Community Legal Services seeks Executive Director

Community Legal Services (CLS), based in Phoenix, Arizona, seeks an Executive Director. CLS is a nonprofit law firm committed to increasing fairness in the civil justice system by advocating, litigating, and educating on behalf of Arizona’s most underserved communities. CLS serves Maricopa, Mohave, Yavapai, Yuma, and La Paz Counties, from offices in Phoenix, Kingman, Prescott, San Luis and Yuma. It has a budget of $7 million, supporting a staff of 80, including 28 attorneys. CLS receives funding from the Legal Services Corporation and other sources, both public and private. The Executive Director reports directly to the Board of Directors.

The CLS Executive Director will be responsible for:

  • Embracing the mission of CLS and engaging and inspiring Staff, Board members, and other stakeholders in the development of that mission and implementation of the CLS strategic plan
  • Providing for the long-term stability of CLS by increasing visibility and diversifying, growing, and stabilizing funding
  • Attracting, retaining, and developing diverse and quality staff
  • Board Governance, including recruitment, stewardship, management and communication with the Board in order to ensure fulfillment of their vision for CLS and organizational responsibilities
  • Supporting the effectiveness of the delivery of legal services in CLS priority areas, and striving to meet the unmet civil legal needs of the community using in-person and virtual platforms
  • Leading the current Building Project which seeks a new or updated physical facility suitable for staff, clients, and community needs and anticipated growth;
  • Fundraising and developing other revenues necessary to support CLS’s mission, including an Endowment and Capital Campaign
  • Ensuring the organization’s financial health and stability by facilitating sound financial planning and management systems, including preparation of budgets and oversight of financial systems and controls
  • Overseeing compliance with the requirements of the Legal Service Corporation and other funders
  • Serving as an effective ambassador for CLS and nurturing collaborative relationships with funders, legislators, bar and judicial leaders, private donors, and business and civic organizations throughout the state


The ideal candidate should: 

  • Demonstrate a passion for the mission of CLS and a commitment to serving its clients and communities
  • Possess leadership experience managing and supervising a successful legal services or legal aid agency, law firm, highly regulated sector, or other nonprofit entity
  • Be willing and able to travel throughout the CLS service area
  • Have experience serving a mix of urban and rural populations, historically underserved communities, and migrant and Native American communities
  • Have a track record of success in fundraising, resource development, management of a capital campaign, and should possess a desire to develop and expand the resources of CLS
  • Have experience working productively with an engaged Board of Directors
  • Possess a Juris Doctorate and the ability to become licensed in Arizona
  • Have knowledge of financial matters including development of budgets, compliance with grant and contract requirements, and financial oversight, with an ability to appropriately manage and allocate scarce resources
  • Exhibit excellent communication skills and the ability to inspire the trust and confidence of the staff, Board members, client communities, and other stakeholders and allies
  • Champion diversity and be culturally competent
  • Have experience working collegially and effectively with a unionized workforce
  • Possess personal attributes of professionalism, positivity, respect, good listening skills, problem-solving talents, and the ability to motivate others
  • Convey vision, integrity, courage, intelligence, creativity, energy, and humor equal to the challenges of this demanding and rewarding position



Community Legal Services is assisted in the search by Patricia Pap, Executive Director, Management Information Exchange, 105 Chauncy St., Fl 6, Ste 3, Boston, MA 02111. Materials should be submitted electronically to in Microsoft Word or PDF format. Candidates with questions about the position or process are encouraged to contact her at the email address above.

This position will remain open until filled. To receive full consideration, applicants are encouraged to submit materials by March 28, 2022. Please submit a letter expressing your interest in the position, your qualifications for the job, 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.

The Board of Directors seeks to make a final decision in May of 2022, and to have the successful candidate join the organization in June in order to facilitate a smooth transition.

Salary depends on experience based on a competitive public interest salary scale.  CLS offers generous benefits, including medical, dental and vision plans; life, AD&D and disability insurance; a retirement plan; paid leave; and an employee assistance program. 


About Community Legal Services: 

Community Legal Services is a nonprofit law firm committed to increasing fairness in the civil justice system by advocating, litigating, and educating on behalf of Arizona’s most underserved communities. CLS serves Maricopa, Mohave, Yavapai, Yuma, and La Paz Counties, from offices in Phoenix, Kingman, Prescott, San Luis and Yuma.

CLS desires to be Arizona’s leading legal voice for communities in need by protecting rights, increasing fairness and providing access to justice for underserved communities. It is dedicated to providing legal assistance, advice or representation, self-help materials and legal education so people can know their rights. It believes that clients and communities are stronger when they understand their legal rights.

Consistent with its mission, CLS is committed to increasing fairness in the civil justice system. In order to accomplish this, CLS advocates, litigates and educates. As part of the advocacy, CLS has initiated firm-wide strategic advocacy to focus on issues and efforts that make an impact on the entire low-income community. Through needs assessments, CLS identifies systemic problems and defines objectives intended to meet CLS’ mission and address those identified problems. CLS sets strategies with measurable outcomes to meet those goals. In addition, CLS engages in direct service and brief service as described in its priorities. In order to educate the community, CLS provides training and outreach to the community and client groups in person and through the media. CLS provides access to forms, pamphlets, and other materials. CLS is one law firm with multiple offices that work together to meet the needs of clients and communities.  The CLS core values are humanity, respect, collaboration, and excellence.

CLS is governed by a 26-member Board of Directors made up of attorneys and client-eligible members from the service area. Attorney members are appointed by a state or local bar association or law school. Client board members are financially eligible to receive program services at the time of their appointment to the board.

CLS main areas of legal practice include Family Law, Housing, Health Care and Economic Stability, Employment Law; and Consumer Law. CLS also directs a robust and successful Volunteer Lawyers Program.

CLS also provides self-help initiatives and community education and awareness through its Community Outreach and Education component. CLS works in its client communities to maximize impact and outcomes using advocacy and education. Through strategic advocacy, CLS works to achieve lasting, systemic changes for clients and all members of the community. CLS focuses on helping survivors of domestic violence; assisting victims of consumer fraud and abuse; protecting tenants from unlawful/unfair practices by landlords; foreclosures; legal problems affecting agricultural workers; wage claims and other employment matters; and federal and state programs affecting peoples’ health and economic stability.

Supporting the Executive Director, the CLS Leadership Team includes the Deputy Director, Director of Litigation and Advocacy, Director of Development and Communications, and Finance Director.  The Staff consists of a dedicated team of approximately 80 employees, including 28 attorneys. CLS is a unionized organization with a support staff union and an attorneys’ union.

CLS funding of $7 million includes $6 million from the Legal Services Corporation, City and County contracts, private funding and other sources.


Read More about CLS Work at

Stay Informed with LSC Updates