organization in a progressive, entrepreneurial, and anti-racist manner. An advanced degree in management, public administration or a related field is preferred. At the same time, OCLA recognizes that requirements for traditional credentials often perpetuate preferences for those who have benefitted from social and positional privilege. Consequently, OCLA encourages and welcomes applications from candidates who bring other relevant experience that demonstrates their ability to meet and deliver on the challenges the DoO will face.
Compensation and Benefits
Salary: $135,000 - $143,000 Annually DOQ
Benefits: Paid medical/dental, life insurance, and long-term disability insurance programs
Leave: Paid vacation and sick leave benefits
Retirement: Employer contributions to state retirement benefits
Click here for more benefit information
Thurston or Pierce County, Washington highly preferred. Other locations subject to negotiation.
The Office of Civil Legal Aid (OCLA) is committed to equity and inclusion in hiring and employment practices and full compliance with federal and state equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination laws. OCLA strongly encourages members of diverse and historically disfavored and underrepresented demographic communities to apply. OCLA will not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, citizenship, or immigration status; families with children; gender (including gender identify and gender expression); marital status; sexual orientation; age; veteran or military status; the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability (actual or perceived); or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Individuals needing reasonable accommodation for the application or interview process should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
OCLA believes in providing substantial professional flexibility consistent with necessary accountability considerations. We also support Washington State greenhouse gas reduction efforts. We therefore take a generous approach to telecommunication and remote work activity.
Please submit a cover letter, resume, and not more than four references to email@example.com
Our consultant, Ted Ford Webb, is available to provide background and conversation about this search. He can be reached at the email address above.